Ad­dic­tive nut could help smok­ers quit

Southeast Asia Globe - - Healthcare Special -

An ad­dic­tive nut chewed by as many as 600 mil­lion peo­ple across Asia may hold the key to help­ing smok­ers and other nico­tine fiends kick the habit. A team of re­searchers from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal So­ci­ety has found that the areca nut, of­ten wrapped in be­tel or to­bacco leaves and chewed to pro­duce a sense of eu­pho­ria, con­tains a psy­choac­tive al­ka­loid that stim­u­lates the brain cell re­cep­tors re­spon­si­ble for nico­tine ad­dic­tion. The team is now work­ing to pro­duce a se­ries of neari­den­ti­cal syn­thetic analogs of the com­pound that could the­o­ret­i­cally be used to treat nico­tine ad­dic­tion, po­ten­tially with­out side ef­fects.

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