Posted on May 4, 2012, 9:34 pm
Durk Pearson (Life Extension) discusses this in one of his books
Posted on July 15, 2012, 5:56 am
The confusion is understandable when you know it's history.
"1867, Huber provides the first description of nicotinic acid from the oxidization of nicotine.
Organic Synthesis Prep
Method to oxidize nicotine with nitric acid to make Nicotinic acid - 1925
Dr Goldberger then found that Pellagra was a nutritional disease, much to the annoyance of some of the medical establishment of the time who insisted that Pellagra was hereditary, or even a result of eating bad corn.
"Conrad A. Elvehjem, (May 27, 1901–July 27, 1962), was internationally known as a biochemist in nutrition. In 1937 he identified a molecule found in fresh meat and yeast as a new vitamin, nicotinic acid, now called niacin. His discovery led directly to the cure of human pellagra, once a major health problem in the United States."
"Cure of Experimental Canine Blacktongue with Optimal and Minimal Doses of Nicotinic Acid
But of course all this upset the tobacco prohibitionists too so the name was changed in 1942.
"pellagra-preventing vitamin in enriched bread," 1942, coined from ni(cotinic) ac(id) + -in, chemical suffix; suggested by the American Medical Association as a more commercially viable name than nicotinic acid.
"The new name was found to be necessary because some anti-tobacco groups warned against enriched bread because it would foster the cigarette habit." ["Cooperative Consumer," Feb. 28, 1942]
"Niacin was first discovered from the oxidation of nicotine to form nicotinic acid. When the properties of nicotinic acid were discovered, it was thought prudent to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine, in order to avoid the perception that vitamins or niacin-rich food contains nicotine. The resulting name 'niacin' was derived from nicotinic acid + vitamin."
"Niacin is also referred to as Vitamin B3 because it was the third of the B vitamins to be discovered. It has historically been referred to as "vitamin PP", a name derived from the term "pellagra-preventing factor".
The Nation's Food - 1941
A necessary vitamin is B—a group of at least half a dozen different chemicals. Most radio listeners, said Vice President Wallace last week, know B as the "oomph vitamin, that puts the sparkle in your eye, the spring in your step, the zip in your soul!" Vitamin B is found abundantly in whole wheat and coarse grains, is appreciably reduced in the milling process, when the rough coat is "scalped"' from wheat kernel.
Most of the big flour mills and bakers have recently agreed to put vitamin B1; nicotinic acid and iron back into their flour and bread. But experts last week pointed out that such "enriched bread," although a step forward, was not the ideal solution of the problem."
It then became law to enrich bread with nicotinic acid/niacin and for a while this was made from tobacco waste until quinoline acoal tar derivative was found to be cheaper and tobacco couldn't compete.
"Nicotinic Acid Utilization of Tobacco Waste"
""Nicotinic acid was first made by the oxidation of nicotine and Whiffens operate a commercial process in this country starting with tobacco.
Later they were supplied with nicotine by the British Nicotine Company and continued the oxidation.
Finally - before the Second World War - they found they were unable to compete with manufacturers starting from quinoline and picoline although it could be made directly from tobacco waste, from pyridine, some other coal tar bases, nicotine, anabasine, nor-nicotine or mixed tobacco alkaloids."
"LORILLARD RESEARCH ON NICOTINIC ACID - 1938 to 43
"Parmele informed Mr Riefner that work on nicotinic acid could be confirmed free of charge by Dr Elvehjem at the University of Wisconsin.
Dr Elvehjam analyzed samples prepared by Parmele by the microbiological assay method of Snell and Wright. The mirobiological method was more specific than the chemical method employed by Parmele.
Lower levels of nicotinic acid were found, but Parmele's essential findings were confirmed"
"THE ABSORPTION OF NIACIN IN THE SMOKING OF CIGARETTES - 1944"
"Niacin and Niacinamide In Flue Cured Cigarette Smoke Condensate August 10 1960"
But the amount of niacin in cigarette smoke is far less than in a cup of coffee.
Incidentally,as I'm sure you know, nicotine is not the only interesting thing in tobacco, Solanesol is extracted from the green leaf and used to make Co-enzyme Q10 and vitamin K.
But I'm a gardener not a nutritionist.
If this is anyway interesting to you, I do have all the links.
Posted on July 15, 2012, 8:09 pm
Great comment Rose, and lots of detail to the story. I didn't know all those finer points.
Interesting about the other stuff in tobacco leaves. I suppose I'll have to try some in my drink one of these days...
Posted on September 3, 2012, 5:23 am
About those links Rose, if you can't post them here, please send them (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will work them into your comment...
Posted on September 5, 2012, 7:06 pm
North American natives that smoked'Cannabis' and then tobacco once introduced by Europeans never suffered lung and heart disease. If so, it would have been reported. Smoking tobacco is the common thread seen with recovering alcoholics. Not only are they, myself included, niacin dependent, but susceptible to the compounded thoughts that in the worst cases result with the condition known as Schizophrenia. Alcohol depletes all the B vitamins and when niacin, or B3, is dropped below the body's required balance, strange fictional characters tend to visit. Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson knew that B3 helped 70 alcoholics white knuckling it in the early days of AA. That same percentage was found in the Schizophrenia studies when subjects were restored to mental health by niacin, Vitamin C, and B6. Natural tobacco helps sustain a B3 balance, but should not be the staple supplement. It should be with food, hence, children should not be conditioned to smoke for curative reasons.
Posted on September 6, 2012, 1:14 pm
I remember reading about recovering alcoholics and their consumption of coffee and cigarettes, it seemed strange that the scientists hadn't spotted the obvious link.
Coffee And Cigarette Consumption Are High Among AA Attendees
"More than one million Americans currently participate in the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program. While AA participants are reportedly notorious for their coffee drinking and cigarette smoking, very little research has quantified their consumption of these two products.
Recent findings confirm that coffee and cigarette use among this population is greater than among the general U.S. population: most AA members drink coffee and more than half smoke."
"Martin added that many questions remain about the effects of coffee and cigarettes on recovering alcoholics.
"What do cigarettes or coffee do for them; how do they believe that they are affected by smoking and drinking coffee?," he asked.
"Is this behavior simply a way to bond or connect in AA meetings, analogous to the peace pipe among North American Indians, or do constituents of these natural compounds result in pharmacological actions that affect the brain?"
Medicine: Vitamins & the Three Ms
Monday, June 17, 1957
"Dr. Spies proved, too, that there was no essential difference between the North's "alcoholic pellagra" and the South's "endemic pellagra." He did this first by feeding up Skid Row derelicts at the same time as he allowed them as much corn liquor as they could drink; their pellagra cleared, showing that it had been caused not by alcohol but by the absence of essential food factors"
Basic Chemical Reactions Occurring in the Roasting Process
"The best cup characteristic are produced when the ratio of the degradation of trigonelline to the derivation of Nicotinic Acid remains linear. The control model of this reaction ratio is a time/temperature/energy relationship. The environment temperature (ET) establishes the pyrolysis region for the desired chemical reactions while the energy value (BTU) and system transfer efficiency (STE) determines the rate of reaction propagation and linearity of Nicotinic Acid derivation to degradation of trigonelline"
Trigonelline is a pyridine alkaloid like nicotine.
" Niacin is formed during the roasting process, and coffee can contain 10-40mg of niacin per 100 g, depending on the extent of roasting, thus making a significant contribution to average intakes of niacin"
Posted on September 7, 2012, 7:03 am
A previous poster mentions Schizophrenia and I once heard the doctors believed with that their heavy smoking they must be self treating in some way.
But with what and why?
"Last week the Journal of the American Medical Association printed two articles on pellagra showing the startlingly beneficial results of a new treatment."
"Nicotinic acid, a distant relative (about second cousin once removed) of tobacco's nicotine, is found in yeast, wheat germ and liver. When considerable quantities were fed to some 300 patients with pellagra, their sores healed, their cramps disappeared.
Even patients who were violently insane dramatically regained their wits within 48 hours"
"The only certain method used by early pellagrologists was to give their patients in the mental hospitals small amounts of nicotinic acid. If they recovered they diagnosed them pellagra, if they did not they diagnosed them schizophrenia"
"The use of ‘megadoses’ of niacin was first tried by Drs Humphrey Osmond and Abram Hoffer in 1951. So impressed were they with the results in acute schizophrenics that, in 1953, they ran the first double-blind therapeutic trials in the history of psychiatry. Their first two trials showed significant improvement giving at least 3gs (3,000mg) a day, compared to placebos. They also found that chronic schizophrenics, not first-time sufferers but long-term inpatients, showed little improvement.
The results of six double blind controlled trials showed that the natural recovery rate was doubled. Later they found that even chronic patients, treated for several years with niacin in combination with other nutrients, often recovered"
"Hoffer's treatment for schizophrenia and theories of orthomolecular medicine remain controversial as they have not been generally accepted by the mainstream medical community as of 2006.
An American Psychiatric Association Task Force Report of July 1973 on using niacin in treating schizophrenia claimed both methodological flaws in Hoffer’s early work and other studies which failed to show clear benefit of this therapy.
Hoffer and Osmond wrote a lengthy rebuttal to this report, citing many errors, misrepresentations, and biases.
However niacin, B6, and ascorbates are still not widely used or recommended in the conventional treatments of schizophrenia.
Some other limited studies that did not meet Hoffer's original conditions have also failed to find benefits in use of megavitamin therapy to treat schizophrenia.
Nicotine ( ? )Helps Schizophrenics With Attention And Memory
"Participants with and without schizophrenia were then asked to smoke while taking a drug called mecamylamine, which blocks nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain, preventing the nicotine from acting on those receptors.
Mecamylamine blocked the ability of smoking to improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, but not in persons without mental illness.
The findings suggest that when people with schizophrenia smoke, they may in part be self--medicating with nicotine to remedy cognitive deficits."
Nicotinic Receptors, Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Neurotransmission and Schizophrenia
"Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder that affects approximately 1 of the population.
Studies show that schizophrenia seems to be associated with changes to nicotinic receptors within the brain.
In schizophrenia there is a loss of nicotinic receptors as the disease progresses, and, further studies have shown a genetic mutation in nicotinic receptors in patients suffering schizophrenia with the presence of an aberrant type of nicotinic receptor found in these patients"
Nicotinic Receptors in Parkinson's Disease:- There are 2 main types of nicotinic receptor present in brain, the alpha4 and the alpha7 type, although many additional types also exist.
Nicotinic receptors are largely localized to basal ganglia structures; and thus are of direct relevance to the fine control of movement. Interestingly, in Parkinson’s disease there is a loss of nicotinic receptors in these regions"
So it would appear that with damaged, mutated or simply missing nicotinic receptors of a certain type, schizophrenics may be bathing the ones that remain in niacin, much as someone who is hard of hearing turns up the volume on the TV set.
But niacin is not the only thing in cigarette smoke, modern science has recently discovered the importance of nitric oxide to normal function,in the body and the brain, we make it constantly.
Nitric oxide: From menace to marvel of the decade
"Previously, nitric oxide was regarded as an environmental pollutant and little else: at best a chemically reactive nuisance, at worst a poison. In the exhaust fumes of cars it reacted readily with oxygen to produce smog, increasing the risk of asthma. When discharged into the atmosphere from power station chimneys it contributed to the ecological damage from acid rain."
"Consequently, a response bordering on disbelief greeted the discovery that cells lining the walls of blood vessels, endothelial cells, intentionally synthesised nitric oxide as a muscle relaxant. The molecule is short-lived, and a constant supply is generated by endothelial cells in response to the sheer stress of the blood flow on the artery wall. The notion that such a noxious little molecule should also hold a key to a healthy body and mind was counter-intuitive, and is still disconcerting to some people."
( http://tinyurl.com/Briefings-Nitric-Oxide )
Nitric oxide is a very short lived molecule and this might be another reason for the heavy smoking in schizophrenia.
From the Monash link
"A substantial component of schizophrenic symptomatology appears to arise from deficiencies in an ability to automatically filter or “gate” irrelevant thoughts and sensory stimuli from intruding into conscious awareness. In schizophrenic patients, there is a higher than normal prevalence of tobacco smoking (90)"
Your Brain Boots Up Like a Computer
"As we yawn and open our eyes in the morning, the brain stem sends little puffs of nitric oxide to another part of the brain, the thalamus, which then directs it elsewhere.
Like a computer booting up its operating system before running more complicated programs, the nitric oxide triggers certain functions that set the stage for more complex brain operations, according to a new study.
In these first moments of the day, sensory information floods the system—the bright sunlight coming through the curtains, the time on the screeching alarm clock—and all of it needs to be processed and organized, so the brain can understand its surroundings and begin to perform more complex tasks.
"The thinking part of the brain is applying a sort of stencil to the information coming in and what the nitric oxide is doing is allowing more refinement of that stencil," says Dwayne Godwin, an associate professor at Wake Forest University and lead author of the study, which was funded by the National Eye Institute.
The little two-atom molecule, it seems, is partly responsible for our ability to perceive whatever it is we're sensing."
"The finding, published last week in the journal Neuroscience, changes the way scientists understand nitric oxide's role in the brain, and it also has them rethinking the function of the thalamus, where it is released.
The thalamus was thought to be a fairly primitive structure, sort of a gate that could either open and allow sensory information to stream into the cortex, the higher functioning part of the brain, or cut off the flow entirely.
Godwin says the new research shows it's more accurate to think of the thalamus not as a gate but as a club bouncer, who doesn't simply allow a huge rush of people to go in or no one at all, but picks and chooses whom to let in and out."
Nitric Oxide Can Alter Brain Function
"Research from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester shows that nitric oxide (NO) can change the computational ability of the brain. This finding has implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and our understanding of brain function more generally.
The research is led by Professor Ian Forsythe and is reported in the journal Neuron on 26th November.
Professor Forsythe, of the MRC Toxicology Unit, explains: "It is well known that nerve cells communicate via the synapse the site at which chemical messengers (neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine or glutamate) are packaged and then released under tight control to influence their neighbours.
"Nitric oxide is a chemical messenger which cannot be stored and can rapidly diffuse across cell membranes to act at remote sites (in contrast to conventional neurotransmitters which cannot pass across cell membranes)."
"Surprisingly, the whole population of neurons were affected, even those neurons which had no active synaptic inputs, so indicating that nitric oxide is a 'volume transmitter' passing information between cells without the need for a synapse. Such a function is ideal for tuning neuronal populations to global activity."
And I strongly suspect that I wouldn't have been had the stamina to do all this research without regular supplements of both niacin, nicotinamide and nitric oxide.
Parkinson's protection without caffeine or nicotine
"Decaf coffee and nicotine-free tobacco aren't just for the health-conscious. Giving them to flies with a form of Parkinson's disease has revealed that although coffee and cigarettes protect the brain, caffeine and nicotine aren't responsible for the benefit.
If the compounds that put up this brain defence can be identified, they may offer a preventive Parkinson's treatment where none currently exists, says Leo Pallanck, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, whose team led the new study.
"We think that there's something else in coffee and tobacco that's really important," he says."
Thank heavens for the internet.
Posted on September 7, 2012, 11:13 am
Thank you Rose,
for this additional information.
Very interesting all of it.
Now in the last two paragraphs you cite decaf-coffee and nicotine free cigarettes having something that still makes them work for health. According to the article, they are still looking. What is your view of what that substance might be?
Posted on September 7, 2012, 12:38 pm
The only thing that I know to be in both roasted coffee and in cigarettes smoke is niacin.
"Nicotine is produced in the roots of tobacco by the linking of compounds derived from nicotinic acid and putrescine"
It's nasty stuff, as it would have to be to stop insects animals eating it's leaves.
Green Tobacco Sickness in Tobacco Harvesters -- Kentucky, 1992
"Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is an illness resulting from dermal exposure to dissolved nicotine from wet tobacco leaves; it is characterized by nausea, vomiting, weakness, and dizziness and sometimes fluctuations in blood pressure or heart rate (1-3)."
Murray E. Jarvik, 84, UCLA pharmacologist, nicotine patch inventor
"Murray was always asking, 'Why do people smoke?'" said Richard Olmstead, a UCLA associate researcher in psychiatry and a friend and collaborator of Jarvik's.
"I would say that Murray's greatest impact was advancing the proposition that nicotine was the key addictive component in tobacco.
In short, he was able to largely answer his question. Having done so, though, he kept at it, further generating support and caveats to the proposition. As the long-faded banner in his office read: 'Nothing is simple.'"
"Thinking back, Murray was always looking for simple answers he knew he would never find," Olmstead said.
In the 1990s, Jarvik, along with Jed Rose, then a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and now the director of the Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University, were curious about "green tobacco illness," a malady striking tobacco farmhands harvesting the crop in the South. That led to research on the potential positive implications of absorbing tobacco through the skin, which resulted in the creation of a transdermal patch that delivers nicotine directly into the body.
When the researchers could not get approval to run experiments on any subjects, Jarvik, in an article in UCLA Magazine, said they decided to test their idea on themselves.
"We put the tobacco on our skin and waited to see what would happen," Jarvik recalled.
"Our heart rates increased, adrenaline began pumping, all the things that happen to smokers." ??
An easy mistake to make for a neversmoker after the nicotinic acid/niacin/tobacco link had been deliberately hidden, and as you can see, it appears to have been sending doctors and scientists off on the wrong track ever since.
Why would they even think to check?
I was only wondering what happened to nicotine when it burned.
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