Home Australia Fascinating reason why women are more likely to get addicted to smoking than men, new study reveals

Fascinating reason why women are more likely to get addicted to smoking than men, new study reveals

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Supermodel Kate Moss is perhaps one of the most famous smokers in the world; Pictured, modeling for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week in 2011.

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American scientists have made the curious discovery that women are more likely than men to become addicted to smoking cigarettes.

Interestingly, researchers at the University of Kentucky found this to be true even though there are more male smokers than female smokers in the United States.

According to the CDC, about 13 in 100 adult men smoke, compared to about 10 in 100 adult women.

The new study has also shed light on why this might be.

The findings reveal that estrogen, the female sex hormone, can make a person’s brain more sensitive to the effects of nicotine from cigarettes and therefore more likely to become addicted.

Supermodel Kate Moss is perhaps one of the most famous smokers in the world; Pictured, modeling for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week in 2011.

Supermodel Kate Moss is perhaps one of the most famous smokers in the world; Pictured, modeling for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week in 2011.

However, studies show that men are more likely to try smoking, which partly explains why there are more male than female smokers.

“Studies show that women are more likely to develop nicotine addiction than men and are less successful at quitting smoking,” said Sally Pauss, a doctoral student in molecular biology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. in Lexington.

Pauss, who led the research, set out to discover why this gender disparity exists. He presented his research at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Men have a natural amount of estrogen in your body. But women produce it at much higher levels, that fluctuate every 28 days throughout the stages of your menstrual cycle.

In his new study, Pauss found that estrogen increases the effect of proteins that are important for the brain’s pleasure response to nicotine, called olfactomedins.

Estrogen activates olfactomedines. The proteins then activate the part of the brain linked to addiction and reward and make the person crave nicotine.

A diagram from Pauss' research showing how the estrogen and nicotine craving cycle occurs.

A diagram from Pauss' research showing how the estrogen and nicotine craving cycle occurs.

A diagram from Pauss’ research showing how the estrogen and nicotine craving cycle occurs.

Filling the dose with nicotine causes a reduction in the amount of olfactomedines, as well as estrogen.

Research found that estrogen spikes, such as in the period before ovulation, lead to a related increase in olfactomedines.

Pauss and his colleagues identified this protein by reviewing huge genetic databases and looking for genes that are affected by estrogen and drive brain chemistry.

They found only one type of gene that fit their criteria: the gene that produces olfactomedins.

Once they identified that gene, they grafted it into lab rats and performed a series of experiments to discover how estrogen, olfactomedines, and nicotine interacted with each other.

In the future, Pauss said scientists could develop drugs that target these proteins and block their effects, helping people quit smoking.

‘If we can confirm that estrogen drives nicotine seeking and consumption through olfactomedines, we will be able to design drugs that can block that effect by targeting the altered pathways.

“Hopefully these medications will make it easier for women to quit nicotine,” Pauss said.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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