As many party-goers know, people crave nicotine more when they are drinking, and crave alcohol more when they are smoking.
Until now, it wasn’t clear why this was, but American scientists now claim to have cracked it.
Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine found that stress hormones and the brain’s pleasure centre could be responsible.
They studied the link between smoking and drinking by giving nicotine to rats before offering them alcohol.
The researchers found nicotine boosted a rat’s interest in alcohol even if it was offered as much as 15 hours after the nicotine.
It only takes about 90 minutes for nicotine to leave a rat’s system meaning that the findings suggested that the drug alters the brain’s reaction to alcohol even after it has left the creature’s body.
The researchers found that alcohol boosts dopamine levels in the brain’s pleasure centres which causes a feeling of euphoria.
However, they discovered that it can also dampen the ability of the brain to respond to the drug, meaning that more and more alcohol is needed to cause the same level of pleasure.
They believe that nicotine increases this effect meaning that people who smoke need more alcohol to achieve the same levels of enjoyment.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2373458/Drinking-smoking-hand-hand-recent-research-suggests-Nicotine-dampens-feel-good-chemicals-brain-making-crave-alcohol.html#ixzz2ZnOq4835
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