From Ergo Log
Ex-smokers tend to put a couple of kilos after kicking the habit. If they chew nicotine in the form of chewing gum they can prevent this to some extent, and certainly if they combine this with good old caffeine. Danish nutritionists report on the subject in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Nicotine suppresses appetite and also increases metabolism. That’s why smokers are lighter than non-smokers, and why ex-smokers put on weight. You’d also expect that giving nicotine as a supplement to smokers would help them maintain their weight.
In 2003 researchers at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark published the results of a human study in which they gave 12 slim men aged between 18 and 45 nicotine chewing gum. The manufacturer of the chewing gum, the Danish Fertin Pharma, sponsored the study.
The researchers gave the men two pieces of chewing gum of varying composition on a number of occasions, always on an empty stomach. The chewing gum usually contained a combination of caffeine and nicotine. The men had to chew for 20 minutes on one piece of gum, thus releasing about two-thirds of the nicotine.
When the men chewed on gum that contained 100 mg caffeine and 1 mg nicotine, the amount of heat their body produced increased by an optimal amount, as did their calorie expenditure.
Increasing the nicotine dose to 2 mg resulted in slightly higher calorie expenditure, but the effect was not statistically significant. Moreover, the 2 mg dose of caffeine resulted in more side effects. The men complained of a sore throat, foul taste in their mouth, dizziness and problems with their vision.
“We found that 1 mg nicotine has a pronounced thermogenic effect, which is increased by approximately 100% when it is combined with 100 mg caffeine”, the researchers conclude. “Increasing the nicotine dose from 1 to 2 mg did not increase the thermogenic effect but produced side effects in most subjects. If the thermogenic effect of adding caffeine can be translated into a corresponding enhancement of nicotine’s effect on long-term energy balance, it may be useful in the prevention of weight gain after smoking cessation.”
In 2005 the same researchers demonstrated that the chewing gum tested also reduced the appetite of slim subjects. [Diabetes Obes Metab. 2005 Jul;7(4):327-33.]
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;77(6):1442-7.