What Effects Does Nicotine Have on the Brain?

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The effects that nicotine have on the brain include both stimulating and sedating the body, which makes it a powerfully addictive substance. Learn how nicotine differs from other chemicals in the brain with helpful information from a nutrition consultant and clinical herbalist in this free video on alternative medicine.

Part of the Video Series: Nutrition & Vitamins
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Charlotte Skiles. I am a nutrition consultant and clinical herbalist with Eat in Peace Wellness Consulting located in Austin, Texas. And right now I'm going to be talking about what effects nicotine have on the brain. This is a really interesting question because what happens with nicotine, I'm not going to get too complex here because it's just not necessary. Nicotine both stimulates and sedates at the same time. There are very few other chemicals that do this in this way. Most chemicals either stimulate or they sedate, they don't do both, nicotine does both. And that is what makes it so powerfully addictive and why the body becomes so dependent upon it is because it has those two actions on the brain at the same time. And isn't that what we're all looking for? When the body is relaxed and energy is flowing smoothly through the system, we're alert and have a lot of energy. So that's exactly what nicotine is providing is that relaxed sense of mental clarity where things in the body are moving appropriately. So the kicker is that the body becomes greatly dependent on this for sense of well being and that's how nicotine affects the brain.

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