HomeBreaking NewsStudy Links Estrogen to Women's Struggle with Nicotine Addiction

Study Links Estrogen to Women’s Struggle with Nicotine Addiction

A recent study conducted by the University of Kentucky has shed light on why women may find it harder to quit smoking compared to men. The research suggests that the presence of the female sex hormone, estrogen, might play a significant role in nicotine addiction.

Led by Sally Pauss and supervised by associate professor Terry D Hinds Jr, the study explored the disparity in nicotine addiction between men and women. The researchers discovered a potential link between nicotine addiction and olfactomedin, a protein involved in the brain’s reward system.

Their findings, published in the journal of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, indicate that women become dependent on nicotine more rapidly than men and face greater difficulty in quitting. This could be attributed to the interaction between nicotine, olfactomedin, and estrogen.

Interestingly, nicotine seems to suppress the production of olfactomedin, while estrogen increases its expression. This interplay among these elements may elucidate why women struggle more with nicotine addiction.

The implications of this research are significant, as it paves the way for the development of tailored smoking cessation treatments specifically designed for women. Sally Pauss expressed hope that these advancements would empower women to overcome nicotine addiction and reduce the gender disparity in treatment success rates.

“Our work aims to understand what makes women more susceptible to nicotine use disorder to reduce the gender disparity in treating nicotine addiction,” Pauss explained. “If we can confirm that estrogen drives nicotine seeking and consumption through olfactomedins, we can design drugs that might block that effect by targeting the altered pathways. These drugs would hopefully make it easier for women to quit nicotine.

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