Does smoking better adapt the human lungs to fight Covid-19? Not quite. But nicotine is under the microscope as a possible preventive measure against the need for hospitalization. Moreover, will nicotine in tea instead of tobacco have the same impact that prevents Covid-19 causing an immune overreaction?
Something that is so frowned upon by many might actually be the Achilles heel of Covid-19. After several articles and studies, the claim that nicotine can suppress the damage that the coronavirus brings to your body is quickly becoming part of the daily news. The claims started after an oddity stood out in stats.
A significantly fewer number of smokers have had severe health deterioration after Covid-19 infection.
France’s recent research has revealed that Nicotine might be the substance behind this unanswered trend. The French Covid-19 Study suggested Nicotine as a potential preventive agent. It said that both “epidemiological/ clinical evidence and the in-silico findings may suggest that COVID-19 infection is a nAChR disease that could be prevented and may be controlled by nicotine”. Further trials to back up the study are underway.
France’s research analysis – Nicotine may be an elixir against Covid-19
The study was conducted at a Paris hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière on 480 patients. It shocked with its result suggesting smokers were infected less than the others. This backed up the nicotine’s ability to fight the virus very strongly. Although many researchers did say this, that smokers, when infected, are more likely to end up in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) than non-smokers. They also added that smokers also will experience severe respiratory problems.
Watch: Researchers find nicotine could reduce chances of Covid-19 infection
Moreover, nicotine is also highly addictive. It also leads to various severe complications such as headaches, increased blood pressure, bad for the arteries, and can cause a heart attack. It may also cause an allergic reaction in many. Researchers are calling for urgent investigation if it can be used for treatment and also find a way past these complications.
France has taken the decision to put brakes on the sales of the nicotine and its substitutes till 11 May. Health Minister Oliver Veran in the parliament acknowledged the interesting research but urged caution, “beware, this does not mean that tobacco protects. Tobacco kills.” The study he referred to has shown that nicotine in tobacco could prevent the Covid-19 virus from entering lung cells.
Smokers have a better chance of recovering without hospitalization
Another recently reported news suggests that only a few of the coronavirus cases that need hospitalization are smokers. The preliminary research hypothesis is that not necessarily tobacco but nicotine’s anti-inflammatory properties. It seems nicotine from tobacco smoke prevents the Covid-19 virus’ process by which it causes immune system overreaction leading to respiratory illness, as per Greek cardiologist Konstantinos Farsalinos.
In China, 13 studies on 6,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients show that number of smokers was from 1.4% to 12.6%.
Furthermore, the consistent results also align with the first Covid-19 case series in the U.S. Raymond Niaura of New York University who co-wrote the paper with Farsalinos said to Vice, “It follows logically that smokers would be way worse off. I would think that too. But I’ve been surprised: That’s not the story we’re necessarily seeing.”
But can non-smokers have the same advantage against Covid-19 by replacing tobacco with tea?
Well, the question is out there for scientists to take on. Currently, there is no research or study on the internet available which suggests that nicotine from tea can could also be a potential way that prevents Covid-19 infections from turning severe.
When compared with nicotine from a tobacco product like a cigarette, the human body absorbs nicotine from tea in a different way. That also makes it less harmful and addictive. So, this needs formal research to ascertain anything in this regard.