Washington: Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have found that menthol acts in combination with nicotine to desensitise receptors in lungs’ airways that are responsible for nicotine’s irritation.
“We know that a menthol cough drop soothes a scratchy, sore throat. The question we looked at is if and how it works when the irritant is nicotine,” said study author Kenneth Kellar, professor of pharmacology at GUMC.
“The findings supports the notion that menthol is not just a flavouring agent but has a pharmacologic effect,” Kellar added.
The researchers say their study provides a better understanding of how menthol affects the function of the receptor – one of the most prevalent nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in the peripheral nervous system.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), menthol in cigarettes is likely associated with increased initiation and progression to regular cigarette smoking, increased dependence, and reduced success in smoking cessation, especially among African American menthol smokers.
The findings were presented at “Neuroscience 2014”, the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.
Source by : Zee Health News