What Nicotine Does to Your Kidneys

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by happycanuk, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. happycanuk

    happycanuk New Member

    ** What Nicotine Does to Your Kidneys

    --by Jeff Jurmain, MA

    Inside of every cigarette, there is far more than dried
    tobacco leaves. About 4,000 chemicals run the risk of being
    created when a cigarette is lit -- at least 60 of which are
    known to cause cancer. These chemicals are approved by
    the government, but not in the form they take when they are
    burned -- this changes their composition, generally for the

    There are, all told, about 600 approved additives other than
    tobacco that could be inside cigarettes. Here's a brief list
    (instead of the scientific names of chemicals, I've added
    primary uses and products): paint thinner, preservative for
    dead bodies, lighter fluid, rat poison, battery acid, a lethal
    poison, barbecue lighter fluid, insecticide, rocket fuel, moth
    balls, candle wax, and industrial solvent.

    Maybe a few of these chemicals are responsible for
    smoking's newfound health problem that can be added to
    its mountain of disrepair: cigarettes will also accelerate
    kidney damage.

    For the first time ever, researchers have found that cells in
    our kidneys are equipped with nicotine receptors. This is
    the likely mechanism that causes smokers with kidney
    problems to wind up on dialysis machines more quickly
    than kidney patients who don't smoke. The receptors make
    your kidneys particularly susceptible to nicotine damage.

    They were discovered on "mesangial cells" that are found
    within the parts of the kidney that help filter out waste from
    the bloodstream. When someone has kidney disease, these
    are the cells that trigger the creation of the molecules that
    end up scarring the organs.

    That is the exact result researchers got when they added
    nicotine to kidney cells in a test tube, in about the same
    concentration that would be in the body of a typical
    smoker. The result? The mesangial cells grew in size and
    number by between 50 and 80%.

    The level of molecules that scarred the kidneys was
    increased by 50%. Just to be sure it was nicotine causing
    the problem, the researchers added a compound that
    blocked the nicotine receptors. The effects were reduced,
    thus proving that nicotine was indeed the culprit.

    Researchers say that this kind of damage happens on top of
    everything else that smoking does and an effort to kick the
    habit is greatly needed by anyone with kidney disease. Yet
    on another note, it seems as though nicotine will aggravate
    the kidneys by spurring on the creation of the molecules
    that scar it. That is not a good sign for the only organ you
    have that decides to absorb and excrete water and the
    critical electrolyte minerals that help maintain a delicate
    balance in your body.


    San Antonio, Texas, Meeting Report: "Nicotine receptors
    on kidneys may speed kidney damage," American Heart
    Association, October 4, 2006.

    ** Study Shows Cold Virus Can Live on Surfaces for a

    --by Karolina Rous, MA
  2. mindbender

    mindbender New Member

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