Thermogenic effect of chewing gum - Energy Metabolism - Author Abstract
Nutrition Research Newsletter, July, 2003
Cigarette smoking is recognized as one of the most important preventable causes of premature death,, mainly because it increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer, respiratory disorders, and other illnesses. Although the negative health consequences caused by cigarette smoking are well established, 20% to 35% of people in affluent countries still smoke. A large proportion of smokers, particularly women, admit that they continue to smoke to control body weight.
Nicotine replacement therapy limits weight gain after smoking cessation. This finding is partly attributable to the thermogenic effect of nicotine, which may be enhanced by caffeine. Some Danish researchers tried to assess the acute thermogenic effects of different chewing gums containing nicotine and caffeine, separately and in combination, and compared their effects with those of placebo chewing gum in healthy, normal weight men.
Twelve healthy men were included in this study. Energy expenditure was measured with indirect calorimetry before and 2.5 hr after subjects chewed each of seven different types of gum containing the following doses of nicotine/ caffeine: 0/0, 1/0, 2/0, 1/50, 2/50, 1/100 and 2/100 mg/mg. The subjects chewed each piece of gum for 25 min to ensure a high absorption fraction of the test compounds.
Thermogenic response was significantly affected by both nicotine and caffeine and there was also an interaction between nicotine and caffeine. The thermogenic responses (increases over the response to placebo) were 3.7% 4.9%, 7.9%, 6.3%, 8.5% and 9.8%, respectively, for the gums containing 1/0, 2/0, 1/50, 2/50, 1/100 and 2/100 mg nicotine/mg caffeine. Adding caffeine to 1 mg and 2 mg nicotine significantly enhanced the thermogenic response, but changing the caffeine dose form 50 mg to 100 mg did not change the thermogenic effect. None of the combinations changed the respiratory quotient compared with placebo, which indicates that oxidation rates of glucose and fat were increased to a similar extent. Side effects (nausea and sore throat) occurred only with 2 mg nicotine.
It was found that 1 mg of nicotine has a pronounced thermogenic effect, which is increased by approximately 100% when it is combined with 100 mg caffeine. Increasing the nicotine dose from 1 mg to 2 mg did not increase the thermogenic effect but produced side effects in most subjects. If the thermogenic effect of adding caffeine can be translated into a corresponding enhancement of nicotine's effect on long-term energy balance, it may be useful in the prevention of weight gain after smoking cessation.
Anna B Jessen, Soren Toubro and Arne Astrup, Effect of chewing gum containing nicotine and caffeine on energy expenditure and substrate utilization in men, Am J Clin Nutr 77: 1442-1447 (June 2003) [Address reprint requests to A Astrup, Department of Human Nutrition, Centre for Advanced Food Studies, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 30 Rolighedsvej, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]
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