In a cell-based study, UF researchers identified two compounds in coffee that directly affect certain high-sensitivity nicotine receptors in the brain. In smokers, these brain receptors can be hypersensitive after a night of nicotine withdrawal.
The recently published findings have yet to be tested in humans but are an important step toward better understanding how coffee and cigarettes affect nicotine receptors in the brain, said Roger L. Papke, Ph.D., a pharmacology professor in the UF College of Medicine. Caffeine is coffee’s feel-good ingredient for most people but smokers may get another kind of boost.
“Many people like caffeine in the morning but there are other molecules in coffee that may explain why cigarette smokers want their coffee,” Papke said.Learn more about UF Health research sheds new light on nicotine and morning brew