Nicotine Increases Blood Sugar Levels


An associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the California State Polytechnic University has conducted a study on the impact of nicotine among diabetics. In a Health Day feature, Professor Xiao-Chuan Liu was able to found out, at least in lab set-ups, that nicotine indeed raises the blood sugar levels of diabetics.

cigarettesIt has been previously known that smoking is harmful to diabetics; even more harmful to them than those who do not have the disease. The study by Liu not only tackles cigarettes, but as well as nicotine replacement devices. These products should not be used for long periods of time as they can cause harmful effects in the long run too. The solution is to drop the smoking habit and get rid of nicotine in the system completely.

Proponents of the study added varied concentrations nicotine to red blood cells samples with equal levels of glucose for one to two days. Results would show that even small doses of nicotine increased sugar levels in the blood. These they found out by examining the hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels in their set-ups. This test helps determine the percentage of red blood cells that have glucose molecules attached to them. Diabetics have to manage at least 7% or less to stay in control of their disease.

Results placed an 8.8% to an alarming 34.5% increase in blood-sugar levels after two days of nicotine treatments.

Although these records are limited to laboratory experiments and they are yet to be done on an actual human body, researchers still suggest that diabetics stop smoking. The use of nicotine replacement products should also be used in short-terms basis only as they will eventually become harmful if used for longer periods of time. As diabetics already have higher risks for cardiovascular diseases, they should not aggravate their situation by continuing their smoking habits.

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