Nicotine Eating Bacteria May Help Quit Smoking

Posted: Aug 9 2015, 9:44pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 9 2015, 9:48pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Nicotine Eating Bacteria May Help Quit Smoking
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The newly discovered bacterial enzyme can lead to a successful anti-smoking drug

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do. The biggest problem smokers generally face is how to stop smoking permanently. Many anti-smoking treatments, therapies and home remedies have been tried out. But mostly turned out unsuccessful or were not as useful as expected.

A new research may hold a key in quitting smoking. According to it, a Nicotine-eating bacterium has been found effective in quitting smoking. The bacteria eats up Nicotine before it reaches to the brain. Thus, prevents the “reward” of smoking and makes whole experience less harmful for the smokers.

The research is titled “A New Strategy for Smoking Cessation”. It was published in American Chemical Society journal.

“The bacterium is like a little Pac-Man. It goes along and eats Nicotine.” said Kim D. Janda, a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) said.

Janda and his team took it almost 30 years to create such an enzyme in laboratory. The newly discovered bacterial enzyme can lead to an alternative anti-smoking therapy. It can prove more effective than other techniques available. The current anti-smoking techniques do not work well for 80 to 90 percent smokers.

The bacterial enzyme has a quite powerful effect on nicotine. When enzyme is added into blood stream, it reduces nicotine level to half in just 9-15 minutes compared to 2-3 hours. Professor Janda believes that enzyme could be made even more effective if modified with few chemicals.

He also believes that this research is just a starting point. There is a long way ahead in the development of a successful anti-smoking drug.

“Our research is in the early phase of drug development process, but the study tells us the enzyme has the right properties to eventually become a successful therapeutic.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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