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Can I Bum A Smoke? - Nicotine for Long COVID

Updated: Mar 24


A Surprising Potential Newcomer to The Toolkit of Therapies Aimed At Alleviating The Persistent ‘Pain-In-The-Ass Symptoms’ of Long COVID & COVID Vaccine Injury:  

NICOTINE 


‘Pain-In-The-Ass Symptoms’ of Long COVID & COVID Vaccine Injury: NICOTINE 
‘Pain-In-The-Ass Symptoms’ of Long COVID And COVID Vaccine Injury:NICOTINE 


















 

Introduction 

Yes, you heard me.  And yes, I know what you are thinking: Doc has officially lost her mind.  That may be true but hear me out on this.  We have patients that are YEARS out from their last dance with a fever or a jab, but they STILL feel like dog shit.  Long COVID and COVID vaccine-related injuries haven’t gone away.  I would argue they may be worse now than we ever thought.  Many people are too spike protein damaged to even know they’re damaged.  Seriously.  They’re not even included in the numbers.  You know who I’m talking about.  That guy at work you saw the other day trying to ship something to UPS from the vending machine?  The neighbor lady you watched back out of her driveway last week only to return home three different times to get something she forgot?  One of which was her shirt?  Come on. The collective didn’t become unproductive idiots who can’t smell or taste anything but dirty diapers overnight.  We have a major post COVID crisis on our hands and the future isn’t looking so bright if we don’t rectify it.  Soon.  Physicians and scientists are getting better at recognizing the link between spike protein toxicity and symptomatology, but fixing it is an entirely different challenge altogether.    


It is estimated that 20% of people are still suffering from symptoms of ‘Spikeopathy’ (i.e. harms caused by exposure to SARS-CoV-2 virus infection or to the novel mRNA vaccine technology), a term coined by Parry et al. and stolen by me [1,2].  The reality is the overwhelming majority of Americans have had both COVID-19 and at least one mRNA COVID vaccine so we can save the finger pointing about which caused what for another day.  The receptor binding domain of the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 is a biotoxin.  Period.  So, whether you were merely exposed to it once from a mild infection or are still manufacturing it at high speed from your first Pfizer injection almost doesn’t matter.  Spike is spike, and spike is bad.  After all the arguing and name calling, we can all pretty much agree on that fact.  Spike protein toxicity can affect pretty much every organ system in the body, so the collateral damage list is long – and pretty familiar to most: 

 

  • Chronic fatigue 

  • Lightheadedness/dizziness 

  • Low grade fever 

  • Weakness 

  • Numbness 

  • Pain 

  • Can’t smell/can’t smell anything good anyway 

  • Can’t taste anything/everything tastes like shit (why would you know this…) 

  • Brain fog 

  • Gut doesn’t work 

  • Headaches 

  • Heart palpitations 

  • High blood pressure 

  • New onset Diabetes 

  • Exercise intolerance 

  • Mood disorders 

  • Can’t sleep 

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Chest pain 

  • Blood clots 

  • Menstrual irregularities 

 

Long COVID and COVID vaccine injury encompasses an extremely broad spectrum of persistent symptoms experienced by individuals “sometime after January 2020”.  Call it COVID, call it vax injury, call it shedding – I DON’T CARE.  These people are sick.  Many are too sick to work.  They are struggling to pay bills, pay taxes, be good parents, good neighbors, and productive citizens of our great collective populous.  They need help and I am – along with many others – on the mission to bring as many of these folks back to high vibrational wellness as soon as possible.   

 

We thankfully have some contenders in the ‘combat Spikeopathy’ arena already: 

 

  • Everyone’s favorite deworming medication (can we say this out loud yet?) 

  • Low Dose Naltrexone 

  • Nattokinase 

  • Bromelain 

  • Blood thinners 

  • Antihistamines 

  • Methylene Blue 

  • Low dose corticosteroids 

  • …and most recently, NICOTINE

 

What on God’s green earth does nicotine have to do with spike protein damage?  Well, nicotine has a receptor, actually.  And spike protein likes to bind to it. 

 

It’s called the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), to be precise.  Let’s discuss. 


 

Nicotine’s Mechanisms of Action 

A case study published last year [3] reported a rather miraculous (and quite frankly easy to discount as fake news) improvement in long COVID symptoms in patients treated with nicotine patches.  It received an eyeroll, and ‘ok we’ll just put this over here in the snake oil pile’ by most.  BUT several investigators went on to demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein attaches not only to the well-known ACE-2 receptor, but to the nAChR receptor as well.   


These nAChR receptors are important.   


They play a central role in communication between the cells of the brain (neurons), and between neurons in the brain and neurons located throughout the rest of the body.  Clogging these receptors up with little spike proteins results in all sorts of mischief - memory problems, nerve and muscle pain, fatigue, mood impairment, as well as the ‘now you’ve been reduced to being nothing more than a vegetable’ symptoms which characterize many of the chief complaints we see in post-COVID syndromes.   


Additionally, there was a seriously curious observation made by several researchers (France was first here, later observed worldwide) that of all people, SMOKERS, seemed to be disproportionately spared by serious COVID infection and hospitalization [4,5,6,7].  What??  The risks associated with tobacco use are well known – and there isn’t much in the positive department to report here.  There is, however, a well-established increased risk for pretty much every respiratory infection circulating the universe in people who smoke.  Why would smokers seem to be protected more so than non-smokers by one of the worst respiratory pathogens the modern world has ever seen?   

 

“Daily smoker rate in patients with symptomatic COVID-19 is lower as compared to the French general population.” [3] 

 

Well, that’s just an odd thing to be accepted into a peer reviewed publication, don’t you think?  I imagine what followed was an uncomfortable silence in the break room of smart sciency people. A brave researcher stopped biting his lip and asked, “Hey, what gives with this nicotine situation?  Does COVID identify as being ‘tobacco smoke adverse’?  Can someone please explain to me why I killed myself to quit smoking in 1986?  …  John, can I bum a smoke from you?” 

 

Or perhaps scientists behaved more like actual scientists and asked, "Does nicotine compete with spike protein for the same receptor?  If so, could it provide some sort of protection against infection?  Might anything else compete in the same way?"  Let’s go with that.  So, they looked into these questions instead.  Several agents known to bind to the nAChR receptor were evaluated for their ‘which of y’all are most likely to win the war of the receptor against spike protein?’ abilities.  Varenicline, cytosine, epibatidine, α-conotoxin, and other nAChR agonists were investigated.  These are medications and other chemicals known to have some activity at the same receptor site.  What did they find?   


Nicotine won the battle of the bands.   


Bottom line?  Spike protein and nicotine BOTH bind to the same nAChR receptor – a receptor important for neurologic function, cognition, and mood.  If nicotine is already there, sitting in the way, spike protein can’t bind.  And if spike gets there first, nicotine behaves just like a bully.  Grabs it by the collar, tosses it to the floor, and steals its spot. 

   


Wait a Minute  - You Told Us Smoking Was Bad 

Well, yes, it is so I’m not suggesting you pick up the habit now.  But we’re not talking about smoking here, people.  We’re talking about nicotine.  For all the bad that cigarettes cause, nicotine in isolation (like its sister, caffeine) actually has some positive effects. 

 

Anti-inflammatory Effects: Nicotine has been shown to dampen pro-inflammatory cytokine production and inhibit the activation of inflammatory pathways, such as NF-κB and TNF-α. By reducing excessive inflammation, nicotine may help mitigate the inflammatory cascade triggered by spike protein exposure, alleviating symptoms associated with long COVID and vaccine injury. 

 

Immunomodulation: Nicotine's interaction with nAChRs on immune cells can modulate immune responses, potentially balancing the negative immune reactions seen in long COVID and vaccine injury. This immunomodulatory effect may help restore immune homeostasis and promote resolution of symptoms. 


Neuroprotective Properties: Nicotine's influence on nAChRs in the brain suggests potential neuroprotective effects. By enhancing neurotransmitter release and promoting synaptic plasticity, nicotine may reduce cognitive dysfunction and neurological symptoms associated with long COVID and vaccine injury. 


 

OK that’s all great – but then I’ll be addicted to nicotine, right? 

Traditionally, nicotine has been synonymous with addiction due to its presence in tobacco products. However, groundbreaking research, including the Harvard study on nicotine addiction [8], suggests that nicotine itself may not be the primary culprit at all. Instead, compounds called pyrazines found in tobacco products have been implicated as the primary perpetrators in addiction. This paradigm-shifting insight reframes our understanding of nicotine's addictive potential and paves the way for its therapeutic exploration. 


Contrary to popular belief, nicotine's potential for addiction when used in isolation is remarkably low. Studies, such as the one published in Tobacco Control [9], have highlighted the nuanced nature of nicotine addiction, emphasizing the role of contextual factors and additives present in tobacco products. When administered independently from tobacco, as in nicotine replacement therapies, the likelihood of developing addiction is markedly reduced. 

 



Side Effects of Nicotine 

While nicotine may provide a therapeutic role, its potential side effects do merit consideration. I’m not suggesting this experiment is for everyone – just reviewing some literature here, folks. When used in isolation, nicotine exhibits a relatively favorable side effect profile, with adverse effects typically mild and well-tolerated. Common side effects may include: 


Nausea & Dizziness: Some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort or dizziness, particularly with initial nicotine exposure. These symptoms often subside with continued use or dose adjustments. 


Increased Heart Rate & Blood Pressure: Nicotine's stimulatory effects on the cardiovascular system can lead to transient increases in heart rate and blood pressure. While these effects are generally mild, individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions should exercise caution. 


Irritation at Administration Site: Nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches, gums, or lozenges, may cause local irritation at the application site. Rotating application sites and proper administration techniques can help minimize discomfort. 

Importantly, the majority of nicotine's side effects are dose-dependent and tend to diminish over time as individuals acclimate to therapy.  



 

Conclusion 

For all you post-COVID sufferers who still have mush for brains, el-zappo for energy, and the lingering stench of dog shit in your sinuses, this is just something to think about.  I’m sure I’ll get blowback from this post but I’m just the messenger here, people.  You think I have time to do my own research studies?  Please.  I still haven’t done my taxes.  I just read.  The potential role of nicotine in ameliorating symptoms associated with long COVID and COVID vaccine injury underscores the need for further research to investigate its mechanisms of action and determine its efficacy and safety in clinical settings. While currently available research on the role of nicotine appears to be positive, it should be used judiciously and with thoughtful consideration. 


In conjunction with a comprehensive treatment strategy, the addition of nicotine may provide novel avenues for improving patient outcomes and enhancing symptom management in individuals grappling with the aftermath of COVID-19 infection or vaccination. Combining this with other therapeutic modalities, such as anti-inflammatory agents and immunomodulators may offer synergistic benefits in addressing the multifaceted nature of long COVID and vaccine-related injuries. 


The landscape of therapeutic interventions for long COVID and COVID vaccine-related injuries extends far beyond nicotine, encompassing a diverse array of modalities, each with specific mechanisms of action. By leveraging the unique properties of multiple interventions such as ivermectin, low dose naltrexone, nattokinase, bromelain, antihistamines, PDE5 inhibitors, and methylene blue/photobiomodulation, healthcare providers can adopt multimodal approaches tailored to individual patient needs, offering hope for improved symptom management and enhanced recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As research continues to evolve, collaborative efforts among healthcare providers, researchers, and patients will be pivotal in advancing our understanding and optimizing treatment strategies for post-COVID syndromes. 


  1.  Nearly One in Five American Adults Who Have Had COVID-19 Still Have “Long COVID”  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2022/20220622.htm  

  2. 'Spikeopathy': COVID-19 Spike Protein Is Pathogenic, from Both Virus and Vaccine mRNA  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37626783/ 

  3. Is the post-COVID-19 syndrome a severe impairment of acetylcholine-orchestrated neuromodulation that responds to nicotine administration?  https://bioelecmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42234-023-00104-7 

  4. Lower Rate of Daily Smokers With Symptomatic COVID-19: A Monocentric Self-Report of Smoking Habit Study  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8766759/ 

  5. Active smoking is not associated with severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7118593/ 

  6. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7270627/ 

  7. Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7102538/ 

  8. Nicotine addiction explained — and how medications can help  https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nicotine-addiction-explained-and-how-medications-can-help-202107272554 

  9. A study of pyrazines in cigarettes and how additives might be used to enhance tobacco addiction.  https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/25/4/444 

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