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Mo Med. 2015 Jan-Feb;112(1):72-5.

Carvedilol and spirulina may provide important health protection to smokers and other nicotine addicts: a call for pertinent research.


Nicotine and soluble semi-stable aldehydes and ketones in cigarette smoke are key mediators of the elevated risks for vascular disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease observed in smokers. Nicotine, via sympathetic stimulation, increases risk for both vascular disease and cancer. Comprehensive suppression of sympathetic activity with the well-tolerated drug carvedilol, which inhibits betal 1, beta2 and alphal adrenergic receptors, may be protective to smokers and other nicotine addicts. The soluble aldehydes and ketones in tobacco smoke appear to exert their adverse effects through activation of NADPH oxidase complexes in vascular tissues and in the lungs. The phytochemical phycocyanobilin (PhyCB), richly supplied by the edible cyanobacterium spirulina, in studies on rodents and in human cell cultures has shown the ability to safely mimic intracellular bilirubin's physiological role as an inhibitor ofNADPH oxidase activity. It therefore may have potential for mitigating the pro-oxidative effects of tobacco smoke aldehydes and ketones. Joint administration of carvedilol and spirulina merits exploration as a strategy for moderating the pathogenic impact of smoking in chronic tobacco users who either fail to quit or refuse to try cessation of tobacco. Carvedilol may be appropriate for those who manage a nicotine addiction in other ways (smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum). Further clinical studies to evaluate the impact of carvedilol on cardiovascular risk factors in nicotine addicts, and rodent studies to assess markers of lung inflammation in smoke- exposed rodents fed PhyCB, are recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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