Mechanisms of Disease: Nicotine -- A Review of its Actions in the Context of Gastrointestinal Disease

Gareth AO Thomas; John Rhodes; John R Ingram


Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005;2(11):536-544. 

In This Article

Nicotine and the Gastrointestinal Tract

Most of the initial observations of the action of nicotine on the gastrointestinal tract in humans have been indirect and derived from studies in smokers and are, therefore, complicated by the involvement of other chemicals associated with smoking. Over the past decade or so, the actions of nicotine alone on the gastrointestinal tract and on the immune system have been studied; these might help to explain some of the positive and negative links between smoking and gastrointestinal disease ( Table 1 ). The effects of nicotine on gastrointestinal conditions are probably due to a number of local and systemic actions ( Table 2 ). These actions, in combination with other important etiologic factors, could be responsible for disease outcome.


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