Although there is no magic pill to help smokers kick the habit, there is a list of nutritional supplements that can help make the journey easier. Smoking takes its toll on the body’s nutrient stores, which can weaken the immune system, increase your risk of osteoporosis and damage the lungs. These supplements can not only help reduce the craving for nicotine, but can also increase your energy levels and help restore your body to a state of good health.
Multivitamins Smoking is categorized as an addiction. When an addiction is stopped, there is a period of recovery where additional nutrient and vitamins are pertinent for balancing the body’s depleted stores. Following a diet high in nutritional foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, can help increase your nutrient levels. Many people do not consume the proper amounts of healthy foods on a daily basis, so multivitamins can be greatly beneficial.
Vitamin B Several anecdotal reports have shown that a vitamin B complex may help reduce the irritability and cravings associated with nicotine withdrawals. If you have decided to stop smoking ‘cold turkey’ and are suffering from mood swings and intense cravings, a vitamin B complex supplement may help make the transition easier.
Niacin Nicotine is chemically similar to niacin. They are so similar that the name of nicotinic acid was changed to niacin to reduce confusion between the two. These extreme similarities make niacin beneficial in reducing nicotine cravings in smokers who are trying to quit. One theory as to why niacin supplements are beneficial in smoking cessation is that it attaches itself to the brain’s niacin receptors (occupied by nicotine in smokers) in much the same way that opiates occupy endorphin receptors in opiate addicts’ brains.
Taking niacin as directed on its packaging has many benefits. However, exceeding the dosage can result in liver damage.
Vitamin C Smoking causes oxidative damage to lung tissue. The toxins found in cigarettes increase the production of damaging free radicals that attach themselves to the lung’s cells. This leads to cell damage. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help reduce the damaging effects of these free radicals. Many individuals report that vitamin C also helps to reduce nicotine cravings.
Beta Carotene Beta carotene is essential for a healthy immune system. However, smoking destroys its beneficial properties. This means that many smokers may be deficient in this important nutrient. Several studies have shown that supplementing with beta carotene can increase the risk of developing lung cancer in active smokers. Therefore, it should only be used as part of an active cessation program.
Calcium Although smoking can damage both the heart and lungs, it also depletes the body’s calcium stores, which can lead to excessive bone loss. By adding a calcium supplement to your smoking succession program, you can help keep your bones strong and healthy.
For the greatest results, make sure that any supplement you take is of high quality and free of artificial ingredients or fillers. Ester-C from American Health is a great choice when it comes to a quality vitamin C supplement. Supplement Spot offers a niacin supplement that does not cause flushing, unlike many other available brands.
These supplements are not a magic bullet that will help you stop smoking, but they can help restore important nutrients to make your smoking cessation program a success.