Most Harmful Vape Liquids Determined By Stem Cell Study

Aug 12, 2019

A recent study revealed harmful results that come with the use of e-cigarette and flavored e-cigarette liquids. The study involved the use of stem cells in discovering negative repercussions that come with e-liquids concerning cardiovascular diseases. 

Cinnamon and menthol are the most toxic flavors.

According to the researchers who took part in this study, the more one is exposed to flavored e-liquids, the more one damages their endothelial cells. These cells make the slim layer in the interior part of blood vessels, which are significant to cardiovascular and the heart’s health. The institutions that took part in the study include Chicago’s University of Illinois, Stanford Cardiovascular Institute University, and Arizona College Of Medicine.

 The researchers’ team says that in every three deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases, one of them is as a result of the smoking of cigarettes. In fact, cigarette smoking accounts for more than 65% of lung diseases, with lung cancer at the top of the list. As much as there is adequate documentation in line with cardiovascular diseases caused by cigarette smoking, there isn’t as much evidence that scientifically proves the link between the same and e-cigarettes.  

 The assistant professor under the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, UA College of Medicine in Phoenix, Won Hee Lee, also a Ph.D. holder, a co-lead and the study’s co-senior author, said that although e-cigarette smoking was seen as a safer way of reducing smoking, the research questions that line of thought. She also noted that although the popularity of chemical flavors for e-cigarettes keeps increasing, its effects on cardiovascular cells has not been fully explored. During the study, the assistant professor, together with her team, discovered the adverse impact of the flavors and the possible risks to cardiovascular cells.

As part of the study, the researchers used endothelial cells or iPSC-ECs, pluripotent stem cells from human beings, and the screening approach to see how endothelial integrity responds when exposed to e-liquids. There were six different types of e-liquids used in the study, blood taken from e-cigarette smokers, and different concentrations of nicotine.

In order to produce induced pluripotent stem cells, matured cells are reprogrammed so that unlimited sources of different types of human cells can be generated when needed. This allows researchers to create diseases using a dish.

Cardiovascular risk factors disrupt vascular functions played by vascular endothelium. Such risk factors include cigarette smoking. When the stem cells are exposed to compounds from e-cigarettes or the serum from the same, an endothelial cell dysfunction is developed by users which causes a build-up of oxygen species that are reactive, a decrease in viability and impairment of proangiogenic functions which is involved in the production process of blood cells. 

The dysfunction of the vascular endothelium in most cases leads to cardiovascular diseases. The same harmful effects seen in tobacco cigarettes on blood vessels were observed in the e-cigarette blood serum.

Dr. Lee said that this study was the first of its kind to prove that stem cells could be used for research in line with the negative results of e-cigarettes and the available vascular cells.

Vaping is a practice that has been increasing in popularity over recent years. The US Surgeon General confirmed that one in every five high school students and one in every twenty middle school students had used an e-cigarette in 2017. This was a 78% increase from 2016. In the General’s forty years of the survey on youth and their association with substance abuse, the 78% increase was the highest.

From the research, a conclusion was made that the exposure to e-cigarettes and e-cigarette flavors makes endothelial dysfunctions worse causing cardiovascular diseases. The ability of specific chemicals to destroy cells that are alive, or the cytotoxicity of these e-liquids, gave different variations. Cinnamon flavored e-cigarettes showed the highest form of potency.

Researchers are convinced that both menthol and cinnamon flavorings have chemicals that make them the most harmful compared to other flavors. 

According to Dr. Lee, there is nothing like a safe vape, at least not as people thought with the flavoring making them worse. She also pointed out that what makes smoking cigarettes dangerous is not necessarily the nicotine as many people picture it. A good level of exposure to these e-liquids was not necessarily a result of nicotine concentration in the cigarettes. Some showed a degree of independence, which revealed the combined effect of both flavorings and nicotine concentrations.

Dr. Lee has shown interest in continuing with the research to see whether she could apply a similar model in the investigation of more diseases. She believes that the use of stem cells could be a new resource which would help in the understanding of common genetic and personal underpinnings concerning several cardiovascular diseases.



To your health,

The Healing Miracle Team

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