May 28, 2019 10:46 AM EDT
According to the findings of a new study, using a stem cell to investigate the impact of e-liquids on cardiovascular disease, it revealed the harmful effects of flavored e-cigarette liquids and e-cigarette use. It is likely that favorite vape flavor may be more dangerous than the nicotine itself. Cinnamon and menthol are the most toxic flavors.
A team of researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute discovered exposure to flavored e-liquids damages the endothelial cells, the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and play an essential role in heart and cardiovascular health.
The team published the study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The researchers claimed that cigarette smoking causes one of every three deaths that result from cardiovascular disease. The scientific evidence on the toxicity and health effects of an e-cigarette are scarce even though the detrimental effects of conventional cigarette smoking in cardiovascular disease are well-documented.
The co-lead and co-senior author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the UA College of Medicine, Won Hee Lee said that traditionally, e-cigarettes were considered a safe way to stop smoking. Their research calls that idea into question. Despite the rapid increase in popularity, the cardiovascular effects of chemical flavoring in e-cigarettes mostly have been unexplored. Using a novel approach of stem cell research, they found the harmful effects of these flavorings and the potential cardiovascular risks users may face.
They used human-induced pluripotent stem cells, derived endothelial cells (IPSC-ECs), and a screening approach to assess endothelial integrity following exposure to six different e-liquids with varying nicotine concentrations and blood collected from e-cigarette users.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC) are generated from adult cells that are reprogrammed to enable the development of an unlimited source of any human cells needed, which allows researchers to model disease in a dish.
Dr. Lee said that this is the first study to establish that these stem cells can reliably be used as an alternative model to research the detrimental effects of e-cigarettes with existing vascular cells.
Vaping has grown in popularity in recent years. U.S. Surgeon General claimed that one in 20 middle school students and one in five high schoolers used e-cigarettes in 2017, a 78 percent increase from the previous year. This declaration marks the most massive increase in youth use of any substance in the 40 years the Surgeon General's office has surveyed youth drug use.
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