E-cigarettes aren't considered as risky as regular cigarettes, but researchers have found a clue that their flavourings may be bad for the heart. The cells were exposed to six various e-cigarette flavorings to find out if the flavors, minus the nicotine, cause any effects.
E-cigarettes are getting more and more popular.
This study was the first to use endothelial cells derived from iPS cells to directly investigate the effect of e-liquids with and without nicotine on their viability and function. According to USA researchers, these flavored products can lead to health risks by reducing the capacity and function of human cells.
The endothelial cells lining the interior of blood vessels have a "critical" role in one's overall cardiovascular and heart health.
Use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed since their introduction a decade ago. In fact, the CDC reported that 38% of high schoolers and 13% of middle schoolers have tried vaping. They conclude by explaining that e-cigarettes "are not a safe alternative to tobacco".
For the study, researchers examined the effect of six different popular e-liquid flavors, which included sweet tobacco, sweet buttercoch, cinnamon and metholol with fruit, tobacco, caramel and vanilla.
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After administering the flavours on the modified cells, the study found that flavoured e-liquids causes DNA damage, cell death and inflammation. Cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla flavors were found to boost the uptake of LDL and lipids, while caramel and vanilla also potentially negatively impacted new blood vessel growth. The result: similar amounts of nicotine for both groups.
"When you're smoking a traditional cigarette, you have a sense of how many cigarettes you're smoking", Wu said. It's much easier to expose yourself to a much higher level of nicotine over a shorter time period.
Wu further said that it is very important for e-cigarettes users to realize that the chemicals present in the e-cigarettes are circulating within their body and can affect their cardiovascular health.
Researchers from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, the University of Illinois College of Medicine, the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Louisville School of Medicine also contributed to the study.
But even though he's treading new ground, Wu claims that Stanford's experiment is evidence that vaping shouldn't be taken lightly.
Stanford's Department of Medicine also supported the work.