E-cigarette flavours can increase risk of heart attack, stroke

Grant Boone
May 31, 2019

"The cells were less viable in culture, and they began to exhibit multiple symptoms of dysfunction", Wu said. It points out the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases when they are adults. The researchers concluded that e-cigarette liquids inhibited the migration of cells which in turn restricted wound-healing.

The cells were likewise monitored to examine what happens when they were bathed in blood taken from individuals soon after smoking an e-cigarette.

In the most recent study, Stanford researchers found that menthol and cinnamon were "particularly harmful" compared to other popular flavors, though other flavorings were also linked to concerning endothelial cell damage.

Analysis of the cells used in the experiment inferred that vaping and some of the flavorings can produce dysfunction at the level of the blood levels, a outcome which could pave the way for cardiac disease. This is the first study to look at the potential health effects of flavored vaping liquids using human cells derived from these stem cells.

"When we exposed the cells to six different flavours of e-liquid with varying levels of nicotine, we saw significant damage". Endothelial cells line the interior surface of blood vessels and play a critical role in heart and cardiovascular health.

After administering the flavours on the modified cells, the study found that flavoured e-liquids causes DNA damage, cell death and inflammation. One in five high school students have tried e-cigarettes.

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Some of the effects of exposure to the various e-liquids were dependent on the nicotine concentration, but others, like cellular migration and decreases in cell viability, were independent of nicotine, suggesting a combined effect of nicotine concentrations and flavoring components. 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 showed that the levels of nicotine in the blood serum between both groups were similar.

The conclusions are tenuous, but Dr. David Wu says it should give e-cigarette aficionados reason to pause and ponder.

"She said: "[The findings] suggest that even without the smoke of combustible cigarette products, there may be a smoldering fire of adverse health effects".

"It's important for e-cigarette users to realise that these chemicals are circulating within their bodies and affecting their vascular health".

But even though he's treading new ground, Wu claims that Stanford's experiment is evidence that vaping shouldn't be taken lightly.

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