E-Cigarettes, Long-Term Side Effects Discovered: Here’s How They Inflame the Brain, Heart and Colon

The long-term effects of using e-cigarettes on the health of certain organs in our body were observed for the first time in this study conducted in the United States.

While the negative effects of traditional cigarettes, which have been on the market for decades all over the world, are well known and attested to by scientific literature, those arising from the use of electronic cigarettes have not yet been sufficiently studied by the scientists. Indeed, these devices have only become widespread in the last five years and the limited time frame has not allowed us to know the long-term effects of their use.

Now, a new study by researchers at the San Diego School of Medicine The University of California is trying to study the negative consequences associated with the use of electronic cigarettes in the long term, paying particular attention to certain organs of our body (brain, heart, lungs, colon).

The researchers studied the effects of JUUL devices – the most popular in the United States, used mainly by boys aged 18 to 24 – and its most popular “likes” (Mango And Pepper mint). Indeed, the harmful effects also vary according to the liquid used as flavoring inside the device – as well as, obviously, the frequency of use of the cigarette.

The most obvious effects of inflammation were found in the brain, where inflammatory markers are present in high amounts. Additional neuroinflammatory changes were recorded in the Nucleus accumbens – region of the brain that regulates motivation and reward mechanisms.

the Nucleus accumbens it also plays an important role in habit-building mechanisms, in the processing of feelings of pleasure but above all in the creation of addictions and in the appearance of negative emotions – such as fear and anxiety. In short, changes in this region of the brain are responsible for the dependence of people on the substances analyzed.

Considering that most e-cigarette users are very young and still have developing brains, it’s not hard to imagine the potentially devastating effects of e-cigarette use on overall health and development. severe addiction. .

(Also read: E-cigarettes increase risk of erectile dysfunction, study finds)

But it’s not just the brain that is involved in the most intense inflammatory phenomena: even in the colon, after just one month of using electronic cigarettes, the expression of inflammatory genes would increase – with an increase in risk of contracting gastrointestinal diseases. Conversely, the heart presents levels of Markers lower than normal inflammatory conditions, which could make the heart tissue more vulnerable to infection.

Finally, the researchers looked at the health of the lungs – the organs most directly involved in smoking. Well, even though the lungs of e-cigarette smokers show no signs of tissue inflammation, significant changes in gene expression have been observed, the long-term effects of which require further study to be fully understood. .

As mentioned at the beginning, not all flavoring liquids are the same and do not have the same effects on the health of those who smoke them. For example, the use of a mint-flavored liquid would lead to greater susceptibility to pneumonia (such as that linked to the Coronavirus) than the mango-flavored liquid. This happens because each organ has its own balance, which can also be affected by one chemical rather than another.

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Source: eLife

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