Vaping is not the healthier option. Although it's peddled as such, a study suggests that it can actually cause the growth of excess fat in the liver.
For three months, researchers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science observed mice without the gene for production of apolipoprotein E, which plays a vital role in processing and transporting cholesterol and fats in the body.
Because of the genetic disorder, they were more susceptible to heart attack, stroke, and fatty liver disease.
All of the rodents were placed on a high-fat diet, then divided into two groups. One was exposed to saline aerosol, while the other was placed inside a chamber filled with e-cigarette aerosol to mimic nicotine levels similar to that of vapers.
How Vaping Affects The Liver
By the end of the study, researchers collected samples of liver tissue and inspected the genes affected by vaping through a technique known as RNA sequence analysis.
Surprisingly, they discovered changes in a total of 433 genes associated with development and progression of fatty liver disease in the rodents that were exposed to e-cigarette aerosol.
The team also found that smoke from vaping affected genes regulating the animal's circadian rhythm or body clock. Any dysfunction to this aspect increases the risk of developing liver problems.
"Because extra fat in the liver is likely to be detrimental to health, we conclude that e-cigarettes are not as safe as they have been promoted to consumers," says Theodore Friedman, lead researcher and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at CDU of Medicine & Science.
In a report, he pointed out that findings of the study will support federal and state regulators, as well as policymakers, in taking action against the increased use of e-cigarettes.
Results of the study were published Dec. 2, 2011, in the Journal of Endocrinology. They are also going to be presented on March 18 during the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting, ENDO 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.
FDA Chief Gottlieb Worries Kids Using E-Cigarettes
In an interview on March 16, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb shares that the accessibility of e-cigarettes to children is among the agency's biggest concerns.
"If all we end up doing is addicting a whole new generation on nicotine through e-cigarettes, then we will have done a bad service to this country," he asserts, highlighting that e-liquid used by vapers still contain nicotine.
To address the issue, the FDA has made a commitment to impose regulations on the maximum nicotine levels for both cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
The agency's plan, which was released July 28, 2017, states that it wants smokers to quit the habit or to transition into using "modified risk tobacco products."