Conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the study reported that vapour causes subtle structural changes in cell proteins. After exposing the rats to e-cigarette vapour for three one-hour sessions for three days, the researchers observed an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to mitigate their harmful effects, which leads to oxidative stress.
Researchers would argue that the results were obtained in an unrealistic lab environment and conditions, as no vaper puffs on his e-cigarette for one-hour sessions, and researchers measured the effects on rat cells not human ones.
“OK, there’s some oxidative stress going on here, but we don’t really know what’s going on,” said study author Ansong, Program Director, Biochemistry and Bio-related Chemistry Branch, National Institute of General Medical Sciences/National Institutes of Health, referring to previous studies.
“But this technique identifies which proteins are being modified, which sites are modified, and it suggests how likely they are to impact protein function and molecular pathways. It gives us a lot of insight into the mechanism behind the injurious effects of e-cigarettes,” he added.
On the other hand, other researchers would argue that the results were obtained in an unrealistic lab environment and conditions, as no vaper puffs on his e-cigarette for one-hour sessions, and researchers measured the effects on rat cells not human ones.
Vapour and heart cells
Another recent study exposing mice heart cells to vapour in a petri dish, concluded that vaping has damaging effects on the heart. Award-winning science writer, bestselling author and President of the American Council on Science and Health, Hank Campbell, explained why this conclusion is deeply flawed.
The study, “In vitro and in vivo cardiac toxicity of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems,” reported that the inhalation of vanillin aldehyde in mice, increased sympathetic predominance in heart rate variability measurements. “A new paper claims that people vaping instead of smoking are putting their hearts at risk but their study does not show that. Instead, they mixed chemicals in Petri dishes with heart cells and used mice. Both of those are fine exploratory experiments but they are scientifically invalid to make the conclusions the authors make in their press release,” said Campbell.
“Mice are not little people. No drug can get into the approval cycle at the US Food and Drug Administration if it only studied them or cells in dishes,” he added. Moreover, explained Campbell, in the study, the HL-1 cells from mice and later the lab produced human cells, were inundated with levels of vaping chemicals that a human body could not get exposed to in 40,000 years.”
Flawed data interpretation
He added that technically there was nothing wrong with the study. The error was in the way the results were interpreted. He also highlighted that as always, any data related to vaping needs to be taken in the right context, with vaping being compared to smoking as a means for reducing harm.
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