E-Cigarette Flavorings May Impair Vascular Function

Increased inflammation and a loss of nitric oxide seen in endothelial cells.
Increased inflammation and a loss of nitric oxide seen in endothelial cells.

HealthDay News — Flavoring additives used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may have adverse effects on blood vessels, according to a study published online June 14 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Jessica L. Fetterman, PhD, from Boston University, and colleagues examined the effect of nine flavored tobacco products on vascular endothelial cell function in vitro. 

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The researchers found that freshly isolated endothelial cells from participants who use non-menthol- or menthol-flavored tobacco cigarettes showed impaired A23187-stimulated nitric oxide production. At high concentrations, unlikely to be achieved in vivo, cell death and reactive oxygen species production were induced in commercially available human aortic endothelial cells that were incubated with nine flavors. However, lower concentrations of selected flavors (vanillin, menthol, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and acetylpyridine) induced both inflammation and impaired A23187-stimulated nitric oxide production.

"Our data suggest that short-term exposure of endothelial cells to flavoring compounds used in tobacco products have adverse effects on endothelial cell phenotype that may have relevance to cardiovascular toxicity," the authors write.

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