Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Are cigarette substitutes safe alternative? Depends on user habits

Date:
August 28, 2014
Source:
University of Miami
Summary:
A recent literature review study suggests that small dosages of nicotine found in cigarette substitutes could be harmful to human musculoskeletal system, due to overuse. The researchers investigated and summarized the last five years of studies, on the effect of nicotine on wound and skeletal healing processes in humans.

Cigarette smoking kills approximately 440,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. It's the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. In order to overcome this addiction, many people resort to nicotine replacement therapies.

Related Articles


A recent literature review study by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) suggest that small dosages of nicotine found in cigarette substitutes could be harmful to human musculoskeletal system, due to overuse. The findings are reported in the Global Journal of Medical Research.

The researchers investigated and summarized the last five years of studies, on the effect of nicotine on wound and skeletal healing processes in humans, via PubMed database.

The report suggest that more information is needed on the potential effect of cigarette substitutes like Electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes), which are fairly new to the market and not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"E-cigarettes are marketed as safe alternatives to cigarette smoking, however the harms associated with their overuse have not yet been widely investigated," said Herman S. Cheung, James L. Night Professor in the UM College of Engineering, and senior author of the report. "We hope to increase awareness and promote further investigations into this field."

Interestingly, the findings show that nicotine can be beneficial at low dosages. For example, exposure to low dosages of nicotine promotes collagen production and skin wound repair. Yet at higher dosages cells involved in the wound and skeletal healing processes actually become ineffective. That's why overuse of nicotine-replacement, which still contain small amounts of nicotine, can present a health risk. However, what constitutes a low or high dosage depends on the cell type.

"Not all cells respond to nicotine in the same manner. What could be a low dosage for one is a high dosage for another," said Carlos M. Carballosa, doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the UM College of Engineering and primary author of this review. "The effects are to some extent, reversible, once exposure to nicotine stops."

The consequences of nicotine overuse are not necessarily new findings. However; the specific effects of nicotine on stem cells and the musculoskeletal system are. Stem cells are generic cells that can give rise to specific cell types in the body, through a process called cell differentiation. These cells play a crucial role in tissue regeneration and healing. Any changes to their natural function can significantly alter these processes.

"It has been widely documented that smokers, compared to non-smokers, experience prolonged delays in bone healing, after a bone fracture," Cheung said. "There are many theories as to why. "We believe that nicotine significantly affects the potential for stem cell proliferation, migration and osteogenic differentiation- the potential of a cell to become a bone cell," he said. "We think that these effects cause delays to bone healing."

The mechanisms behind the effects of nicotine on the musculoskeletal health are not fully understood. However, studies show that proteins called nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAChRS) sit on the surface of the cells in the musculoskeletal system and act as mediators of the effects of nicotine on the cells.

There is a molecule called micro ribonucleic acid (miRNA), which is found throughout the body. miRNAs are instrumental in regulating the process that allows a stem cell to differentiate into a specific type of cell, like a muscle, or a bone cell. The researchers believe that when nAChRS are exposed to nicotine, they affect the expression of miRNAs. However, it is not yet known if this is truly the case.

"The effect of nicotine on miRNAs is the focus of our current research," Carballosa said. "However, the link between nicotine exposure and expression of miRNAs implies that there is a correlation between the two."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Miami. "Are cigarette substitutes safe alternative? Depends on user habits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828170009.htm>.
University of Miami. (2014, August 28). Are cigarette substitutes safe alternative? Depends on user habits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828170009.htm
University of Miami. "Are cigarette substitutes safe alternative? Depends on user habits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828170009.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins