Recent research on intestinal flora and the microbiome in vaping populations has brought to light some encouraging conclusions. Researchers managed to prove that the bacteria in the guts of vapers are similar to those of non-smokers. Smokers, on the other hand, have a severely damaged microbiome.
The University of Newcastle has just concluded a comparative study involving a multi-cultural team of scientists. The objective was to study intestinal bacteria in smoking, non-smoking, and vaping populations. Samples showed strong similarities between the gut flora of the latter two categories.
Smokers, however, presented excessive rates of Prevotella bacteria. This specific type of bacteria in large amounts can increase risk of colitis and colon cancer. Doctor Christopher Stewart, heading the research team, believes that vaping has no notable effect on the human microbiome.
Results to be confirmed with a larger sample population
The results of this pilot study were revealed in the PeerJ academic journal. The study is based on the precept that bacterial populations, which exist in staggering numbers in the organism, are vital to health. Analysis of these micro-organisms, presnt throughout the digestive tract, is a strong indicator for the prevention of disease.
The study is a landmark in this sense. Comparing the microbiota of smokers and vapers can help scientists better understand the harmful effects of tobacco on the human organism. Analysis of fecal samples, as well as mouth swabs and saliva, have highlighted notable differences.
As there are few studies on the health effects of electronic cigarettes, this research is extemely valuable. It would be interesting to see this study applied to a larger sample, and over a longer period. The research was indeed focused on a small sample of 30 individuals, and would benefit from a larger scope.