(MAYBE NOT AS MUCH WHEN YOU SWITCH FROM SMOKING TO VAPING!)

Hippocrates said this around 400B.C.E.

Well, he said the first part in quotation marks, we added the second part, as new research has found yet more positive information regarding vaping.

Looking into the microbiota of the gut could be seen as a current scientific trend. Books about the gut biome are in the top ten selling lists and many diets have been published as a result.  Indeed, quite a few medical issues are now being traced back to a gut that has poor microbiota.

Microbiota refers to the microbe population living in our intestines. It is commonly referred to as gut flora.  As humans we need billions of friendly bacteria in order to fully digest our food and absorb all the nutrients. Current research is finding that we don’t have as much of, or the diversity of the friendly bacteria that we need.  

We are discovering that the modern 21st Century lifestyle is no friend to the friendly bacteria in our guts. Smoking has been shown to put you at a much higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease, and now new research has been done to begin discovering the effects of vaping on the digestive system.

The new study, titled: ‘Effects of tobacco smoke and electronic cigarette vapor exposure on the oral and gut microbiota in humans: a pilot study’, is said to be the first of its kind. It is small in size, but the results have been interesting, and no doubt further research will be done.

30 individuals were studied, split into 3 distinct groups. 10 e-cigarette users, 10 tobacco smokers and 10 in the control group.

The criteria involved vapers having to be daily vapers for at least 6 months.

The smokers had to be smoking a minimum of 10 cigarettes per day, with those in the control group being both non-smokers and non-vapers.

There are limitations to the study, as explained by the researchers themselves; these being the small sample sizes, one e cigarette user admitted to smoking the odd cigarette, and only 2 out of the 30 were women.

However,

‘From a microbial ecology perspective, this study supports the perception that EC's represent a safer alternative to Tobacco smoking.'

(EC’s are electronic cigarettes).

“We report, for the first time, that regular use of ECs does not measurably influence oral or gut bacterial communities. However, compared to controls, tobacco smoking had a significant effect on the bacterial profiles in all samples analyzed, with the most significant associations found in the gut.”

To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers took fecal, buccal ( mouth)  and saliva examples from all participants, and ran various tests on them. Their findings fell into two distinct camps, with no statistical difference between the electronic cigarette users and the control group. The difference was found in the smoking group.

Individuals who smoked tobacco cigarettes were found to have lower levels of Bacteroides, a probiotic that may help prevent obesity and Crohn’s disease. As well, smokers have more Prevotella bacteria in their system, that is unfortunately being linked to increased risks of colitis and colon cancer.”

Vaping is NOT going to prevent you from becoming ill, lets clear that up right away, but what this small study shows is that vaping doesn’t appear to upset the microbiota of the gut. The results for vapers were in the same category as the  non-vaping,  non-smoking control group.

It is the smoking that causes the damage.