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Millions of Americans are inhaling a chemical that causes arteries to become blocked and endangers the heart muscle by starving it of nutrients and oxygen. For better heart health, keep this toxin out of your lungs.
The toxin is nicotine, found in the smoke of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Research at Brown University shows that nicotine stimulates the formation of podosome rosettes, cellular destroyers that penetrate the walls of arteries. During this penetration, cells begin to malfunction and are likely to form blockages that interfere with blood flow.
According to researcher Ching-Mi Hai, his study shows that if you smoke an e-cigarette instead of a regular cigarette, you still have a high risk of atherosclerosis caused by nicotine. But he hopes that understanding how nicotine harms the heart and arteries will lead to new ways to repair arteries damaged by smoking.