Nav: Home

Vapers and non-smokers have the same flourishing gut flora

April 30, 2018

The first study of its kind has found that people who vape have the same mix of gut bacteria as non-smokers, whilst smokers have significant changes to their microbiome.

The international team of researchers led by Newcastle University, analysed the bacteria of tobacco smokers, users of e-cigarettes and non-smokers from samples throughout the digestive tract, including in the mouth and gut.

Significant changes were found in the gut bacteria of the smokers, with an increase in the Prevotella bacteria which is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer and colitis.

There was also a decrease in the presence of Bacteroides in smokers, a beneficial bacteria or probiotic. A lower level of Bacteroides has been associated with Crohn's disease and obesity.

In contrast, the gut flora of those using e-cigarettes was the same as a non-smoker.

Lead author of the study was Dr Christopher Stewart from the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University who published the findings today in PeerJ. He explains: "The bacterial cells in our body outnumber our own human cells and our microbiome weighs more than our brain, yet we are only just beginning to understand its importance on our health.

"More investigation is needed but to find that vaping is less-damaging than smoking on our gut bacteria adds to the incentive to change to e-cigarettes and for people to use them as a tool to quit smoking completely."

Comparing microbiota

This pilot study is the first to compare microbiota in tobacco smokers and electronic cigarette users.

Samples were taken from 10 e-cigarette users, 10 tobacco smokers and 10 controls who didn't smoke. Faecal, mouth (buccal) and saliva samples underwent targeted gene sequencing to identify the bacteria present.

This revealed significant changes in the gut bacteria of the faecal samples.

In the mouth and saliva samples, which are sites directly exposed to the smoke or vapour, the researchers also found that the bacteria in smokers was different to those of the non-smokers. However, like in the gut, the bacteria in the mouth and saliva samples were similar in e-cigarette users and non-smokers.

Dr Stewart adds: "This research comes as we see a huge increase in the numbers of people using electronic cigarettes and it becomes increasingly important that we understand the effect on the human body."

As more people take up vaping, the team call for further research to be carried out and to follow up on this pilot study, they are aiming to study a much larger group over a longer period. They also suggest that further investigation into sex-specific microbiota profiles is carried out, as this study involved only two women.
-end-
Reference: Effects of tobacco smoke and electronic cigarette vapor exposure on the oral and gut microbiota in humans: a pilot study. Christopher J Stewart, Thomas A Auchtung , Nadim J Ajami, Kenia Velasquez , Daniel P Smith , Richard De La Garza, Ramiro Salas , Joseph F Petrosino. Doi: 10.7717/peerj.4693

Newcastle University

Related Bacteria Articles:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.
How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.
Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.
Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.
Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.
Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.
Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.
How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.
The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?
Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.
More Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Debbie Millman: Designing Our Lives
From prehistoric cave art to today's social media feeds, to design is to be human. This hour, designer Debbie Millman guides us through a world made and remade–and helps us design our own paths.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#574 State of the Heart
This week we focus on heart disease, heart failure, what blood pressure is and why it's bad when it's high. Host Rachelle Saunders talks with physician, clinical researcher, and writer Haider Warraich about his book "State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease" and the ails of our hearts.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Insomnia Line
Coronasomnia is a not-so-surprising side-effect of the global pandemic. More and more of us are having trouble falling asleep. We wanted to find a way to get inside that nighttime world, to see why people are awake and what they are thinking about. So what'd Radiolab decide to do?  Open up the phone lines and talk to you. We created an insomnia hotline and on this week's experimental episode, we stayed up all night, taking hundreds of calls, spilling secrets, and at long last, watching the sunrise peek through.   This episode was produced by Lulu Miller with Rachael Cusick, Tracie Hunte, Tobin Low, Sarah Qari, Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Shima Oliaee, and Jonny Moens. Want more Radiolab in your life? Sign up for our newsletter! We share our latest favorites: articles, tv shows, funny Youtube videos, chocolate chip cookie recipes, and more. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.