Vaping, the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol created by an e-cigarette or similar device, may be linked to lower sperm counts, decreased libido, and smaller testicles, according to a recent study undertaken by scientists in Turkey.
In this worrying study, male rats were used to examine the effects of exposure to smoke from both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes on the rodents’ reproductive health.
The amount of sperm the animals produced, the testicles’ appearance under a microscope, and signs of stress in the blood and genitalia were all measured by scientists.
Despite being promoted as safe in trials to help smokers quit, “e-cigarette” juice “may increase oxidative stress and cause morphological changes in the testicle,” according to one expert.
The study also showed that traditional cigarettes, traditionally linked to male infertility, were considerably more harmful in terms of reducing sperm count and impairing sexual function.
How the study was carried out
Three groups of rats were used in the investigation, which was carried out by researchers from Sivas Cumhuriyet University. Using Winston brand cigarettes, one group was exposed to traditional cigarette smoke, another to vapor from a Joyetech eGo Aio 1500 mAh vape, and a third control group did not receive any exposure to either.
Two times each day for one hour each, the rats were placed under specially made bell jars and exposed to either cigarette smoke or the vapor from an electronic cigarette.
The scientists then examined modifications in sperm count, testicle size, and the Gonadosomatic index (GSI) in the rats before testing the animals’ urine for amounts of cotinine, a result of nicotine metabolism.
What the scientists discovered
The findings showed that rats exposed to vaping had lower sperm counts, with the e-cigarette group having 95.1 million sperm per milliliter compared to the control group having 98.5 million.
The sperm counts in the rats exposed to conventional cigarette smoke were much lower, at about 89 million sperm/ml. Generally speaking, having more sperm increases the chance of getting pregnant.
Additionally, compared to the e-cigarette and unexposed groups, rats exposed to cigarette smoke had smaller, lighter testes and fewer swimming sperm.
Five of the eight rats exposed to e-cigarette smoke showed structural alterations, according to further examination of the testes’ anatomy under a microscope.
The locations where sperm are created, indications of cell death, tissue shrinkage, and other indicators of adverse health effects were all being watched by researchers.
Negative effects on health
The results add to a growing body of research suggesting that e-cigarettes, which were previously touted as a safer smoking option in the early- to mid-2010s, may be dangerous.
Since then, researchers have identified a number of health hazards related to vaping, including high blood pressure, asthma, respiratory problems, an increased risk of heart attack, and acute lung injury. These risks go beyond nicotine addiction.
Currently, more than 12 million adults and millions of youngsters illegally use e-cigarettes. The vapor created by these devices is packed with heavy metals and other dangerous substances that experts are still working to identify, despite the fact that they do not emit the same amounts of tar and recognized carcinogens as conventional cigarettes.
The fact that this study was conducted on rats is a major drawback, and the authors admit the necessity for much more in-depth research into how vaping affects males in general. The adverse consequences of vaping on fertility, however, are not unwarranted.
A 2020 study on more than 2,000 males in Denmark discovered that regular vapers had considerably lower total sperm counts than non-users.
There are less sperm available to fertilize an egg and start a pregnancy since nicotine has long been linked to lower sperm counts and sperm density.
Lower sperm motility and vaping
The ability of sperm to move through the female reproductive system in quest of an egg to fertilize has also been proven to be reduced in heavy smokers.
It is also suspected that the toxic chemicals used to give vapes their fruity or minty aromas could harm sperm production and swimming abilities.
In the end, this study adds to the growing body of research that suggests e-cigarettes may not be as safe a substitute for conventional cigarettes as formerly believed.
To completely comprehend the possible concerns connected to vaping and its effects on sperm count decline and general human health, more research is required.
The research was released in the Spanish edition of the international andrology journal.
Information on vaping
The use of vaping as an alternative to smoking has grown quickly. But what is vaping exactly, and how does it operate?
When someone vapes, they inhale and exhale an aerosol—often referred to as vapor—that is produced by an electronic cigarette or other similar device. Vaping devices heat a liquid, also referred to as e-liquid or vape juice, to produce vapor, in contrast to traditional cigarettes, which burn tobacco to produce smoke.
The way that vaping works
Every vaping device has an element known as the atomizer at its core. The atomizer heats the e-liquid till it turns into vapor when the gadget is activated by the user.
Nicotine, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and flavorings are among the constituents in this e-liquid. Users can personalize their vaping experiences by adjusting the ratios of these substances.
Effects on one’s health
There is still a lot of controversy over the health risks of vaping. Some supporters contend that because vaping doesn’t produce tar or many of the hazardous chemicals contained in regular cigarettes, it offers a less harmful alternative to smoking. In fact, according to a number of studies, vaping may help people stop smoking.
However, detractors point out that vaping has risks as well. Vapor inhalation can cause dangerous compounds to enter the lungs. As was already established in this post, vaping can reduce sperm counts.
Concerns about the long-term safety of these devices have been raised in light of recent incidents of lung damage linked to specific vaping products. Additionally, some e-liquids’ high nicotine concentrations might cause addiction, especially in younger users.
Restrictions and worries
Many nations and jurisdictions have begun to regulate vaping products as a result of these health issues and the rise in youth vaping. Regulations frequently place an emphasis on preventing the sale to minors, controlling marketing techniques, and guaranteeing product safety.
Additionally, the popularity of flavored e-liquids has led to new discussions. Although many adult smokers appreciate these tastes, some contend that they are especially appealing to younger users and may act as a gateway to nicotine addiction.
In conclusion, vaping offers users an alternative method of consuming nicotine to traditional smoking. Potential users should be aware of the associated health concerns and changing laws despite the fact that it might have certain benefits over smoking. Society will gain a better knowledge of the long-term impacts and advantages of vaping as research advances.