One of the health risks associated with smoking is that of increased cholesterol levels in the blood. Our body needs some cholesterol in order to function. However, our bodies also produce all the cholesterol needed for function and survival, so any cholesterol obtained from food or other products is merely added cholesterol, and will result in raised cholesterol levels. E-cigarettes have become a popular alternative to regular cigarettes for those who are trying to quit smoking. However, since nicotine is the main ingredient in e-cigarettes, some are wondering if that ingredient causes higher cholesterol levels. Here is some information that should help you understand the link between nicotine and cholesterol.
Nicotine and its Effects
Among the effects of nicotine is increased cholesterol. Why this occurs is not completely understood, but it has been known since the 1960s when a test was conducted, injecting dogs with nicotine on a regular basis over a period of time. The more nicotine the dogs received, the higher their cholesterol levels. When nicotine injections ceased, their cholesterol levels dramatically reduced. This kind of
effect was confirmed again in the 1990s when the link was again confirmed in laboratory tests.
What About E-Cigarettes?
Some people are concerned about using e-cigarettes because their main ingredient is nicotine. Since nicotine raises cholesterol, it is thought that using e-cigarettes will also raise cholesterol. This is likely true. However, consider that when people using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as a patch, began to decrease the amount of nicotine in their bodies, their cholesterol levels often returned to normal once no nicotine was present.
How Can E-Cigarettes Be Helpful?
E-cigarettes have cartridges that are filled with nicotine. Different levels of nicotine cartridges exist, so you could essentially use e-cigarettes as a form of NRT by steadily decreasing the amount of nicotine consumed, which will lower your cholesterol accordingly. Also, there are e-cigarettes with nicotine-free cartridges. Some people may wonder why anyone would choose to use e-cigarettes at all if they no longer have the need for nicotine. However, part of the addiction to smoking comes from the physical action of smoking, not just the ingredients alone. Considering this, then, it is easy to see how nicotine-free e-cigarettes would be helpful. They allow the smoker to continue the action of smoking, without inhaling any of the harmful chemicals. This is one of the main reasons that e-cigarettes have become so popular.
Lowering the Bar
So how can you benefit from e-cigarettes if the nicotine that causes high cholesterol is present? For one thing, when you choose e-cigarettes, you are lowering the level of toxic chemicals in your body dramatically. Many of the over 5,000 known chemicals, and countless unknown chemicals, in cigarettes cause decreased blood flow, constricted vessels, and decreased cardiovascular functioning, which can also have detrimental effects on the heart and body in addition to the higher cholesterol. Just by getting rid of those chemicals alone, you are going a long way to improving your overall health. In order to continue that health improvement, just begin to slowly decrease the level of nicotine in your e-cigarette by choosing a cartridge with less nicotine. Bit by bit, you will be stepping down from nicotine addiction, and the less nicotine you use, the lower your cholesterol levels will be.