Researchers linked diabetes 2 to third hand smoking.
You could be at risk developing diabetes 2 if you live in a house that was the home of a smoker. Thirdhand smoking has been linked to diabetes 2 in the lab of University of California Riverside. Thirdhand smoking is picking up tobacco toxins from surfaces such found in homes or cars. Sniffing on a T-shirt of a smoker is thirdhand smoking. Second hand smoking is in contrast the inhalation of smoke exhaled by a person smoking.
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Third hand smoking has already been shown to damage the liver and lungs, complicate wound-healing and causing hyperactivity in Mice. The new UC Riverside-led study has now also linked type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease to thirdhand smoking in mice.
“If confirmed in humans, our study could greatly impact how people view exposure to environmental tobacco toxins,” said Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience at UC Riverside and the lead author of the study. “Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to THS and its impact on health. Because infants frequently crawl on carpets and touch objects exposed to exhaled smoke, they are at high risk for THS exposure. The elderly are at high risk simply because older organs are more susceptible to disease.”
Professor Martin-Green also says that the tobacco toxins on surfaces get increasingly toxic with age.
“Dr. Martins-Green has a unique animal model for human exposure to THS, especially in small children. This mechanistic study gives us more evidence about the connection between exposure to THS and human health,” said Anwer Mujeeb, a biomedical and environmental sciences program officer at the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), which funded the study.
The pancreas makes insulin in the body. This hormone lets cells turn sugar – or glucose – from the food we eat into energy. To use and store blood glucose, the pancreas releases more insulin with each meal we eat. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. Patients are therefore given insulin to boost levels in the body. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin, but cells are not able to respond to it.
“In type 2 diabetes, glucose does not enter the cells and increased levels of insulin, resulting from an overburdened pancreas, do nothing to facilitate glucose entry into cells for producing energy,” Martins-Green said. “This is what we saw in 49 percent of the mice we exposed to THS in the lab.”
In the United States, nearly 88 million nonsmokers, ages three and older, live in homes where they are exposed to Third hand smoking as well as secondhand smoke. As a result of this exposure children have significant blood levels of carcinogens that result when nicotine deposited on the surfaces reacts with nitrous oxide in the environment. Third hand smoking remains in houses, apartments and hotel rooms even after smokers move out.
Professor Martins-Green recommends to just move to a new place if living in a house that was the home of a smoker.
Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience at UC Riverside, is seen here in her lab. To her left is the apparatus used in the thirdhand smoke experiments, with a row of cigarettes seen in the extreme right of the photo. Photo credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside.
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The details to research paper titled "A Health Threat to Bystanders Living in the Homes of Smokers: How Smoke Toxins Deposited on Surfaces Can Cause Insulin Resistance" have been published in PLOS One.