A recent research study has shown that smoking damages your DNA’s clear cut patterns, into something like chopped confetti. By quitting, it could reduce the impact but still leave a few broken parts in its trail, here and there.
The research team of these findings, examined the blood samples of close to 16000 people, who were also asked to fill surveys about their lifestyles, medical history, genetic background, diet and the like.1
It was shown that those who smoked or have inherited it genetically, were equally prone to related diseases and DNA damage. The American Heart Association report for Cardiovascular Genetics, said that when people quit smoking, the effects faded and healed as though they had never smoked, within a matter of five years, but some effects stayed on for good.
These permanent scars on the DNA were made because of a process named, methylation. Basically, this is when the DNA has been modified to be able to make a gene inactive or change how it works, even malfunction, causing diseases such as heart disease and even cancer. Affects more than 7,000 genes, this makes up close to one-third of the human genes we know of, linked to these diseases.
Roby Joehanes of Harvard Medical School, explained that the study showed substantiative proof that even a healed smoker may have permanently destroyed parts of his or her DNA, especially 19 important genes, such as the TIAM2 gene associated with lymphoma. This would last for at least three decades from when they quit.
This finding can help medical research be able to narrow down the genetic risks of smoking, which an individual carries and what disease they are likely to suffer from, based on the affected markers.
This includes also being able to create drugs to combat these specific damages done by smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that the diseases caused by smoking are all preventable but close to 480,000 Americans and 6 million people die each year because of them be it via lung cancer or other ailments.
Although smoking has seen a decline in the US, now only 15% of American adults and 11 % of high school students smoke.
At the risk being shot as the messenger of bad news, even those who can get some of the benefits of quitting smoking, do not necessarily get a clean bill of health. It can still catch you in the long-run with some chronic diseases.
However, the exact ways it damages the body in the long-run, is yet to be studied further, the only evidence of that so far is the DNA methylation effects.
References [ + ]