Smoking cigarettes damages the muscles in your body, a new study has found, the smoke directly reduces the number of blood vessels in leg muscles and limits the amount of oxygen they can receive.
Previous studies have shown that smoking makes muscles weaker because lungs become inflamed by cigarette us, restricting your ability to exercise and perform activities.
Past research has shown that cigarette smoke narrows your body’s arteries, reducing both the flow of blood to your heart and your lung capacity.
This limits your ability to perform certain exercises and ability to grow your muscles.
However, researchers have been now able to show how the effect is far greater than we once thought.
For the study, the team exposed mice to smoke from tobacco cigarettes for eight weeks , either by inhalation or by injecting mice.
In the study, the team found a 34 percent decrease in the capillary-to-muscle fiber in mice exposed to smoke.
Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body.
However, the study shows that because blood vessels have been diminished, the rate of blood flow to muscles is reduced depriving them of oxygen.
And when muscles are deprived of these two substances to use for energy, they are weakened and unable to perform a great amount of physical activity.
Although the researchers found muscle damage in the legs to be the most pronounced, they could not identify exactly which chemical in cigarette smoke was responsible.
They point out that cigarettes contain approximately 4000 chemicals, many of which are harmful carcinogens.
Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells, which are some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenge in our lives.