The study was conducted by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, and was focused on how the activity of P450 enzymes was affected by cigarette smoke. The P450 enzymes have already been found to interfere with the body's reaction to prescription medications while other studies have revealed that obesity was linked with changes in the P450 enzyme activity. The study has been presented at the 246th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS)
For this study, the researchers exposed a group of mice to cigarette smoke, second-hand smoke or no smoke at all and observed its effect on P450 enzymes activity. The researchers found that cigarette smoke was linked with increased P450 enzyme activity though obese or normal weight of mice had no influence on the activity levels. However the combination of cigarette smoke and obesity did affect the activity of other enzymes, with obesity reducing the activity levels by 100 times.
"Our research shows that smoking and obesity together may pose a triple health threat in addition to the increased risks for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. That dangerous combination impacts key mechanisms by which both the lung and liver perform metabolism. For example, the body's ability to metabolize prescription drugs may be altered in ways that could make standard dosages too high or too low to be effective in obese people who are exposed to tobacco smoke", lead researcher Aaron Wright said.