Artificial sweeteners offer no health benefits, a large review of studies found. But it found no proof of harm, either. Researchers, who looked at 35 observational studies and 21 controlled trials, found no convincing evidence that nonsugar sweeteners had any effect in adults on eating behavior, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mood, behavior or cognition. The study, in BMJ, did find a slight benefit in promoting weight loss and improving fasting blood glucose levels, but only in small studies and over short periods of time. Eight studies in children showed similar results. Lead author Dr. Joerg J. Meerpohl said the goal “was to summarize the evidence, not to make practical recommendations.” While they found no evidence of harm, they could not exclude the possibility, either.
Botox shows benefit for chronic migraines
Botox injections are approved to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches, but studies of their effectiveness have had mixed results. new review of studies has concluded that Botox has small but significant benefits, with few serious side effects. Researchers who analyzed data from 17 studies that tested botulinum toxin injections against placebos found Botox resulted in an average 1.6 fewer attacks per month for chronic sufferers — those with more than 15 headaches a month. Botox did have more side effects than a placebo. There are drugs to treat migraines, but Dr. Eva Bruloy, lead author of the study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, said they have more side effects than Botox. “For chronic migraine, Botox is a better prophylactic than the drugs.”
App makes the most of blood donation
It happens every two seconds: a person needs donated blood or platelets to survive a surgery, cancer treatment, an injury. But only 3 percent of eligible donors give blood to the American Red Cross. Now the Red Cross has a donor app, BLOODAPP, that may make it easier. It helps find places to donate, set appointments, track how much blood you’ve donated and notify you when it’s time to donate again. The app also sends out alerts about shortages. It even lets you recruit new donors, creating a team and keeping track of your total donations.