New research might give non-cosmetic Botox users something to frown about. A study shows injections turn muscle to fat.
The findings were part of a year-long study conducted at the University of Calgary by kinesiology master’s student Rafael Fortuna into medical injections of botulinum Toxin A, better known as Botox.
Once a therapeutic agent, the use of Botox — widely known for its cosmetic applications in treating frown lines — has expanded to treat cerebral palsy and those who have suffered strokes.
Fortuna injected the neurotoxin into rabbits’ legs once a month over a six-month period.
Results showed that over time, use of the toxin results in muscle weakness, atrophy and loss of contractile tissue in muscles far removed from the injection site — in some cases, on the other leg.
"What we have shown is some muscle tissue is being replaced by fat," Fortuna said.
The results shouldn’t pose too much concern for cosmetic users, as very low dosages are used to relax tightened facial muscles and reduce frown lines.
In higher doses, Botox has proven effective in medical applications and has demonstrated positive effects in improving quality of life of those treated for cerebral palsy.
However, Fortuna said the results of the research shows new cause for caution.
"Basically, we should be more cautious. We should be aware once we have Botox (injections), there might be some side effects far removed from the injection site."
A paper on Fortuna’s findings will be published in the Journal of Biomechanics.
[Source: Toronto Sun]