Health Highlights: Jan. 27, 2022

Studies ease concerns over COVID vaccine and menstrual cycles. They’ve gotten some media headlines recently, but potential menstrual changes associated with getting a COVID vaccine are typically minor and temporary, two new international studies confirm. Read more

Vitamin D supplements may help prevent autoimmune illnesses. Taking them may help stave off psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests. Read more

What is the ‘stealth’ version of Omicron? Scientists tracking the variant, called BA.2, say it has certain genetic traits that make it somewhat more difficult to detect. Some experts worry it may also be more contagious than original version of Omicron. Read more

Wine, berries might help slow Parkinson’s. Antioxidant flavonoids — which give red wine and many fruits and vegetables their vivid colors — may aid the brains of patients, research shows. Read more

Rheumatoid arthritis drug may hike risks for cancer, stroke and other ills. New research supports the notion that tofacitinib (Xeljanz) should only be used when other drugs to control the autoimmune disease fail. The FDA has already placed warning labels on Xeljanz and two other related medications, warning of possible risks. Read more