I know the week isn’t over yet, but I’m heading out of town on vacation today (!). Luckily for you, there are already a few significant news items to discuss:

  • The NIH has just funded the first longitudinal randomized control human study to investigate the effects of caloric restriction on aging and longevity. Previous longitudinal studies have only been with mice or rats but indicate (weakly, though) that caloric restriction increases lifespan. Human studies have not tested long-term caloric restriction but instead, have looked at intermittent fasting on a short-term basis (read: not the same). Caloric restriction is not the same as dieting (eating less calories than burned to produce a negative energy balance) but involves the long-term maintenance of BMI between 18-21 (on the lower side of the normal weight distribution), among other things. The NIH study will hopefully provide valuable information about the effects of caloric restriction on aging. [Daily Beast]
  • The FDA plans to revise sunscreen regulation next year to more adequately reflect its ability to protect against both sunburn and skin cancer. Sunscreens will be required to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, meaning that 30% of existing sunscreens may not pass the test. [The Atlantic]
  • A study in the journal Pediatrics concludes that 8% of U.S. children have a food allergy (previous estimates ranged between 2-8%). The study, which can be found here*, analyzed data from a representational sample of 40,000 children.  Among those with food allergies, 38.7% had had a severe reaction to an allergen and 30.4% had multiple food allergies (the most common  allergies overall were peanut, milk, and shellfish). Odds of having a food allergy were higher among Asian and black children compared to white children. [Washington Post]

*Unfortunately, access to the full article requires a subscription – if you’re a student, you may have access by logging into your library’s online database and doing a search in Pubmed. If you can’t get it and really want to read the PDF, contact me.