Health news briefs

Study relates meat consumption to weight, health effects

Recent research by Loma Linda University in California found that individuals following a vegetarian diet had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those following a diet including meat, even though all participants in the study had a similar caloric intake.

The purpose of the study was to examine lifestyle factors that could possibly prevent and treat metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by numerous health risk factors including low HDL cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Non-vegetarians measured at the highest mean BMI out of all participants, while strict vegetarians measured at the lowest BMI.

Cheek swabs: the next online dating?

Instant Chemistry in Toronto is taking dating services to the next level by matching applicants by genes. The process begins with individuals swabbing their own cheeks and mailing the swabs to licensed laboratories. Instant Chemistry then analyzes the results and matches people accordingly.

The company says their methods are backed by scientific research. According to Instant Chemistry, “couples in long-term relationships [are] often found to have very different immune system genes from their partner.” The company also claims that biologically compatible couples have better sex lives.

Custom-fit toothbrush can brush in six seconds

Blizzident has invented a new type of toothbrush, developed on a 3D printer. The brush resembles the shape of a mouthguard, instead of the stick-like shape of an average toothbrush. The company claims the entire brushing process will be complete in six seconds.

The brush will initially cost $300, but replacements will be cheaper and are only required annually. Blizzident’s website asserts that the brush is available from dentists around the world, with a tooth impression taken from the dentist.

Medical school on probation 

The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine has changed their status to “accreditation with probation” after being warned of a possibility of probation in July of 2011.

The president of the university has suggested that the problems in the college are not due to insufficient funding, but rather to a 60-year-old structural model that is not currently satisfactory.

The college was found to be weak or deficient in 10 measurements, including faculty members not responding to students in a timely fashion.