Yoghurt could make men more virile
Eating probiotic yoghurt is known to calm troubled tummies – and now scientists have found it could boost virility as well.
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found male mice fed the vanilla-flavoured dessert had a certain “swagger” when they walked.
They discovered these mice had testicles that were five percent higher than other mice on a normal diet and 15 percent heavier than junk-eating males.
What is more, in mating experiments the yoghurt-eating males inseminated their partners more quickly and produced more young than control mice.
Yoghurt-fed female mice benefited too – they had larger litters and were more successful at weaning their pups.
The findings could have implications for human fertility and the team will next look at the association between yoghurt and semen quality in men.
The researchers stumbled across the interesting finding when studying the effects of yoghurt on obesity.
In a bid to prove whether yoghurt could help stave off age-related weight gain in humans, researchers Eric Alm and Susan Erdman fed probiotic vanilla yogurt to mice with some unexpected results.
“We knew there was something different in the males, but we weren’t sure what it was at first,” Ms Erdman said.
“You know when someone’s at the top of their game, how they carry themselves differently? Well, imagine that in a mouse.”
Other beneficial effects included slimmer bodies and shinier fur in both sexes as yoghurt-fed mice had 10 times the active follicle density of the control group.
Not only did the girl mice sport the shiny fur coat and considerably slimmer physique of their male counterparts, they also tended to be better mothers to their (as a result of their dairied-up partners) larger litters.
“We think it’s the probiotics in the yoghurt,” Alm explained.
“We think those organisms are somehow directly interacting with the mice to produce these effects.”