Scientists unexpectedly find that probiotic yoghurt gave male mice larger testicles and made them more fertile
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology came across unexpected findings when studying the effects of eating probiotic yoghurt on obesity.
Researchers Eric Alm and Susan Erdman fed probiotic vanilla yoghurt to mice in order to investigate the link between eating yoghurt and obesity in humans, reports the Daily Mail.
They found that the mice fed the yoghurt had testicles that were 5% heavier than mice fed a normal diet and 15% heavier than mice fed junk food. They also found, when they studied their mating, the youghurt-eating males inseminated their partners more quickly and produced more young than the non-yoghurt eating male mice.
Susan Eldman told ABC News; "We knew there was something different in the males, but we weren't sure what it was at first," reports The Daily Mail. "You know when someone's at the top of their game, how they carry themselves differently? Well, imagine that in a mouse," she said.
Other benefits the study found were the yoghurt-fed mice having slimmer bodies and shiner fur in both sexes. Yoghurt-fed female mice benefited too, having larger litters and were also more successful at weaning their young.
"We think it's the probiotics in the yoghurt," said Eric Alm. "We think those organisms are somehow directly interacting with the mice to produce these effects," he said.
The findings could possibly have implications for human fertility, reports the Scientific Amerian.
A team led by Jorge Chavarro, Harvard nutritional epidemiologist, has looked at the link between yogurt intake and semen quality in men. “So far our preliminary findings are consistent with what they see in the mice,” Jorge said to The Scientific American.
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk