The Probiotic Effect: Sexy, Slim Mice, Healthier Humans
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying probiotics and obesity found that mice who were fed vanilla yogurt were not only slimmer with silkier, shinier fur, they were also more fertile.
The male mice had bigger testicles and more attitude – ”swagger,” was how the MIT scientists described it — and the females gave birth to bigger litters and were better moms.
ABC News reports that MIT researchers Eric Alm and Susan Erdman were looking at whether the healthy bacteria called probiotics that are often found in yogurt (and in our intestines) could help fight obesity, perhaps by aiding digestion.
According to Scientific American, the researchers took a group of 40 male and 40 female mice and either fed the animals a diet designed to mimic junk food in humans (high-fat, low-fiber, low-nutrient) or the normal mouse diet. They then supplemented half of each diet group with vanilla-flavored yogurt.
Much to the researchers’ surprise, the yogurt-eating males had testicles 5 percent heavier than those of their non-yogurt eating counterparts on a regular mouse diet, and 15 percent heavier than those of the junk-food mice.
These well-endowed males also inseminated their partners faster and produced more offspring.
As for the females, they had even shinier coats than the males and were better moms to their bigger litters.
“We think it’s the probiotics in the yogurt,” Alm told ABC News. “We think those organisms are somehow directly interacting with the mice to produce these effects.”