This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
Scientists examining the effects of yogurt on obesity have received some unanticipated findings in an investigation.
In their quest to explore the results of a Harvard study suggesting yogurt is superior to any other food in preventing age-related weight gain in mice, they discovered that aside from its slimming effect it might also enhance several aspects of sexuality and fertility. Additionally, the food may foster silky luxuriant hair, as the fur of the yogurt-fed mice was noticeably shinier, softer and thicker.
Cancer biologist Susan Erdman and evolutionary geneticist Eric Alm led the study’s team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The subjects were 40 male mice and 40 female mice who were fed either a simulated junk food diet or standard mice meal. Researchers then added vanilla-flavored yogurt to the diets of half of each group.
The first surprising observation was that the fur of the yogurt-eating mice was amazingly shinny and had an active follicle density 10 times that of the other group. They were also slimmer, verifying earlier studies indicating the weight-related benefit of probiotics.
Next, the investigators noted the males had outward projected testes, which caused them to exhibit a certain “mouse swagger.” Upon measurement, the testicles proved to be 5 percent heavier than the mice eating the standard diet and 15 percent heavier than the group eating the junk food diet.
These changes in sexual appearance translated into increased sexual function. The yogurt-fed males mated faster and produced more offspring, indicating physiological differences. An interesting benefit of the female mice on the yogurt-augmented diet was that they tended to be better mothers to their larger liters.
Alm attributes all these effects to the probiotics within the yogurt. The results could have implications for fertility, obesity and even hair health.