May 7, 2012
Yogurt-Eating Mice Have Larger Testicles
Forget red meat -- a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study suggests that men trying to demonstrate their machismo might be better off eating yogurt.
Why, you ask? Well, according to a May 4 report by Elie Dolgin of Scientific America, the researchers discovered that mice who were fed the dairy product were found to have a type of "mouse swagger" -- not to mention testicles that were approximately 5% and 15% heavier than those on typical or junk-food diets, respectively.
Furthermore, MIT cancer biologist Susan Erdman, evolutionary geneticist Eric Alm, and colleagues discovered that experiments also showed that male, yogurt-consuming mice inseminated their partners more quickly and sired more offspring than their junk food or normal diet counterparts.
Female mice also enjoyed reproductive benefits from yogurt, giving birth to larger litters and having less difficulty weaning their offspring than control rodents, Dolgin added.
“We knew there was something different in the males, but we weren´t sure what it was at first,” Erdman told ABC News reporter Katie Moisse on Monday. “You know when someone´s at the top of their game, how they carry themselves differently? Well, imagine that in a mouse.”
Erdman added that a lab technician soon discovered the, ahem, causes of their newfound swagger.
"She noticed their testicles were protruding out really far," the researcher said. In fact, she added, "Almost everything about the fertility of those males is enhanced“¦ There were legitimate physiological differences in males fed probiotics, not just the extra sexiness."
Of course, there were other benefits to the yogurt-centered diet as well, Dvice's Evan Ackerman pointed out in a Friday article. The mice were also described as having thicker, shinier coats -- up to 10 times thicker than other mice, said Ackerman. Erdman told ABC News that their fur was "shockingly shiny," and that it was one of the first things her team noticed about the yogurt-eaters.
The original purpose of the study, Dolgin said, was to follow up on the results of a previous, long-term study conducted by experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. That study, according to the Scientific America reporter, had discovered evidence suggesting that yogurt was the most effective food to eat in order to avoid age-related weight gain.
Based on this latest study, it apparently also comes with, ahem, other benefits.
"We think it´s the probiotics in the yogurt," Alm told ABC News when asked about the reason for the changes in the four-legged subjects. "We think those organisms are somehow directly interacting with the mice to produce these effects."
According to Moisse, "Although the study is ongoing, the fluky findings could have implications for human fertility and weight control, not to mention hair health."