Why yoghurt makes mice slimmer (and sexier)
Vanilla yoghurt gave male rodents 'swagger' and protruding testiclesFemales became better mothers with shinier fur
09:05 GMT, 9 May 2012
Could eating pro-biotic yoghurt make us slimmer, sexier and give us shiny locks Studies on mice suggest it
Eating yoghurt could make you both slimmer and sexier, according to a study made at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – at least if you are a mouse.
In a bid to prove whether yoghurt could help stave off age-related weight gain in humans, researchers Eric Alm and Susan Erdman fed pro-biotic vanilla yogurt to mice with some unexpected results.
The yoghurt eating mice had shinier fur than their non-dairy fed siblings and the male mice were described as all of a sudden having 'swagger', Abcnews.com reports.
“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.”
Later an MIT lab technician discovered the reason behind their new sexappeal, the testicles of the males were five per cent bigger than the mice on a normal diet and 15 per cent bigger than mice on a 'human junk food'-diet.
As always it wasn't all about the size, the dairy fed males were mating faster as well as producing more offspring, knocking the competition out of the park.
One of the now classic Yeo Valley advertisements depicting hunky farmers, although the new study showed that it the probiotic bacteria in the yoghurt might have played its part
Now we know what gave Martine McCutcheon that glow, it really was the yoghurt
'There were legitimate physiological differences in males fed probiotics, not just the extra sexiness', Ms Erdman added.
This would explain the sex-appeal in recent yoghurt advertisements such as the popular Activia ad starring Martine McCutcheon and the strapping farmers singing for Yeo Valley.
The fairer sex was not left out, in fact quite the opposite, the female mice were even shinier than the males to the point where the MIT researchers started to re-consider their breakfast habits.
Originally carried out to fight obesity in humans, the results of the study were completely unexpected. The scientists think the effects came from the probiotic bacteria in the yoghurt
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,” Mr Alm explained. “We think those organisms are somehow directly interacting with the mice to produce these effects.”
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