Of macho mice and men
A funny thing happened while MIT researchers were testing the effects of yogurt on obese mice -- unexpected side effects sprouted up. First, yogurt-fed mice developed thick, shiny fur, with 10 times the hair-follicle density of their yogurt-deprived counterparts. And then researchers noticed that their fur wasn't all that seemed fuller. The yogurt-eating males held their whiskers high and proudly displayed their testes, which were about 15 percent heavier than males being fed low-nutrient (junk) food. The yogurt-eating males also inseminated their partners faster (and yogurt-eating females gave birth to larger and more successful litters).
What puts the “YO!” in “yogurt”? We've been touting the benefits of no-sugar-added, low-fat Greek yogurt for a long time. It contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that help keep your digestive and immune systems humming, your arteries flexible and your triglyceride levels and blood pressure low -- essentials for healthy sexual functioning.
Can it pump up humans, too? Seems so. For quite a while, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have been looking at the association between yogurt intake and semen quality. Their findings are consistent with what the MIT group sees in the mice.
So, guys, if you're thinking of adding yogurt to your daily “good times” menu (tomatoes protect against prostate cancer, and fruits and veggies like blueberries and broccoli keep blood pumping where it should), here's our recommendation: at least a half a cup of low- or no-fat, no-sugar-added yogurt daily with fresh fruit and unsweetened whole-grain cereal. You'll be ready to yo-go!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.