Tuesday, July 24, 2012

can probiotics make you sexier?

mice | photo: AleXXw
Probiotics have been gaining a lot of attention these days.  Mainstream science has begun to realize how important they are for  overall health and that good digestive function in required to maintain a healthy body state.

Probiotic therapy is beneficial in restoring intestinal flora when there has been an illness such as diarrhea or one that requires the use of antibiotics (which indiscriminately kill both good and bad bacteria).  Unfortunately our modern diet is not supportive of a strong, healthy gut which further depletes the amount and strength of available probiotic colonies.  Many people find it beneficial to add probiotics to their diet.  This can increase the availability of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet.  Probiotics can also support good bowel health, help with allergy symptoms, and provide other beneficial supports for our bodies.

Now there may be another reason to consider probiotics.  According to recent mouse studies there was an increase in "sexiness" among those mice who consumed higher levels of probiotics.  The original intent of the research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was to study the effect of probiotics on the issue of obesity.  Surprisingly, an unexpected set of results emerged.  It turned out that the mice who ate probiotic yogurt had thicker fur (an indication of good health), the males had larger testes (as much as 15% heavier than the mice fed a "junk food" diet), females were impregnated faster, there were more pups, and females were better at weaning large litters.

All joking about "mouse swagger" aside the study has some interesting implications for humans as well.  We share approximately 99% of our DNA with mice, with 80% being identical (the rest have one-for-one matches).  This is why so many medical studies require the use of at least one rodent study.  According to Dr. Jorge Chavarro, a nutritional epidemiologist who has looked at the correlation between yogurt consumption and the quality of semen in men, there does appear to be a positive association.  Studies are on-going on the issue of probiotics and fertility.

While eating more live culture yogurt may not make you "sexier" in the conventional sense, it may well be a beneficial support for those seeking to get pregnant.  If nothing else it will certainly support better digestive function, and for that, it certainly makes sense to include more probiotics into your diet.

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