Study: Testosterone might make men more likely to get flu

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on January 9th, 2018
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Testosterone: its the hormone doctors say makes men feel like tough guys, but according to a new study it might make men more vulnerable than women to at least one outside threat.

Researchers at Stanford University now say men with higher levels of testosterone produce lower numbers of antibodies in response to the flu vaccine and tend to suffer more when they have the flu. (ViaProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

The study looked at 90 men and women. After each was given the flu shot their blood was tested for antibodies to the flu. Men with higher levels of testosterone tended to perform worse across the board. (ViaWSB-TV)

Quoted byHealthDay, Lead Investigator David Furman said,"We found a set of genes in men that when activated caused a poor response to the vaccine, but were not involved in female response. Some of these genes are regulated by testosterone."

To further support their findings the researchers also found that men with low testosterone had similar antibody responses to women. (ViaThe Doctors)

But before women start gloating too much, you should know the researchers think the findings are a bit of a double-edged sword.

As a writer forDiscovernotes,The good news for women is that this show no mercy response means they are less prone to bacterial, viral, fungal and other types of infection than the dudes are. The flip side, however, is that womens immune systems are more likely to overreact.

And when they overreact that can lead to autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis disorders where a bodys immune system attacks healthy tissue. (ViaWebMD)

So why would immune response skew more to one sex than the other? According to the study it could be an evolutionary advantage.

Quoted by HealthLine, the researchers write,Because males of many species are more likely to experience trauma than females, this positive effect of testosterone may also help to balance out the consequences of reduced immunity to infection.

Continued here:
Study: Testosterone might make men more likely to get flu

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