The 'man flu' apparently really does exist
"Big girls don't cry" -- when it comes to getting the flu, that is!
Apparently, the virus hits men a lot harder than women. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have figured out that women are protected from aggressive flu symptoms because of the female hormone estrogen.
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The researchers collected nasal cells of men and women donors. When all of the cell samples were introduced to the virus along with estrogen, they saw there were less severe symptoms in cells belonging to women.
Apparently, estrogen reduces the virus' ability to reproduce, but only in women. So premenopausal ladies on certain kinds of birth control may be better protected during the flu season.
The idea sparked from previous studies showing estrogen has antiviral properties against HIV, Ebola and even hepatitis.
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