Neuroscientist Dr. Amanda Ellison from Durham University has reached the conclusion that men suffer from heightened symptoms of flu because they have more temperature receptors in their brain, compared to women.
When our immune system is under attack part of our brain called the preoptic nucleus increases our body temperature, which helps us to kill off bugs and germs. Men have a larger area of temperature receptors in their brains, so that when flu strikes the intensity of their fever is increased more, meaning that they are likely to experience the symptoms of flu more intensely.
Not only are men more likely to suffer flu symptoms, but they’re actually more prone to getting sick in the first place. A recent study by the Stanford School of Medicine linked high testosterone levels in men to a lower immune response to the flu jab, and evidence suggests that men are generally more likely to get infections while women have a better response to vaccinations.
So it seems that men do actually have a good reason to complain of the flu, which is just as well, as they certainly do tend to shout about it a lot more than women.
Researchers at Flutracking.net measured the Tweets of Australian flu suffers in Australia between January 2013 and July 2013. They found an astonishing 3,600 Tweets from men about the flu, compared to only 60 women during the same period!
Here are some tips to help boost your immune system and avoid catching a nasty bug this winter:
- Don't smoke.
- Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Get plenty of exercise.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Take steps to avoid infection, like washing your hands frequently and avoiding undercooked meats.
- Keep up with your check-ups and screenings.
Watch this video for more advice on how to survive sick season.