Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Man Flu - The Facts (well, sort of...)

Men may have a weaker immune system and could be more vulnerable to so-called 'man flu', scientists propose. Evolutionary factors and hormonal differences may make males more susceptible to infection than females, says a Cambridge University team. Their theory, outlined in a scientific journal, suggests there is a trade-off between a strong immune system and reproductive success.

Previous experiments have found differences in the ability of females and males to deal with infection. The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal, investigated the reason for these differences. Dr Olivier Restif, one of the authors, said: "If you assume that males are more exposed to infection, then can natural selection influence that process?"

To find out, scientists developed a mathematical model that highlighted the role of other factors, like ecology and epidemiology, in shaping the immune systems of men and women.

"If males are more exposed to infection than females (for behavioural reasons for example), it is possible to see them evolve lower immuno-competence than females," the authors wrote.

But John Oxford, Professor of Virology at the University of London, disagrees.

He says his team at the University of London deliberately infected men and women with the flu virus. He says there was no noticeable difference between their recovery times or their immunity.

"But the women did complain more," he added.


From the BBC News Website
So now it's official - Man Flu does exist. Although Professor Oxford disagrees - however, I particularly liked his comment in the final paragraph...

5 comments:

June said...

no comment...

Adullamite said...

"But the women did complain more,"

Hmmm no change there...

1st Lady said...

The article continues... "but the women did complain more about their sickness as they continued to run the household, cook dinner, do the laundry, and work from home, than the men, who hid whimpering in their beds".

Mike Smith said...

Men whimpering? Where???

Adullamite said...

But is that not what they were made for then....?