Oestrogen protects against infections

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Men might not like to hear it, but according to a new research, they are the “weaker” sex.  The research was performed at McGill University and was done on mice.  However, the research is applicable to humans because it involved a human gene that was transplanted into the mice.[ad#ad-1]

The gene was for an enzyme called Caspase-12.  This enzyme, when present in the body, blocks anti-inflammatory responses, which is the first line of defense against infections.  Therefore, when this enzyme is present, the body is more susceptible to infections.  However, it has been shown that oestrogen blocks this enzyme, thereby, allowing the anti-inflammatory response.

In conclusion, scientists believe that women are better at fighting off infections than their male counterparts due to the beneficial effects of oestrogen.  Of course, it’s all relative because not all women have equal levels of oestrogen in their system.  Can we conclude that postmenopausal women will not fight off infections due to loss of oestrogen?  Should that be yet another argument for them to be on hormonal therapy?  What about obese men who make oestrogen?  Will they be more protected?  Some interesting questions to answer.

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