December 31, 2013
Flu Vaccines Useless To High Testosterone Individuals
You think you’re so tough because you can pee standing up. You think your macho man demeanor renders you immortal in the eyes of Mother Nature. I have news for you buddy; you’re not.
A new study from Stanford University sheds some light on flu vaccines and their effectiveness on people with high testosterone levels. What they report is that high concentrations of the hormone testosterone renders the effects of a flu vaccine useless, bringing interesting results of certain flu patients according to gender. Until now, scientists had already known that men were weaker to the flu than women. Now they may know why.
We’ve already known that testosterone interferes with the anti-bodies of the immune system that work to prevent the body from contracting the flu. Stanford research assistant David Furman opened up to HealthDay about this phenomena, “Men, typically, do worse than women in immune response to infection and vaccination,” 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.”
The study conducted by Furman tested 90 individuals after they received seasonal flu shots. The portion of the control group with the highest levels of testosterone reported the worst results to the vaccine. Testosterone is a sex hormone located in male mammals and is responsible for masculine body features, such as muscle growth and body hair.
Both women and men contain some moderate amount of testosterone in their body. What this study means is that women have a more robust immune system when needing to fight common illnesses, such as influenza and the common cold. The study says that women are still more susceptible to disease and sickness.
Not only this, but women are also more susceptible to lupus and Alzheimer’s disease.
“This is the first study to show an explicit correlation between testosterone levels, gene expression and immune responsiveness in humans…It could be food for thought to all the testosterone-supplement takers out there.”
Although the study points to testosterone being the culprit behind a deterred flu immune response, it doesn’t seem to offer any explanation on testosterone and its anti-inflammatory effects; a key element to immunity. The study also points to testosterone having a direct effect on a multi-gene cluster that regulates immunity.
Further research needs to be done if anyone wants to figure out what any of this means for flu vaccinations, but I have a feeling we’re not too far away from another breakthrough.
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