Look, we don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, but whenever our dearly beloved comes down with a cold, he acts—and we say this lovingly—like a big old baby.
Women, on the other hand, barely bat an eyelash. (Hey, those work emails/school lunches aren’t going to answer/pack themselves.)
As it turns out, there may be a scientific reason why men act extra helpless and whiny when it comes to the flu. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that increased levels of estrogen may actually have anti-viral effects that help protect against more aggressive symptoms.
Here’s why: When a virus enters the body, it causes illness by replicating inside the host cell. The amount of copies it makes inside your system is what determines the severity and how sick you feel. But get this: Estrogen compounds can actually reduce the amount of replication, but only in women.
We already know from previous research that there’s a connection between estrogen and the immune system, but according to the study, the flu connection is huge news and could indicate that estrogen is even more powerful than scientists initially thought.
In the meantime, try to stop rolling your eyes as you pass the Kleenex to your sweetie. The typical virus lasts only 48 to 72 hours.