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The Scientific Reality Of The Famed "Man Flu".

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When a female catches a cold, superpowers are activated; when a male catches a cold, the world as we know it ends.

The notion of the "man flu" also known as the "wimpy man" syndrome, is a term recognized by the Oxford dictionary and officially defined as: "cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms."

While scientific evidence is still far from conclusive, it offers interesting insights to consider: perhaps men are not 'exaggerating' and that their immune response is not engineered to be as strong as a woman's.

In an interview with TIME, Sabra Klein, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, relates how the body's immune response "isn't always the presence of the microbe or the presence of the virus that makes us sick... It's our immune response, and the research shows that males have a heightened response that summons cells to the site of infection, which contributes to the overall feeling of sickness."

The differences in male and female endocrine systems also appear to play a significant role in this immune response. In a study involving 63 healthy participants, results found that cells from women between the ages of 18.8 - 49.9 years showed a significantly higher immune response than both men of the same age and older post-menopausal women. The "PBMC [Peripheral blood mononuclear cells] from healthy pre-menopausal women make stronger adaptive immune responses to RV16... with higher secretion of both the Th1 cytokine IFNγ and the Th2 cytokine IL-13."

How do you get the immune system of Iron Woman?

Practice patience

CDC's published hygiene standards dictate that hands should be scrubbed with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds before being rinsed well with clean, running water. Research shows that women are consistently more patient when it comes to making decisions, suggesting that women can hold out for the full 20 seconds at the sink.

Get plenty of sleep

A study on 153 healthy participants showed how getting the right amount of sleep every night can help keep you from getting sick. Results showed that research participants were 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold if they slept less than 7 hours a night.

Reduce stress

A study on mice showed that when infected with the influenza virus, stress exacerbated the body's response and ability to fight off the virus in both males and females. In another study on patients infected with HIV, the virus was shown to progress faster in individuals with higher stress levels.

Use supplements that actually work

Teramune increases the body's exposure to diverse phytochemicals. Made up of highly concentrated plant extracts that actually work with the body's immune system and not against it.


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