So Man Flu Is A Real Thing, Say Scientists…

We know, we can't quite believe it either.

And in today’s most WTF news, man flu is apparently real. Yes, that loving term given to men who complain a little bit too much about their seemingly harmless cold is no longer just a joke. According to a recent study ‘man flu’ is actually a genuine illness.

We know, we can’t believe it either.


In the study, revealed in the American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, scientists sought to discover how men and women reacted to the influenza virus. The researchers tried to determine whether estrogen – or lack thereof – had any effect on how flu spreads.

After injecting male and female volunteers with estrogen and the flu, the scientists discovered that females injected with estrogen were more likely to resist the virus, while men – even after being injected with the hormone – felt the symptoms of the flu more severely.

The John Hopkins University, which carried out the study, says that this suggests that estrogen has antiviral effects that are seemingly only activated in women. However, lead study author Dr. Sabra Klein concluded that this means there is ‘clinical potential’ that estrogen used for treating infertility and menopause ‘may protect against the flu.’

So what does it all mean? Well, even if men have estrogen, they are less likely to feel the anti-viral quality of the hormone, since these are only activated in women.

So, next time the man in your life is acting up with the ‘man flu’ – even if he is being so, so annoying about it – at least he knows that *you* know he’s telling the truth. It’s not quite enough to warrant extra tea and sympathy though, is it?

Main image, still from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, GIF from Odyssey online

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