Testosterone the Latest Cause of the Flu?
Testosterone the Latest Cause of the Flu?
The battle for men to get to and stay in healthy shape as they get older is already a steep uphill climb, but a recent study is making that hill even tougher to get up to.
Men that suffer from low testosterone levels can get various treatments and medications to raise their levels up to normal levels. This is a common practice in professional athletes and average Joe’s, and it allows for men to get their body back into a healthy phase. With the cold and flu season upon us, the chances of getting sick are already high, but there is even more of a chance to catch the flu for men with high testosterone levels. A study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that men with high levels of testosterone face a higher likelihood of getting the flu.
A link between testosterone levels and the flu vaccine showed that collectively, men with higher levels of testosterone faced a higher likelihood of having a weak response to the vaccine. This essentially just says that men with high testosterone levels will struggle to build a strong defense to the illness because their immune systems have become weak, especially when compared to women.
What does Testosterone Do?
The difference in the immune systems of men and women is something that has been known about for years, but the news of this report is one that has serious repercussions for men. Testosterone is a natural substance that forms in the testes. It promotes the development of the male penis and scrotum and also plays a large role in the production of sperm. In younger males in their pre-teen years, testosterone helps the growth of testes, as well as other important aspects including muscle growth and the deepening of the voice.
For adults, testosterone plays a part in the sexual function, loss of scalp hair and can also lead to the accumulation of abdominal area fat. For older men, testosterone figures begin to lower and is known as either male menopause, andropause or viripause. This condition possibly occurs because the testosterone receptors in the body become less receptive, meaning that the development of testosterone decreases. For men between the ages of 48 and 70, this is more common to occur and can lead to loss of muscle growth and an increase in body fat, as well as a decrease in sexual function and drive.
Health Problems More Likely in Men
Traditionally speaking, women are superior when it comes to their health, especially when looking at the immune system. Women are more likely to have a stronger immune system, but are also more likely to develop lupus or other autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, men are more likely to develop serious cases of viral infections, as well as parasitic and bacterial infections.
For years, these facts were questioned, but answers were never found until a recent study. They took blood from 37 men and 54 women and then examined the blood for different proteins and cells. They would then give the patients flu vaccines and looked to see if there were any changes in the proteins and cells of the blood. As a whole, men had a lesser response to the vaccines than women.
They then looked at the men that did not have any response to the vaccines and found that they had high levels of testosterone. The men that showed responses typical to that found in the females were checked and they had much lower testosterone levels.
What Should You Do?
If you are between those ages where your testosterone levels are decreasing, you need to discuss with your doctor whether it is worth raising your testosterone levels if you face a higher chance to getting the flu. For men in their late 40s and early 50s, using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or other testosterone treatments to raise your levels to a healthy area is important and the chance of getting seriously ill from the flu is less. For those in their 60s, you may have to take a serious look at which is better. The older a person gets, the higher the chances that the flu can become fatal. This is something you need to discuss with your physician as getting TRT could do more harm than good.
Testosterone is something that men want to have more of. They act as an anti-inflammatory and can help you fight injury and most illness. Many professional athletes use TRT to help them recover from workouts and injuries quicker, but for the average person, the more important news regarding this study is the higher chance of getting the flu. For older men, the flu can be a fatal occurrence, so you will need to decide what is more important to your overall health.Tagged