Next time you’re felled by the flu and your significant other isn’t as compassionate as you’d like, ask her if she’s been living under a bushel, and tell her it’s now a fact that the flu actually hits men harder—and for longer—than it hits women.
Or, if you’re planning on ever seeing her again, you could simply point out that a study in the American Journal of Physiology has shown that the estrogen in women’s bodies keeps the virus from replicating as much in their cells as it does in men’s.
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Researchers aren’t sure exactly why it works, but previous studies have found that estrogen seems to fight viruses like HIV, Ebola, and hepatitis. And if a woman’s on birth control—which provides extra estrogen—that could also lessen flu’s symptoms and duration.
Oh, and by the way: If she’s the one who’s flu-y right now, just smile, turn on the teapot, and keep this to yourself.
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