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Estrogen Protects Women Against the Flu?

by Magnolia on February 3, 2016

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Here’s a study worth crowing about!  According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, estrogen has anti-viral effects against the influenza virus. Given that we’re smack in the middle of flu season, this is good news for us estrogen users, eh?

In order to conduct the study, researchers examined nasal cells from both men and women participants. Researchers determined that estrogen, SERM compound raloxifene and bisphenol A, (the article was not any clearer than this in describing the compound examined, I apologize) found in the nasal cells of women, but not in men, reduced the flu virus replication in the nasal cells of women, but not in men.

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According to one of the researchers, other studies have also shown that estrogens also have antiviral properties against HIV, Ebola, and the hepatitis viruses as well. Because women who are not perimenopausal continue to cycle, and their estrogen levels (in addition to their progesterone levels) fluctuate, researchers said they could not generalize the findings to a larger population of women.

However, they did note that women who consistently took certain types of birth control prior to the onset of symptoms of perimenopause, and even women who are menopausal who also use hormone replacement therapy which includes estrogen, may very well be better protected from seasonal influenza epidemics than those women who do not.

I actually found this study rather interesting and worthwhile!  If you would like to read the actual article, you can find it here at Science Daily.com

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Sources:

American Physiological Society (APS). (2016, January 12). Not the weaker sex: Estrogen protects women against the flu, study finds: Study in human cells supports why the flu may hit men harder than women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 3, 2016 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160112093424.htm

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