A recent study has suggested that men and women have one more difference between them - their immunity. Researchers now say that women have stronger immune systems than men do due to the higher amounts of the hormone estrogen which is found more predominately in women’s bodies.
Scientists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University found that estrogen blocks production of an enzyme called Caspase-12. This enzyme can be harmful when the body releases it in large amounts. The study was conducted on both male and female mice who were infection resistant and who lacked the Capsase-12 gene. The researchers implanted the Caspase-12 enzyme in both the male and female mice and found that only the males were vulnerable to an infection. Their findings concluded that due to the amount of estrogen in their bodies, the female mice had a stronger immune system than the males. Male hormones tend to repress the inflammatory response compared to females who, because of estrogen, enhance the inflammatory response. The inflammatory response is needed to help fight infection such as bacterial infections and other common illnesses.
Scientists believe that the reason women have stronger immune systems is due to the fact that it has evolved over the years. Women give birth to children and also need to be healthy in order to take care of their young children.