Thursday, May 21, 2009

Women 'fight off disease better'

Posted by Neill Abayon

Research suggest that men’s immune systems are not as strong as women’s. A new study indicates that the female sex hormone estrogen gives women’s immune systems added strength for fighting off infection.

Estrogen seems to counter an enzyme, Caspase-12, which blocks the inflammatory process. The inflammatory process is your body's first line of defense against harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

Human Caspase-12 genes were implanted into a group of male and female mice, but only the males became more prone to infection.

The researchers concluded that oestrogen produced by the female mice blocked the expression of the human Caspase-12 gene.

They were also able to locate the precise place where oestrogen binds to the gene in order to block its activity.

Since the experiments were conducted using a human gene, the researchers are confident their work is applicable to humans.

Lead researcher Dr Maya Saleh said: "These results demonstrate that women have a more powerful inflammatory response than men."

View the full article here.

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