Montreal, May 11, 2009 – When it comes to immunity, men may not have been dealt an equal hand.
According to Cambridge University researchers, evolutionary factors have led to the male system becoming more vulnerable to illness.
MUHC researchers demonstrate that estrogen renders the innate immune system of women more powerful than that of men.
The latest study by Dr. Maya Saleh, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University, shows that women have a more powerful immune system than men.
In fact, the production of estrogen by females could have a beneficial effect on the innate inflammatory response against bacterial pathogens.
These surprising results were published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
More specifically, estrogen naturally produced in women seems to block the production of an enzyme called Caspase-12, which itself blocks the inflammatory process.