Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Testosterone May Undermine Flu Shot's Effectiveness

High levels of the hormone cause fewer antibodies to be produced, researchers say

continued...

When they looked at male testosterone levels in relation to gene activity, they saw increased activation of the Module 52 genes in men with high testosterone levels. This resulted in reduced antibody production for the flu, the researchers concluded.

But in women, activation levels of Module 52 genes had no significant effect on flu antibody levels, the study authors noted.

Some Module 52 genes are known to be related to the immune system. The connections between these genes and testosterone might be a target for further study and drug development, Furman said.

One unanswered question is what evolutionary purpose is served by having testosterone connected to the immune system, Furman said.

It's possible that an overly robust immune response might be more dangerous than the disease itself. For example, women with their robust immune responses are twice as likely as men to die from infections that invade the blood system, Furman explained.

So maybe a somewhat less robust immune system can be lifesaving for men, he suggested.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Life Cycle of a Penis
Slideshow
Preacher Curl
Slideshow
 
testosterone molecule
Article
Xray of foot highlighting gout
Slideshow
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow