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'Man flu' does exist

25th January 2013

A researcher at Durham University has said male brains have more temperature receptors, which makes them have stronger cold and flu symptoms.

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According to Dr Amanda Ellison, "When you have a cold one of the things that happens is you get an increase in temperature to fight off the bugs. "

"The bugs can't survive at higher temperatures. When your immune system is under attack the preoptic nucleus increases temperature to kill off the bugs."

She said that male and female brains both dealt equally with colds as children because the area in the brain responsible for temperature control - the preoptic nucleus - was the same size.

However, once a boy started puberty, higher testosterone levels caused the area to enlarge and it became bigger than in a female brain.

Dr Ellison explained: "...men have more temperature receptors because that area of the brain is bigger in men than women."

"So men run a higher temperature and feel rougher - and if they complain they feel rough then maybe they're right."

 

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