Science Agrees Women Are Stronger Than Men

A new study shows that women are stronger and now they've worked out why.

To be clear, we're not talking about physical weightlifting strength here, but rather the immune system strength that sees women mount more effective immune responses against viruses and bacteria.

In other words, women seem to be able to battle some diseases better than men.

But first, some bad news for the ladies.

According to Adam Moeser from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Gastrointestinal Stress Biology Laboratory, women get more autoimmune diseases, allergies and migraines than men.

To understand why, his research team looked at something called mast cells, a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system.

They discovered that mast cells in females make and store more inflammatory substances – histamine, serotonin and proteases – than mast cells from males. They can cause a range of issues, such as airway congestion, migraine headache, abdominal pain, digestive issues and shortness of breath.

As well, many of the highly active genes in females produce proteins that are involved in manufacturing and storing some of those inflammatory substances.

This unique difference in the ability of females to store and release more histamine and proteases may explain why female mast cells can trigger a more potent immune reaction. And It also may suggest why women may be more vulnerable to certain diseases and disorders and men are more resistant.

Bummer, right?

But men, don't rest on your health-related laurels, here... because you don't get as many hyperactive immune disorders like autoimmune disease, chronic pain disorders and IBS doesn't actually mean much.

You see -- and this is why they're stronger -- women have much stronger immune systems than men, they can mount more effective immune responses against viruses and bacteria.

Yep, women’s immune systems are superior.

The immune system is also important for regulating the growth of cancer cells, which may be a major reason why men have higher rates of death from cancer.

Next up for science is to work out how to use this information in medicine. The authors of the study suggest that sex-specific treatments for immune-triggered conditions may become available. "These therapies could moderate mast cell activity and stop the onset of disease," wrote Moeser.

Feature image: Getty