Healthspan November 01, 2017

You might think the meaning of the term man flu, that describes a man overreacting towards the symptoms of the common cold, has no truth behind it whatsoever when in fact research shows it could be a real thing.

This begins to explain why - according to a recent survey by Healthspan - over ten percent of British men say they only feel completely fit and healthy for 1 to 3 days of the month and spend the rest of the time not feeling one hundred percent.

What research proves man flu is a real thing?

  1. According to the Royal Holloway, University of London, research to do with the influenza vaccine shows that testosterone – a male hormone – makes the genes we have that stop our body fighting off viruses – more active. In other words, men are more likely to adopt a virus than women because of this male hormone .
  2. It’s also thought that certain viruses take it easy when attacking women in the hope they’ll be passed down to the women’s offspring through childbirth, which potentially means men will suffer more with the symptoms of a virus.
  3. Research has also found the female hormone oestrogen to be a factor in the functioning of the immune system, with it being recently associated with reducing the ability of viruses to reproduce .

What if man flu does catch you out and your immune system needs some help?

Interestingly, men tend to increase their vitamin C intake when they start to feel under the weather, whereas a lot of women don’t take any vitamin C supplements, indicating that men are ahead of the game and take vitamin C for its continued health benefits – like contributing to the normal functioning of the immune system - as opposed to just for preventing illness.

But if you do get caught out by man flu, Pelargonium Cold Relief contains an extract of the root of the herb Pelargonium sidoides, which helps your body to fight sore throats, coughs, and a blocked or runny nose. Dr. Sarah Brewer, GP and Medical Director at Healthspan says, "Pelargonium is my go to, first-line treatment for colds, coughs, sore throat and sinusitis. I know from personal experience that it works far better than anything else I can recommend as a doctor."

What else can you do to avoid catching bugs?

The hard and fast rules are prevention at this time of year, when cold viruses and other bugs are flying around. Teach children to regularly wash their hands, and ensure the whole family is eating a diet rich in fruit and veg to support their immunity.

A significant number of illnesses are inevitable and the occasional cold is part of everyday life. But fortunately, long-lasting, ancient human instinct – like protecting our offspring – means Brits are absolute troopers. Healthspan’s study shows 59% of parents’ battle on regardless of how they feel when under the weather.

There is, however, substantial evidence backing up vitamin D’s contribution to a healthy immune system. The recommended Government intake of a supplement of 10mcg a day will have both you and your offspring covered.


Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.



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