A preliminary report has offered an explanation as for why men take longer to recover from COVID-19 than women. And the answer lies in their testicles.
American scientist Sharon Moalem’s latest book also offers genetic proof that females have stronger immune systems than males – but this is no time for the sexes to be turning against each other.
Studies show that males are more harshly impacted by COVID-19, due to the survival of the virus in their testicles.
The Mumbai-based MedRxix study looks at 68 subjects with a median age of 37 years, including 48 males and 20 females. Results of the experiment show that on average females recover from the virus two days faster than males.
The spike protein ACE2 is the reason the novel coronavirus can enter our bodies.
“We observed that the testes was one of the highest sites of the SARS-CoV2 receptor, Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2),” the study notes.
“Interestingly, very little expression of ACE2 was seen in ovarian tissue. Taken together, these observations demonstrate for the first time that male subjects have delayed viral clearance of SARS-CoV2.”
As well as in large quantities in the testes, the protein ACE2 can also be found in the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, and the heart. Since they are detached from the immune system, the testes can host the virus for much longer than in other parts of the body.
The results of this study could offer a solution to the puzzling mortality rates of men found in South Korea, Italy, and New York.
Sharon Moalem’s The Better Half, published on April 7, argues that the female immune system outperforms those of men. Strong immune health endorses longer life and improves overall vitality.
Since the protein ACE2 attaches itself to the gene on the X-chromosome, males who possess XY chromosomes are more susceptible to the virus.
“The gene that makes ACE2 is on the X chromosome,” Moalem says. “So if the coronavirus has the right key, it can unlock every one of a male’s lung cells. But females have two X’s — so half of their lung cells use one ACE2 lock, and the other half use a slightly different ACE2 lock.”
If all the lung cells are “unlocked”, the lungs can fill up with fluid and cause severe breathing difficulties. The author also suggests protecting elderly males above all demographics.
“We should be shielding all our seniors, but we should actually be protecting our male elders most of all,” he advises. “With this virus, there is immense risk simply due to the fact of being male.”
So! Shield your elderly seniors and their endangered testicles, in the least creepy way possible.
While you’re stuck inside, here’s another way you can safeguard your immune system.