The Immunity Gap: Why Men Lag and What to Do About It - Wakunaga of America
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The Immunity Gap: Why Men Lag and What to Do About It

Men are from Mars; women are from Venus. It's true in relationships, and it's true down to the way our  bodies function. But while men may be physically faster and stronger than women, guys are actually the weaker sex when it comes to their health.

The numbers back it up: Men not only get sick more severely and more often during their lifetime; they also die at a younger age.1 Fortunately, with a targeted supplement like Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) and a few lifestyle changes, guys can easily build up their immunity and live longer, healthier lives. And since June is Men’s Health Month, there’s no better time to shine a light on the unique challenges that men face.

What’s Behind the Health Gap?

So what accounts for the difference in health outcomes between men and women? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Research has identified several factors that may contribute to the longevity gap, but lifestyle choices appear to have the biggest impact. Smoking, excessive drinking, and poor dietary habits are all more common among men. On top of that, they tend to be more aggressive, take more risks, and suffer more work stress than women. And because guys are much less likely to see a doctor if anything is wrong, what might be a routine treatment could balloon into something serious by the time they seek medical attention.

Of course, the choices men make aren’t the only thing taking years off their lives. Biology is also to blame. The fact is, the male immune system just doesn’t respond as quickly or efficiently when faced with harmful intruders.2 And that can leave guys more prone to infection when cold and flu season rolls around.

Boost Immunity with Garlic

It’s not all bad news. There’s one powerful herb that can help men make up the health gap: Garlic. Used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of ailments, garlic has been shown to benefit everything from digestive disorders to cardiovascular issues.3 But this pungent herb doesn’t just settle your gastrointestinal system or strengthen your heart; garlic can play a big role in the health of your immune system as well. In fact, garlic can change the way key cells react to uninvited pathogens, reducing the severity of colds and flu.4

Unfortunately, even though garlic makes almost everything you cook taste better, eating it isn’t the most  effective way to get all of this herb’s protective benefits. Instead, the real immune-boosting power of garlic is unlocked during the aging process. This concentrates the beneficial compounds, giving Aged Garlic Extract much more potent antiglycation and antioxidant properties as compared to fresh garlic.5

But as powerful as AGE is on its own, it can be even more effective when combined with synergistic ingredients like astragalus, which boasts immunomodulating effects, and medicinal mushrooms, which contain critical immune-supporting B vitamins and a unique compound called beta-glucan that stimulates a healthy immune response. Luckily, you can get all of these immune-enhancing compounds in a single supplement with Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Immune Formula 103.

Men’s Health Tips for Immune Health

Adding an AGE supplement to your daily routine is a key piece in the immunity puzzle. But making a few changes to your lifestyle is just as important. Here are three tips to have your immune system ready to handle whatever comes your way.

Don’t skip your annual checkup. While a visit to the doctor’s office isn’t anybody’s idea of a good time, seeing your physician every year is critical to staying on top of your health. Unfortunately, only about half of all men consider an annual checkup to be a regular part of taking care of themselves. Even worse, 65 percent of guys wait as long as possible to see a medical professional if they’re experiencing health symptoms.6 But avoiding the doctor could have serious consequences, landing you in an even worse situation later on down the road.

Be more active. Elevating your heart rate with exercise isn’t just good for cardiovascular health. Studies show that breaking a sweat on a regular basis can enhance the immune system as well. Unfortunately, about half of men in the U.S. don’t get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise every week.7 And that’s bad news for immune health because regular physical activity can reduce your chances of getting sick. It can also reduce the intensity of symptoms if you do come down with something.8 But don’t overdo it: Training too hard can have the opposite effect, weakening your defenses by causing inflammation and oxidative stress.9 So keep it on the lighter side with activities like a jog around the neighborhood or pick-up game with friends. What’s more, being active outside will give your body a burst of immune-supporting vitamin D, which helps the immune system react to and fight off serious infections.10

Feast on immunity-fortifying foods. You are what you eat, especially when it comes to immunity. In fact, your diet can affect how well your immune cells function.11 But while eating your fruits and veggies would make mom proud, some of these foods benefit the immune system more than others. And that’s particularly true for those rich in vitamin C.12 So opt for citrus fruits, bell peppers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and broccoli, all of which are jam packed with C and other vital nutrients that support a healthy immune response.

Men might have a less efficient immune response than women, but that doesn’t mean they’re destined for an early demise. By incorporating the immunity-enhancing power of Aged Garlic Extract along with a few changes to your routine, you can live a longer and happier life, this June and beyond.

 


References

References

 

  1. National Center for Health Statistics. NCHS Fact Sheet | March 2021.
  2. Klein, S. Sex differences in immune responses. Nat Rev Immunol. 16, 626–638 (2016).
  3. Arreola R. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630.
  4. Percival SS. Aged Garlic Extract Modifies Human Immunity. J Nutr. 2016 Feb;146(2):433S-436S.
  5. Elosta A. Aged garlic has more potent antiglycation and antioxidant properties compared to fresh garlic extract in vitro. Sci Rep. 2017;7:39613.
  6. 2019 Cleveland Clinic MENtion It® Survey
  7. Clarke TC. Early release of selected estimates based on data from the National Health. 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/earlyrelease201806_tech.pdf Early release of selected estimates based on data from the National Health Interview Early release of selected estimates based on data from the National Health Interview Interview. 2019. Survey. National Center for Health Statistics. May 2019.
  8. da Silveira MP. Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature. Clin Exp Med. 2021;21(1):15-28.
  9. Nieman DC. The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. J Sport Health Sci. 2019;8(3):201-217.
  10. von Essen MR. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nature Immunology. 11, 344–349 (2010).
  11. Arroyo Hornero R. The Impact of Dietary Components on Regulatory T Cells and Disease. Frontiers in Immunology. Vol. 11, 2020.
  12. Bozonet SM. The Role of Physiological Vitamin C Concentrations on Key Functions of Neutrophils Isolated from Healthy Individuals. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 17;11(6):1363.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.