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The Role of Hormones in COVID and Immune Response

Across the world, men are much more susceptible to severe outcomes from COVID-19 than women. It has been suggested that estrogen may be protective against COVID-19 in females and/or that androgens (like testosterone) worsen COVID-19 in men.  Androgen sensitivity would explain severe cases in female patients who present with metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or who are using birth control methods that include the use of hormones that bind to an androgen receptor (such as levonorgestrel and norethisterone). Physiological hormones such as estrogens and progesterone can bind to spikes on coronavirus which may interfere with attachment of the virus to stressed cells. These substances may be helpful as anti-COVID-19 therapy for people with a high risk of cell stress like the elderly, cancer patients, and front-line medical staff.

References

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930128

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340548509

https://www.brown.edu/news/2020-04-07/androgen

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dth.13365

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32340551

https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/hormone-therapy/news/online/%7B5c31e490-3ffe4fa6-bc4b-c7f9c9c0e41b%7D/study-examines-progesterone-to-reduce-inflammation-in-covid19


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