You can rest assured that men will not be over-represented in the crowds who eagerly wait to get their booster shots.

In every phase of our 2-year fight against Covid, male sex has been weaker. 

It has been reported that men have suffered more severe illness from the virus than women and are less likely to have their vaccines. The latest NHS data indicates that 23% of all females have received Covid booster shots, compared with just 23% for men.

But the fact that men are doing so badly if they get Covid is not entirely our fault — it’s our hormones.

As people eagerly queue up for their booster jabs, you can be reasonably sure that one group will be under-represented: men. At every stage in our two-year battle against Covid, men have proven to be the weaker sex.

It is easy to predict that men will not be well represented as people queue eagerly for their booster jabs. Men have been the most vulnerable sex at every stage of our 2-year fight against Covid.

Women are protected by some of the severe side effects of infections caused by progesterone and oestrogen. Research shows that men are also being given Covid hormones. This is to test if prolonged hospitalization and death can be prevented.

There are many striking differences in the ways that different sexes react to Covid. Data from China revealed that at the beginning of the pandemic two-thirds were men and that Covid was 50 percent more common in men.

Jack, my son was a Covid doctor and told me that his father was amazed at the amount of seriously ill middle-aged men whom he cared for.

That’s not to say that women aren’t getting sick and dying from Covid, but it is happening in lower numbers.

No doubt this is partly linked to men being notoriously bad at looking after their health — they drink and smoke more and eat less fruit and vegetables than women.

And a U.S. study last year found they were less likely to wear masks and obey social-distancing rules, as doing so is considered by many as ‘shameful, not cool and a sign of weakness’.

The likelihood of being overweight in men is higher than that of women. For example, 80 percent of 55-year-old men have type 2 diabetes. This means you are at greater risk for developing serious symptoms or even dying due to the disease.

The hormone factor is another important aspect. Women are less susceptible to infectious diseases because oestrogen and progesterone enhance the power of the immune system — but the male hormone, testosterone, seems to suppress it.

That¿s not to say that women aren¿t getting sick and dying from Covid, but it is happening in lower numbers. No doubt this is partly linked to men being notoriously bad at looking after their health ¿ they drink and smoke more and eat less fruit and vegetables than women

That’s not to say that women aren’t getting sick and dying from Covid, but it is happening in lower numbers. No doubt this is partly linked to men being notoriously bad at looking after their health — they drink and smoke more and eat less fruit and vegetables than women

This means that women have a greater immune response to infections (oestrogen regulates T cells which is a crucial part of our immune system), and a stronger immunity to vaccinations.

Women are less likely to succumb to cancer because of their hormone-driven power.

However, the downside is that women are more susceptible to developing an autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid, which causes the immune system to attack the body.

Although the evidence regarding Covid is still being gathered, Wuhan researchers discovered that severe symptoms were more common in women with low oestrogen levels. And a recent study from King’s College London, using the Zoe tracking app, found that those aged between 18 and 45 taking the combined Pill (a mix of oestrogen and progesterone) are much less likely to develop symptoms than women not on the Pill.

Similarly, women taking hormone replacement therapy (in the form of oestrogen) who catch Covid are much less likely to die than those who aren’t taking it, according to a study from the Universitatsmedizin Berlin, in Germany. Researches are currently looking into whether hormones for females may be able to help combat Covid.

In a small trial published in the journal Chest in July, 40 men hospitalised with moderate or severe Covid were given the usual care, or usual care plus three injections a day of progesterone (previously shown to dampen a ‘cytokine storm’, an immune system over-reaction that can damage organs and cause death).

Progesterone groups spent less time in hospitals and required less oxygen and ventilation.

In a larger study at Tulane University, the U.S.A, men and women receive a mixture of progesterone as well as oestrogen.

Another option is to lower testosterone, the male hormone. One study that found men who were male-pattern-bald (usually driven by higher testosterone levels) had a 40% greater chance of ending up with Covid in hospitals than people with full hair. This was something my friends with bald heads expressed concern about last year. Similar findings were also found in similar studies.

German scientists have now launched a trial to give men with Covid anti-androgens. These medicines will lower their testosterone levels. This is a steep price, but could prove to be worthwhile.

Do not forget to put on your mask, grab your booster, and practice social distancing. It’s my final column for this year. I hope you have a safe holiday season.

Do you find yourself becoming more forgetful and making more mistakes while trying to complete something quickly? It might be worth considering mindfulness if you are one of these people. Many studies have shown multiple benefits. However, new research from Michigan State University has revealed that mindfulness can make you less likely to commit errors. It’s a great time to stop and think, even if you have a lot to do. 

Good for your stomach: Statins, gardening and other forms of exercise. 

Our gut bacteria, or microbiome, are brilliant chemists, able to convert the food that we eat into a range of chemicals that can boost or (in the case of ‘bad’ bacteria) harm our health.

The good bacteria does a lot to convert fiber into substances that can reduce inflammation within the body.

Plant-based foods rich in fibre are a good way to raise levels of beneficial bacteria. Unexpectedly, a new study in Nature shows that statins and certain blood pressure medications can increase good bacteria.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen looked at the impact of different medicines on over 2,000 volunteers and found that those taking a combination of two commonly prescribed blood pressure drugs — diuretics and beta-blockers — had higher levels of bacteria called Roseburia, which are known to reduce chronic inflammation. 

Statin-treated patients had better gut bacteria balances than people who didn’t take them. Statins have been recommended to me, and I found the results pleasing. However, no one recommends that you take statins in hopes of improving your microbiome.

It’s important to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and beans. You can also add some fermented foods like yoghurt. It is a great way to increase your microbiome.

Are you willing to go to the gym in exchange for 7p?

From early next year people in Wolverhampton will be ‘bribed’ to eat healthily and move more as part of a new government-funded scheme.

Those who sign up will be asked to wear wrist devices to measure their step count — hitting key targets will be rewarded with gym passes, clothes or food vouchers and discounts for cinema or theme park tickets.

It will it work? It seems that it could, according to an American study. The study evaluated dozens of motivational strategies, including sending reminder texts to people. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that Amazon points were the most powerful incentive.

It was small, 16p for each workout or 7p when someone went back to the gym following a failed workout. We will almost do any thing for a deal, no matter how small.