A new study indicates that men produce more of the protein interleukin-6 than women do, which may help explain the higher rates of liver cancer seen among men than women in the U.S. The study also shows that IL-6, which is produced to fight liver damage and causes inflammation in the liver, is kept at lower levels in women due to the effects of estrogen. Male lab mice were less likely to develop liver cancer when treated with estrogen, according to the researchers.

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