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Healthy immune system and B vitamins: a natural mosquito repellent?

Posted Aug 30 2010 6:00am

Late summer in Iowa means mosquitoes, especially this year. We’ve had a ton of rain in this area, with flooding and standing water in fields. Couple that with high humidity and hot temperatures, and we’re mosquito central.

I’ve had my share of bites, though I haven’t been literally feasted on. And I’ve noticed that when some bites appear, they really don’t last long and don’t drive me crazy with itching. It got me to wondering, is there anything happening with me that makes me perhaps a bit more resistent to bites or at least to the duration of bites?

Some nutrition writers are addressing the concept that B vitamins and brewers yeast may be a turn-off for mosquitos.  That really got my attention because of the EpiCor immune support supplement I take. EpiCor’s starting material is a simple yeast that goes through a unique process to render a complex yeast culture containing high concentrations of B-vitamins.

However, insect experts at North Carolina State University say that “the results of several scientific studies do not support the claims that these materials are effective repellents for mosquitoes or other biting insects, mites or ticks.” Sanjay Gupta at CNN also has a similar conclusion . Seems to be one of those things where a lot of people have similar experiences to tell about, but no study can yet provide scientific basis for those experiences.

As for general immune health, many sources discuss animals with weak immune systems as ripe targets for mosquitoes and fleas. I wonder if that goes for humans, too?

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