A Answers (5)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredMosquitoes can be annoying and carry diseases. But keeping them at bay doesn't mean you need to drench you and your property in carcinogenic pesticides or insecticides. Instead use a natural repellant that contains essential oils such as lemon, eucalyptus, and lavender. Burning citronella candles outdoors, staying indoors at high biting times, and removing still water where mosquitoes lay eggs is a healthier strategy.
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
You've probably noticed that mosquitoes seem to prefer some people over others -- one person is eaten alive by mosquitoes while another is rarely bothered by a bite. The difference in how often mosquitoes bite you may be all about the microbes that live on your skin. It seems that for some of these blood-sucking insects (only female mosquitoes bite), people with a lot of the same type of bacteria on their skin are more delicious to mosquitoes than folks with a more complex mixture of microscopic tag-alongs. Drinking beer also draws skeeters. Mosquitoes are known to love the smell of beer as it wafts off a beer drinker's body.
What's a target of these flying vampires to do? Oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD, for para-menthane-3,8-diol, the synthesized version) is a natural bug bite repellant. It's registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which means it's safe and effective. One application gives two hours of protection (about as much as an insect repellant with a low concentration of the chemical DEET). Alpha Keri and Skin So Soft also repel insects. These products are less effective, but easy on the skin. Another non-DEET option is Bite Blocker. It's made with oils of geranium, soybean and coconut, and offers about one and a half hours of protection.
DEET is the standard insect repellant that most effectively repels mosquitoes and is now said to be safe for children, although infants and pregnant and breastfeeding women may want to avoid it. It's available as 4.75% DEET for kids and 23.8% DEET for adults and lasts five hours.
You can also take a different mixture of probiotics every day to diversify your skin flora (some of what we eat populates our skin after a bit), which may also repel mosquitoes.
Clifford Bassett, Allergy & Immunology, answered
To repel mosquitoes, there is a variety of N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET)-containing insect repellent products ranging from a concentration of 5-10 percent, all the way up to 30-40 percent. The strength of the DEET will dictate how long (hours) you may remain "bite-free." Alternatively, natural (eucalyptus oils, etc.) insect repellent products are available. Use these products as directed on the label.
The best way to protect yourself from mosquitos is to apply chemical or natural insect repellants; sitting near a fan can help, too! In this video, allergist Clifford Bassett, MD, discusses his favorite ways to avoid pesky, itchy mosquito bites.
There are several ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and pants in the evening, when mosquitoes are out. Repellents should contain DEET. There are also repellents for your yard, such as candles, torches, and coils. If you are traveling outside the United States, see your doctor to discuss whether malaria prophylaxis is indicated.
Stephen Atkins, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Are you a mosquito magnet? As odd as it sounds some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others. You sit outside in the evening and the battle begins. Do you smother yourself with bug juice or begin the swatting game? So, why are some people always the lucky ones? Well, the answer might surprise you. Mosquitoes are attracted to mild acids, so that means CO2 and lactic acid. We can’t do much about the CO2 we give off as we breathe, but we can do something about excess lactic acid.
People that are high in lactic acid typically have diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats. As you know a diet high in refined carbohydrates naturally depletes B vitamins and trace minerals. This promotes an increase of lactic acid. Since the blood can only handle so much, the body uses the skin as a source of elimination. Think about it. You are sitting around the deck while everyone is laughing and attracting the little guys through the normal metabolism of CO2 expulsion. But, ah ha! Someone in the crowd is a little sweeter due to the excess lactic acid. Who’s the mosquito going to set up their drilling station on? It’s not only mosquitoes that like lactic acid, fleas seem to favor the same people.
So how do we turn off the mosquito magnet? Obviously, we want to reduce refined carbs and bad fats and supplement with a B complex that is high in thiamin. Perhaps, you remember the Krebs cycle from biology. If you follow the dreaded circle you find that B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, lipoic acid, and even Coenzyme Q are needed to get the maximum amount of ATP from glucose. But the rate limiting factors are generally B1 (Thiamine) or B2 (Riboflavin).
Maybe your biology is a little foggy, but the Glycolysis cycle yields 2 units of ATP. However, if you break down glucose completely through the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain, you get 38 units of ATP. So by making sure that you have all the co-factors necessary for the body to do its job we will not only have less swatting on those summer nights, but you will have more energy all day long.
Other symptoms of B1 deficiencies are an increased anion gap of 14 or over, low CO2, and or elevated blood sugar. People who are on high blood pressure medications and diuretics are almost always low in thiamin.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.