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Can Vitamin B Protect You from Pesky Mosquitoes?

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Over the years, one of vitamin B's believed benefits is that it will protect you from mosquitoes. Supposedly, vitamin B creates such an unpleasant odor through one's pores that mosquitoes are forced to stay away from their prospective meal (that's you!). Two studies were conducted both stateside and abroad (Brazil) to determine if this urban legend was myth or truth. Indeed, both studies results are in accord: vitamin B will not protect you from these mini vampires. To get the full report, read The New York Times' http:www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/health/12real.html?_r=1&ref=health&oref=slogin">"The Claim: Vitamin B Can Ward off Mosquitoes." Where did I put those candles again ... ?
Comments
August 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm
(1) Sarah says:

Hi, I have a question/idea for a post but don’t want to display it here. I tried to email the guide to this site but the email just came back to me. Who is the new guide or what email can I use to write a private note to the guide? Please email me at drmrgrl247@yahoo.com

August 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm
(2) Renee says:

Up until 26 years ago, I was bitten by mosquitoes all my life (and they never cared where they bit me). Once, while in Lake Havasu, CA, they devastated us. Sometime later, I was at a camping store where they sold anti-mosquito bite pills. They were costly. So, I read the label. It was vitamin B1 (Thiamin). I went to a local drug store and purchased a bottle. They were inexpensive. The next time we went to Lake Havasu, we started taking two pills a day for a few days before going and then 1 pill a day afterwards. I couldn’t believe it. We got there and there were no mosquitoes in sight (so we thought) until a huge group of campers in canoes came to our camp area, had already been to the only store in town where they were out of Off Mosquito Repellent, and were offering us $20 for a can of it. I didnít have any. They asked why we weren’t being bit, so I told them my story. I have passed this information on to many friends and family over the years, and there is not one of us it didn’t help! They don’t even land on you!

August 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm
(3) Shereen says:

Hmmm…There are several B vitamins. To which one are you referring?

August 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm
(4) aboutedit says:

In the article, the New York Times’ doesn’t differentiate among variations of vitamin B. Therefore, I imagine they are speaking about all types of vitamin B.

August 26, 2008 at 5:23 pm
(5) J says:

Have used Vit B complex most of my life and have rarely been bitten by anything! If it doesn’t work, then why do the professional pest control people get a B shot regularly to protect them. Have had several tell me that they do. Besides, Vit B will help with stress and generally feeling “bugged” by humans around you too. That is worth it’s weight in gold.

September 6, 2008 at 12:27 pm
(6) rdk says:

comment by Renee is right on… I, too, have used B1, Thiamine, for over thirty years to ward off mosquitoes. have shared info with many who have had same results. human body flushes excess thiamine out of system quickly through pores (sweat) and urine so it’s important to keep it in system when you go camping, work outside, etc. only have gotten bitten by those little buggers when I haven’t taken my B1. When I go camping, I typically will take 1000 mg over the course of the day. Also, alcohol reduces its effectiveness.
we must understand that there is too much MONEY made in the repellant industry for any information like this to be publicized. I never liked the idea of putting toxins on my skin….

June 15, 2009 at 8:04 am
(7) Paulette says:

Does Vitamin B also protect you against other insects that bite?

June 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm
(8) James says:

Hi Paulette, We use the Insect Defend Patch. It is a trans-dermal patch that contains 75mg of Vitamin B1. It has proven to be very effective against mosquitoes as well as black flies, deer flies, sand flies and no-see-ums. Each patch lasts up to 36 hours and is safe for kids as young as 1 year old. I think the patch works better than pills because it is a timed release. Most excess B1 taken orally just passes through your digestive system because it is water soluable.

August 4, 2009 at 10:49 am
(9) jonathan says:

A Geography professor from Ecuador that i know swears by the B1 repellent. He travels extensivley to tropical areas of the world for his research, so i tried this when i went to Costa Rica, ingesting B1 10 days before i left on my trip. And low and behold i was not bitten once by mosquitoes and that was the rainy season.

May 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm
(10) Scott Hall says:

I used to be a landscaper a few years ago. The first year I did it I was eaten alive by mosquitos and went through tons of repellent. The next year I started taking B1 and had no problems. We even had a particular yard where my co-worker would wear a rain suit to keep from getting eaten sucked dry and I would work with no problems. Studies may not prove it to b e true but I’ve seen the results for me.

June 4, 2010 at 11:45 am
(11) Jake Simcoe says:

I was a Sgt. For the Lee County Sheriffs Department in Southwest Florida. For several years I was stationed at Boca Grande, an island off the coast. My patrol area included many other small islands. On occasion I would have to check homes on some of these small islands. The salt-water mosquitoes were so bad I wore a rain slicker and tied a handkerchief over my nose and mouth. Very uncomfortable in 90+ degrees and high humidity. They were bad and their bit is almost a sting.
An old fisherman told me about Vitamin B (1). I took 1000-1500mg per day. In about 20 days I noticed that the mosquitoes would buzz around me but stopped biting. I think success has a lot to do with how much you take, how much you sweat, what else you eat and your physical make up. Does it work for me? You bet it does.

June 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm
(12) Ron says:

We’ve been using the Insect Defend Patch for a couple years now (Vitamin B1), long as you’re active it works awesome!

May 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm
(13) Bernadine Mudd says:

When we were first married, we bought: MOSQUITO PILLS. Now, this was just our local sport mans shop. You start with two and every 12 hours you took two ore. If you screw-up, and forget to take them…you get mosquitos biting thru your leggings and jeans. (This was in Idaho…by a pond!) Not smart. What I remember (this is 30 years ago) it was high dosages of B- something. It said on the bottle “tested on boy scouts)If anyone has seen this product…..please email me.

May 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm
(14) Mark says:

It works! I’ve been taking (3) B-50′s a day…. and today I was untouched by mosquitos…. usually I get eaten alive more than anyone else. I’m absolutely amazed.

May 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm
(15) Carrie says:

Interesting. We have Asian Tiger Mosquitos in our neighborhood here in Virginia (!) and for the past 10 years have been eaten alive whenever we are outside foe more than 2 minutes without DEET. It is awful. We just spent a day gardening, and realize none of us were bitten. We are trying to figure out what is different, and I realized we have been taking a B-Complex for the last few weeks. Hmmm…

June 9, 2011 at 10:57 am
(16) Socalal says:

I went deer hunting with my brother-in-law and I was nearly eaten alive by the mosquitoes. They didn’t even land on my brother-in-law. His secret — Take 2 Vitamin B-12 tablets for 2 to 3 days before going out into the woods, then 1 B-12 tablet each day you are out there. The following year I did as he suggested. No matter what the Scientists say — they DID WORK for me ! No mosquitoes bothered me from then on!

November 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm
(17) Daniel says:

I’ve also had success with vitamin B although I typically get the B-complex as opposed to just one vitamin B type. It’s interesting to note that the article referenced does not have any link to the actual study so there’s no way to verify what vitamin B type was tested in their experiments. I find it odd that the article doesn’t provide the source, and I will dismiss it as a “myth” itself.

August 18, 2012 at 12:58 am
(18) Yoda says:

I realize that this is anecdotal evidence, do with it what you wish. About seven years ago while researching a planned trip to Costa Rica I learned that natives used vitamin B1 in order to ward off mosquitoes.
I started taking them two weeks before our trip. While we were there a mosquito landed on my arm. I patiently watched him to see what he would do. He flew away without biting me. I have not been bit by a mosquito since I started taking vitamin B1. It works for me.

My advice, try

September 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm
(19) Marcus says:

Hard to believe that it’s not effective. I go canoeing every summer in northern Canada and this summer tried Vitamin B12 injections. I brought deet with me but never had to use it. The bugs stayed away and I got maybe 1 or 2 bites the whole week, while my companions were eaten alive and wearing bug shirts. The ultimate test? I woke late one night to relieve myself and wandered naked (I sleep that way) into the brush to do my duty. No bites to speak of. I should have been eaten alive…

Regardless of what science says, this is my new go-to strategy for summer trips into the bush.

May 8, 2013 at 10:00 am
(20) Theresa says:

My son is 3 he when he gets bitten it starts to swell and very red . I have done evrything possible I can think of. Does anyone know if the vitamin b really does work? If so I will give it to my son. Thanks

May 19, 2013 at 2:24 am
(21) Jojo says:

I grew up where mosquitoes were a constant problem all summer. And when I got bitten, I would get nickel to quarter size red welts, really bad.. I never found an insect repellant that really worked and suffered through. When I was older I heard about vitamin B1 and gave it a try. I had amazing, immediate results. What I found was not only did I no longer get bitten, but welts that I already had went away. So for me it worked like an antidote for the bites I already had, plus I got no more bites. Or so it seemed. Perhaps I still got bitten but I couldn’t tell because I didn’t get the reaction. Whatever — it worked. In my experience, I don’t think one needs to start taking it days in advance — just take it before you go out where you will be exposed, a mega dose from whatever is “recommended,” Take more if you are out a long time or if you notice any bites. As to the “study” — From my own experience, and from others comments here, I just cannot imagine what kind of “study” was done to get the results they got. I’ve been using it for years and it works every time. So that is the result of my “study.”

June 14, 2013 at 12:54 am
(22) Bill says:

I can agree on what (several) people said along the lines of “Regardless of studies’ conclusions, it worked for me.”
Last Summer, while working around Deadhorse, AK, I stumbled across those transdermal patches in the Prudhoe Bay General Store, thought “Hm. What’ve *I* got to lose?”
Since achieving conscious, reasoned thought (almost 60 years ago,) I have always been bugbait. Other people, including family, like having me nearby when hunting/fishing/swimming. I get gnawed to a fare-thee-well, while they might as well be somewhere besides Arctic Tundra …
The patches have a strong and unpleasant smell, but I was able to walk around without eating mosquitoes and dreading what that night was going to be like.
They worked for me.

August 7, 2013 at 8:14 am
(23) Charlie says:

Does anybody know if “vegetarian formula” vitamin B is as effective at repelling mosquitoes?
I was comparing the different brands and strengths of vitamin B at the drug store and noticed that some are labeled as vegetarian formula.
Thanks in advance,
Charlie

September 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm
(24) Jim says:

I was on Coumadin(wharfarin) 2 years ago for heart arrhythmia. Mosquitoes would not bite me. I later went on the new blood thinner but it was winter and I was off of it by the end of february.

September 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm
(25) Kirk says:

My story is the same. Before we went to a Papua New Guinea a few years ago where malaria and anopheles mosquitoes were rampant, my wife and I started taking 300 mg of B1 before and during our trip, and we were never bit. Same is true for several African trips into areas with a lot of malaria. We’re believers in the power of B1, regardless of the studies.

March 15, 2014 at 8:28 am
(26) Mike H says:

I too have taken B vitamins all my adult life and rarely get bitten. I really believe it’s true.

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