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Does Vitamin B12 Prevent Mosquito Bites

Whilst there have been theories and tips that taking Vitamin B12 can keep mosquitos at bay, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims.

Does Vitamin B12 Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Vitamin B12 versus mosquito bites

Whilst there have been theories and tips that taking Vitamin B12 can keep mosquitos at bay, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims.

While some anecdotal evidence and folk remedies suggest that taking large doses of vitamin B12 or other B vitamins might reduce mosquito attraction, scientific studies have not confirmed this effect or proven it to be true.

Mosquito attraction is influenced by a variety of factors including body odour, carbon dioxide emissions and heat. Some studies have suggested that certain B vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), might affect body odour in a way that makes individuals less attractive to mosquitoes, but the evidence is not strong enough to confirm.

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What is Vitamin B12 good for?

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a crucial nutrient that plays several important roles in the body which include:

  • Red blood cell formation
    Vitamin B12 aids the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. It works along with folate (vitamin B9) in this process. Deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to megaloblastic anaemia, where red blood cells are larger than normal and unable to function properly.
  • Neurological function
    Vitamin B12 is involved in the maintenance of the nervous system including the protective covering of nerves and the function of our neurotransmitters. Deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to neurological symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, memory problems and even irreversible nerve damage in severe cases.
  • DNA Synthesis
    Vitamin B12 is required for the synthesis of DNA, which is the genetic material in our cells. It works alongside other B vitamins, particularly folate, and our bodies need high enough Vitamin B12 levels for this cell function and growth.
  • Energy production
    Vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, converting them into energy that our bodies then use as fuel.
  • Heart health
    Some research suggests that Vitamin B12 may help reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin B12, along with other B vitamins, helps convert homocysteine into other substances, potentially reducing its harmful effects on the cardiovascular system.

Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal derived foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Due to their diet, vegans and vegetarians may find they are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency if they don't consume fortified foods or supplements.

Taking Vegan Vitamin B12 Tablets can help to stop Vitamin B12 deficiencies, and can be taken as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Taking regular Vegan Vitamins and Tablets can also be beneficial for many following a plant based or non animal product lifestyle.

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What can prevent mosquito bites?

Whilst taking Vitamin B12 or other Vitamin B supplements can’t stop you getting bitten by mosquitos, there are other precautions you can take to avoid being bitten or being in discomfort. These include:

  • Use insect repellent
    Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) to any exposed skin and clothing which can help to ward off mosquitos and other biting insects. Always remember to follow the instructions on the product label carefully.
  • Wear protective clothing
    Wearing clothing that covers such as long sleeves, long pants, socks and closed toe shoes can minimise the chances of being bitten as there’s less exposed skin. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours, so also wearing light coloured clothing may help to reduce their attraction.
  • Use mosquito nets
    Sleeping under a mosquito net, especially if you're in an area where mosquitoes are prevalent or if you're sleeping outdoors, can protect you from being bitten whilst you sleep as they’re often more prevalent at night time.
  • Avoid peak mosquito times
    Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, so try to stay indoors during these times if possible.
  • Get rid of standing water
    Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so regularly emptying containers such as flowerpots, birdbaths and gutters can help reduce mosquito populations around your home. You can also cover any standing water to stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in them.
  • Install mosquito screens
    Use screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
  • Use mosquito traps
    Consider using mosquito traps or devices that emit ultrasonic frequencies to repel these insects.
  • Avoid strong scents including perfume and aftershave
    Mosquitoes are attracted to strong scents, including perfumes, aftershaves and scented lotions. Try to avoid using heavily scented products when you know you'll be in mosquito-prone areas.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of mosquito bites and the potential consequences associated with them. If you are bitten and you’re worried you’re having a reaction, you can speak to a pharmacy or a health professional for their advice.