Vitamin B6 and Bugs

Ned Hamson’s post reminded me that some people still don’t know the natural way to avoid feeding bugs this summer.

The trick used by woodsmen in places like Maine is taking vitamin B-6 supplements. Once the vitamin builds up in the system, it generates an odor that humans cannot detect but which mosquitoes and black flies hate. That certainly beats layering your skin with chemicals.

“Building up in the system” for the woodsmen means you start taking the supplement in January. By May, you can stop taking it and you’re protected for the summer. (Of course, summers in Maine didn’t used to be particularly long. Climate change is stretching them.)

Healthline in fact notes that there are nine potential health benefits from B-6 supplements in addition to avoiding becoming bug lunch.(1) While consuming to excess is never justified, taking the recommended dose probably is a good idea.

As always, if you have specific concerns, call you doctor.

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