Holiday bugs and bites prevention

In my previous blog post on holiday health, I talked about taking good bacteria supplements to help prevent holiday tummy. In this blog I will continue along the same theme, looking at ways to prevent other holiday bug problems.


As soon as we sit on an aeroplane, my husband turns off the air vents that are blowing at us – I think if he could sit there holding his breath throughout the flight, he would! The air circulation system is the perfect way to ensure that if one passenger has a cough, cold or other bug, it is passed effectively to every other passenger on board.

Staying in the UK and avoiding planes is certainly one way of trying to stay clear of the infections flying around an aircraft – and indeed we even have the weather at the moment to make this a viable option.

But we do like to travel. So, the other way we could try and prevent infection is to take a good immune support supplement. Certain vitamins and minerals are known to support a healthy immune response, including vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and selenium: looking for a supplement which provides all of these nutrients would be helpful.

Other ingredients to look out for include:

• Beta Glucans – Studies have shown that using supplements which contain beta glucans can help to reduce the risk of infections by 25%.

• Garlic – Known for its natural anti-bacterial action, garlic is often chosen by those looking for natural ways to prevent illness.

• Elder – The beautiful elderberry has been found to be naturally anti-viral, meaning that it could help to stop those viral infections flying around the plane from attacking you.


The other bug which can affect the enjoyment of a holiday is the mosquito. Bites and stings can be incredibly irritating – especially in the heat. Obviously, a good effective insect repellent is vital – most people have a favourite brand these days. However, as well as an external spray, it could be well worth adding an internal vitamin B1 supplement.

There are many ‘old wives tales’ about using yeast extracts such as marmite to help prevent insect bites. The reason for this is because these yeast extracts contain vitamin B1 – which is actually much easier to travel with, and ideal for those who do not like marmite!

Why is vitamin B1 so helpful then? Well, it causes human body odour to change slightly – not enough for humans to notice, don’t panic! Your partner won’t suddenly declare that you ‘stink’! The change is very subtle, and undetectable to humans. However, many people have reported that taking vitamin B1 has made them significantly less attractive to biting insects. I am one of those. Previously, I was a veritable buffet for mosquitos – if I was around, everyone else would be safe! Since ensuring that I take a vitamin B1 tablet daily every summer, I am no longer the only target for every insect in the area: in fact, last time we went away, my husband got bitten more than me!

Written by Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a nutritional therapist who has worked with clients in health food stores and private clinics for over 20 years).

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