Mosquitoes give us a hard time! They rarely spare us, but some people complain of being bitten more often than others. So, is this an impression or an absolute truth? Would changing our diet prevent us from becoming the mosquitoes’ favorite prey? Yes, but not necessarily for what we think. We now know that mosquitoes are attracted to CO2 from breathing, and that pregnant women and overweight people will tend to be bitten more than other people because they give off more CO2. It is also known that they generally prefer people with blood group O, women, because the skin is thinner and easier to pierce and finally individuals carrying certain genes.
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For a long time, it was believed that the sweeter we ate, the more mosquitoes we attracted, but many studies that have looked into the issue show us that the reality is quite different. Eating a banana will therefore not make you the number 1 target of mosquitoes because of its sweetness. If eating bananas can actually attract mosquitoes more, it would actually be for another reason.
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A 2016 study showed that deodorant could prove to be a great ally in repelling them. Clearly, it is not the taste of the skin or our blood that attracts them, but rather our body odor. Female mosquitoes actually detect humans through lactic acid in sweat, which they are able to track through a receptor. And it is precisely for this reason that mosquitoes are attracted to bananas, because they are rich in potassium and when eaten they increase the presence of lactic acid in the blood. The more or less sweet taste of your blood, depending on your consumption of bananas, is therefore not at all taken into account here. The banana will act a bit like when we finish a sports session: during the practice of a physical activity, our muscles will secrete lactic acid to regenerate oxygen. Athletes will then be more likely to be stung than others.
Discover in pictures the foods that stimulate the production of lactic acid in human blood: