I’m always browsing Google News to see what kind of headlines there are in the areas of health and dieting. Typically, I am finding articles that talk about how good (or not) a particular diet is for you, what kind of exercises you should be doing, and general nutrition advice.
Today’s headlines brought me something a little bit off-topic from those areas above, but still related to the aim of this website, which is educating my readers about diet pills. In this article that I found on dogonews.com today, they talk about how diet drugs may be a solution to keep mosquitoes from biting.
Diet Pills as a Mosquito Repellant?
Before you think that taking a diet pill yourself is the answer, it is actually quite the opposite.
A team of researchers at New York’s Rockefeller University have been looking for new ways to repel mosquitoes – which are notorious for the transmission of many blood-borne diseases – from biting us and sucking our blood.
In a new study (and I don’t know how they came up with this solution in the first place) they filled the bellies of mosquitoes with diet drugs and curbed their appetite for more blood. Similarly to how we take diet pills to suppress your appetite, it seems to work in much the same manner for these insects.
The thinking behind it is that mosquitoes have neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptors, which are responsible for hunger and food-seeking, in much the same way that we do. By targeting the NPY receptors with an appetite suppressant, the thirst for blood was lowered. The researchers crush diet pills and mixed them in a saline solution along with ATP (an irresistible molecule to mosquitoes).
They then teased the mosquitoes with a nylon stocking that was saturated with human odor. Normally, the insects would be drawn to this stocking, however, after drinking this concoction it was found that they had no interest in it.
While the study, which was published in the journal Cell last month, is in its initial stages, the results so far are promising. However, much more work needs to be done to identify the right mixture of chemicals that will interact with the mosquitoes’ NPY receptors while also not interfering with human NPY receptors (making it safe for use in the wild).
It is further noted that this isn’t the solution to all solutions to stop mosquitoes from biting us. Rather, it can be seen as a complementary method to use along with other forms of repellants, which when used together could prove to be very effective.
I think the results are encouraging, and it raises my curiosity. If we are a consistent user of a diet pill (like PhenQ for instance), and it is in our blood to a great extent, would a mosquito then pick up on this after biting us and by extension then get those appetite suppressing effects? I’m looking forward to seeing more from this study and how things progress for more universal use.