The launch of Breaking Dawn, the latest in the Twilight Saga, has led to general vampire fever. Being a vampire does, however, carry some nasty health risks.
Here are five medical reasons why being a vampire is a health hazard:
Vitamin D deficiency
In every bloodsucker cult movie and/or book – except Twilight – vampires usually vaporise in the presence of sunlight. This deadly version of photosensitivity would definitely lead to a deficiency in vitamin D which is needed to keep the immune system healthy. Vitamin D is also responsible for the absorption of calcium. Ironically, a deficiency of this particular vitamin increases your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease, e.g. your heart will stop beating.
Lack of fibre
Ever wondered why vamps have a grumpy and constipated look their faces? Well, their main diet is large doses of blood (blood that can be used to save lives – shame on you non-vegan vampires!). Blood contains no fibre, so bowel movements would probably be a very irregular and uncomfortable, if possible. The international recommendation for fibre intake is about 20g each day. Good examples of high-fibre foods are: muesli, rye bread, sweet potato, wholewheat pasta, figs, apples, Brussels sprouts, butternut, bananas and lentils.
It’s no secret that vampires suffer from severe insomnia. The thought of having to live the rest of eternity in an overpopulated, stressed-out, obese, diseased, unemployed, politically corrupt, healthcare-deficient world would probably keep you up at night. Insomnia is responsible for lack of energy, enthusiasm, memory problems and concentration. Lack of sleep can also impair motor skills and judgement, just like a state of drunkenness.
The average adult requires between seven and eight hours of sleep each day. Randy Gardner holds the world record for the longest time spent awake. He stayed awake for a total of 11 days. After the fourth day, Gardner began to hallucinate, a symptom of sleep deprivation.
Allergic to garlic
Who needs a wooden stake when you can use garlic sauce to send your vampire neighbour away? Allergies are not to be trifled with, especially an allergy to one of the most over-used and pungent/heart healthy/cancer fighting herbs. Garlic may be feared by the elusive vampire colonies across the globe, but it's highly recommended by dietary experts (unless they're bloodsucking vampire doctors – gosh, the Cullens are everywhere).
Garlic is great for cholesterol, stimulates the immune system, reduces blood clotting, helps fight cancer and reduces skin and chest infections. Some of the world's more common food allergies are: nuts, seafood (specifically shellfish), dairy, wheat, soy and eggs.
Lycanthrophobia is the fear of werewolves. For some a fear of werewolves exists, even though the cause of it remains a myth. Werewolves and vampires are known to be eternal [im]mortal enemies and we can’t help but wonder why? In nature, bats and wolves are neither friend nor foe, so why should human-bats and human-wolves be?
Authors such as Bram Stoker and Stephanie Meyer are the culprits responsible for this supernatural phenomenal social phobia.
Normal phobias, such as arachnophobia and hydrophobia, are considered extreme fears and often result in major panic attacks and extreme cases of anxiety. Most phobias develop in childhood and in adolescence and typically have an underlying causes e.g. trauma. There is no cure for phobias, but treatments are available that will reduce the severity of the phobia. Examples include breathing exercises, cognitive behavioural therapy and exposure therapy.
P.S. vampires also happen to be dead which doesn’t seem to be very healthy…
(Kyle Boshoff, Health24, November 2011)