Music Make You Drunk

The music is blaring so loudly at the bar your friend suggested that you can barely hear the story your friend is telling you, so you smile and nod and sip your drink, which tastes surprisingly good. But does it? A team of researchers sought out to learn how music can affect perception of the taste of alcohol. What they found: Louder music equals sweeter-tasting cocktails.

In the study, published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, participants rated the sweetness, bitterness, and strength of various alcoholic beverages while drinking in four different scenarios, which ranged from reading the news to hearing loud, club-style music.

Drinking while listening to loud music made the drinks taste sweeter compared to drinking in a quiet environment or around other distractions, such as hearing or having to repeat a news report. “Since humans have an innate preference for sweetness, these findings offer a plausible explanation as to why people consume more alcohol in noisy environments,” Lorenzo Stafford, MD, a psychologist from the University of Portsmouth who conducted the study told The Press Association.

The sweetness also made drinkers consume more alcohol more quickly, and the more intoxicated you feel, the less likely you can adequately judge how many drinks you’ve had. Researchers pointed out it’s important to recognize how an environment can influence the way we consume alcohol, even if patrons at a bar or club are likely to drink more than they would in other environments, anyway.

Lost 99 Pounds Without Following a Diet

A 23-year-old who lost 99 pounds has confessed she hates diets and revealed how she really shed the weight.

About two years ago, Chloe Longstaff’s brother was engaged to be married and she was a bridesmaid, but had a shocking wake-up call when she struggled to fit into her dress.

Before losing weight, she gorged on packs of biscuits, blocks of chocolate and bags of chips, eating it all in just one sitting.

She weighed more than 220 pounds and was just 5 feet 3 inches tall, and bingeing was to blame for the weight she gained during her teenage years.

She’s now dropped to almost 139 pounds but admits it hasn’t been easy.

“Even in the early stages of weight loss I had episodes of binges, often when I would be having a ‘cheat night’,” she wrote on her weight loss blog.

“For example I would have a pizza for my cheat meal, sometimes with a side of fries and garlic bread, but then I would ‘need’ something sweet afterwards so would often have a bar of sharing chocolate then raid the cupboards because I thought ‘I’ve started eating now I may as well continue’.”

Longstaff, a marketing executive from England, said she dropped her weight naturally, and her secret weapon was she never once followed a diet.

Writing on her blog, she said she did not have weight loss surgery or take magic pills and shortcuts


“I have lost all of my weight by following a healthy balanced lifestyle consisting of lots of healthy food and plenty of exercise,” she said.

“I count calories and log all of my meals in a food diary to ensure I am in a calorie deficit over the week, meaning that I make sure to burn more calories than I consume, allowing my body to be burning fat resulting in weight loss.”

Longstaff said when she began losing weight, she put herself in a healthy mindset. Even when she weighed more than 242 pounds she said she believed in herself.

“Having self-belief makes you far more likely to stick to your plan and achieve your goal,” she said.

“Additionally, having the ability to pick yourself up after a bad day is important, as an emotional eater myself, I understand the temptation of going home after a bad day to binge eat in order to feel better, however this is a temporary solution with both mental and physical damages in the long term.


Know Some Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Too many of us have been there: You’ve been dieting for some time now. Day after day, you say no to the cookie and yes to the salad, even visiting the gym now and again. You step on the scale and leave despondent and disappointed every time.

Why am I not losing weight?

Maybe it’s something I’m doing wrong, you think. Hopeless and searching for answers that will hopefully give you your life back, you scour the internet and receive more mixed messages. It becomes hard to remain optimistic when you can’t for the life of you figure out what you’re supposed to do. Cut carbs to lose weight, one article instructs. Eat more carbs and lose weight, you read five minutes later.

All these promises and propositions for new diet rules and regimens become exhausting. You’ve tried everything. It must be something wrong with you.

We promise that there are perfectly rational and reasonable causes for your stalled weight loss. We’re here to teach them to you, so that hopefully you’ll leave this internet article feeling more empowered instead of falling victim to the thought that caring for your health is pointless. There are so many reasons you might not be losing the weight — and you probably haven’t thought of any of them.

1. You don’t drink enough water

Your body needs water to break down stores of fat. It’s a biological process, and it requires H2O. Breaking down fat is also not a vital process — so if your body’s short on its water supply, it will be one of the first things to stall. To encourage the breakdown of fats stored in your body, stay as hydrated as possible.

2. You don’t eat enough fats

Stop it with the low-fat yogurt already. Those yogurt cups will leave you unsatisfied and hungry, all the while packing on added sugar and preservatives. The time for fearing fat is over: Studies have shown that healthy fats are more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets. Why? Because you need fats to carry out your everyday bodily functions, and if you don’t eat enough of them you’ll be hungry and tired and crave junk. It’s simple, really — now go grab an avocado.

3. You don’t actually need to lose weight

It seems simple, but it’s the harsh truth. Societal ideals of weight are wavering around a BMI of 16 — a number the World Health Organization classifies as “severely thin.” Chances are, your ideal weight in terms of appearance isn’t your body’s ideal weight in terms of health, and you’re pushing it to be lower than the weight you healthfully need to be.

4. You don’t practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is defined by Time magazine as “the act of focusing attention on present-moment experiences.” Simply by taking the time to meditate, reflect, and be in the present moment, you can reduce stress and improve your overall health. Your hormone levels have been shown to balance, and you experience a drop in the amount of cortisol in your blood. Cortisol influences weight by encouraging your body to keep it on — when you’re mindful, that inhibition can float away.

5. You eat too much protein

When the body receives excess protein, it stores it as fat. We’re told over and over again that protein is an essential part of healthy eating and muscle building — and that’s completely true. However, you don’t need lean chicken breast, some eggs, a protein shake while you’re working out, and a protein bar later. Calm down with all the protein. If you’re eating chicken with dinner and eggs at breakfast, you’re already getting enough.

Know More About Summer Blues

For many of us, summer is all about sunshine, beaches, and backyard barbecues—but for those with seasonal affective disorder (a cyclical depression typically associated with winter), it’s a season of sleep deprivation, perpetual crankiness, and a general hatred of the universe.

Roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population experiences seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and 1 in 10 cases strike during the summer, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. While everyone else is splashing around in the water and enjoying a cocktail in their (sweaty) lounge chairs, reverse SAD sufferers, bogged down by everything from humidity to longer days, are patiently waiting for the so-called “fun in the sun” to be over. What can make experiencing summer SAD worse is that people suffering from it know they’re supposed to be having a great time, so struggling with these symptoms can be amplified by a feeling of isolation.

Since summer SAD symptoms can easily be mistaken as straight-up stress, here are six signs you might have the summer blues—and tips on how to deal.

The sun makes you feel blasé

When people think of SAD, they immediately think of dark, cold winters putting a damper on their mood. In the case of summertime SAD, the reverse is true, says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a licensed clinical neuropsychologist in New York. Too much sunlight can reduce melatonin production in the body—a hormone which plays a role in mood regulation—and may trigger an uptick in depression and other mood disorders.

The Fix: If you find that your reaction to sunlight is less moth-to-a-flame and more vampire, things like wearing dark sunglasses, keeping your shades down, and running errands when it’s overcast may be of benefit, suggests Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation.

You’re beyond sleep-deprived

As if getting quality sleep isn’t enough of a challenge, out-of-whack melatonin levels during the summer can mess with your slumber even more. “While wintertime SAD can make people feel sluggish, people with summertime SAD can feel an energy surge at bedtime,” says Hafeez. The neverending daylight disrupts and delays your body’s usual sleep-wake cycle, morphing you into a summertime Scrooge.

The heat makes you cranky

“It certainly seems as though the heat of summer—along with the humidity, which make the days feel even hotter—is a major factor for many people with summertime SAD,” says Rosenthal. You may feel revved up, agitated, antsy, even manic because of how stifling and uncomfortable heat waves can be. (Here’s how to keep your home cool without AC.)

The Fix: Try and stay cool as often as possible by chilling (literally) in air-conditioned places or taking cold showers, says Rosenthal. And when you’re in situations where that’s not possible (say, at a friend’s backyard barbecue where you feel like you’re the one on the grill), learn centering techniques to help calm you when a surge of anger strikes, says Hafeez. (Here are 5 meditations you can do right now.) For example, take five deep breaths, counting to three as you inhale and exhale. Repeat as necessary.

You’re on anxiety overload

There are plenty of things about the summer that can send an SAD sufferer into an anxiety spiral—namely, anticipating the hot weather, sticky bodies, screaming kids, floods of tourists, and endless invitations to summer-y events. (Endless.) Plus, it’s super-isolating to feel like you’re the only person on earth who’s excited for summer… to be over.

The Fix: Planning is paramount to keeping your anxiety in check, says Hafeez. For example, creating a schedule that puts you in air-conditioned quarters as often as possible at work and at home, and focusing on social events that take place at night when it’s cooler (or wherever fans are involved).

You never feel hungry

Being perpetually agitated or anxious often leads to appetite loss, says Hafeez. The chronic stress (of hating summer) activates your body’s fight-or-flight response, and the uptick in stress hormones can mess with your digestive system, ultimately decreasing your sense of hunger.

The Fix: You may not feel hungry, but your body still needs nutrients. “Be sure to have healthy snacks on hand so you can nibble throughout the day, as opposed to holding out for bigger meals,” says Hafeez. And if you want to keep your body satisfied and stave off overheating, consider chugging ice-cold, nutrient-dense smoothies when the going gets tough. Here’s more on how to fight depression with your diet.

You’re relieved when summer’s over

“Symptoms typically subside as the weather becomes cooler and the days become shorter in autumn and winter,” says Rosenthal. The best way to know if you have summertime SAD is to look back over your past and ask yourself: “How do I typically feel when daylight savings time starts? When it’s time to get out my summer wardrobe or buy summer clothes? When I have to start planning for summer vacation?” If you only remember being filled with a sense of dread, and it seems to strike every summer, then reverse SAD may be the culprit.

The Fix: If, even after taking the above tips for a spin, summer still makes you want to vomit, consider a daily reflection or brainstorming writing activity to help with self-awareness, or discussing your feelings with a mental health professional. They can teach you handy techniques, such as cognitive behavior therapy (identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones), and behavior activation (identifying seasonal activities that are legit enjoyable to you, and focusing on those) to better cope with summer, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Plus, here are 4 simple steps to breaking your bad habits just by thinking about them differently. Remember: You got this.

Reversing the Epidemic of Opioid

Health care professionals share a common and lofty goal: to minimize their patients’ pain. But what if we’re hurting more people than we’re helping? That may be the sad reality of the opioid epidemic, one driven in part by doctors’ desire to do good.

The use and abuse of prescription opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone is currently among the most significant health crises today. While Americans account for only 5 percent of the world’s population, we consume approximately 80 percent of the world’s prescription opioids. Overdoses from prescription opioids are the major driver of the 15-year increase in opioid overdose deaths. Overall, prescription opioids are now killing more people each year — 22,000 by last count in 2015 — than die from homicide.

Why is the problem of prescription opioids unique to the United States?

Several historic events led us to this juncture. In the 1990s, multiple professional societies argued that physicians weren’t doing enough to treat people in pain and needed to improve pain management. This advocacy was based on the notion that the current levels of disability related to pain was unacceptable. Based on the educational efforts of major US health systems and leading professional societies, pain came to be thought of, and treated like, a vital sign.

In 2001, hospitals were prompted to create pain management standards, including the process of recording patients’ perceptions of their pain in a way that made it easier to assess and treat pain. The results of this social advocacy and regulatory behavior led to a skyrocketing number of prescriptions for opioids. But troubling data emerged from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Despite this increase, there was little to no improvement in Americans’ pain.

While the early advocates for the liberal prescription of opioids are no longer vocal, there continue to be insidious incentives to prescribe opioids. For instance, physician reimbursement is now closely linked to patient satisfaction surveys. There is deep concern in the medical community that overprescribing may be occurring as a function of the desire to optimize patient satisfaction.

How do we start to make things better?

First, we need to identify individuals who are at high risk for opioid use. Our new research on opioid prescribing found that Americans with mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, a group that represent 16 percent of U.S. adults, receive more than half of all opioid medications distributed in the U.S. The high use of opioids among this population is particularly concerning because mental illness is also a prominent risk factor for overdose, abuse, and long-term use.

Second, we need to develop and put in place health policies and practice guidelines — totally free of influence by the drug industry — that aim to reduce physicians’ dependency on opioids for treating pain. This may involve building infrastructure to routinely offer alternative therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, and access to mental health experts.

Third, we need to carefully vet policies regarding financial reimbursement for outcomes such as patient satisfaction to anticipate any indirect effects on opioid prescribing.

Finally, we need to quickly put in place regulatory policies to identify fraudulent prescribing practices and improve access to drug addiction treatment.

Pain rarely kills, though we know of people in chronic pain who feel like it is killing them. But pain pills are actually killing astonishing numbers of vulnerable Americans. If we don’t resolve this opioid problem, thousands more will needlessly die.


Vitamin supplements

According to 2016 consumer survey data, 71 percent of U.S. adults take some type of dietary supplement. And the appeal of supplements is obvious. We know vitamins are necessary for health, so why not make sure we’re covering our bases?

The darker side of dietary supplements is that many of the alleged health benefits are coming straight from people who stand to make big money from vitamin sales, and the research doesn’t always agree with the claims of vitamin manufacturers and retailers. Here’s a look at four vitamins you may want to think twice about.

1. Vitamin E

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin E for adults is 15 mg (or 22.4 IU). RDAs are based on what will meet the nutritional needs of 97-98 percent of healthy people, but supplements are widely available from 200 to 1000 IU per pill. When it comes to vitamin E, the research is clear that you can have too much of a good thing.

A large review of the research by John Hopkins University found that people who took more than 400 IU daily faced a 4-6 percent increased risk of death. Another large study found that, despite health claims to the contrary, vitamin E did not decrease prostate cancer risk in study participants. In fact, men who supplemented with vitamin E were slightly more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who didn’t use the supplement.

2. Vitamin C

Pricey vitamin C supplements marketed for the prevention and treatment of the common cold and the flu have popped up in every grocery store and drug store. They come as pills, lozenges, and powdered drinks and typically contain 500-1000mg of vitamin C, at least 5-10 times the RDA of vitamin C for adults. Some people use supplements daily to prevent colds, and others use high doses at the beginning of a cold to shorten its duration. But a review of the evidence shows that vitamin C only impacts the common cold in one way – if you’re already taking daily vitamin C, your colds may be a little bit shorter. Despite the claims of manufacturers, people who supplement daily don’t get fewer colds, and starting supplementation at the beginning of a cold doesn’t affect cold symptoms. If you choose to take a daily vitamin C supplement to shorten your colds, keep in mind that mega doses can contribute to kidney stones.

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A can be toxic in large doses, causing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Most cases of vitamin A toxicity occur in adults using mega doses of vitamins to treat illness or in children who accidentally ingest supplements, but researchers are now wondering if smaller supplemental doses of vitamin A can cause health problems too. The RDA for vitamin A for adults is 700-900 mcg, and an article published in The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition notes that just twice this amount has been connected to osteoporosis and hip fracture in people without other symptoms of toxicity.

4. Multivitamins

Seventy-five percent of Americans who take supplements take a multivitamin, making it the most popular dietary supplement in the US. Multivitamins are all different, but most contain a long list of vitamins and minerals, sometimes in amounts well over their recommended daily intakes. Over the last few years, study after study has challenged the alleged health benefits of multivitamins, but there have also been a few that show some health benefit. In a large study of older women, multivitamin use was associated with increased mortality.

An eight-year study showed no protective effect against cardiovascular disease or mental decline but a slight protective effect against cataracts and cancer. And most recently, a 2016 study has contradicted previous research by showing a slight benefit for heart health. The research surrounding multivitamin supplements isn’t clear-cut, and it’s possible that not all adults benefit from them.

It’s important to consult with your doctor before taking a new supplement and to know that adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is the most evidence-supported intervention you can make for your own health. Fruits and veggies can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure without any dangerous side effects. And a cart full of produce is much more affordable than a cabinet full of supplements.


The Fact If Alcohol Not Main Killer of Older Drinkers

Older people who drink heavily don’t necessarily have to fear dying of liver disease, a researcher said.

In a population-based Dutch study, only a handful of heavy drinkers in an older cohort died of liver-related causes, according to Jeoffrey Schouten, MD, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The major causes of death were cardiovascular disease and cancer, but not hepatocellular carcinoma, Schouten reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

On the other hand, the study confirmed previous studies that suggest light and moderate drinking is protective, Schouten said.

He and colleagues followed 3,884 residents of Rotterdam — all 55 or older at the start of the study in 1990 — for a median of 15.2 years, until they died or until Dec. 31, 2008.

The participants were stratified by their drinking level, with the aim of understanding the causes of death for those who drank heavily, as well as the links between all-cause mortality and alcohol consumption.

Every four or five years, participants went through cycle of examinations, including clinical studies and questionnaires on various aspects of their lives, such as alcohol consumption. The clinical exams included blood work, anthropomorphic measurements, and imaging studies.

The study included the following:

  • 1,398 non-drinkers
  • 1,144 light drinkers (less than one gram of alcohol a day)
  • 963 moderate drinkers (between 10 and 30 grams daily)
  • 379 heavy drinkers (more than 30 grams a day)

Over the study period, Schouten reported, there were 1,825 deaths: 556 from cardiovascular disease, 496 from cancers, and 773 from a host of other causes, including three from alcohol-related liver disease.

Among the 188 heavy drinkers who died, 28% died of cardiovascular causes and 34% of cancer, he said. But only three cases of alcohol-related cancers and no cases of liver cancer were reported.

Only two of the heavy drinkers, or 1%, died of alcohol-related liver disease, he said.

A multivariate analysis showed that light and moderate drinkers fared better than both non-drinkers and heavy drinkers in terms of all-cause mortality.

Schouten said previous studies have showed similar patterns, but they were limited because older people were under-represented.

He added that doctors can use the findings to discuss the major risks among older patients who drink heavily, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, rather than liver disease.

The findings, while not surprising, have some implications for how doctors counsel older patients about their drinking, according to Mack Mitchell, MD, of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who was not part of the study, but who was one of the moderators of the session at which it was presented.

“Many people believe they should not drink alcoholic beverages above a certain age for health reasons,” he told MedPage Today, but the study showed that, “the mortality rate for those drinking in moderation was actually lower.”

So the message should not be to stop drinking but to stop drinking to excess, he said.

But for patients who remain heavy drinkers, he said, doctors can tell them that liver damage is the least of their worries — heart disease and cancer are the risks they should be concerned about.

The Fact That Time of Surgery Doesn’t Influence Results

The timing of an operation doesn’t affect a patient’s subsequent risk of complications or death, a new study finds.

For example, there’s no difference in death rates between elective surgery performed in the afternoon versus the morning or on Monday instead of Friday, the researchers said. Their findings should help to ease concerns that fatigue may lead to a higher rate of safety problems when operations are performed later in the day or week, they said.

The study included an analysis of the outcomes of more than 32,000 elective surgeries performed between 2005 and 2010. The overall complication rate before discharge was 13 percent, and the overall risk of death within 30 days of surgery was 0.43 percent.

After the researchers adjusted for other factors, the risk of complications or death was not significantly different for patients who had surgery at different times of the day — between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. — or week.

The time of year also had no impact on the risk of complications or death. This included July and August, when most new residents start working in teaching hospitals.

The study appears in the December issue of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.

“Elective surgery thus appears to be comparably safe at any time of the workday, any day of the workweek, and in any month of the year in our teaching hospital,” Dr. Daniel Sessler, of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues concluded in a journal news release.

Some previous studies have suggested that patients are at greater risk if they undergo late-day surgery.

Should You Know If Routine Head Hits in Sports May Injure Brain

Young athletes who routinely take hits to the head could experience brain injury — even if they do not suffer a concussion, according to the results of a new preliminary study.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) said their findings could be a red flag for the potentially serious consequences of seemingly mild head injuries among young people whose brains are still developing.

The study was published in the Nov. 12 online edition of the journal Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

“Although this was a very small study, if confirmed it could have broad implications for youth sports,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, associate professor of emergency medicine at URMC with a special interest in sports concussions, said in a university news release. “The challenge is to determine whether a critical number of head hits exists above which this type of brain injury appears, and then to get players and coaches to agree to limit play when an athlete approached that number.”

Researchers followed nine athletes over the course of one year along with six non-athletes and compared their pre- and post-season brains using imaging based on quantitative data.

Although only one of the athletes suffered a sports-related concussion, six others sustained between 26 and 399 routine hits to the head, which resulted in abnormal brain scans. And, the researchers pointed out, the brains of the athletes who took routine hits to the head showed more similarities to the brain of the athlete with the concussion than the brains of the non-athletes. The authors added that the changes picked up on the brain scans were consistent with the athletes’ symptoms and number of head hits they took.

The research showed that the white matter brain changes among the six athletes who sustained many routine hits to the head were three times higher than the non-athletes. The study’s authors noted, however, more research is needed to understand implications of the findings for athletes.

“Our studies are taking important steps toward personalized medicine for traumatic brain injury,” concluded Bazarian. “In the future we’d like to be able to have a baseline image of a brain and clearly know the significance of changes that occur later.”

Know More About Big Bloody Health Risks

They’re baaaaackkkk! Yep, the angsty, supernatural teens of Twilight are coming to your hometown this weekend for the release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, the fourth installment of the mega-popular vampire saga. And while Hollywood has decided to break Breaking Dawn into two parts, these films are the finale — the last act of Bella, Edward, and Jacob’s freakishly twisted love triangle.

So we can’t help but wonder — will Bella’s dreams of becoming a vampire (so she can literally spend forever with her cold-blooded beau) come true? (Okay, this writer already knows Bella’s fate because she read the books, but she’s not trying to spoil the movie for anyone!)

If Bella does indeed become a vampire, she should beware: There are some specific health risks that seem to go hand in hand with the blood-sucking lifestyle. Take a look.

Major vitamin D deficiency. It doesn’t matter which vampire-ideology you subscribe to, most myths stick to this: Vampires and sunlight don’t mix. While some believe blood-suckers have a heightened sensitivity to sunshine, triggering extreme pain, Twilight’s Edward (and the rest of his vamp-fam, the Cullens) stick to dreary, dark locations because their extremely fair skin actually sparkles in the sunlight (which could out them as vampires, of course). Either way, there are real health risks to living sunshine-free. Daylight is a natural source of vitamin D, the powerful vitamin that promotes the body’s absorption of calcium — the mineral that keeps your teeth and bones strong. Without vitamin D, your risk of conditions such as osteoporosis skyrocket.

Fortunately for the Cullens, vitamin D supplements are available, and it can also be found in a number of foods, such as salmon, sardines, and dairy.

Heightened HIV risk. The Cullens don’t suck human blood (they’re “vegetarians” — swoon!), but most vampires do — and that’s a big no-no if you want to protect yourself from blood-borne illnesses like human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. In fact, unless a vampire asked his victim to get an HIV test before sucking him dry, there would be no way for him to know his risk. Since the virus lives in a human’s bodily fluids — primarily blood — we’re pretty sure vampires could be facing a major HIV/AIDS epidemic. Other blood-borne diseases include hepatitis B and C and viral hemorrhagic fevers.

In the real world, teen vampire enthusiasts may also be at risk. A reported trend among some young people is to sink their teeth into each other — hard enough to draw blood — and then, in a vampire-like fashion, suck the blood (yuck). Not to mention, MSNBC reports that about 10 to 15 percent of these human bite wounds actually become infected. “If you break the skin, your mouth is pretty dirty,” Thomas Abshire, MD, a pediatric blood and cancer specialist, told MSNBC.

Sleep deprivation. No wonder vampires are so darn cranky! Twilight’s living dead never sleep (sounds like a big drawback to us, Bella); others walk the night (so we’re willing to bet their sleep habits aren’t very sound).

What does that mean for these fatigued freaks of nature? Along with about 30 percent of humans, vampires likely suffer some pretty hefty health problems due to insomnia. Skimping on zzzs is tied to a number of symptoms — from higher levels of depression and heart problems to lower sex drive and energy.

Extremely unbalanced diet. Everyone knows that the key to good health is a balanced diet. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests getting ample amount of fruits and veggies, calcium-rich foods, whole grains, and lean protein to ward off disease and illness, increase energy, and boost mental health. Still, vampires choose to disregard this healthy lifestyle habit, opting instead for an all-blood diet. (We hope they’re at least choosing healthy victims, so they can reap some of the secondhand nutritional benefits.)

Dental issues. Just like the rest of the body, teeth need certain nutrients to stay healthy. Are those nutrients found in human blood? Nope — they’re found in foods like calcium-rich dairy, fruits, and veggies. In fact, dentists are so sure that vampires’ pearly whites are in terrible shape, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) recently launched a dental health campaign around the idea. The video, aimed at dentist-evading teens, features a young woman about to be bitten by a vampire, when she suddenly pushes him away, repulsed by his awful breath and hideous teeth.