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Unraveling Nutrition's Impact on Survival: Lessons from 30 Days of Night's Heroic Duo

Updated: May 3, 2023


Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions related to your health or nutrition.


The other night, I turned on a streaming platform on my Roku TV and stumbled upon a classic vampire film featuring Josh Hartnett. "30 days of Night", This underrated gem, changed the way how I viewed vampires. I grew up in the 90s and having had my fill with Bran Stokers "Dracula" and "Anne Rices" "Interview with the Vampires. It was a breath of fresh air to watch a more primitive version of the blood sucker.


In the movie, the main character Eben Olemaun (Josh Hartnett) a police sheriff in the and his wife Stella Olemaun (played by Melissa George) and a band of townspeople struggle to endure a sunless month with blood thirsty vampires. Though that's not the main focus of my thoughts, as a health aficionado, I became curious about the sustenance these individuals might have relied on to survive such a harsh winter. With ravenous vampires and chilling conditions as obstacles, I pondered the plausibility of their survival.


(Depiction of Barrow Alaska in 30 days of Night, generated by AI - Midjourney)


Lets analysis the current situation:

The story is set in Barrow, Alaska, during a natural occurrence known as the "Polar Night." This phenomenon causes the residents to experience complete darkness for up to 60 days. However, for the sake of the movie, the duration has been reduced to 30 days, which is certainly more palatable than 60.


How much does your body need with regards to calories.

  1. Cold Climate: As mentioned earlier, living in a cold environment like Barrow, Alaska, would necessitate a higher caloric intake to maintain body temperature and generate sufficient energy.Temperatures: range from −65 and −50° F.

  2. Physical Activity: Throughout the movie, Eben and Stella are engaged in intense physical activities, such as running, fighting, and strategizing to evade and confront the vampires. These actions would significantly increase their energy expenditure, requiring them to consume more calories to compensate.

  3. Stress: The continuous stress of the situation would further elevate their energy needs. Stress can lead to increased cortisol levels, which, in turn, can increase appetite and energy requirements.

Estimated amount of calories needed to survive this endeavor. Around 3500-4500 calories.


Nonetheless, given their precarious circumstances, with vampires lurking and actively hunting them, their bodies would inevitably initiate the fight-or-flight response. This is often known as chronic stress or the prolonged activation of the stress response system.


In the high-stress and physically demanding situation that Eben and Stella faces " their bodies would be utilizing and potentially depleting various vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients at an accelerated rate. Some of these essential nutrients include:

  1. Vitamin B complex: The B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate), and B12, play a crucial role in energy production, red blood cell formation, and maintaining a healthy nervous system. Under the strenuous circumstances, their bodies would require higher amounts of these vitamins to sustain their energy levels and cognitive function.

  2. Vitamin C: As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C supports the immune system and aids in wound healing. The ongoing stress and injuries sustained during their ordeal might increase their need for vitamin C to maintain immune function and promote tissue repair.

  3. Vitamin D: Given the extended darkness in Barrow, Alaska, during the 30-day period, Eben and Stella would have limited exposure to sunlight, which is essential for the body's synthesis of vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and maintaining bone health, so they would need to ensure adequate intake through their diet or supplementation.

  4. Iron: Iron is vital for the production of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood. The physically demanding activities and potential blood loss from injuries might increase their need for iron to ensure adequate oxygen transport and prevent anemia.

  5. Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including energy production, muscle function, and stress management. The continuous stress and physical exertion would likely increase their demand for magnesium to maintain optimal physiological function.

  6. Zinc: Zinc is essential for immune function, wound healing, and protein synthesis. The high-stress environment and potential injuries could increase their need for zinc to support their immune system and promote tissue repair.

  7. Electrolytes: Intense physical activity and potential dehydration would increase their bodies' demand for electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. These electrolytes are critical for maintaining fluid balance, muscle function, and nerve signaling.

Lets analysis each vitamins and minerals in depth as to what would happen if they were lacking these vital nutrients.


  1. Vitamin B complex deficiencies: Eben and Stella might struggle with fatigue, irritability, and weakened immune function, potentially leading to a slower response time when faced with dangerous situations or impaired judgment in critical moments.

  2. Vitamin C deficiency: Their immune systems may weaken due to a lack of vitamin C, making them more susceptible to infections and slower to recover from injuries sustained during their encounters with the vampires.

  3. Vitamin D deficiency: The extended period of darkness would likely exacerbate vitamin D deficiency, which could cause muscle weakness, bone pain, and a higher risk of fractures – all detrimental to their ability to fight or flee from the vampires effectively.

  4. Iron deficiency: Anemia caused by iron deficiency could leave Eben and Stella feeling fatigued and short of breath, impairing their ability to outrun or outmaneuver their vampiric foes.

  5. Magnesium deficiency: Low magnesium levels could result in muscle cramps and anxiety, possibly causing Eben and Stella to make hasty or poorly thought-out decisions in high-stress situations.

  6. Zinc deficiency: A weakened immune system due to zinc deficiency could further compromise their ability to recover from injuries and increase the risk of infections. Impaired wound healing might also lead to an increased likelihood of making mistakes during physically demanding tasks.

  7. Electrolyte imbalances: Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, such as low sodium or potassium levels, could cause headaches, confusion, muscle cramps, and irregular heartbeat, further reducing Eben and Stella's ability to react quickly and appropriately in life-or-death situations.

Apart from nutrition, there are several other factors that could affect Eben and Stella's performance in their fight against the vampires. Some of these factors include:


  • Sleep and Circadian Rhythm: The prolonged darkness in Barrow, Alaska, would disrupt their natural sleep-wake cycle and potentially cause sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or irregular sleep patterns. Poor sleep quality can lead to impaired cognitive function, slowed reaction times, irritability, and reduced physical stamina.

  • Mental Health: The extreme conditions and the constant threat of vampires would likely take a toll on their mental well-being. Stress, anxiety, and fear may impair their decision-making abilities, focus, and emotional resilience.

  • Physical Fitness: Their ability to endure physically demanding situations, such as running from or fighting vampires, would be influenced by their overall fitness level. If they are not in good physical shape, they may experience reduced strength, agility, and stamina.

  • Environmental Factors: As mentioned, the Alaskan weather is no joke. The harsh climate of Barrow, Alaska, characterized by extreme cold and darkness, would affect their physical performance and well-being. Exposure to freezing temperatures could lead to hypothermia or frostbite, both of which would impair their ability to effectively confront the vampires.

  • Social Support: Having a strong support network of friends, family, and community members can greatly impact a person's ability to cope with stress and adversity. If Eben and Stella feel isolated or lack the emotional support they need, it may negatively affect their mental state and overall performance.

  • Experience and Skills: The effectiveness of Eben and Stella's actions and decisions during their fight against the vampires would depend on their prior experience and skills, such as combat training, tactical knowledge, and problem-solving abilities. A lack of relevant skills or experience could make it more difficult for them to successfully navigate the challenges they face.

  • Equipment and Resources: Their access to appropriate tools, weapons, and resources would play a significant role in their ability to defend themselves and their community from the vampires. Limited access to necessary equipment and supplies could hinder their efforts to survive and overcome the threat.


Challenges:

  1. Prolonged darkness: The 30-day period without sunlight in Barrow, Alaska, provides a significant advantage for the vampires, making it more difficult for the human characters to defend themselves and evade the predators.

  2. Harsh environment: The extreme cold and remote location of Barrow, Alaska, limit the availability of resources and make it difficult for Eben and Stella to find shelter, food, and other supplies needed for survival.

  3. Constant threat: The relentless attacks by the vampires put Eben and Stella under immense physical and psychological stress, reducing their ability to think clearly and make effective decisions.

  4. Limited resources: Eben and Stella have limited access to weapons, equipment, and other resources that could help them fend off the vampires and survive the ordeal.

  5. Lack of support: Although they have some support from their community, the isolation and vulnerability of the town make it difficult for them to receive external help or reinforcement.

Advantages:

  1. Familiarity with the environment: As residents of Barrow, Eben and Stella have a better understanding of the local geography, which could help them evade the vampires and find hiding spots.

  2. Eben's role as a sheriff: Eben's experience as the town's sheriff might provide him with an advantage in terms of tactical knowledge and combat skills.

  3. Cooperation and teamwork: Eben and Stella, along with other survivors, could increase their chances of survival by working together and pooling their resources and skills.

  4. Adaptability: The human characters display resourcefulness and adaptability in the face of adversity, which could improve their chances of survival.


Given the challenges and advantages presented in both the comic book and movie, the survival rating of 4-5 out of 10 reflects a relatively balanced assessment.


Interested in further exploring the influence of nutrition and extreme environments on fictional characters? Stay tuned for more captivating articles!


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Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions related to your health or nutrition.

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