Licence to swill: James Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, liver disease, tremors... and impotence

BMJ takes a light-hearted look at 007's drinking habits for its Christmas edition

James Bond’s excessive drinking put him at “high risk” of a series of alcohol-related diseases, according to experts, including tremors that may explain his preference for martinis “shaken, not stirred”. 

Among the light-hearted studies for the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal was an analysis of 14 novels by Ian Fleming following the quintessential British spy to study his drinking habits.

The medical experts found that 007 drank more than four times the recommended weekly alcohol limit, putting him at risk of diseases including “cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, alcohol-induced tremor, and early death”. One worry for the notorious ladies’ man is another side effect is impotence. 

Those behind the report found Bond’s weekly alcohol consumption was around 92 units, and that he had only 12 alcohol free days out of 87 on which he was able to drink. Across the books, he drank a total of 1,150 units.

The authors of the report took into account days he was imprisoned by villains hell-bent on world domination, when he would have been unable to drink, or recuperating in hospital.

Ideally, they said, martinis should be stirred not shaken. “That Bond would make such an elementary mistake in his preferences seems incongruous with his otherwise impeccable mastery of culinary etiquette,” they said.

“We examined Bond’s alcohol consumption to determine whether he might have been unable to stir his drinks because of the persistent shaking of alcohol-induced  tremor, making it more socially acceptable to ask for his drinks ‘shaken not stirred’.” The medical practitioners advised “immediate referral for further assessment and treatment”.

Other studies in the magazine include “Is laughter really the best medicine?” and “How Wagner’s operas held secrets of his disabling migraines and headaches.”

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