Experts say excess alcohol consumption is a global health problem implicated in 2.5 million deaths every year. In a recent study, researchers led by Dr. Patrick Davies, a member of the faculty at Nottingham University Medical School, presented research indicating that the infamous James Bond martini lifestyle of lore may actually lead to impotence.
One day, Dr. Patrick Davies, being the professional physician and researcher that he is, was reading the original James Bond books when it suddenly occurred to him that Bond’s fabled alcohol consumption levels seemed alarmingly high. Discussing it with his colleagues, they wondered together whether Bond could actually have had the capacity to perform in all areas of his legendary spy life with vim and vigor, and at such high levels of alcohol intake. They wondered why Bond wasn’t impotent.
In the 1960s, New Year’s Eve was the biggest party night of the year, and the entertainment world often portrayed alcohol abuse in a romantic light. In those days, James Bond was a man’s man, and he was always portrayed enjoying cigarettes, alcohol, and women.
Often admired for his performance under pressure, Dr. Davies and esteemed colleagues set out to see if they could systematically account for Mr. Bond’s alcohol consumption, as depicted in the Ian Fleming books. They wanted to estimate the real-time impact of his legendary lifestyle and its potential health effects.
Two of the authors of the study actually read all 14 James Bond books over a period of six months. They made copious notes. They charted every drink, and when the books were less than specific, they made estimates. They even accounted for days that Mr. Bond may have been unable to drink, for example, due to incarceration.
Leaving no stone unturned, they eventually concluded that Mr,Bond‘s average alcohol consumption was 92 units per week, over four times the recommended amount.
Now, a special Christmas issue of The British Medical Journal has published the Davies, et. al., study in which they find conclusively that had guns failed to kill Mr. Bond, alcohol would certainly have led to an untimely death comprised of cirrhosis and alcohol-induced tremors. Not to mention the impotence along the way too.
But, there are fates worse than death. “The level of functioning as displayed in the well-known Ian Fleming books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol,” they write.
Apparently, drinking four times the recommended amount of alcohol would not have made 007 such a hit with the ladies in real life, this study indicates.
Having analyzed James Bond’s love for dry martinis – always “shaken and not stirred” – they found that his weekly alcohol consumption would have put him at risk of not only liver disease, but also impotence.
How much alcohol would it take to bring on the demise of Mr. Bond? How much alcohol would make him impotent?
Well, his average alcohol consumption in the Fleming books was 92 units per week. However, his maximum daily consumption was 49.8 units, and he had 12.5 alcohol free days out of the 87.5 days he was able to drink. Mr. Bond also frequently drank enough to put him wrecklessly over the legal limit before he stepped into his car.
However, researchers caution Mr. Bond’s alcohol consumption may have been as high as 130 units per week, pointing out that studies show people tend to underestimate their actual alcohol consumption by as much as 30 percent.
One cannot help but wonder if this exemplar of research is not all part of the hype anticipating the upcoming biopic, starring Dominic Cooper, about the life of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, coming soon to a theater near everyone.
One also wonders about Dr. Patrick Davies, the man. What kind of doctor is he? Is he impotent too?
Well, it seems the good doctor not only teaches at Nottingham University Medical School, and he has been a part of the Nottingham Paediactric Care Unit since February of 2008. Though he initially trained in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, he was somehow lured into Paediatric Intensive Care. He trained at Nottingham University. Then he worked in Cambridge, St, Marys, Sydney, Bristol, and Birmingham.
His online bio says that the good doctor maintains a strong interest in pragmatic research. Indeed, he regularly supervises small projects on the PICU. Dr. Davies enjoys sports like touch rugby, cycling – either on or off of the road, snowboarding, and even kite surfing. As if that were not enough to keep one’s plate full, when he is not at work, Dr. Davies spends his time typically “running around” his surprisingly large family.
So, what qualifies the good Dr. Davies to study whether a James Bond martini lifestyle leads to impotence? One cannot help but wonder.
By Alex Durig