Did James Bond's Martini Give Him a Tremor?

James Bond would have likely developed several diseases from heavy drinking

(RxWiki News) Fictional British spy James Bond, 007, asked for his martinis to be "shaken, not stirred" — but new research suggests that his preference may have resulted from an alcohol induced tremor.

A team of researchers combed through the James Bond book series to measure how much alcohol the secret agent actually consumed.

They found that, on weeks when Bond drank, he consumed an average of 92 drinks per week, over four times the recommended limit for men.

The authors of this study concluded that Bond's dangerous alcohol habit put him at risk for high blood pressure, depression and premature death.

"If you have alcoholism, seek help."

Graham Johnson of the Emergency Department in Royal Derby Hospital and two other researchers conducted this study on the fictional spy's alcohol intake.

Excess alcohol consumption can lead to several serious health conditions in the long term, like damage to the liver. In the short term, heavy drinking can result in alcohol poisoning.

The researchers observed that, despite the potential health consequences, excess alcohol consumption is often glamorized in books and movies, particularly the James Bond series.

Bond, a British secret agent, is known for frequently smoking cigarettes and drinking vodka martinis — "shaken, not stirred."

The researchers set out to determine the health problems that would have accompanied James Bond's alcohol consumption.

Two of the authors read all 14 original (seven books each) James Bond books between January and July 2013, including 12 of the books for the final results. They noted each time Bond consumed alcohol, excluding days that were not described.

The researchers found that 123.5 days were described in detail across the 12 books, including 36 days when Bond was unable to consume alcohol because he was in jail or a hospital.

During this time, he consumed 1,150.15 drinks. When he was able to drink, his average alcohol consumption was 92 drinks per week.

On one day, Bond consumed 49.8 drinks.

Moreover, the secret agent also engaged in dangerous behavior after drinking. The authors cited two drunk driving incidents in the books, including one that resulted in a crash.

Additionally, the authors of this study noted that most people underestimate their alcohol consumption by about 30 percent, so Bond likely drank even more than reported.

The researchers determined that James Bond's alcohol use habits would put him at a very high risk of developing liver scarring, depression, high blood pressure and cancerous cells.

They determined that Bond would be 1.74 times more likely to die and 2.33 times more likely to die from stroke than the average person.

They also claimed that tremors in the upper body, particularly in the arms, can be the result of brain lesions associated with heavy drinking.

The authors of this study concluded that Bond may have been unable to stir his drinks due to alcohol induced tremors, which could explain his martini preference of "shaken, not stirred."

The researchers also noted that they would encourage Bond to seek help for his alcohol problems and significantly reduce his alcohol intake.

This study was published by the British Medical Journal on December 12.

The researchers did not seek funding for this study and did not disclose any conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
December 12, 2013