Bond 'had alcohol-induced tremor'
Published 12/12/2013 | 23:36
James Bond's love of "shaken not stirred" martinis may have actually been due to drinking too much, researchers have said.
The famous spy often drank more than four times the weekly recommended limit of alcohol - possibly inducing alcohol-related tremor in his hands.
The experts said that although they appreciated the pressures to drink "when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers", they would advise Bond seek help for how much he drinks.
Patrick Davies, from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and a colleague read 12 of the Ian Fleming novels over a period of six months.
They took detailed notes regarding Bond's alcohol consumption and worked out he was way over the recommended limit for men (currently the NHS says no more than three or four units a day).
They said: " We have shown that James Bond's alcohol consumption, while on his various missions for Her Majesty's Secret Service is, on average, between 65 and 92 units a week."
The researchers found many examples where Bond drove over the limit and suggested he may have felt the need to drink due to the highly stressful nature of his job.
"In Goldfinger, for example, he drinks 18 units while having drinks and dinner with Auric Goldfinger before then driving home.
"In Casino Royale, he drinks over 39 units before engaging in a high speed car chase, losing control, and spending 14 days in hospital.
"We hope that this was a salutatory lesson.
"Such behaviour is typical of Bond.
"Despite his alcohol consumption, he is still described as being able to carry out highly complicated tasks and function at an extraordinarily high level.
"This is likely to be pure fiction."
In all 12 books, 123.5 days were described, though Bond was unable to consume alcohol for 36 days because of " external pressures (admission to hospital, incarceration, rehabilitation)", the authors wrote in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
"His maximum daily consumption was 49.8 units (From Russia with Love day three).
He had 12.5 alcohol free days out of the 87.5 days on which he was able to drink.
"Furthermore, when we plotted Bond's alcohol consumption over time, his intake dropped in the middle of his career but gradually increased towards the end," they said.
"This consistent but variable lifetime drinking pattern has been reported in patients with alcoholic liver disease."
The researchers said Bond was at " considerable risk of developing alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, impotence, and other alcohol-related health problems, together with being at serious risk of injury or death because of his drinking.
"We conclude that James Bond was unlikely to be able to stir his drinks, even if he would have wanted to, because of likely alcohol-induced tremor."
The researchers looked at 14 books originally but excluded two either because Bond barely appeared or they were a collection of short stories.