Super spy James Bond is an alcoholic with an unhealthy penchant for boozing on the town before attempting to de-activate nuclear weapons, fly helicopter gunships and save the world, a new study has found.

Not only has Britain's best secret agent been drinking heavily for more than six decades, but his binge sessions are often so epic they should have put him in the grave, a University of Otago study - of 24 Bond movies between 1962 and 2015 - found.

Lead author, Professor Nick Wilson, suggested it was time for Her Majesty's Government or Bond's friends to mount an intervention.

Bond simply cannot stop himself from leaping into hazardous activities while under the influence, Wilson said.


This included a willingness to fight villains bent of world destruction, whiz off on car chases, gamble Government money in high stakes cards and make close contact with dangerous animals, such as cobras, scorpions and komodo dragons.

He also relishes any chance for sex with his enemies, despite many women bringing along guns and knives for the occasion.

"Neither does 007 shy away from performing complex tasks after indulging," Wilson said.

"This was illustrated graphically in the 1962 movie, Dr No, in which Bond operates nuclear power plant machinery, destroys ... [the villain] Dr No's nuclear-space complex, kills Dr No, rescues [his lover] Honey Ryder and escapes the island."

And alarmingly, Bond doesn't attempts these feats after just a small tipple. Instead, he is usually heavily intoxicated.

During one binge session, 007 knocked back six gin and vodka based Vesper cocktails - or the equivalent of 24 units of alcohol.

That session would have produced a blood alcohol level well above the fatal range, yet it turned out to be low compared to the 50 units Bond consumed during a 24 hour period in one of his books.

This latter session would have killed nearly any other human walking the planet, Wilson said.

"While ideally Bond should seek professional help for his drinking, the authors suggest a few strategies, which may minimise his risks in the short term," Wilson said.

"These include avoiding drinking on the job, especially when tackling complex tasks, such as aerial combat in helicopter gunships and de-activating nuclear weapons."

And given nine out of 60 - or 15 per cent - of his women are likely to knife him in the back, Bond would also do well to say "no to social drinks with sexual partners, who may want to disable, capture or kill him".

One possible way for Bond to tackle his addiction could be to cultivate interests beyond drinking, the study authors said.

They suggested he build on his nascent interest in lepidopterology (the study of moths and butterflies) as revealed when he discussed his boss, M's, butterfly collection in one movie.

Over the years, 007's colourful life has been the subject of many studies in scientific journals that have focused on his smoking, violent behaviour and psychopathology – including what one author called a "dark triad" of abnormal psychology.

"But this is the first such study of alcohol in all the Bond movies over six decades," the University of Otago authors said.

Their article was awarded joint first prize in the Medical Journal of Australia's 2018 Christmas competition.