Would James Bond Suffer From Erectile Dysfunction?You might think that a world that has things like tracking devices in inhalers and mobile phones with facial identification technology would have solved once and for all the problem of erectile dysfunction (ED). However, if that were not the case, James Bond could eventually find that “Little 007” doesn’t work as reliably as M’s light bulb bombs.
Alas, someone has actually done some research on the topic. Graham Johnson of the Royal Derby Hospital in the UK read 12 James Bond novels and quantified the agent’s alcohol consumption, publishing his findings in the British medical journal BMJ. Excluding the days when Bond was unable to drink, he consumed 92 units a week of alcohol, with a maximum daily consumption of 49.8 units. Around 20 units a week is considered a recommended maximum. Of the 87.5 days on which 007 was able to drink, he was only alcohol-free for only 12.5 days.
In the UK, one “unit” of alcohol is 10 milliliters. An imperial pint (568 ml) of beer with 4% alcohol would contain 2.3 units, and a single pub measure (25 ml) of hard liquor would contain one unit. Assuming that one day of consuming 49.8 units of alcohol didn’t kill Bond outright, that level of alcohol consumption would have certainly compromised his ability to chase villains in a tricked-out Aston Martin. And according to Dr. Johnson, it probably would have killed him by the time he reached his mid-50s.
Alcohol and Sexual Functioning
Alcoholism is certainly no laughing matter, but even alcohol consumption on an irregular basis can interfere with sexual functioning, so it’s entirely possible that Agent 007 would suffer from ED. The latest James Bond, actor Daniel Craig, is 45 years old, and it’s often in a man’s forties that he discovers his erections aren’t as satisfactory as they used to be.
A fact sheet published by the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign lists the most common leading causes of ED, and alcohol consumption is second, after vascular conditions. The fact sheet goes on to state that alcohol often affects a man’s ability to have an erection when enough is consumed to raise the blood alcohol content above 0.08.
The conundrum is that with younger men in particular, alcohol may be used to reduce anxiety in social situations that could lead to sex. For older men, alcohol has a more pronounced physical effect: “For older men, the use of alcohol, even in small amounts may inhibit erectile capacity. In addition, long term overconsumption of alcohol negatively affects all systems in the body, including sexual functioning.”The Many Factors Affecting ED
While alcohol is easy to single out as having a direct effect on sexual functioning, other factors affecting ED are less easy to define. For example, performance anxiety due to previous experiences of inability to have an erection can exaggerate the effects of ED caused by simple vascular problems that can be addressed with prescription drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. For some men, simply having the medication on hand may be enough reassurance to allow them to relax and push performance anxiety aside.
That’s why it’s so important to discuss ED with a physician. When your doctor is able to determine that your ED is not caused by diabetes, heart disease, psychological conditions, or medications you take for other medical problems, you can be more confident that the problem is a matter of the vascular system not working optimally. In these cases, popular ED drugs can address the situation effectively and simply.
When Alcohol is a Major Factor in ED
If excessive alcohol consumption is determined to be a major contributor to erectile problems, your physician should be able to help you find the resources you need to cut back or quit drinking altogether. Alcoholism affects every system of the body, and those who put in the hard work of recovery from alcoholism notice improved overall health, including erectile health.
James Bond, of course, is a fantasy character, and has survived countless situations that would kill a real human, aside from the massive amounts of alcohol he’s consumed. But real men sometimes need real help in dealing with erectile dysfunction – no matter what causes it. With a selection of prescription drugs that address the vascular causes of ED, men today have more options than ever when it comes to ensuring an enjoyable sex life.
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