BMJ: Busting Myths Journal

in Debunking EBM by

I have already admitted how enamored I am with the Christmas edition of the BMJ in an earlier post. And the reasons for loving BMJ in the waning month of each year just keeps on increasing. Somehow, they have managed to take the seriousness out of medical research. Quiet like the Annals of Improbable Science, they go ahead and start publishing research that is funny and makes one laugh long and hard. Then, maybe, starts one thinking about it…

So, anyways, when I opened my email inbox and found another freshly minted BMJ update, I jumped to read that ahead of the usual notifiers pleading me to try out their product for, err… lets say, enhancement for some place I don’t really need it! There seemed to be a lot of articles in the improbable genre in this particular email update, but the one that drew my attention (quite unsurprisingly, given that it is the festive season) was:

Testing the validity of the Danish urban myth that alcohol can be absorbed through feet: open labelled self experimental study


One must appreciate the bravado of the researchers in that they managed to conduct the experiment on themselves. In these days of namby-pamby science, I appreciate, applaud and loudly cheer their strength of resolve and character to have undertaken such an important endeavor on themselves! The PEACE ON EARTH trial (yes, that’s what they called it. It is a colorful acronym for: Percutaneous Ethanol Absorption Could Evoke Ongoing Nationwide Euphoria And Random Tender Hugs) came to the final conclusion that the Danish urban legend is just that, a legend, because stringent scientific inquiry failed to prove its worth. Blood Alcohol Concentrations could not be pushed up to the measurable levels of 0.01% w/v.

The implications of the study are described briefly, but I am sure, all the drivers who were worried about driving around with theor boots filled with vodka ca now drive in peace (unless, of course, they are swigging from it: which is a pretty repulsive thought!).

Anyways, I strongly recommend reading the very educational paper HERE.

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

Leave a Reply

Latest from Debunking EBM

Go to Top