NCBI ROFL: What? I can't get drunk from soaking my feet in vodka? :(

By ncbi rofl | May 4, 2011 7:00 pm

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

“Objective: To determine the validity of the Danish urban myth that it is possible to get drunk by submerging feet in alcohol… The primary end point was the concentration of plasma ethanol (detection limit 2.2 mmol/L (10 mg/100 mL)), measured every 30 minutes for three hours while feet were submerged in a washing-up bowl containing the contents of three 700 mL bottles of vodka. The secondary outcome was self assessment of intoxication related symptoms (self confidence, urge to speak, and number of spontaneous hugs), scored on a scale of 0 to 10. Plasma ethanol concentrations were below the detection limit of 2.2 mmol/L (10 mg/100 mL) throughout the experiment. No significant changes were observed in the intoxication related symptoms, although self confidence and urge to speak increased slightly at the start of the study, probably due to the setup. Our results suggest that feet are impenetrable to the alcohol component of vodka. We therefore conclude that the Danish urban myth of being able to get drunk by submerging feet in alcoholic beverages is just that; a myth. The implications of the study are many though.”

Thanks to Ian S. for today’s ROFL!

Photo: flickr/ hildgrim

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WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

  • Deray

    And now, from the Journal of Facepalm…

  • Cris

    From the article’s discussion:

    As the implications of the study are many, we will mention a few. Driving or leading a vessel with boots full of vodka seems to be safe. Brewery workers cannot become intoxicated by “falling” into a brewery vat. Importantly, students experimenting with transcutaneous alcohol absorption should move on to more relevant activities.

  • calimae

    I just love that the “number of spontaneous hugs” is an “intoxication related symptom”. :D

  • Matt B.

    “Importantly, students experimenting with transcutaneous alcohol absorption should move on to more relevant activities.”

    But they didn’t test whether alcohol can be absorbed through mucous membranes.


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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