Red Wine Benefits to Heart May be a Lie
For years, connoisseurs of red wine believed their consumption improved their cardiovascular health. Today, they’re learning it may be a big lie.
University of Connecticut researcher Dr. Dipak Das published more than 100 times in 11 scientific journals for many years claiming resveratrol, which is found in red wine, is good for the heart. In 2008, however, an anonymous allegation emerged concerning research irregularities sparking a comprehensive report charging Das with 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data. The report numbered some 60,000 pages and additional inquiries are underway involving former members of Das’ lab.
Das is a professor in the University of Connecticut Department of Surgery and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center there. He gained prominence for his work concerning the beneficial properties of resveratrol in red wine. Resveratrol is a type of natural phenol and is a topic of numerous animal and human studies. Its effect on the lifespan of many model organisms remain controversial. It is found in the skin of red grapes and in other fruits.
“We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,” said Philip Austin, interim vice president for Health Affairs. “While we are deeply disappointed by the flagrant disregard for the University’s Code of Conduct, we are pleased the oversight systems in place were effective and worked as intended. We are grateful that an individual chose to do the right thing by alerting the appropriate authorities. Our findings were the result of an exhaustive investigation that, by its very nature, required considerable time to complete.”
The university is reporting that as a result of the investigation, the Health Center has frozen externally funded research in Das’s laboratory and declined to accept $890,000 in federal grants awarded to him. Dismissal proceedings are underway.
Austin went on to say that “the abuses in one lab do not reflect the overall performance of the Health Center’s biomedical research enterprise which continues to pursue advances in treatments and cures with the utmost integrity. We demand full compliance with all research standards and policies by our faculty and staff.”
The following journals have been contacted by the Health Center:
American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Free Radical Biology
Free Radical Research
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Molecular and Cellular Chemistry