You know all that guff about drinking red wine being somehow good for you despite the fact that it is up to about 15% potent organic solvent by volume? It was the resveratrol wasn’t it? The substance red wine that’s supposed to have had health benefits…well…The University of Connecticut just released details of a scientific fraud investigation.
“An extensive research misconduct investigation has led the University of Connecticut Health Center to send letters of notification to 11 scientific journals that had published studies conducted by a member of its faculty. Dipak K. Das, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Surgery and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center, was at the center of a far-reaching, three-year investigation process that examined more than seven years of activity in Das’s lab.”
Derek Lowe has more of the details over on In the Pipeline and reports that Das allegedly “had a business relationship with Longevinex, a well-known supplier of resveratrol supplements.” He also points out that despite the 60,000-page report from UConn, Das is “not going down without firing all his ammo”.
I have reported on resveratrol in the past but have in recent years been less keen to discuss the notion that single compounds whatever their source can have any of the panacea-like effects that increasing hyperbole suggests. Nevertheless, science can do without scandals of this sort, it reduces public confidence in genuine research and gives the “alternative” brigade another piece of ammunition with which to make conspiracy claims. Of course, in this case it was the alternative supplements industry that was exploiting the supposed research. As Lowe points out, the case for resveratrol was never clearcut. For me, I enjoy drinking red wine but would never consider it a health-giving pass time. This case simply corks another spurious claim.
The other researchers in this field? Presumably above reproach. Das, according to Lowe, isn’t even that big a player…