As a carnivore I can think of few things more satisfying than a delicious steak dinner complimented by a full-bodied bottle of red wine. And although I’m too young to be concerned with, or even bothered by, the distinct possibility of developing high cholesterol, the idea that red wine was good for me was reassuring. Given my frequent habit of devouring rib-eyes dripping with deliciousness, I figured downing a few too many glasses of Chianti would help wash away any pending heart disease.
Remember that famous study that said drinking red wine was good for your health? You know, the one that was featured on every news channel that you keep stored away in the memory bank whenever you feel like taking a bottle of Pinot Noir to the face? Well, as it turns out, the study’s results were comprised of utter bullshit. So that glass or two of red wine you’re having with dinner or before bed may be helping you tolerate life better, but there’s no evidence that proves it’s helping you live longer.
An extensive misconduct investigation that took three years to complete and produced a 60,000-page report, concludes that a researcher who has come to prominence in recent years for his investigations into the beneficial properties of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, “is guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data”.
In a statement published on the university’s news website on Wednesday, the University of Connecticut (UConn) Health Center said the investigation has led them to inform 11 scientific journals that had published studies conducted by Dr Dipak K. Das, a professor in the university’s Department of Surgery and director of its Cardiovascular Research Center.
The internal investigation, which covered seven years of work in Das’s lab, was triggered by an anonymous allegation of “research irregularities” in 2008.
This is probably one of the most strangely elaborate lies I’ve ever encountered. Dr. Das was found guilty of 145 counts of fabrication — that’s a lot of imaginary data. There aren’t many people out there who would go through the trouble of simply inventing an extensive report about the benefits of drinking red wine. Maybe it wasn’t about the fame, money or prestige of seeing his name on the nightly news and respected medical journals. Maybe he just was looking for a legitimate reason to drink more wine.
I guess sometimes we’re simply willing to believe the unbelievable if it means we’re allowed toss back a few more glasses when the in-laws show up uninvited for dinner.