We’ve been told for some years now that red wine, in moderation, because of the ingredient resveratrol, has heart benefits and may even extend a healthy life. This information allowed people to have a glass of red wine (or two or three) feeling as if they were doing something good for themselves. Not so fast.
The researcher, Dr. Dipak K. Das, who conducted the research, culminating in 2007 at The University of Connecticut, that had all the nightly news programs and medical journals proclaiming the health benefits of red wine, has been found guilty of 145 acts of data fabrication.
Turns out that an anonymous allegation of “research irregularities” led to a three year internal investigation of Dr. Das’ lab which resulted in a 60,000 page report concluding the falsification of data.
In an article published by CBS news on their website, Red wine no fountain of youth after all?, Dr. Richard A. Miller, professor of pathology at the University of Michigan, told CBS News of red wine, “If it is good for you, it’s almost certainly not because of the resveratrol. People who bought the story for the last 10 years have been fooled.”
Dr. Marie Pasinski, staff neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty member of Harvard Medical School, says, in her book Beautiful Brain, Beautiful You: Look Radiant from the Inside Out by Empowering Your Mind, that the studies supporting the claim that red wine is good for your heart and brain were “observational” having been conducted through self-reported questionnaires which may have been severely flawed. She concluded this before and separate from the accounts of fabrication noted above. About the resveratol studies, she says “Although studies did show mice that were given hefty doses of resveratrol were healthier and lived longer, an article in the New York Times pointed out that the average 150-pound person would need to drink 750 to 1,500 bottles of red wine a day in order to get the equivalent beneficial dose!”
She concludes that drinking alcohol, even in moderation, is unhealthy because it is a known neurotoxin. In excess, alcohol causes damage throughout the nervous system and kills brain cells, in particular, in important memory areas. Alcohol may be even more damaging in the developing brains of teenagers who tend binge drink. I sure killed a few brain cells in my college days.
She points out that, for women, even low to moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancers of the breast, liver, mouth, throat, and esophagus. According to Pasinski, alcohol is not part of a brain smart diet. Period. “Alcohol is not good for us, even in small amounts.”
image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neumeyer/