home
RSS
The power of placebos
December 22nd, 2010
05:41 PM ET

The power of placebos

Hoping to get around the practice of deceiving patients with fake treatments, researchers tried to determine whether placebos, also known as dummy pills, would work even if the patients knew they weren't taking an active drug. 

Patients knowingly taking a placebo still found relief from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE found.

 Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center divided eighty IBS patients into two groups.  The control group got no treatment at all.  The other group of volunteers was told to take one sugar pill twice a day. All of the patients were monitored for three weeks.

"Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient and were made from inert substances, but we actually had 'placebo' printed on the bottle," said Ted Kaptchuk, study author and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "We told the patients that they didn't have to even believe in the placebo effect.  Just take the pills."

They did, and nearly twice as many patients in the placebo group had reduced symptoms compared to the control group.  In fact, the placebo patients relief was equal to taking the most powerful IBS medications. 

Kaptchuk says the study is a proof of principle.

"These findings suggest that rather than mere positive thinking, there may be significant benefit to the very performance of medical ritual," said Kaptchuk. "I'm excited about studying this further. Placebo may work even if patients knows it is a placebo."

Anthony Lembo, study co-author and expert on IBS didn't think it would work. "I felt awkward asking patients to literally take a placebo," Lembo said. "But to my surprise, it seemed to work for many of them."

Placebos usually contain an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution. They can sometimes improve a patient's condition simply because the person thinks they are taking a medication that will help.

Researchers say this study opens the door for larger trials on just how effective placebos can be for fully informed patients and might also give doctors another option, if they have ethical concerns about deceiving patients by giving them placebos.  Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder also known as spastic colon. Approximately 20% of adult Americans have IBS.  Symptoms vary, but sufferers–more often women–experience abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.  It can cause a great deal of discomfort and pain.  According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) there are between 2.4 and 3.5 million IBS-related doctor visits each year in the U.S.

Kaptchuk has been involved in research on the placebo effect for nearly 20 years, trying to find ways to harness the power of placebo so that it might be valuable to clinicians.  Is it conceivable that placebos may be a possible treatment for some patients down the line?  Kaptchuk says he is not ready to go there–yet.  But he already has two new studies looking at its use in other illnesses.


« Previous entry
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Fence company Baton Rouge LA

    I really like this post

    https://postimg.cc/gallery/Q9SpmDw

    May 15, 2021 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tile Cleaning Spokane

    Keep this going please, great job!

    https://myphoto.eu/GuidrySeeley/album/50392/

    May 15, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. siding contractors Hainesport

    thanks for sharing!

    https://app.photobucket.com/u/RaneySynthia/a/532f1ff4-a357-4e60-a9a8-194e3499d60e

    May 15, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Radon testing Lexington KY

    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

    https://www.fanpop.com/fans/WuGold

    May 15, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lock Change Palo Alto

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!

    https://www.imagebam.com/view/MEWQ0

    May 15, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. emergency locksmith St. Louis

    Wow this blog is very nice!

    https://www.yogile.com/051i7fdczlb/21m/share/?vsc=034f58606

    May 15, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ac repair San Tan Valley

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!

    https://imageshack.com/a/Knmw7/1

    May 15, 2021 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Carpet Cleaning Silver TX

    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Ijf_fBDFBa8qg6gdxUXVl2AzROUv2EWF?usp=sharing

    May 15, 2021 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. brimonidine

    generic brimonidine brimonidine how it works

    May 16, 2021 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tausAffessy

    buy generic cialis online with mastercard where to buy cialis without prescription buy tadalafil https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. hvac fayetteville nc

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

    https://www.kanda-guide.com/finding-dependable-reliable-hvac-repair/

    May 24, 2021 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. ac repair Fayetteville NC

    Keep this going please, great job!

    https://whatsondigest.com/members/pinthockey38/activity/389761/

    May 24, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. tea club

    Thanks for the information.

    https://www.storeboard.com/blogs/humor/added-benefits-of-ingesting-free-leaf-teas/4826444

    May 24, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. House Washing Knoxville

    A great read. I'll definitely be back.

    https://smartwashtn.com

    May 24, 2021 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tritreviewifind

    where to order tadalafil tablets cost tadalafil generic cialis tadalafil tadalafil online https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil side effects https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – buy tadalis tadalafil brands lowest price cialis prescription tadalafil online

    May 24, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. cyclomune

    cyclosporine for humans cyclosporine for humans

    May 24, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. tausAffessy

    cialis at canadian pharmacy https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – generic cialis tadalafil cost of cialis tadalafil online tadalafil cost in canada

    May 24, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Soosteemocush

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ tadalafil side effects https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – side effects for tadalafil cheapest tadalafil cost

    May 24, 2021 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. combigan

    combigan coupon generic combigan

    May 25, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Soosteemocush

    where to order tadalafil tablets https://tadalafilol.com/ – cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil goodrx cialis tadalafil https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. tausAffessy

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ cialis without prescription https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – buy tadalafil tadalafil cost in canada

    May 25, 2021 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Unitmerienepeft

    cheap generic cialis for sale https://tadalafilol.com/ – canada generic tadalafil tadalafil tadalafil without a doctor prescription https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tritreviewifind

    prescription tadalafil online cheapest tadalafil cost tadalafil liquid cialis without prescription https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Unitmerienepeft

    tadalafil liquid cialis at canadian pharmacy tadalafil online with out prescription where to buy cialis without prescription https://tadalafilww.com/ – tadalafil drug

    May 26, 2021 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Soosteemocush

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ where to buy cialis without prescription https://cttadalafil.com/ – tadalafil cost in canada cost of cialis

    May 26, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil online tadalafil price walmart tadalafil drug generic cialis online fast shipping https://tadalafilol.com/ – prescription tadalafil online

    May 27, 2021 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. tea of the month club

    A great read. I'll definitely be back.

    http://www.unthinkkfc.com/history-of-first-green-tea-extract-product/

    May 30, 2021 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. what is loose leaf tea

    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

    https://www.okeyewears.com/loose-leaf-tea-to-support-with-sensitivity-indicators-while-being-caffeine-free/

    May 30, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. spring teas

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    https://headinghomeminnesota.com/making-chinese-prime-rank-dragon-well-green-tea/

    May 30, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. gutter repair near me randolph county

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up

    https://www.scienceagainstpoverty.com/can-be-around-your-current-scalp-is-important-why-exactly-should-i-caution-roofs/

    May 30, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. HVAC Installation Warrenton VA

    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

    https://hvacwarrenton.tumblr.com/post/651059839291752448/what-to-expect-from-an-aircon-servicing

    May 30, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Baton Rouge Fence Company LA

    A great read. I'll definitely be back.

    https://fencecompanyinbatonrouge.blogspot.com/2021/05/things-to-consider-when-choosing.html

    May 30, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Go Pro Locksmith Palo Alto

    Thank you, I've just been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

    https://diigo.com/0kj8e3

    May 30, 2021 at 05:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. NV locksmith llc Las Vegas

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.

    https://locksmithhenderson.wordpress.com/2021/05/13/emergency-locksmith-services/

    May 30, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Federated Financial

    Found your post interesting to read. I cant wait to see your post soon. Good Luck for the upcoming update.This article is really very interesting and effective. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://debtconsolidationcompanyfl.blogspot.com/2021/05/your-friend-in-need-debt-consolidation.html

    May 30, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. airsoft guns

    Thank You for your information. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://airgunstoretx.blogspot.com/2021/05/how-to-choose-best-air-gun-for-you.html

    May 30, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. AC company

    Great article. Couldn’t be write much better! Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.scoop.it/topic/appropriate-things-to-look-out-for-in-your-commercial-hvac-service-provider-by-ac-repair-fayetteville-nc-3

    May 30, 2021 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. AC Repair in Miami, FL

    I am really happy to say it's an interesting post to read . I learn new information from your article , you are doing a great job . Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://acrepairmiamifl172959213.wordpress.com/2021/05/25/what-you-need-to-know-about-air-conditioner-repair/

    May 30, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Signature Window Washing

    Thank you for this post. Good luck. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://windowcleaningdenverco.tumblr.com/post/652316336137076736/the-need-of-obtaining-professional-office-and

    May 30, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. HVAC Services

    Found your post interesting to read. I cant wait to see your post soon. Good Luck for the upcoming update.This article is really very interesting and effective. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://hvaccontractorellicottcity.wordpress.com/2021/05/26/essential-facts-to-be-considered-before-selecting-a-hvac-contractor/

    May 30, 2021 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Radon

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=13336008336015345972

    June 2, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Radon

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=13457530161831052831

    June 2, 2021 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Radon

    carry on, dont stop

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=2701940142406558565

    June 2, 2021 at 02:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. chloroquine side effects

    malaria drug hydroxychloroquine chloroquin hydroxychloroquine drug class

    June 4, 2021 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. trump hydroxychloroquine

    is chloroquine available over the counter raoult didier where to get chloroquine

    June 4, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. tadalafil drug

    what is tadalista cialis tadalafil tadalafil troches

    June 4, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. cialis tablets

    tadalafil tablets ip cialis generic c-tadalafil

    June 5, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Locksmith Las Vegas

    Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=7303871615475803397

    June 5, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Pressure Washing Sacramento

    Great article. Couldn’t be write much better! Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=3749495615142933531

    June 5, 2021 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Leave a Reply to trump hydroxychloroquine


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

Archive
December 2010
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.