The Placebo Effect

The brain can be an important tool when it comes to our health – it’s one of the reasons the placebo effect is so powerful. Clinical trials of antidepressents have shown that patients treated with placebos improve about 75 per cent as much as they would have with antidepressants themselves. The same argument has been made for other common pills.

The Placebo Effect Photo Gallery

You feel the early symptoms of a cold coming on, so you pop a couple of vitamin C, because that will help your cold, right? Well, yes – but not in the way you think.

Despite decades of testing, there is still not enough substantial evidence to prove that vitamin C has any physiological effect on a cold. However, there is evidence that there is a strong psychosomatic response to taking them – in other words, you get better because you expect to. Researchers have shown that those who took a placebo in the early stages of a cold went on to then have milder symptoms.

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