Would you ever think that fake medication could be effective if you knew it was fake?
We'd be skeptical too, but according to a new study conducted with patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, placebos can work even when patients are in the know.
Here's what senior author of the study Anthony Lembo said about the research in a statement:
"I didn't think it would work. I felt awkward asking patients to literally take a placebo. But to my surprise, it seemed to work for many of them."
Here's what another researcher involved in the study had to say:
"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. We told the patients that they didn't have to even believe in the placebo effect. Just take the pills."
After a three week period, a group who knowingly took placebos felt "adequate symptom relief" at 2x the rate of a group who was told to do nothing.
Researchers have said that the study was small, and at this time they're not sure what this would mean for other conditions.
Very inneresting stuff!