Study: Doctors Prescribing Placebos At Increasing Rates

James Johnson

The body is a wondrous instrument, just making it think a patient is getting better can actually bring about positive results, oftentimes better then real prescription drugs. It's for that reason that a new study reveals an increasing number of doctor's are prescribing placebo "drugs" in place of the real thing.

While typically used for research purposes placebo drug prescriptions (drugs with no active ingredients) are becoming more commonplace and surprisingly working very effectively.

During one study the placebo was simply a matter of telling hotel employees they were getting a good workout when on the clock, that news was enough for them to lose weight while their counterparts at work remained the same weight or gained.

In a second study participants were told their food was high in calories and therefore filled up faster, thereby eating less than the low-cal food group.

According to the Wall Street Journal the placebo effect didn't just affect metabolism, doctors also used it to treat depression. In another case doctors gave patients a drug for irritable bowel syndrome whch they were told didn't have any active ingredients but instead worked on the "mind."

An expert notes of the study:

"Evidence is that placebo changes not the underlying biology of an illness, but the way a person experiences or reacts to an illness."

Would you care if you're doctor was prescribing you sugar pills if they appeared to be working?

[Image via ShutterStock.com]

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