P is for Placebo

I read this this morning and thought it was awesome!

Tracy Rittmueller

The Placebo Effect Just a spoonful of sugar….

This series is an alphabetical exploration of 26 options for living well, despite everything. It answers the question–How can we live well, despite problems?

Placebos work!

A person wants to lose weight, so she takes a pill before every meal. It’s advertised to suppress her appetite. She doesn’t know it, but the pill has no medically proven appetite suppressant. It’s sold as a “food supplement” and it’s made of inert ingredients, mostly sucrose and natural  coloring derived from beets. Still, she definitely feels less hungry after she takes it. She eats less and loses weight. (This is a true story about a supplement produced in Europe in the early 1990’s, told to me by the woman who worked on the team which invented it. They made a lot of money for their company).

What’s going on?

It’s the mysterious placebo effect. An immaterial thought acts on, and changes…

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