Voice of Evidence Episode 2 : Is Placebo Effect Real?

Is Placebo Effect Real?

Hosted by: Abigail Aboitiz and Dr. Jason La Marca With Special guest Dr. Adam Saby (Medical director and Assistant Professor of UCLA)

Placebos can’t cure diseases, but research suggests that they seem to bring some people relief from subjective symptoms, such as pain, nausea, anxiety and fatigue. But there’s a reason your doctor isn’t giving you a sugar pill and telling you it’s a new wonder drug.

The thinking has been that you need to actually believe that you’re taking a real drug in order to see any benefits. And a doctor intentionally deceiving a patient is an ethical no-no. The idea of actually telling people they are getting a placebo is a relatively new line of research.

The vast majority of studies that have tested placebos have compared people getting no treatment to people getting a placebo that they thought was a real treatment. “Your mind can be a powerful healing tool when given the chance.” The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing — the so-called placebo effect — and thus stimulate healing has been around for millennia.

Now science has found that under the right circumstances, a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments. Listen up as Dr. Saby explains the power of your thoughts and feelings affects your day to day lives.