Here’s an interesting tidbit on the placebo effect from New Scientist – a great website full of info of great nerditude:
Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away.
This is the placebo effect: somehow, sometimes, a whole lot of nothing can be very powerful. Except it’s not quite nothing. When Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy carried out the above experiment, he added a final twist by adding naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of morphine, to the saline. The shocking result? The pain-relieving power of saline solution disappeared.
It’s the last two sentences that are truly revealing. What it tells me is this: what we think can change our body chemistry in a measurable way.
Now, we know that, but the above experiment shows just how powerful that can be.
Since I started doing low carb almost 6 years ago, I’ve always thought that your mental outlook plays a critical role in weight loss. I’m vulnerable to emotional eating – pigging out because I’m stressed – so that’s at least one easy to see way that mind affects diet.
But can it be even more profoundly true than that simple and obvious correlation?