Support the news

Even Knowingly Taking A Placebo Seems To Help

It's no surprise that placebos -- fake pills that contain no active ingredient -- often work to relieve symptoms. Doctors think placebos work because patients think they might be getting an active drug but there's an element of deception. But now Harvard researchers show that even when volunteers with severe bowel disease know they're getting a placebo, 59 percent had relief from symptoms. Call it an "honest placebo."

+Join the discussion

More from NPR

Support the news