Episode 35: Dr. Kathryn Hall on the Surprising Power of Placebos

20th September 2017

Placebos are commonly dismissed as “fake” treatments that have no real power on you or your body. But scientists are realizing more and more that placebos are more powerful than we realized.

Episode notes

Placebos are commonly dismissed as “fake” treatments that have no real power on you or your body. But scientists are realizing more and more that placebos are more powerful than we realized. New research shows that while placebos may not cure diseases, they can reduce symptoms of our ailments like irritable bowel syndrome and even Parkinson’s disease, and in the process actually make us feel better. Even traditional medicine takes advantage of the placebo effect, which could mean the placebo effect could play a significant role in treating diseases. On this episode we talk to Dr. Kathryn Hall, who appeared on Adam Ruins Spa Day, about how placebos can have such powerful effects on our brains and how placebos are changing the way we conduct science and treat patients. Kathryn is a molecular biologist and Director of Placebo Genetics at Harvard Medical School’s Program in Placebo Studies.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

In this episode...

About the show

First, on the Adam Ruins Everything TV show, Adam Conover broke down widespread misconceptions about everything we take for granted. Now, join Adam as he sits down with the experts and stars from the show to go into even more detail.

People

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show