Exercise can be as good a medicine as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease, a study has found.
Doing exercise regularly:
- Can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%.
- Can lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
- Can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy as well as keep weight off.
- Moderate activity, such as cycling or fast walking, gives your heart and lungs a work-out
The work in the British Medical Journal looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death.
Physical activity rivalled some heart drugs and outperformed stroke medicine.
The findings suggest exercise should be added to prescriptions, say the researchers. Continue reading Exercise rivals Medication for Heart Disease.
IT SEEMED like a good idea until I saw the electrodes. Dr Luana Colloca’s white coat offered scant reassurance. “Do you mind receiving a series of electric shocks?” she asked.
I could hardly say no – after all, this was why I was here. Colloca’s colleague, Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy, had invited me to come and experience their placebo research first hand. Colloca strapped an electrode to my forearm and sat me in a reclining chair in front of a computer screen. “Try to relax,” she said.
First, we established my pain scale by determining the mildest current I could feel, and the maximum amount I could bear. Then Colloca told me that, before I got another shock, a red or a green light would appear on the computer screen.
A green light meant I would receive a mild shock. A red light meant the shock would be more severe, like the jolt you get from an electric fence. All I had to do was rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10, mild to severe. Continue reading “A Placebo Conundrum” by Michael Brooks
Most family doctors have given a placebo to at least one of their patients, survey findings suggest.
In a poll, 97% of 783 GPs admitted that they had recommended a sugar pill or a treatment with no established efficacy for the ailment their patient came in with.
The PLOS One study authors say this may not be a bad thing – doctors are doing it to help, not to deceive patients.
The Royal College of GPs says there is a place for placebos in medicine. Continue reading Most GP’s have given a Patient a Placebo Drug