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The 'gold standard' in nutritional and medical studies is the random controlled trial (RTC) which relies on the fact that neither the experimenters nor the subjects are aware of which subjects are getting the actual intervention or are receiving a placebo (an inert preparation that is indistinguishable from the real substance being tested, be it a pill, an injection, etc.). The idea is that this will control for the bias of both the experimenters and the subjects so that their preconceived notions don't affect the results of the trial.

But a recent controversy has lead many to question the validity of many these studies. It turns out unscrupulous scientists have figured out a way to manipulate the results by using placebos that aren't actually inert substances. The ingredients of the placebos used in trials are often not disclosed (the information being carefully protected, as some researchers and reporters have discovered). It seems that placebo tampering is yet another way for some scientists to manipulate the data to show their drugs are more effective and have less side effects than they actually do.

Join us on this episode of Objective:Health as we look into the implications of placebo tampering. Can we trust any science at all at this point?


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Running Time: 00:27:39

Download: MP3 — 24.9 MB