Skip navigation


PositiveTip for

Advertising and the Placebo Effect

Avertising drugs to patients may influences efficacy as well as sales.

We know direct-to-patient advertising increases sales of medications. Now researchers have found this method of advertising also enhances the physiological effect of non-drowsy antihistamines. In a randomized clinical trial, subject's physiological response to objectively measured parameters was improved as a result of watching a movie with timed advertisements for a specific brand. 

PositiveTip: The placebo effect is real. If you believe something will work better, it can alter your physiological response. 

PositiveTip for

Supplement Safety

Many new supplement ingredients are introduced without any regulatory oversight.

Americans spend more than $28 billion annually on vitamins, minerals, herbals and other "natural" products in the form of dietary supplements. They do this assuming they are safe and effective. The FDA regulation of these products has been rather weak, even though the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act requires manufacturers to present "reseasonable expectation of safety." The food industry is held to much more stringent safety standards than the supplement industry. The New England Journal of Medicine has an informative article on this by Pieter Cohen, MD of the Cambridge Health Alliance. 

PositiveTip: Remember--not all things "natural" are safe or effective!