Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘placebo

No gluten sensitivity anymore? And the reactions are the consequences of what “sensitive” we are subjected to?

Posted on April 4, 2016

People can go back now to just eating wheat?

In one of the best examples of science at work, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite.

The paper came out last year in the journal Gastroenterology.

This backstory makes us cheer: The study was a follow up on a 2011 experiment in the lab of Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia.

The scientifically sound – but small – study found that gluten-containing diets can cause gastrointestinal distress in people without celiac disease, a well-known auto-immune disorder triggered by gluten. They called this non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Maha Issa shared this post By JENNIFER WELSH, Business Insider

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, and other grains. It gives bread its chewiness and is often used as a meat substitute: If you’ve ever had ‘wheat meat’, seitan, or mock duck at a Thai restaurant, that’s gluten.

Gluten is a big industry: 30% of people want to eat less glutenSales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by 2016.

Although experts estimate that only 1% of Americans – about 3 million people – actually suffer from celiac disease, 18% of adults now buy gluten-free foods.

Since gluten is a protein found in any normal diet, Gibson was unsatisfied with his finding. He wanted to find out why the gluten seemed to be causing this reaction and if there could be something else going on.

He therefore went to a scientifically rigorous extreme for his next experiment, a level not usually expected in nutrition studies. (Really? Health issues, and specifically nutrition studies, don’t require rigorous experiments?)

For a follow-up paper, 37 self-identified gluten-sensitive patients were tested. According to Real Clear Science’s Newton Blog, here’s how the experiment went:

Subjects would be provided with every single meal for the duration of the trial.

Any and all potential dietary triggers for gastrointestinal symptoms would be removed, including lactose (from milk products), certain preservatives like benzoates, propionate, sulfites, and nitrites, and fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPs.

And last, but not least, nine days worth of urine and faecal matter would be collected. With this new study, Gibson wasn’t messing around.

The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time.

In the end, all of the treatment diets – even the placebo diet – caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten. (Read more about the study.)

“In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely No specific response to gluten,” Gibson wrote in the paper.

A third larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

It seems to be a ‘nocebo’ effect – the self-diagnosed gluten sensitive patients expected to feel worse on the study diets, so they did. They were also likely more attentive to their intestinal distress, since they had to monitor it for the study.

On top of that, these other potential dietary triggers – specifically the FODMAPS – could be causing what people have wrongly interpreted as gluten sensitivity. FODMAPS are frequently found in the same foods as gluten.

That still doesn’t explain why people in the study negatively reacted to diets that were free of all dietary triggers.

You can go ahead and smell your bread and eat it too. Science. It works. (But those who suffer dangerous reactions because they are indeed sensitive to gluten should Not?)

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 151

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Your depressed friends could be a good source of free labor. Invite them to contribute to your life in some way, even if it’s as small as asking you to go see a movie that you wanted to see in the theater or help you clean out the garage: They love to get engaged

Jihad told me and showed a short video of the wedding of his son As3ad Ghoussoub in Cyprus. Perfect wedding to be emulated extensively. Break my heart that Cyprus is a century ahead of Lebanon in civil status laws and human rights

Cyprus frequent visits to Lebanon is to convince us to install all the oil and gas infrastructure for the region on our seashore. Rational: since our shores are so heavily polluted, let’s Capitalize on that humiliating and unhealthy situation. Cyprus is to remain a touristic attraction for the over 7 million visitors a year

Paul (the disturbed) was being ironic when he wrote: “If you can’t believe Jesus resurrected, you are No Christian”. And he knew people were fool enough to take seriously that faith in myths rules supreme. He resumed thus to discriminate against female gender

Pietro voulait contribuer au jour le jour, a son echelle: une vie reglee’ par une routine intangible. Pietro etait depasse’ par le desorde diffus dans tous lea domaines de l’existence.

When inspiration becomes manipulation, inspiration becomes obfuscation. If you are no cynical you should be skeptical. You should be as skeptical of placebo politics as of placebo medicine.

If a problem is in fact endemic to a system, then the exponential effects of Moore’s law also serve to amplify what’s broken.

If and when the key problems facing our species were to be solved, then perhaps many of us in this room would be out of work (and perhaps in jail).

It’s not true. Problems are Not “puzzles” to be solved. That metaphor assumes that all the necessary pieces are already on the table, they just need to be rearranged and reprogrammed. Barely anything is on the table, discussed and analyzed.

Instead of dumbing-down the future, we need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded and which are embedded in us.

Philip Giraldi: Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, administrative detention, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military, assassination.

Khalass. Bala zanakha. Meen 3azam al mauwt?

 

The thing you can’t have becomes a powerful placebo

New MQA music format?

The efficacy of a technology, a shortcut, a medicine, a tool, a method—you get the idea—is directly related to how difficult it is to obtain.

Placebos work because our brain picks up where our belief begins.

Without some sort of conscious or subconscious trigger, the placebo effect never kicks in.

But when it does, it’s astonishingly effective. Placebos change performance, cure diseases and make food taste better.

Consider the case of the new music format, MQA.

The overdue successor to the MP3 files we’ve been listening to for a decade or more, MQA treats your music with more care, and the reports are it sounds better. A lot better.

Of course, most people can’t hear the difference in a double-blind test, particularly with disposable earbuds.

But that’s okay, because no one is double blind in real life. Instead, we have information about what we’re listening to and where it came from, and it turns out that knowing the provenance of your music can actually make it sound better.

The fact that MQA might actually sound better is a fine thing, but the lesson here is about the story.

The MQA rollout has been agonizingly slow, with dates promised and then missed, with absent bits of gear, with no easy way to get this new technology. Which makes it even better, of course.

The same is true for baked goods that sell out every morning at 8 am, and the new beta-version of an app that makes you more productive.

If you want your medicine to be more effective, consider making it difficult to get.

[PS I’ll be doing a Facebook Live Q&A about the altMBA. See you at 2 pm ET today, Thursday.]

Are you familiar with the nocebo concept? Is worse to accept than the than placebo?

Considering the nocebo

The letter to the co-op board sounds likely enough. The tenant is up in arms because air fresheners and other common household odors are seeping into the writer’s apartment, giving him severe migraines. What to do about this chemical onslaught?

There’s no doubt that these odors are giving the letter writer a debilitating headache, but also little doubt that there isn’t a likely double-blind, testable, organic chemistry cause to the headache only in this setting.

The migraine in this case, like many things that bother us, is caused by a nocebo.

A nocebo is a placebo that makes things worse.

In this case, the lack of control over his home, the unwelcome and unasked for odors, are making him feel trapped, and thus annoyed, and angry, and so they lead to a headache.

It’s pretty clear to most of us that if that very same bundle of molecules wafted in the door when the clever and happy grandson came to visit, there would be no problem.

Of course the nocebo is real. And eliminating it is a great way to improve your life or the lives of your customers.

The TSA intentionally brings a nocebo to the airport, stressing out innocent travelers. (TSA?)

And schools know precisely how to raise the blood pressure of stressed out students.

In many situations, loud noises, uncomfortable seats, moments of lost control… these create actual physical discomfort.

We can use the nocebo to give you a headache, a backache, or even a chronic degenerative disease…

But you don’t remove the nocebo with medical tests.

You remove it with a better story, with a situation that makes us feel powerful and in control, with a setting and a narrative that gives us agency and dignity.

[I’m not asserting that all migraines are caused by nocebos. Far from it. I apologize to anyone who got that impression. But there’s plenty of evidence that there are very real problems caused by nocebos.]


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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