Performance-enhancing drugs may have placebo effect

June 17, 2008 2:52:45 PM PDT
When athletes think they are taking a performance enhancing drug their performance tends to get better, even if they never really take the drug, so concludes a study of recreational athletes, half of whom received human growth hormone supplements while the other half took a placebo. HGH made headlines earlier this year when baseball great Roger Clemens denied using it. But researchers say there is actually no firm scientific proof that HGH actually does enhance athletic performance.

This study presented Tuesday at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting shows a favorable outcome can be achieved purely on the basis of a belief that one has received something beneficial, even if one hasn't.