In time warping study, people unconsciously controlled blood sugar levels

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(credit: Dennis van Zuijlekom ) Ideas can be powerful drugs. If a person is simply convinced that a pill or treatment is going to yield real results, it can—even if that pill or treatment is completely bogus. Those results can be pretty substantial, too. Mental maneuvering, or placebo effect, can improve pilots’ vision , help people lose weight , and even up their IQ by a few points . And, according to a new study, it may also be able to help patients manage a chronic illness. In an experiment in which researchers duped participants about how much time had passed, the researchers found that participants’ blood sugar levels tracked with perceived time rather than actual time. That is, blood sugar dropped faster when the participants thought more time had passed. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, support the idea that mindsets and psychological processes, like the abstract internal representation of time, can have profound influence over what our bodies do, the authors conclude. Moreover, it raises the idea of using the mind to help manage certain chronic conditions, particularly type 2 diabetes, which causes periodic and dangerous rises in blood sugar levels. “Official standards for care and treatment of diabetes make no explicit mention of the influence of subjective cognition on diabetic metabolism, but our results indicate otherwise,” the authors argue. They suggest that mindfulness, coping strategies, and trained cognitive styles may prove useful in controlling blood sugar levels in further studies. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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In time warping study, people unconsciously controlled blood sugar levels

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