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Urol Clin North Am. 2002 Feb;29(1):135-55, x.

The placebo effect and randomized trials: analysis of alternative medicine.

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Department of Urology, University of Michigan Medical Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0330, USA.


Randomized controlled trials are generally regarded as the gold standard of study designs to determine causality. The inclusion of a placebo group in these trials, when appropriate, is critical to access the efficacy of a drug or supplement. The placebo response itself has received some attention in the medical literature over the past fifty years. The recent increasing utilization of dietary supplements and herbal medications by patients makes it imperative to reevaluate the placebo response in conventional and alternative medicine. This article will review some of the negative and positive results from randomized trials utilizing dietary supplements (androstenedione, beta-carotene, CoQ10, garlic, soy, vitamin C and E...) for a number of non-urologic and urologic conditions, including cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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