Placebo vs Prozac

James Michael Howard jmhoward at
Tue May 7 13:00:21 EST 2002

On Tue, 07 May 2002 18:19:27 GMT, Richard S. Norman <rnorman at> wrote:
>How much sugar is there likely to be in a "sugar" pill or placebo?
>Perhaps a couple hundred mg?  As much as 1 gram (which seems
>fairly extreme)?  Is that enough to cause any significant change in
>hormone levels?

This is from original post:
>>It is also my hypothesis that the "fight or flight" mechanism is determined by
>>DHEA.  That is, DHEA positively affects the nervous system so the amount of DHEA
>>determines the level of motivation.  Also in 1985, I suggested the stress
>>hormone, cortisol, evolved to counteract the effects of DHEA.  If DHEA is
>>higher, one continues one's behavior; if cortisol reaches too high a level, then
>>the effects of DHEA are reduced.  Stress, or a "fight or flight" situation,
>>causes an individual's cortisol to rise too high, the behavior is stopped.
>>Since that time, new research has determined that, in the studied genes,
>>cortisol and DHEA actually do produce different actions from the same genes.
>>This supports my explanation of the "fight or flight" mechanism.

The "fight or flight" mechanism, described in my original post describes a
significant behavior which occurs in response to a perceived "hypothetical"
outcome, either from a human or lower animal.  Therefore, I suggest the increase
in the ratio of DHEA to cortisol can occur under similar conditions.  Actual
holding, touching, etc., probably works too, maybe better.  There is a
phenomenon in which holding "failure to thrive" children brings them back to
health rapidly.  I attribute this effect to increased DHEA.


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