An Ohio University set out to examine the effect of a toxic diet on heart disease in the 1970s. They fed rabbits a high cholesterol diet that attempted to mimic what humans do to their bodies.
They found the diet affected the rabbits the same amongst all trial groups, except for one group of rabbits who mysteriously had 60% fewer symptoms.
At first, it was assumed that these rabbits had better tolerance to the diet. But they didn’t.
It turned out the only difference was the student who was running this group liked to hold and pet the rabbits.
Repeated experiments, in which one group of rabbits was treated neutrally and the other group was loved, found similar results.
Are we that different from rabbits?