Sunday Funny: Pyramids as stress reducers.

Sep 09 2012 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Got this one from Biochembelle. While some may say "presented without comment", this I merely present with LOTS of eyerolling.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Mar;4(1):35-42. Epub 2006 Jul 26.
Housing in pyramid counteracts neuroendocrine and oxidative stress caused by chronic restraint in rats.
Bhat MS, Rao G, Murthy KD, Bhat PG.
Source

Department of Biochemistry, Department of Physiology, Melaka Manipal Medical College and Department of Biochemistry, Kasturba Medical College Manipal 576104, India.
Abstract

The space within the great pyramid and its smaller replicas is believed to have an antistress effect. Research has shown that the energy field within the pyramid can protect the hippocampal neurons of mice from stress-induced atrophy and also reduce neuroendocrine stress, oxidative stress and increase antioxidant defence in rats. In this study, we have, for the first time, attempted to study the antistress effects of pyramid exposure on the status of cortisol level, oxidative damage and antioxidant status in rats during chronic restraint stress. Adult female Wistar rats were divided into four groups as follows: normal controls (NC) housed in home cage and left in the laboratory; restrained rats (with three subgroups) subject to chronic restraint stress by placing in a wire mesh restrainer for 6 h per day for 14 days, the restrained controls (RC) having their restrainers kept in the laboratory; restrained pyramid rats (RP) being kept in the pyramid; and restrained square box rats (RS) in the square box during the period of restraint stress everyday. Erythrocyte malondialdehyde (MDA) and plasma cortisol levels were significantly increased and erythrocyte-reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were significantly decreased in RC and RS rats as compared to NC. However, these parameters were maintained to near normal levels in RP rats which showed significantly decreased erythrocyte MDA and plasma cortisol and significantly increased erythrocyte GSH levels, erythrocyte GSH-Px and SOD activities when compared with RS rats. The results showed that housing in pyramid counteracts neuroendocrine and oxidative stress caused by chronic restraint in rats.

Bold is mine. For teh LOLz.

(Source)

5 responses so far

  • Niall says:

    This group have a number of papers looking at the effect of pyramids on healing and so on. I looked through a couple of them after some other blog had a similar 'ha! look at this nonsense' post on them. It very much isn't my area, but I couldn't see any immediately invalid approaches being taken, assuming that one isn't going to just reject the pyramid thing out of hand (which wouldn't be very scientific). As such, I would be really curious if someone who's field this is could highlight in their methods where it is that they are fudging things. The odds do seem that they are, but it would be quite educational to know where.

    • Scicurious says:

      Sure, no problem. I don't have access to the full paper, but here are the fudgey bits I can pull from the abstract:

      1. They are missing a control group. They have: control rats in the lab, restrained rats in the lab, restrained rats in a pyramid, and restrained rats in a box. But...where are their control rats in a pyramid? They don't have those, and that's a necessary control group. What is the effect of the pyramid housing without stress?

      2. "Research has shown that the energy field within the pyramid can protect the hippocampal neurons of mice from stress-induced atrophy and also reduce neuroendocrine stress, oxidative stress and increase antioxidant defence in rats". Um...where do they get this. I cannot find any sources on pubmed for this statement. I looked. In order to prove this, I would need to see:
      -what the energy field in the pyramid IS
      -proof of stress induced atrophy prevention (say, prevention of apoptosis or reversal of decreased neurogenesis)
      -and all the rest. I cannot find neuroendocrine stress, oxidative stress, or antioxidant defense (which itself is something of a squidgey subject). The only source I can find for the oxidative stress is the same group that published this study.

      3. "The space within the great pyramid has an antistress effect". Again, according to whom? I cannot find any sources for this.

      4. Housing again. According to the abstract, control rats were housed IN THE LAB, and the other sets of rats were not. I don't know who the heck does that. It could be a typo.

      This is what I could find before my first cup of coffee. Give me some coffee and the real paper and you'll probably get more snark. Maybe they did find the effects they saw, but they lack an important control group (also, they didn't have a control group for the group housed in the box). I also find it rather interesting that they looked at "cortisol". I'm hoping this is an effect of translation, because rats don't HAVE cortisol. They have corticosterone. You look for actual cortisol in RATS and...well I don't know what you'll find but it won't be an adequate stress measure.

      Finally...this is more than a bit of an extraordinary claim, requiring more than a bit of extraordinary evidence. They're telling me that pyramids have energy fields that are great...and no one figured this out? No one knows, or has even asked, what the energy IS and where it comes from? I'd need to see the proof of the energy first, then we can start talking about potential effects. I have never seen proof of a pyramid shape being associated with any sort of extra special energy (except the fact that the shape is very nice and solid). So, I'd need to see that first.

      Does that help? I realize that abstracts are not easy to parse, so I completely understand why people might not see some of the gaps.

  • Niall says:

    That's informative, thanks. Feel a bit silly sitting in this pyramid now.

  • [...] This week's Sunday Funny brought to you by Biochembelle. Given the one two weeks ago, I'm starting to wonder why on earth she knows QUITE so much about pyramid alignment. [...]

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