Three months ago I suggested people consider inositol for treating combined vague mood issues and vague stomach issues. I knew a few people who’d really benefited from it, and when one talked about it on his popular Twitter account several more people popped up thanking him for the suggestion, because it fixed their lives too. But those reports didn’t come with a denominator, which made it hard to estimate the success rate; I was hoping mentioning it on my blog and doing a formal follow-up to capture the non-responders would give a more accurate number.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough people to do anything useful. I received 7 responses, of which 3 didn’t have digestive issues and thus weren’t really the target. The low response rate might be a consequence of giving the wrong link in the original follow-up post, or maybe it just wasn’t that interesting. I’m reporting the results anyway out of a sense of civic virtue. 

Of those 4 remaining responses:

  • 2 rated it exactly 5 out of 10 (neutral)
  • 1 rated it as 6, which was not strong enough for them to try it a third time.
  • 1 rated it as 3- not bad enough that they spontaneously noticed a problem, but they did detailed mood tracking and the linear regression was clearly bad. 

That response rate isn’t really low enough to prove anything except that anything with a real effect can hurt you, and the value of detailed data. So for now we just have David’s estimate that 5% of people he inspired to take inositol benefited from it. 

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1 comment, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 4:51 PM

Somehow I read "non-results" in the title and unthinkingly interpreted it as "we now have more data that says inositol does nothing". Maybe the title could be "still not enough data on insotol"?