LW Supplement use survey

by FiftyTwo1 min read28th Oct 201426 comments


Personal Blog

I've put together a very basic survey using google forms inspired by NancyLebovitz recent discussion post on supplement use 

Survey includes options for "other" and "do not use supplements." Results are anonymous and you can view all the results once you have filled it in, or use this link


Link to the Survey

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I almost didn't click on this submission because I was preconsciously thinking "Oh, that isn't directed at me, cause I don't take supplements". Then I realized that that was stupid and took it. I think you will probably get some pretty serious selection bias of that sort, though.

[-][anonymous]7y 5

I suggest the OP adds “-- take the survey whether or not you use supplements” to the title.

In fact, it's hard fill it in if you don't take any. My experience was

  1. Tick all the checkboxes that apply (none of them), and select "never" for how often.

  2. Error message. You need to tick a box, if none applies tick "other". So I tick "other".

  3. Still an error. It's not enough to tick the box, you also need to fill in the name of your nonexistent supplement in the text box.

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There's a "do not take any supplements" option in Q1

Note that 'caffeine from beverages' is listed as a supplement, but it's midway down the list. So many people like me who don't think they take any 'supplements' will likely miss it. I suspect this will be a big source of error as well.

Cool survey!

I wish you could have answered the "how often" question for each supplement.

I thought about it, but it would multiply the number of necessary options insanely.

Took it.

Does the "took survey karma" rule apply here?

I upvoted you. Don't know if that makes it a social norm or not.

Is there some way to see the survey results again without taking the survey again?

Took the survey!

On a related topic, does anyone know where I can find a copy of Scott's Quantitative Health Prize entry? The link on the Less Wrong page is broken.

I have been prompted by this discussion to consider taking supplements. Where can I find a concise summery of the relevant research and the pros and cons of the options?

For non-smart drugs start by getting lots of cheap medical tests on things like your vitamin D level, magnesium level, lipid profile and whatever else your doctor recommends.

For smart drugs: http://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/ and as Sjcs writes Wikipedia and Examine.

Smart drugs? Drugs that are a smart choice or drugs to make me smart?

Drugs that make you smart.

Gwern has some good summaries/meta-analyses.

Although I would consider myself as a supplement novice, I generally look into supplements based on other peoples recommendations whenever I stumble upon them, and then look them up on Wikipedia and Examine. I occassionally go looking (via google) specifically for peoples' negative reviews of the supplement to check for significant adverse effects that might not have been made clear.

I realise this is obvious, but if anyone were to experiment with supplements be very aware of placebo effect and confirmation bias.

Does anyone have experience with Inositol? It was mentioned recently on one of the better parts of the website no one should ever go to, and I just picked up a bottle of it. It seems like it might help with pretty much anything and doesn't have any downsides . . . which makes me a bit suspicious.

I wonder whether a simple LW poll would receive more attention. beware trivial inconveniences

I tried that, that internal LW polls don't allow multiple selections

Not for a longe poll, but your could have created lots of Yes/No entries or alternatively a numeric field indicating the amount per week or how often it is taken (0 meaning not).