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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kathy Keiver, PhD (University of British Columbia)
Description: The author of this book covers the basic structure, function, and detailed metabolism of the macronutrients energy and water. She also includes detailed information regarding the interaction between the nutrients and genetics. This is the second edition of the book; the first edition was published in 1994.
Purpose: The purpose is to explain, review, and explore present knowledge and recent trends, developments, and advances in nutrition. This is a worthy objective, but not always met. For example, a discussion regarding the formulation of the DRIs is lacking (although the history of the formulation of RDAs is covered), as is discussion about the role of fiber in health and the controversies surrounding the use of glycemic index in the management of diabetes. The section on alcohol contains little new information from this field.
Audience: According to the author, this book is written for a scholarly audience, but is thought to be of interest to the educated layman. The book is more suited to a scholarly audience. The author is a credible authority on much of the subject matter of this book.
Features: Although basic structure and functions of the macronutrients are covered, as well as assessment and measurement techniques, the strength of this book lies in the depth of discussion of the metabolism of these nutrients and their interaction with genetics. The genetic variants of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are particularly well-covered, although the influences of diet on these diseases are not. Information is often presented in sections in which it does not seem to belong (e.g., apoptosis in the unit on water).
Assessment: This book is most suitable as a reference book, although sometimes information is hidden in unexpected sections, making it difficult to find. In particular, it contains detailed information regarding nutrient/gene interactions.