Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements

Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements

by Paul M. Coates
     
 
Coates (director, Office of Dietary Supplements) and several of his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health note that US sales of dietary supplements approached $20 billion in 2003. Covering 76 popular supplements from S-Adenosylmethionine (sold as SAMe) to zinc, entries include the common and scientific names of featured herbs, vitamins, and other supplements

Overview

Coates (director, Office of Dietary Supplements) and several of his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health note that US sales of dietary supplements approached $20 billion in 2003. Covering 76 popular supplements from S-Adenosylmethionine (sold as SAMe) to zinc, entries include the common and scientific names of featured herbs, vitamins, and other supplements; a general description; their chemical functions, structure, and synthesis; information on indications, usage, interactions with other supplements, herbs, and drugs, regulatory status in the US and abroad; summary charts of clinical studies; and b&w photos. Many international experts reviewed this comprehensive volume for healthcare professionals and health-conscious consumers. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
All the editors of this scientific volume are highly placed at the National Institute of Health, while the institutions of the 100 contributors range from Columbia University to Memorial University, Newfoundland. Seventy-five supplements are included, among them S-Adenosylmethionine (better known as SAM-e), ephedra, evening primrose, reishi mushrooms, riboflavin, and zinc. Though the focus of each entry is the supplement's chemical or biochemical properties (chemical structures are included), there is also detailed information where relevant on historical use, physiology, mechanisms of action, clinical and preclinical studies, potential health benefits, safety, adverse effects, and numerous other topics. All tables, charts, and figures are in black and white, though some figures may be viewed (with difficulty) in color at the publisher's web site, www. decker.com, where updates to the encyclopedia will also be available. Each entry includes a lengthy bibliography of references, mostly from the most current medical literature and occasionally from web sites. There is an index but no appendixes. Alternative resources to consider are the free International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database, http://grande.nal.usda.gov/ibids/index. php, which contains 730,000 citations drawn from four major databases, and the fee-based Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (also available in print), which contains more than 1000 evidence-based monographs about dietary supplements and herbs. Bottom Line The inclusion of more than 75 supplements would have been welcome (something that might have been easily accomplished through the use of less white space, smaller typeface, and thinner paper). Additionally, the preface states that the encyclopedia was written for "students and researchers of physiology and chemistry, for healthcare providers, and for consumers," but it would take an extremely dedicated consumer to make the most of this book. Dietary Supplements, edited by Pamela Mason (Pharmaceutical, 2001) is written for the health professional, but the entries are far more readable. Given the emphasis on chemistry and biochemistry, the Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements would be suitable for pharmacy, pharmaceutical, and medical libraries.-Martha E. Stone, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Lisa G Brown, BS, RD, LD, CDE (College of Saint Benedict)
Description: This is a reference for those desiring an understanding of the claims made for dietary supplements. It covers a fraction of the available supplements, selected based on the frequency of use and availability of information.
Purpose: In addition to looking at chemistry and functions, clinical implications, and references to relevant literature for the supplements, the book addresses the growing concern about safety, including harmful interactions between supplements and prescription drugs. Despite being about a controversial area, the book organizes a review of available information in the literature.
Audience: It is intended as a reference for students, researchers in physiology and chemistry, healthcare providers, and interested consumers, but it may not be appropriate for average consumers unless they have some chemistry background. However, it is well organized into subsections so that readers could skip over the chemistry sections and reference just the indications for use and conclusion sections if desired. The book meets its objectives, for a select audience with the background necessary to understand the technical scientific explanations.
Features: The book covers 96 supplements in well laid out sections composed of an introduction, a chemical explanation of its functions, a summary of clinical findings, indications for use, safety data if available, conclusion, and a reference section. The shortcoming is that it is written at a level that may be difficult for average consumers.
Assessment: This is a well-researched and laid out reference, but written at a level more appropriate for researchers and healthcare professionals with a chemistry background. As a reference, it is quite large, but it is also available online, which may be helpful for those without space for books, but have access to a computer. This book is appropriate for those with a chemistry background to be able to understand the metabolic pathways and it does provide a nice summary of the current literature. To stay current it will need to continue to be updated as the research and knowledge base continues to advance the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780824755041
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
12/10/2004
Series:
Dekker Encyclopedias Ser.
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
840
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.80(d)

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