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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Sitrin, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This monograph reviews and evaluates recent research data on folate metabolism and requirements, the role of folate in chronic diseases, and the therapeutic uses of folates and antifolates.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide scientists and clinical practitioners with an evaluation of recent research data concerning normal folate absorption and metabolism; the roles of folate in normal metabolic processes and alterations that occur with physiologic stresses such as pregnancy and lactation; methods for assessment of folate status and the consequences of folate deficiency; interactions between folate and other nutrients, drugs, and alcohol; folate status and chronic diseases; and therapeutic uses of folates and antifolates. New information indicating that folate status may be an important risk factor for diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, neural tube defects, and cancer makes this monograph a timely addition to the medical literature.
Audience: This monograph is directed principally toward nutrition scientists and biochemists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students interested in basic or clinical research in folate metabolism and nutrition. The individual chapters generally focus on recent advances that would be of most interest to the research community. Though many of the chapters deal with clinical topics, they are written from a research perspective and are not geared toward providing the practical information that would be sought by most clinical practitioners.
Features: The appearance of the book is very standard. As is common with multiauthored books, the individual chapters vary somewhat with respect to the quantity and currency of references and the use of illustrations. In general, the chapters are extensively referenced with many citations from the 1990s. Most chapters contain black-and-white illustrations, and the detailed depictions of metabolic pathways and interrelationships are most useful. The table of contents and index are adequate.
Assessment: This monograph provides a comprehensive review of recent research advances in folate metabolism and nutrition in health and disease. Particular emphasis is placed on emerging research areas, such as folate status and cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and cancer. The authors are distinguished basic and clinical scientists from the U.S. and Europe who have personally contributed much to this field. This book is a welcome and much needed contribution to the research community interested in folate.