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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Dale A. Schoeller, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a major book on vitamins last published in 2001. All 18 chapters have been updated and about half of the authors are new to this edition with the result that this edition contains new information and perspectives.
Purpose: "This book describes the biochemistry and physiologic roles of vitamins in humans. It is written from a clinical perspective, and places major emphasis on the biochemical underpinnings of the ever-expanding roles of vitamins in metabolic function. Although the central functions of most vitamins have been known for decades, the last 10 years have seen the discovery of many new roles and the biochemical understanding of these roles as well as of the better known roles has greatly expanded, making this new edition timely. "
Audience: It is intended for experts in nutrition, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates. It is both an excellent reference and a textbook. It is written at a level that assumes a basic understanding of biochemistry and human physiology.
Features: The chapters are largely organized around the individual vitamins and thus there are 14 chapters, each covering one of the known human vitamins. The authors of each chapter are internationally recognized experts. Additional chapters cover general coenzyme function, epigenetic effects of vitamins, mass spectrometry, and a summary of the United States Dietary Reference Intakes. The book includes a slightly less than average number of black-and-white figures, most of which are devoted to biochemical pathways; frequent and pertinent references; and an extensive and detailed index.
Assessment: This is an excellent addition to the field of vitamins and vitamin biochemistry. It provides an up-to-date compilation of recent advances in the field without losing the excitement of the original discovery of these essential nutrients and their deficiency syndromes. It provides an extensive breadth of information along with sufficient detail to be of value to most experts in nutrition as well as to new students.