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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Zhaoming Xu, BSc, MSc, PhD (University of British Columbia)
Description: This recent addition to the popular press collection describes potential health benefits of taking saccharides as nutrient supplements.
Purpose: Although the authors do not clearly define the purpose for the book, based on the content, it is evident that it tries to promote saccharides as a means of healing.
Audience: This book is aimed at people who are seeking alternative means of promoting health and fighting diseases.
Features: This book is organized in three parts. Part I provides background information on saccharides including definitions of the terms used in the book. Part II focuses on saccharides and immune system. In this part, the authors went beyond the immune system to include saccharides and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, HIV, and hepatitis, etc. Part III, entitled "Turn Back the Clock," describes saccharides as a means to slow down aging, build endurance, help to lose weight, improve memory and learning, and lower anxiety and improve sleep, etc.
Assessment: This is a generally understudied area with limited scientific evidence available. It is good that authors have made efforts to tell both sides of the story. However, some of the claims may not be fully supported by scientific evidence. There also is a tendency toward overgeneralization of limited experimental observations. On a positive note, this book could be a stimulus to research the scientific reality of saccharides in health promotion.