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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Sitrin, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This book presents various aspects of vitamin B-6 requirements and metabolism in pregnancy, lactation, and infancy.
Purpose: The monograph is focused around two major issues: (1) a review and critique of available methodologies for measuring the vitamin B-6 contents of foods and diets and for assessing vitamin B-6 nutritional status in individuals and population groups and (2) a review of current knowledge of vitamin B-6 requirements in women of childbearing age, pregnancy, lactation, and infancy. A comprehensive review of these controversial topics is timely, and the information presented in this book is generally complete and balanced.
Audience: This is intended for clinicians, researchers, and graduate students. The chapters, however, are geared mainly to active researchers in the field of vitamin B-6 metabolism, and relatively few present the basics needed by beginning graduate students or the practical information sought by clinicians. The chapter contributors are credible authorities in their fields from various U.S. medical schools, research institutions, or pharmaceutical companies. They are a multidisciplinary group, representing the fields of food and nutrition sciences, pediatrics, biochemistry, and genetics.
Features: The book contains a modest number of black-and-white figures. Increased use of illustrations showing structural formulas and metabolic pathways would have been of great value to graduate students and clinicians. The chapters are well referenced, although more citations from the 1990s would have been appreciated. The overall appearance of the book, table of contents, and index are standard and adequate.
Assessment: This is a very useful book for researchers studying vitamin B-6 metabolism and requirements in pregnancy, lactation, and infancy, but it will be less valuable for clinicians and most graduate students. There is considerable overlap in the contents of the individual chapters, and some chapters contain material that is only peripherally relevant to the main themes of the monograph. The book is high priced for a monograph of this scope.