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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael D. Brown, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book contains the proceedings of an international workshop on zinc, covering the metabolism, gut physiology, and clinical applications of zinc in the treatment of both gastrointestinal and liver diseases.
Purpose: It aims to enhance the understanding of zinc and its role in gastrointestinal diseases among investigators and clinicians in the field of gastroenterology. This text provides comprehensive information on zinc and the GI tract that would be difficult to find in any other text or journal.
Audience: It is written for both basic science investigators and clinical gastroenterologists. The latter would probably benefit most from reading this text, but may not be pulled in by the title, which strongly suggests a limited-interest basic science text. It provides some very interesting insights into gastrointestinal diseases that cannot be found elsewhere. The contributors are all invited experts who presented at the international workshop.
Features: The text covers zinc absorption and metabolism as well as the clinical findings and consequences of zinc deficiency. Specific illnesses such as diarrhea, immune dysfunction, aging, and ulcerogenesis are covered in relation to aberrations in zinc metabolism. Much of the clinical information concerns zinc and liver disorders such as Wilson's disease. The book is quite detailed in this area and provides many unique insights. The chapters on zinc and treatment of chronic liver diseases provide information that can be applied immediately in a clinical setting. It is surprisingly well illustrated with graphs, tables, and schematics. The references are very up to date and detailed. The index is adequate and the text is above average in appearance for a workshop monograph.
Assessment: This is a surprising publication that will hold the interest of any gastroenterologist or investigator in the area of nutrition or zinc metabolism. It excels at its aim of improving the knowledge base of the reader in the area of zinc physiology and this trace mineral's role in GI and liver diseases. No other recent text covers the material with this level of detail.