and Nutrients in Disease Management
edited by Ingrid Kohlstadt, MD, MPH
CRC Press; www.crcpress.com
©2009; Hardcover; $149.95; 740 pp.
There are some books that have "classic"
written all over them, destined to take up a permanent position
within arm's reach in the library of every writer, researcher, and
clinician concerned with holistic health. These are the books that
make you wonder how you ever lived without them – Murray's
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
comes to mind, as does the NIH's Encyclopedia
of Dietary Supplements and the
Institute for Functional Medicine's Textbook
of Functional Medicine.
Food and Nutrients in Disease Management
is such a book.
Edited by regular Townsend Letter
columnist Ingrid Kohlstadt, MD, MPH (who also contributed an excellent
chapter on obesity), the book brings together some of the best and
brightest thinkers in integrative medicine, each of whom contributes
an article on a specific disorder. It consists of 43 chapters arranged
in nine well-conceived sections: (1) Disorders of the Ears, Eyes,
Nose and Throat, (2) Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases, (3)
Gastrointestinal Diseases, (4) Endocrine and Dermatologic Disorders,
(5) Renal Disease, (6) Neurologic and Psychiatric Disorders, 7)
Musculoskeletal and Soft Tissue Disorders, (8) Neoplasms, and (9)
Within each section are several chapters, each on a different condition.
The conditions include all those you might expect – dyslipidemia,
atherosclerosis, hypertension, asthma, ADHD, autism, diabetes, obesity,
acne, irritable bowel, depression, Parkinson's – and quite
a few that you might not (chemosensory disorders, rhinosinusitis,
seizures, and renal calculi). Each article presents basic information
about the disease itself, followed by an excellent and concise accounting
of the traditional pharmaceutical research that pertains to it,
and then gives a fair and unbiased reading of the evidence for the
effects of nutritional factors, food, and supplements on each disease.
In fact, it is the fair-mindedness and lack of agenda that will
make this book acceptable to even traditional, conservative, nutrition-shunning
medical doctors. Because it is so evidence based, it should go a
long way towards winning over even the most conventional practitioners
to the idea of the usefulness of dietary and nutritional interventions
in treatment protocols.
While each contributor organizes his or her material slightly differently,
most chapters follow a similar outline. The excellent chapter "Dyslipidemia
and Atherosclerosis" by Douglas Triffon, MD, and Erminia Guarneri,
MD, for example, begins with an introduction, then is followed by
a brief section on epidemiology; a section on patient evaluation
and risk assessment; and in-depth discussions of LDL cholesterol,
non-HDL cholesterol, apo B, Lp(a), high-sensitivity CRP, lipid ratios,
and homocysteine. Each section is brief, to the point, and copiously
annotated, providing an excellent summary of the most important
and relevant research findings. The research on several nutrients
important for the condition being discussed – in this case,
vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids – is then summarized,
followed by a section on drug-nutrient interactions and one on diet.
Brilliant authors and clinicians whose work rarely appears together
in one volume fill this book. Nearly every reader will have his
or her favorites – mine include Mark Houston's definitive
chapter on hypertension, Steve Sinatra's on congestive heart failure,
Mark Hyman's on gastroesophageal reflux disease, Russell Jaffe's
on food reactivities, Patricia Kane and colleagues on autistic spectrum
disorder, David Perlmutter on Parkinson's disease, Jacob Teitelbaum
on fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, and Dr. Kohlstadt's own chapter
on obesity. You'll probably have your own favorites, but there's
not a dud in the lot of them.
Virtually every chapter in this brilliant volume can serve as a
basic reference article on the disease being discussed, as well
as providing a treasure trove of research summaries of the relevant
effects of various foods, dietary strategies, and nutritional supplements.
Dr. Bowden is a board-certified nutritionist
and the author of several best-selling books, including The
150 Healthiest Foods on Earth
and The Most Effective Natural Cures
on Earth. See his website at www.jonnybowden.com.