Thursday, June 19, 2008

What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More: Choosing the Nutrients That Are Right For You

Author: Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH
Publisher: Square One Publishers/$15.95 (433 pages)
Date of Publication: 2008
Reviewed by James J. Gormley (member, National Book Critics Circle)

Despite the fact the fact that there is a multitude of books for sale today that are billed as "nutritional bibles," there are only a few that currently reside on my desk and have become much-appreciated and dog-eared due to constant use: Jack Challem's User's Guide to Nutritional Supplements, Dr. Shari Lieberman's The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (all editions) and James and Phyllis Balch's Prescription for Nutritional Healing (especially the Avery editions).

That is ... until today. Smith's excellent guide will be my newest at-hand desk resource.

First, in structure, this book is organized very well: nutrients, health conditions, and maintaining health. The entry information for each nutrient and condition is super-concise, clear and practical.

Second, the tome is also chock full of insights and observations that are more up-to-date than anything else out there today. For example, how many nutritional cyclopedias include information about such important conditions that are nutritionally affected as adrenal fatigue, balding, exhaustion and PCOS?

Third, the part of the book devoted to maintaining health has nutritional information that exists nowhere else. For example, the section on bodybuilder's nutrition offers information and mini-charts on supplements to: relieve sore muscles, assist while dieting, support liver health, enhance energy, and more.

While there are always pet favorites we have that, in my case, I wish could have been given more play in the book---such as a longer section on fatty acids or inclusion of acetyl-L-carnitine in the memory enhancement section---these are the smallest of quibbles regarding an invaluable, must-have resource that frankly puts many other such books to shame.
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