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Life Science


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Food and Nutrients in Disease Management by Ingrid Kohlstadt (CRC) Food and nutrients are the original medicine and the shoulders on which modern medicine stands. But in recent decades, food and medicine have taken divergent paths and the natural healing properties of food have been diminished in the wake of modern technical progress. With contributions from highly regarded experts who work on the frontlines of disease management, Food and Nutrients in Disease Management effectively brings food back into the clinical arena and helps physicians put food and nutrients back on the prescription pad.

Under the editorial guidance of Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt, physician nutrition specialist, this authoritative reference equips clinicians with the information they need to fully utilize nutritional medicine by enabling them to adjust medication dosage with diet, diagnose and correct nutrient deficiencies, and counsel patients on food selection. An emerging recommendation may soon be, “Take 2 cups of kale, and call me in the morning.”

Excerpt:  Throughout time, food has been used in healing. In recent decades food and medicine have taken divergent paths. Food has become bereft of nutrients, and modern medicine has sought to heal with technical advances that initially seem dazzlingly more powerful than food. Consequently, the healing potential of food is underutilized in modern medicine.

After decades of journeying on different paths, food and medicine are now located far from each other in the health care system. The current gap between food and medicine is illustrated in our terminology, which considers food and nutrients to be alternative and complementary to modern medicine. Not only do such terms contradict the obvious—we must eat to live—they imply the opposite of what has taken place. Food and nutrients are the original medicine. They are the molecules of biochemistry, physiology, and immunology, and the shoulders on which modern medicine stands.

This textbook was developed to help physicians reunite food and medicine in clinical practice. With food deviating from what the human body was designed to eat, with the population's health challenged, and with emerging technologies creating new clinical tools, this is a time like no other to restore food and nutrients to their vital clinical roles.


Apple-a-day prevention is supposed to keep the doctor away! So why is this book on nutrition writ-ten for doctors? Food and nutrients not only keep people healthy, they are clinical tools powerful enough to make sick people well.

Optimal nutrition as understood by recent advances in molecular science has the potential to unfetter patients bound by chronic disease. Once disease is present, dietary counseling may be insufficient. Treatment may require diagnosing associated medical conditions, screening genetic factors, minimizing nutrient-drug interactions, ordering blood tests, referring patients to appropriate specialists, and modifying prescriptions. In other words, this book is not intended to add another responsibility to ever-shrinking office visits. It is about the practice of medicine. Each chapter was written by medical doctors for medical doctors.


This book is written by physicians on the front lines of disease management. It is written for doctors who want the latest treatment approaches that benefit today's patients.

This book does not represent guidelines, recommendations, or the current standard of medical care as defined by medical law. Neither does it contain patient-sensitive information.


One who considers individual nutrients and biochemistry, but not food, is likely to miss the big picture. It matters how food tastes, how much time it takes to prepare, and how enjoyable it is to eat. Food is more than the sum of its nutrients. When it is eaten, with what other foods it is eaten, how it is prepared, and who is eating it all matter.

On the other hand, if you consider only food, you are forfeiting important knowledge such as how nutrient needs vary with disease and how the nutrient content of food varies greatly in modern agriculture. Nutrients can overcome toxicant exposure, compensate for disease, overcome predisposing genetics and epigenetics, and repair medication-induced nutrient deficiencies. In addition, this book reviews the medical literature on effectiveness of supplemental nutrients in treating disease. The quality of supplemental nutrients varies greatly and is also discussed.


People want to do what it takes to get better. However, information on nutrition tends to be incomplete, confusing, and often dangerously not applicable to the patient using it. As a result, food and nutrients are seldom used to their full healing potential.

Food and Nutrients in Disease Management gives complete, clear, and patient-specific answers. Its 64 author experts come from extremely diverse backgrounds such as food anthropology, industry, clinical practice in medical subspecialties, international health, academic medicine, and bio-chemical research. While awaiting the first chapter manuscripts, I nervously wondered what I would do if one chapter concluded "black" and the other said "white." That never happened! Instead this large, diverse, and highly regarded team has spoken with remarkable convergence. Each chapter supports the others with varying shades of pearl, dove, and silver.


Medical doctors have a professional duty to carefully consider the appropriateness of a therapy for their patients. To closely examine potential treatments for diseases of muscle, fat, and bone metabolism, I developed Scientific Evidence for Musculoskeletal, Bariatric, and Sports Nutrition (Kohlstadt, I., editor, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2006). The evidence for food and nutrients in disease treatment was compelling and complex.

Food can be used for healing, but food is not medicine in the same way a drug is medicine. Foods that heal have gotten acquainted with human genes for millennia. They have evolved together. Eating food is not elective. It is not a matter of food or no food, the way a physician must decide whether or not to prescribe a drug. Food anthropology is compelling information. When food con-tents, agriculture, processing, and preparation change, health conditions change with them.

Interpreting nutritional studies poses an often overlooked challenge. Unlike medications that are foreign to the body, everyone has preexisting levels of nutrients. Generally it is only people with suboptimal levels who benefit from supplemental dosing. Yet many nutrients cannot be measured in a laboratory. Dietary assessment is often inadequate to determine preexisting levels of nutrients since medications, diseases, modern food practices, and environmental toxins place additional bur-dens on the body's nutrient levels. Even if a dietary assessment indicates that a person eats sufficient nutrients, their nutrient levels may still be inadequate. In this book clinical experts share their insights on interpreting clinical studies.


The authors present solutions. They share the clinical approaches they have developed as experts in the field. Yes, nutritional medicine needs better diagnostics, a detailed understanding of food reactivities and obesity, and uniformly high-quality supplemental nutrients. However, your patient is in your office today!

Handbook of Nutrition and Food, Second Edition edited by Carolyn D. Berdanier, Johanna Dwyer, Elaine B. Feldman (CRC) Covering an incredible range of information from basic biochemistry, to population studies, to nutrition intervention, and medical concerns, Handbook of Nutrition and Food, Second Edition is an indispensable reference for any professional library. Significantly revised and updated, this second edition of the bestselling original welcomes contributions from several new authors, including Elaine B. Feldman and Johanna Dwyer, all notable leaders in nutritional science. Retaining the high level of scientific research, accessible language, and attention to detail of the original, this new edition reflects the changes and developments of the past six years in nutrition research by adding 12 new chapters and tripling the number of referential web addresses.

  • Outlines food and food constituents, current nutrient analysis systems, and techniques for data analysis
  • Reviews nutrition science including terminology, biochemistry, nutrient-nutrient interactions, and comparative nutrition
  • Assesses nutritional needs throughout the lifecycle from pregnancy and infant nutrition to adulthood and later years
  • Emphasizes exercise and the value of vegetarian diets
  • Considers nutritional assessment, screening, and monitoring tools including questionnaires and anthropometric assessments
  • Discusses particular challenges relevant to minority populations, school age children, and military recruits
  • Compares dietary guidelines in the US and around the world
  • Relates the latest findings in clinical nutrition including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, eating disorders, pancreatic health, eye diseases, alcohol metabolism, food allergies, and much more

Since the first edition was prepared more than 5 years ago, a lot of the large data sets found in that edition have been placed on the web. The reader will note that far more web addresses are given in this edition than in the first edition. By deleting some of the large tables that are now on the web, we then had space to expand this reference text to include a more extensive coverage of basic nutrition concepts. Thus, the reader will note that the book has been reorganized.

Part I contains five chapters relating to food. In this section there are web addresses for food composition as well as a broad treatment of food safety, food labeling, and computerized nutrient analysis systems and techniques available for such data analysis.

Part II focuses on nutrition as a science. Basic terminology, intermediary metabolism relevant to the use of nutrients, individual micronutrients, as well as nutrient—nutrient interactions can be found here. In addition, there is a chapter giving web addresses for the nutrient needs of species other than the human. This is particularly useful to the scientists wishing to make interspecies comparisons.

Nutrition need throughout the life cycle and under special circumstances is the focus of Part III. Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, feeding the preterm and term infant, the toddler, the young child, the adolescent, the healthy adult, and the senior adult is addressed in the chapters of this section. How exercise affects nutrient need and how one can have a healthy well-nourished body consuming a vegetarian diet is also discussed in this section.

Even though we have a large national commitment to provide a wide variety of nutritious food for our population, how do we know whether our people are well nourished? Part IV addresses this question from a variety of perspectives. Education on the national scale through the provision of healthy eating guidelines helps to inform the public of ways to ensure that they are well nourished. Beyond that there are a number of ways to monitor nutritional status of a variety of age groups and cultural groups. These are described in the rest of the chapters in this section.

Lastly, Part V deals with a wide variety of clinical topics with nutritional implications. Starting with medical evaluation techniques and flowing through all the relevant issues awaiting the clinician, nutrition is addressed as these clinical states are described.

Many of the authors of the chapters in the first edition have graciously updated their original contributions and we the editors are very grateful. There are some new chapters as well as some new authors.


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