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Books received

Amino acid metabolism and therapy in health and nutritional disease. Edited by Luc A. Cybnober. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., USA, 1995. (ISBN 0-8493-8962-3) 459 pages, hardcover. US$210.00.
It is becoming increasingly clear that amino acids, including the dispensable ones, have metabolic and regulatory functions beyond their incorporation into proteins. This book is the first to focus on the overall metabolic and therapeutic roles of individual amino acids. Fifty-six authors from 11 countries contribute authoritatively. The first 14 chapters review amino acid metabolism and its control of and by amino acids, and advances in knowledge of amino acid requirements. One of these deals specifically with the role in the central nervous system of nitric oxide produced from the terminal guanido N of L-arginine. Seven chapters deal with quantitative and qualitative aspects of amino acid supply in disease. The last four chapters deal with experience with amino acid formulas in the management of catabolic illnesses, cancer, acute renal failure, and gastrointestinal disorders. This book is highly recommended for those concerned with the role of protein and amino acids for normal maintenance and in various disease states.
Flavonoids in health and disease. Edited by Catherine A. Rice-Evans and Lester Packer. Marcel Dekker, New York, 1998. (ISBN 0-8247-0096-1) 541 pages, hardcover. US$195.00.
The potential health benefits of dietary phytochemicals are a rapidly expanding area of research. The protective effects of diets rich in fruit and vegetables against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers have been attributed partly to the antioxidants they contain, particularly vitamin C and carotenoids. The flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, and phenolic acids contribute this activity through their antioxidant and other properties. This volume is the seventh in a series on antioxidants in health and disease that have dealt successively with vitamin A, biothials, vitamin C, and lipoic acid. It deals with flavonoids in medicinal plants, phenolic acids in fruits, and their chemical and biochemical properties, with five chapters on their antioxidant activities. It also has chapters on flavonoids in grapes, wine, gingko biloba extract, fruit juices, and extracts from the bark of the French maritime pine. The final chapters explore the actions of flavonoids against cardiovascular disease and cancers. Current activity in this promising field is well represented by the contributions of leading researchers to this volume.
Food allergy issues for the food industry. Edited by Maurice Lessof, Leatherhead Food RA, Surrey, England, 1997. (ISBN 0-905-748-21-2) 110 pages, hardcover. £85.00.
Almost any food can pose the threat of an allergic response in a susceptible individual. Problems arise for the food industry when manufactured foods contain varying or undeclared ingredients of a type that can cause problems for sensitive individuals. When the major ingredients of a product are indicated on the product labels, this provides useful nutritional information but cannot satisfy the need of the food-allergic shopper who may have a reaction to minor, unidentified components, or even traces carried over from food previously produced on the production line. The potential liability of the manufacturer and distributor are daunting. Reactions to peanuts and other nuts are the most serious, but more consumers are allergic to milk, eggs, and other common staples, and they also are also in need of accurate labels. Since catered food does not usually come with ingredient information, it can pose problems. Catering staffs need to be trained to answer accurately the questions of concerned consumers. This simple and clearly written short treatise provides useful guidance to food manufacturers and distributors in helping them to understand the problem.
Handbook of nutritionally essential mineral elements. Edited by Boyd L. O’Dell and Roger A. Sunde. Marcel Dekker, New York, 1997. (ISBN 0-8247-9312-9) 691 pages, hardcover. US$195.00.
Although this handbook is designed primarily for students and professionals in all aspects of nutrition, it is also a valuable source of information for professionals in all areas of biology. Authoritatively written individual chapters on each of 22 minerals cover the full range of these minerals’ biological functions in animals and, where appropriate, in plants and microorganisms. Practising physicians may need to supplement this handbook with more comprehensive clinical examinations, but they will find this book invaluable for the basic information it provides on what is known about the metabolism of all the minerals of established or potential biological significance. This book should be available, at the very least, in every academic and medical library.
Improvement of crop-livestock integration systems in West Asia and North Africa. Edited by Nasri Haddad, Richard Tutwiler, and Euan Thomson. International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Aleppo, Syria, 1997. (ISBN 92-9127-065-2) 572 pages + 40 in Arabic, hardcover.
This volume is based on a 1995 workshop in Amman, Jordan, at which agricultural scientists reviewed research achievements and discussed strategies for increasing the productivity of barley, pastures, and sheep in the critical rainfall zones of Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. The multiple-authored chapters in the volume cover both the promises and the constraints for improved crop and livestock productivity among the dry and farming systems and agro-ecological environments concerned. The information provided will be useful for agriculturalists in arid zones in other parts of the world.
Nutrient and gene expression. Clinical aspects. Edited by Carolyn D. Berdanier. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., USA, 1996. (ISBN 0-8493-9485-6) 216 pages, hard-cover. US$110.00.
Modern molecular genetic techniques are bringing rapid increase in our knowledge of nutrient - gene interactions. They are providing increasing evidence of the ways in which the phenotypic expression of genotype can be modified by nutritional factors. As this volume demonstrates, this applies to all human conditions and not just recognized genetic disorders. Chapters deal with gene-nutrient interactions, gene expression of the branched-chain keto acid dehydrogenase complex, genetic approaches to obesity and energy balance, diet-gene regulation of lipogenesis, mitochondrial DNA mutations in diabetes, and lipid peroxidation in human aging. This volume is an authoritative but not exhaustive treatment of this important topic.
Nutrition during infancy. Principles and practice. Reginald C. Tsang, Stanley H. Zlotkin, Buford L. Nicols, and James W. Hansen. Digital Education Publishing, 700 Walnut St., Suite 450, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (e-mail:, 1997. (ISBN 0-932883-09-5) 521 pages, hardcover.
This is an unusually reliable textbook, not only because the chapter authors are recognized authorities, but also because each chapter was reviewed in detail by two other listed chapter authors as well as the editors. The tables and illustrations are excellent and the focus is practical. Most chapters include global perspectives that reflect worldwide practices and applications. Appendices are provided on nutrient composition of infant formulas, growth charts, arm circumference and skinfold tables, growth tables and growth velocity, and skinfold charts. An unusual feature of the volume is the historical perspective on each nutrient accompanied by vignettes and photographs of physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding of infant nutrition in this century. For those needing authoritative and practical information on infant feeding, this book is highly recommended.

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