Book Reviews - Orthomolecular Medicine by liuhongmeiyes


									                                 Book Reviews

                                                     arthritis, and multiple sclerosis; lowers
The UV Advantage : The Medical Break-                blood pressure as well as medication; and
 through That Shows How to Harness                   prevents cancer of the prostate, breast, ova-
 the Power of the Sun for Your Health                ries, and digestive tract. And while we’re at
   by Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D.                 it, Holick affirms that sun exposure cannot
  with Mark Jenkins. ibooks, Inc. NY.                cause vitamin D toxicity.
      2004. Paperback, 224 pages                           The kids of my generation baked all
                                                     day in the sun: back yard, ballpark or
      “Turn off that TV and get outside!”            beach. We covered, if we covered at all,
Those dread words of my mother’s were the            only enough to keep the sun out of our
bane of my idea of an ideal childhood: plant         eyes while catching a fly ball, or perhaps
oneself in front of the television, and stay         to prevent burning. Sun block? Never
there. Not in my parents’ house. Weekday             heard of it. As a result, and in fairness to
afternoon or Saturday morning, cartoons              critics, we probably got more sun than is
were out and playing outside was in. When            safe. It must be clearly said that Holick
we pleaded that none of our friends were             absolutely, positively does not advocate
outside, Mom said, “They’ll see you and              such exposure. He is talking ten minutes,
they’ll come out.” That’s true; eventually           not ten hours. The UV Advantage contains
they did, after they were done watching              twelve pages of detailed “Holick Safe Sun
TV. When I got home from summer camp,                Tables” that sort you by skin type, indicate
one of my Dad’s highest compliments was,             the latitude of your city, and then tell you,
“It’s about time you got some color on you.”         month by month, and by time of day, how
Every photo I’ve ever seen of myself as a            many minutes–that’s minutes–of sun are
kid shows that I was a platinum-haired,              safe for you. This straightforward tool will
sun-bleached blondie. With a nice tan.               delight readers as much as it has annoyed
      Things are different today; we hear            dermatologists.
every mother (and practically all doctors)                 Holick is ultra-moderate about ultra-
say, “Put on your sunscreen!” But now                violet. Moderates catch it from both ends.
Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D. tells us what            Sun-worshippers and tanning-booth share-
our “old school” mothers, or grandmoth-              holders think his general recommendation
ers, told us first: sunshine is good. And I          for ten minutes of unprotected exposure
tend to believe him. Maybe it’s his nearly           to full sun three times a week is too timid.
thirty years experience teaching physiol-            The American Academy of Dermatology
ogy and biochemistry at Harvard, MIT,                (of which he is a member) thinks he’s nuts
Tufts, and Boston University. Perhaps it             to recommend any sun-time at all. But
was his 52-page curriculum vitae, with his           Dr. Holick is what I would call a militant
10 books, over 200 reviews, and no fewer             middle-of-the-roader. He goes out in the
than 260 original research reports. Maybe            noonday sun, yet he is neither mad dog
it’s just common sense. But mostly, it’s the         nor Englishman. He may be out, but not
strength of the facts in his book, The UV            for too long. He has emphatically stated
Advantage.                                           that “he does not advocate tanning.” In an
      Right from the first chapter, wryly en-        interview, Holick told me he wears protec-
titled “The Facts of Light,” Holick provides         tive clothes and uses sunblock, but only
an illuminating look at how sunlight is not          after he has had what he calls “sensible sun
merely good for our bones, but is also very          exposure.” For such as this, he was fired
good for the rest of us. Sunlight and the            from Boston University Medical Center’s
vitamin D it gives us relieves depression;           dermatology department in 2004.
reduces risk of type I diabetes, rheumatoid                The UV Advantage makes effective use

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine         Vol. 22, No. 1, 2007

of pedagogical techniques ranging from an       and strength of a high degree is the natu-
engaging first-person narrative to quoting      ral heritage of man and woman,” wrote
a Peanuts cartoon. Students attending a         Bernarr Macfadden, who himself could
Holick lecture would be fortunate indeed:       tear a deck of playing cards in half, twice
you cannot help but learn when the pre-         over. Dr. Greg Tefft would agree. He, along
sentation is this clear. His book is well       with Bill Quateman, has written Your Per-
organized, with summary boxes, appropri-        sonal Life: Measuring What Your Specific
ate graphics including maps and charts,         Body Needs to Live Lean, Long, Strong &
a glossary, and a good index. Seventeen         Better. Tefft, a naturopathic physician, is
pages of scientific references complete         also a three-time Natural Mr. America
the volume.                                     bodybuilding title holder. And yes, photos
     Davy Crockett said, “Be sure you’re        are included in the book. He was launched
right, then go ahead.” There is more than       into nutritional medicine after sudden
conviction in Holick’s writing: there is        multiple asthma attacks put him flat on
certainty. When interviewed, I detected         his back in the hospital. This experience,
that same sense of assuredness. There is        he says, “confirmed the uselessness of con-
justification for it: Holick is arguably the    ventional medicine in detecting the cause
world’s leading authority on vitamin D. In      of this problem and correcting it naturally.
The UV Advantage, he and coauthor Mark          My doctors deluged me in drugs that they
Jenkins have demonstrated what may be           promised I would need to take forever. It
the apex of real scholarship: managing to       was only through blind luck that I came
summarize an intense array of sunlight re-      upon special non-conventional nutrition
search into one relatively small and totally    and profiling which allowed me to sort out
uncomplicated paperback.                        the true causes of my asthma and correct
     Now we know why our parents were           this problem.” What he learned developed
right to give us a push out the door and        into a twenty-year advocacy of personal-
into the sunshine. Dr Holick’s push is          ized nutrition testing that is the subject
more gentle, but unmistakably in the same       of his book.
direction.                                           Your Personal Life’s ten chapters
            –Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul         are well organized and written with the
                       JOM Assistant Editor     energy of the dedicated coach. This is
                                                pleasant, and highly motivational, for the
                                                reader. The book focuses on the detection
 Your Personal Life: Measuring What             and correction of nutritional needs via
Your Specific Body Needs to Live Lean,          metabolic profiling and targeted nutri-
        Long, Strong & Better                   tion therapy. This is accompanied by a
  by Greg Tefft with Bill Quateman              short history of metabolic typing and a
  Angel Mind, Westlake Village, CA              discussion of toxin elimination therapy,
      2006. Paperback, 329 pages                and supported with clinical cases. Being
                                                a self-reliant type myself, I enjoyed the
    My older brother has been lifting           spirit expressed in “Determining Your
weights for forty years. When you watch         Own Nutritional Prognosis” (Chapter 9)
him, you can actually see the iron bar          and the unmistakable “come on, go for it!”
bend. 91-year-old Jack LaLanne exercises        attitude that permeates the book. Many
two hours every day of his life... and takes    summary charts and other graphics are
no prescription medications. With such          provided, plus four appendices, a glossary,
exemplary inspiration, at 51 I’m in better      a bibliography, and an index that would
shape now than I was in college. “Health        benefit from expansion.

                                                                                  Book Reviews

     “The body’s metabolic types are de-            anti-anxiety, and mood stabilizing medica-
rived from primal genetic designs modi-             tions to the drained, depleted, helpless and
fied through many generations,” says the            hopeless-looking depressives who trudge
author. “Feed the genes as they desire and          into the offices of their brain-doctoring
a maximum lifespan is insured.” Dr. Roger           psychiatrists? While practicing as a psychi-
J. Williams, who introduced the idea of             atrist and medical director of the Schachter
biochemic individuality half a century ago,         Center for Complementary Medicine, Dr.
would be pleased at Tefft’s modern applica-         Michael Schachter saw many depressed
tion of the genetotrophic concept.                  patients, listened to their stories and helped
     Your Personal Life has the voice of            them recover and live well. Now he teaches
experience: Dr. Tefft has personally ad-            us an integrated approach and shares their
ministered more than 100,000 nutrition              recovery stories. Following the road less
tests. No surprise that he is a naturopath.         traveled but well known to orthomolecular
Medical doctors go to medical schools               physicians, he recommends diagnosing the
where they learn medicine, practice                 root cause(s) of each patient’s discomfort
medicine, and prescribe medicines. Most             before offering safe, effective and restorative
medical personnel remain largely unfa-              treatments.
miliar with nutrition, and tend to dismiss                If the painful state of depression can
it without knowing about what they’re               result from various causes, distresses and
dismissing. This is a great loss to the             medical problems, surely a competent psy-
profession as well as to the public. Your           chiatrist would know how to assess patients
Personal Life provides a welcome second             and use medical tests and procedures to
opinion, presenting orthomolecular nu-              diagnose properly before trying to heal.
trition as a sensible alternative for our           Schachter explains that depression usu-
overweight, overmedicated, and ever-ail-            ally involves a neurotransmitter deficiency.
ing population.                                     Without getting too technical, he explains
         —Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul,               that when the brain sends chemical signals,
                     JOM Assistant Editor           some excite while others calm. Imbalances,
                                                    strains and problems can overload, drain
                                                    and deplete these biochemicals, produc-
  What Your Doctor May Not Tell You                 ing the characteristic symptoms that get
          About Depression                          labelled as depression or dysthymia or
Michael Schachter, MD, Deborah Mitchell             bipolar disorder. The DSM diagnostic
 Warner Wellness, Lebanon, Indiana                  manual has many labels but Dr. Schachter
     2006. Paperback, 397 pages                     does not get sidetracked label-picking. In-
                                                    stead he considers whether each patient’s
                                                    imbalance involves nutritional, hormonal,
     From the series – What Your Doctor             environmental, gastrointestinal, medical,
May Not Tell You About – Dr. Schachter’s            pharmacological or genetic factors.
book explains effective treatments for                    He encourages patients to review their
depression. Many sick, suffering and vul-           diets and study their biochemical profiles
nerable patients take their tired brains to         for clues which might explain why they
overloaded doctors who efficiently label            suffer from depression. He advises neu-
them ‘depressed’ and quickly write pre-             rotransmitter and medical testing and thor-
scriptions. In today’s world of fast facts          ough diagnostic work-ups. Assuming that
and fast foods, patients who trust fast care        patients can find doctors who know about
may stay depressed. And yet, what could be          restorative orthomolecular treatments, Dr.
more effective than giving antidepressant,          Schachter recommends customizing regi-

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine         Vol. 22, No. 1, 2007

mens of amino acids, essential fatty acids,     countless thousands of texts. Occupying
vitamins, minerals and even herbs to refuel     the middle ground is the reliable how-to
depleted brains and alleviate the symptoms      health book, of which Naturopathic Nutri-
of depression. He introduces an encourag-       tion is a prime example. Here is entry-level
ing selection of supplements with just the      nutritional medicine clearly explained
right amount of detail to reassure us that      by two experienced physicians who also
they have been researched and found safe        happen to be very good writers. One is
and effective. Then he explains how our         Dr. Jonathan Prousky, Assistant Profes-
foods, enzymes, toxins and even hormones        sor of Clinical Nutrition at the Canadian
may also need adjusting. After restorative      College of Naturopathic Medicine. I have
treatments, many depressed people recover       heard Dr. Prousky present on a number
but even so, Schachter counsels building        of occasions, and he writes every bit as
resilience with exercise, light, relaxation     well as he speaks. The other author is Dr.
and energy work.                                Abram Hoffer, the near-legendary found-
     Finally, what about brain pills? Do        ing father of orthomolecular medicine.
antidepressants always work as advertised?      Readers of Hoffer’s two dozen other books
First, these pills do not restore depleted      will quickly recognize his inimitable voice
brain fuels; furthermore Schachter teaches      and penchant for penning some of the
us that some drugs can actually cause           greatest one-liners in medicine. “In our
problems. Scientific studies have found that    early studies,” writes Hoffer, recalling
man-made antidepressants can interfere          his early research back in the 1950s, “we
with neurotransmitters; these pills may not     found we could inject chronic schizo-
work properly unless our brains are well fed    phrenics with 90,000 mg of vitamin C
and even so, synthetic medications may          and still find none in the urine.” So much
not restore normal signaling patterns. Dr.      for the hackneyed “you won’t absorb all
Schachter is not against medications; he        those vitamins” argument. Then there is
knows that many patients take brain pills       the authors’ No Sugar Law, and its corol-
however he recommends learning the facts,       lary declaration: “We are convinced that
monitoring risks and using restorative regi-    high sugar intake is a greater risk factor
mens along with medications. Schachter’s        for heart disease than is the fat level of a
book carefully explains an integrative ap-      food.” For the two-thirds of our popula-
proach for the safe and effective treatment     tion that is overweight, here is another
of depression, with facts that your regular     bestseller-cover-worthy statement on the
doctor may not tell you.                        benefits of eating unprocessed foods: “You
           –Review by Robert Sealey, B.Sc.      can actually eat more and lose weight at
                                                the same time.” Perhaps my favorite quote
                                                of all has to do with how our health costs
  Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to            will not go down until we “return to the
  Nutrient-Rich Food and Nutritional            whole living diets of our ancestors, or
   Supplements for Optimum Health               until we adopt the feeding principle and
  Abram Hoffer and Jonathan Prousky             practices of any good zoo.”
      CCNM Press, Toronto, 2006                      Hoffer and Prousky, while separated
        Paperback, 350 pages.                   by decades of age, achieve complete edi-
                                                torial synchronicity. Together, they offer
    Nutritional science may, in the end,        a forthright, uncomplicated health plan:
be reduced to a single short sentence:          don’t eat junk food, and do take supple-
“Eat right.” But the whys and wherefores        ments. While many books offer similar
of nutritional biochemistry have filled         advice, Naturopathic Nutrition does a par-

                                                                                   Book Reviews

ticularly good job explaining why. There is          acid, and includes a self-evaluation ques-
a conservative, common-sense tone to the             tionnaire. Practical indeed, since even the
book that would likely be very persuasive            best of diets is of little use if not absorbed.
to any initially doubtful reader.                    I found myself quoting this helpful chapter
     Naturopathic Nutrition is well orga-            to a family member even before I finished
nized into major sections, each contain-             writing this review.
ing two or three chapters. The first three                As with other CCNM Press volumes
sections, “Our Health Dilemmas,” “Health             that I have seen, the present book is a
Costs of the High-Tech Diet,” and “Health            handsome presentation incorporating
Benefits of a Naturopathic Diet” are jus-            good use of headings, uncluttered tables,
tification and motivation for personal               and ample references. As readers so often
lifestyle change. The next section contains          wish to be able to quickly look up men-
chapters discussing nutrient deficiencies            tions of a specific illness or find comment
and dependencies. In addition, a nutrient            on a specific study, I hope the publisher
supplements section, which appropriately             will duly consider adding footnote num-
constitutes the largest portion of the book,         bers and an index.
discusses therapeutic uses, safety, and opti-             Good introductions for the public
mum dose recommendations. The nutrient               make good reviews for the professional.
content of foods, and a number of interest-          All readers will therefore appreciate and
ing case histories, are also included.               benefit from a good dose of Naturopathic
      Chapter 7, “Optimum Absorption,” is            Nutrition.
especially well done. It focuses on the prob-                   –Review by Andrew Saul, Ph.D.
lems with and treatment of low stomach                                       JOM Assistant Editor


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