SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Book Reviews
Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition, 2nd Edition
Author: Stipanuk, Martha H., Ph.D. Bibliographic Data: (ISBN: 1-4160-0209-X, Elsevier, 2006, $94.95. Imprint: Saunders) 1212 pages, hard cover. Subjects: Nutrition.
DESCRIPTION: This book covers nutrient metabolism and function from the biochemical to organism levels of physiology and pathophysiology. The previous edition was published in 2000. PURPOSE: To describe the fundamental bases of human nutrition at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organism levels. AUDIENCE: This textbook is best suited for use in a graduate nutrition or nutritional biochemistry class. It also could serve as a source book for professionals in the field. Students in such courses should have taken an undergraduate biochemistry class (with an organic chemistry prerequisite) and an undergraduate nutrition class (upper level preferred). Given the central role of metabolism and metabolic regulation in nutrition research, this book addresses a critical area for graduate training. Strengths of this book, now in its second edition, are its breadth and the fact that the chapters are written by authors who are leaders in the field. FEATURES: The material is well organized, first taking a general approach that describes the definitions, functions, and structures of essential nutrients and other dietary constituents (e.g., phytoestrogens). The remainder of the book contains detailed and well-written coverage of macronutrient function (from digestion to metabolism), including vitamins and minerals. Obvious strengths of the book lie in its focus on organismal (mammalian) nutrient metabolism and on metabolic control at the molecular level. Interestingly, several chapters discuss the control and/or dysregulation of metabolism in physiological (e.g., exercise) or pathophysiological (e.g., metabolic syndrome) situations. The text provides numerous small sections that cover "Nutrition Insights" and "Clinical Correlations." The book could benefit from an addition of content regarding the role of genetics to further our understanding of intermediary metabolism and nutrient function. ASSESSMENT: This is a needed, valuable book. While other books cover the function of nutrients, the strength of this book lies in its focus on biochemical aspects of nutrient function and in the control of intermediary metabolism. RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★
Richard S. Eisenstein, A.B., Ph.D.
(University of Wisconsin-Madison)