By Geoffrey P. Webb
Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2006, 242 pp.,
A senior lecturer in nutrition and physiology at the Universityof East London,Webb is highly qualified to write this comprehensive review of nutritional supplements and the existing theory and research behind each.
The book opens with chapters discussing dietary supplements and functional foods, and micronutrient adequacy.Webb then turns for the balance of the book to the various categories of supplements.The approach is basically the same for each. Under the various chapter headings (Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, etc.) he discusses each nutrient separately.The discussion encompasses what the nutrient does (or is thought to do) in the body, what foods it is found in, how much is needed and what impact inadequate (or too much) intake of the nutrient has for a healthy body. For nutrients for which there is no scientific consensus (guarana, ginseng, etc.) Webb reviews the various studies and claims.
The volume is pricey, and of course, it is vulnerable to obsolescence as new research adds to or amplifies what is documented in the book. Nevertheless, this is a truly comprehensive piece of scholarship that should remain mostly relevant and current for some time, and as such is a highly valuable addition to any foodservice professional's reference shelf.