19/05/2006

Vitamin Vitality (by Patrick Holford)

I like health-food books, and picked up 'Vitamin Vitality' for a pound. It's well-written, and makes the case for the majority of illness and aging problems being due to poor diet and (to a lesser degree) lack of exercise. The author, Patrick Holford, has plenty of experience in nutritional advice and I tend to trust what he wrote.

On the other hand, it's now 20 years out of date. Moreoever, although he presents his case clearly, he hasn't really said anything that was new to me. Perhaps nutrition is, basically, an obvious science with differences needed for people's environment, state of health, genetics and individual metabolism. That's what I've believed for 25 years or more, so reading it in this book was hardly revolutionary.

Still, as a quick reference guide, it's quite handy. It has a questionnaire checklist to alert people to possible health problems, and reasons why they might need extra vitamin supplementation. It also has a useful brief guide to common ailments, and suggested nutritional defences.

I would have been a bit irritated if I had paid full-price for this - it's not a long book, and I didn't really learn anything new from reading it. But at a pound, it's a reasonable addition to the bookshelves.

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