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Biochemical Individuality Paperback – September 11, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879838930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879838935
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

This book was fascinating to read.
Jodi-Hummingbird
It will make them realize that only when they understand their individual nutrition needs and meet them can they have optimal health.
bobdfh@aol.com
Biochemical Individuality was first published by Dr. Roger J. Williams in 1956.
Cassandra Barnes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra Barnes on February 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Biochemical Individuality was first published by Dr. Roger J. Williams in 1956. It has just been reissued with a new introduction by Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D. Dr. Bland explains that Dr. Williams was the first to recognize all humans differ biochemically from others. He says that Dr. Williams was also the first to recognize that "nutritional status can influence the expression of genetic characteristics."
Dr. Williams conducted his own studies, as well as drawing on the work of others, to show that each of us is different. One chapter describes differences in anatomy, outlining how even such vital organs as hearts and stomachs vary in size, shape, and physical location from person to person.
The chapter on pharmacology explains how, even though the chemistry of each is known, drugs effect people in different ways, due to differences in body chemistry. That's why what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.
Dr. Williams says that "while the same physical mechanisms and the same metabolic processes are operating in all human bodies, the structures are sufficiently diverse [that] the sum total of all the reactions taking place in one individual's body may be very different from those taking place in the body of another individual of the same age, sex, and body size."
His observations led Dr. Williams to theorize that each individual also had unique nutritional needs, and that determining and meeting those needs would help combat disease.
Although written in academic language, Biochemical Individuality is of interest all readers who recognize "there is no such thing as a truly 'normal' individual" and that people have "unique biochemical profiles based upon their own genetic structure, nutrition, and environment."
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By lector avidus on March 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Roger Williams, a professor of Medicine at the University of Texas - Austin, wrote this book about the differences that pathologists and other doctors routinely find in human beings.

Unless you have a rather uncommon interest in anatomical or biochemical trivia, the literal contents of this book will probably not interest you. After all, how many people are interested by how many different stomach shapes there are, and how common they are? But if you are -at all- interested by medicine, and the more philosophical questions that medicine raises, the implications of the contents of this book will probably be of great interest to you, and quite likely prompt you to reconsider some of your beliefs and understanding of medicine.

Williams' exhaustive lists of all the differences in the human body is in stark contradiction to the reductionistic medical thinking, where diseases are often diagnosed by checklist-based symptom clusters and then treated with one size fits all "blockbuster" drugs. After having read, perhaps at times even slogged through, all the differences that Williams lists, you are left with no room to doubt that the differences among human beings are so great that medicine ought to be geared towards noting the differences among humans, and devising individualized treatment regimens that take advantage of these differences, rather than forcing human beings into "one size fits all" "production line" medicine, as often happens when medicine is reduced to standardized treatment algorithms that (sometimes) flowchart into one of a handful of "blockbuster" medications, based on studies reported by researchers oftentimes wearing the rosiest of sunglasses.
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful By bobdfh@aol.com on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most important books written in the history of nutrition. A must for everyone who wants to appreciate how one diet, one supplement regime, and one food pyramid do not fit all. We all have greatly differing needs, and Dr. Williams documents all of this eloquently and convincingly. This book should be read by everyone who cares about their health. It will make them realize that only when they understand their individual nutrition needs and meet them can they have optimal health. Thank you, Keats, for reprinting this timeless book!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jodi-Hummingbird TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic and an essential read for all doctors, and also patients, if possible.

Biochemical individuality is the concept that the nutritional and chemical make-up of each person is unique and that dietary and other needs therefore vary from person to person. People have unique biochemical profiles based upon their own genetic structure, nutrition, and environment. Some of these variables can also change over time.

The book `Biochemical Individuality' was first published by Dr. Roger J. Williams in 1956. Jeffrey S. Bland Ph.D., who writes the introduction for the 1988 reissue of the book, explains that Dr. Williams was the first to recognize all humans differ biochemically from others, and to recognize that nutritional status can influence the expression of genetic characteristics.

Jeffrey Bland Ph.D. writes,

"Aberrant genes do not, in and of themselves, cause disease. By and large their impact on an individual's health is minimal until the person is plunged into a harmful environment. . . . The list of common diseases which has its roots in this genetic soil is growing almost daily. . . . How many human ills will be added to the list is unknown, although some contend that almost every disorder compromising a full and healthy four score and ten years of life can be traced in one way or another to this genetic variability.
The first major breakthrough that resulted in this revolutionary change in thinking about the origin of disease was the recognition that we are much more different biochemically than was previously acknowledged.[2] Dr. Williams in Biochemical Individuality pioneered this revolution in thinking forty years ago.
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