Customer Review

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book on the methods herbs and nutrients work in the body, December 18, 2007
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This review is from: Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies, 1e (Paperback)
I have been looking for a book like this for years. It not only discusses the methods by which herbs or supplements and drugs interact, it comprehensively discusses the way that supplements perform in the body. The 932 page, double columned book deals primarily with supplements (there are only 30 herbs), with detailed discussion of the substance including pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics, interactions between them and how to manage the interactions.

For instance, the Vitamin K section is 10 pages long, packed with information on the nutrient (chemistry and forms, physiology and function,) the nutrient in clinical function (possible uses, deficiency symptoms including a discussion of the functional sources of reference intakes and controversies thereof, nutrient preparations available, dosage forms available, dosage ranges for various classes of patients, lab values), safety profile (adverse effects, specific populations at risk including pregnancy and nursing, infants and children, contraindications), an interactions review (Strategic considerations which provides excellent information on not only coagulation but also fibrinolysis and the use of probiotic therapy in its administration, and anti-coagulent overdose). The Nutrient-drug interactions section is over 8 pages long, discussing antibiotics and systemic antimicrobial agents by name with interaction types and significance, effect and mechanism of action, research, reports, nutritional therapeutics, clinical concerns and adaptations. And then repeats this information for bile acid sequestrants, corticosteroids, mineral oil, anticonvulsants and blood thinners. The section on theoretical, speculative, and preliminary interaction research (including overstated interactions) is separated from known issues, which is especially useful. There is also a nutrient-nutrient interaction table. And each chapter starts with a summary chart to make navigation easier.

The section on St. John's Wort is especially detailed, as it is one of author Jonathan Treasure's specialties and is perhaps the herb best known for interactions due to its influence on liver detoxification pathways. While only a limited number of herbs are considered, they are the most important in terms of potential interactions. And most importantly, the authors understand the difference between herbs and isolated constituents that may come from the herbs.

The authors' clinical expertise is especially useful as it pertains to managing the interplay between drugs and supplements. In fact some interactions can be positive, as the reshi article makes clear, by making medications more effective.

As a reference book goes, it is quite readable and the CD Rom included makes it searchable. (I was so fascinated by the zinc article that I immediately sent it to my non-medical son.) I highly recommend this book to any medical professional who is dealing with patients who take supplements, herbs or drugs (and that covers close to all of them.)
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Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY USA

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