- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Avery (May 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0895298473
- ISBN-13: 978-0895298478
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Probiotics: Nature's Internal Healers Paperback – May 1, 1998
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Pre-order today
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The book does have some great info on probiotics. It includes history of use, differences in strains and their function, dosages, and recommendation for probiotic use in various conditions.
Nonetheless, I found the book to be full of religious bias without being overtly prejudice.
I planned to have this book as part of my show-and-tell reading recommendation. I decided not to include it to avoid offending people.
The book DOES serve its purpose of providing good educational information (with references) on probiotics.
The usual "prescription" is to take by mouth gelatin capsules or powder stirred into water containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and Bifidobacterium bifidum of particular strains found most effective. While the author's company, Natren, is barely mentioned in the book, the instructions on how to select the best commercial probiotic products point to the Natren products, which are also considered by others to be among the best.
Unfortunately, most diet advice, while common, is at odds with actual scientific findings. Trenev's recommendations are to eat a diet that provides 60% of its energy from complex carbohydrates (p31). Avoiding animal products is encouraged repeatedly backed up only by unsupported rationale on "putrefaction" of such foods in our digestive systems. The fact is that a meta-analysis of 24 diet trials on low-fat low-cholesterol diets showed that here was no significant effect of these diets on either coronary artery disease or total mortality (Garber, 1996; Ravnskov 1998).
Recommending low-fat diets to diabetics (p169) is especially destructive, since fats do not raise blood sugar or insulin levels at all (Bernstein, 2003).
The recommendation for breast milk was good.
Stating that there is no known cause for Crohn's disease (p163) ignores a great deal of evidence that this, celiac disease, colitis and other conditions are caused by food allergies, especially to the proteins in the whole grains that Trenev recommends so strongly (Eades, 2000; Braly, 2002; Smith, 2002). People should be tested for these allergies and avoid the offending foods, using probiotics only if this fails.
One does not have to drink milk or yogurt to get enough calcium (p42); it is present in cheeses, sardines, and some in all vegetables and nuts. Trenev promotes dairy products their vitamin B12 content, avoiding the fact that meat, fish and eggs are the best sources (McCully, 2000).
A number of other errors do no credit to this author: 60,000-100,000 pounds is not 30,000-50,000 tons (p27). Description of a double-blind study was incorrect (p80). A pH of 5-6 is not alkaline (p84). Description of freeze-drying is not quite correct (p124). Caprylic acid is not hexanoic acid, but the 8-carbon octanoic acid (156). Fructooligosaccharides occur naturally and are also made enzymatically as food additives, not chemically, and are safe in general (deMan, 1999).
Reader beware - much good advice on probiotics in this book, but watch out for the rest.
Bernstein, Richard K., Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, Rev., Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Co., 2003.
James Braly, MD & Ron Hoggan, MA. Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May be Hazardous to Your Health, New York, NY:Avery/Penguin Putnam, 2002.
deMan, John M., Principles of Food Chemistry, 3rd ed., Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen, 1999.
Michael R. Eades, MD & Mary Dan Eades, MD. The ProteinPower LifePlan, New York, NY:Warner Books, 2000.
Garber AM, Browner WS, Hulley SB (1996). Cholesterol Screening in Asymptomatic Adults, Revisited. Annals of Internal Medicine 124:518-531.
Kilmer S. McCully, PhD, MD & Martha McCully, The Heart Revolution: The Extraordinary Discovery that Finally Laid the Cholesterol Myth to Rest, New York, NY: Perennial/Harper Collins, 2000.
Ravnskov, U. (1998). The Questionable Role of Saturated and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51, 443-60.
Melissa Diane Smith, Going Against the Grain: How Reducing and Avoiding Grains Can Revitalize Your Health, Chicago, IL:Contemporary Books, 2002.