Diet nutrition and cancer. By the Committee on Diet Nutrition and Cancer Assembly of Life Sciences NRC. Washington National Academy Press. 1982. XIX + 449 pp. references glossary appendix. $13код для вставкиСкачать
336 BOOK REVIEWS foreign literature references are generally undecipherable. There are 70 such literature misspellings overall, and in one reference, up to five (Schmid, E.). An index that could have been of great help is not provided. In sum, the author contradicts himself too often and does not adhere to standard taxonomic nomenclature. The book is characterized by poor editing and lacks evidence of proofreading. At best it could be used as a basic source by specialists already well acquainted with the facts. In such a case the book’s usefulness lies in the morphological description it provides. DIET, NUTRITIONAND CANCER.By the Committee on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer, Assembly of Life Sciences, NRC. Washington: National Academy Press. 1982. xix + 449 pp., references, glossary, appendix. $13.50 (paper). This recent text by a committee of specialists assembled by the National Academy of Sciences, research contracted for by the National Cancer Institute, is jam-packed with useful information and also a pleasure to read. The writers have successfully sifted and evaluated a vast literature full of controversy and produced a careful, convincing, and scientifically objective analysis. Research results from hundreds of human epidemiological studies, animal experimental studies, and in vitro tests for genetic toxicity are reviewed in an effort to disentangle dietary and nutritional factors or groups of factors that increase or decrease the probability of developing cancer. The introductory chapters detail the multistep origin of cancer and the numerous problems associated with identifying dietary cause for a set of disorders in which initiation and expression of abnormality may be separated by 20 or more years. Subsequent chapters cover most of the known macro and micronutrients, nonnutritional constituents of diet (e.g., food additives, food contaminants such as molds or processing chemicals, mutagens found naturally in foods), and patterns of diet and cancer (race, geography, class, specific body sites). The text focuses on the assessment of available evidence of dietary cause. Subjects not LITERATURE CITED Gantt, GD, Xirotiris, NI, Kurten, B, and Melentis, J (1980)The Petralona dentition-hominid or cave bear? J. Hum. Evol. 9:483-486. Henning, G, Herr, W, Weber, E, and Xirotiris, N (1981) ESR-dating of the fossil hominid cranium of Petralona Cave, Greece. Nature 292t533-536. Schultz, M, and Xirotiris, N (1981)Histologische Untersuchungen an dem Hominiden-Schadel und Tierknochen aus der Petralona Hohle. JMAA 1t308-332. R. PROTSCH Institut der Anthropologie und Humangenetik Universitat Frankfurt a M. Federal Republic of Germany discussed include the clinical implications of the findings, dietary therapies, and adjunctive dietary regimens. The researchers conclude their analysis by offering a set of Interim Dietary Guidelines designed to help prevent cancer. These guidelines, though appropriately conservative and clearly derivative from the observational evidence, are labelled “interim” because the researchers feel that our current knowledge of the relationship between cancer and diet is “similar to that for cigarettes 20 years ago” (p. 1-11and therefore not adequate for greater decisiveness. Additionally, as they emphasize, the relationships will probably be harder to trace and establish than were those for cigarettes, for diet is a far more complex behavior than cigarette smoking. Nevertheless, the researchers have enough confidence to state that “cancers of most major sites are influenced by dietary patterns” (p. 1-14)and that widespread utilization of a cancer-protective diet by Americans could reduce the incidence of cancer by one-third (p.2-9). This reduction, combined with the advantages accrued by abolishing (sic) smoking “would be roughly equivalent to the reduction in mortality from the infectious diseases brought about by improved hygiene and better health care delivery during the nineteenth century” fp. 2-9). On available evidence five factors are considered strongly cancer-promoting: high-fat diets; use of alcohol; the presence of aflatoxins, other mycotoxins, and nitrates or nitrites in foods; the presence of mutagens in foods, especially those introduced by preparation techniques such a s salting, char-cook- 337 BOOK REVIEWS ing, or smoking; and the use of certain food additives. Apparently the source of fat in the diet is less important than simple excess, but (ironically?) polyunsaturated fats appear to be more tumorigenic than saturated fats if persons are consuming low-fat diets. The latter, of course, are now widely recommended for weight control and protection from circulatory disease. Numerous additives have already been found to be carcinogenic and have been banned, and more continue to be, but the problem of avoiding carcinogenic additives is exacerbated by the fact that the rate of introduction of new additives outstrips the rate at which existing ones can be tested for safety. Carcinogenic preparation techniques tend to be localized geographically or culturally and associated with increased rates of cancers at specific sites. Similarly, aflatoxinassociated cancers are most common in areas where control of aflatoxin-contaminated foodstuffs is poor. Some dietary factors appear to be cancerprotective. These include dietary fiber, vitamins A, C , and E, selenium, beta-carotenerich vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage family). In accordance with these findings, the Interim Dietary Guidelines recommend a reduction in the total fats in the U.S. diet; increased use of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, especially citrus, cruciferous, and carotene-rich vegetables; decreased use of salted, pickled, and smoked foods, and alcohol and cigarettes; and continued efforts to identify mutagens in foods and to avoid contamination of foods with carcinogens from any source. The text is long but highly readable. This is not only because the authors are organized, write simply, and define their terms, but also because they exhibit a refreshing concern with objectivity and fairness in dealing with conflicting theories or experimental results, and because they are unusually sensitive to nuances of the English language. For example, the writers are to be congratulated for using the term human (not “man”) nearly throughout the text. The exception to this sensitivity-in chapter 16-is serious enough to merit special mention. In this chapter race (inherited) and ethnicity (learned) are confused; if the authors fear the word race, they can appropriately substitute other terms such as extraction, ancestry, or genetic derivation. It is to be hoped that a second edition or printing will correct this error. Anthropologists of several ilks will find much of potential research interest in this book. For example, the cancer-protective diet not only closely matches the improved diet proposed a few years ago in the (controversial!) U.S. Dietary Guidelines and recommendations long made by health-foodists, but is also the sort of diet humans have presumably consumed during most of their evolutionary history. The implication of many studies quoted in the text is that the destructive effects of carcinogens in foodstuffs or diets can be controlled or cancelled by the simultaneous presence of cancer-protective substances. Thus there is material for both the sociohistorian and the evolutionary biologist, as in the comparative analysis of traditional dietaries, or the reconstruction of the health quality of prehistoric diets combined with paleopathological analysis. Medical anthropoligists might find meat (pun) for comparative research in the emically defined cancer-preventive diets of nonorthodox medical systems,, such as macrobiotics or naturopathy. Finally, despite the simplicity of the guidelines, their low risk, and apparent benefit, on past experience it can probably be predicted that they will meet with resistance. The causes of this resistance, too, are researchable, both as psychological and as sociocultural processes. In summary, this book is useful as a source of factual and bibliographic materials, and as a starting point for creative research. As a bonus, it is also well written and highly interesting CLAIREMONODCASSIDY Ofice of Znternational Programs University of Maryland College Park, Maryland BOOKS RECEIVED Barash, DP (1983) Aging: A n Exploration. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 240 pp. $14.95 (cloth). Bonne-Tamir, B, Cohen, T and Goodman, RM (eds.) (1982) Human Genetics, Part A: The Unfolding Genome. New York: Alan R. Liss. 560 pp. $88.00 (cloth). Brewer, GJ, and Sing, CF (1983) Genetics.