Dynamic Chiropractic - October 21, 1994, Volume 12, Issue 22

Page printed from:


By Steven Eggleston, DC

Title: Handbook of Preventive and Therapeutic Nutrition Author: James M. Gerber, MS, DC Publication: Soft cover, 419 pages, $34 Publisher: Aspen Category: Patient care

See #T-155 on the Preferred Reading and Viewing List, pages XX, for ordering information.

When you see an interesting article on nutrition for a specific illness or injury, do you keep it? Does most of your information about nutrition come from the supplement sales people? Would you like a handbook of treatment protocols that includes effective supplements, foods to avoid, and dietary recommendations and the reason all these things are effective?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, this book is an absolute MUST. It is so simple to use. Just look up and condition like anemia, arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, food allergy, GI disease, hypertension, migraines, PMS, or a host of others. Dr. Gerber has outlined the clinical features, therapy and management, and not only the proper foods and nutrients, but the reasons they are considered helpful. The book is so complete and understandable that you could photocopy a page and give it to the patient.

Another very useful section covers macro/micronutrients, filled with charts and statistics about dietary fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and much more. For example, here are some of the things you can learn about tryptophan. The therapeutic claims include effectiveness for: insomnia (1-3 grams taken with a high-carbohydrate/low protein snack 45-60 minutes before bedtime); pain sensitivity (3 grams/day with a high carbohydrate diet effective in moderate but not severe pain); and emotional/personality disorders (limited evidence, may be effective for depression, mania, and aggressive behavior.) Research shows tryptophan uptake into the brain is enhanced by ingestion with carbohydrates.

What about the contraindications? This book has them, too. A dose of 4-5 grams/day of tryptophan may cause liver damage, and it is contraindicated in patients taking fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac). There are also reports of fatigue and reduced vigor.

Dr. James Gerber (Western States Chiropractic College) has written an excellent book. It is a reference book that is easy to use and the index is thorough. I must say that since reading the book, I now give my patients much more specific and detailed answers to their questions about nutrition. When a question is asked, I just reach for the book and in five seconds I have the answers.

Another profitable use for the book is in the reception room. It is so easy to read, patients who pick it up often ask if they can buy some supplements from us. It increases the patient's awareness of the importance of vitamins and that helps the office too. This is one of the two books I use on a regular basis (the other is Food As Medicine by Dr. Earl Mindell). I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Gerber's book and thank him for writing it.

Eggleston Rating: 10

Judy Silvestrone, DC

Title:        "The Biological Continuum"
Author:       Joseph Dockery, DC
Publication:  Poster, $25.00
Publisher:    Self-published
Category:     Patient education
The poster "The Biological Continuum" is a written and visual representation of the health spectrum from optimal wellness to chronic illness, with cycles of dysfunction demonstrated along the continuum. Large colored cyclic phases are used with pertinent phrases and terms appended in colored "balloons," embellished with butterflies and capped overall with an abstract sun/sphere/horizon motif. It is of moderate size (17" wide X 36" high), making it suitable for framing, but because of its atypical size, framing may be at an immoderate price.

The first "safety-pin type loop" indicates causes for departure from wellness. These causative factors are demonstrated by balloon captions and include subluxation, stress, and injury, among others. The next phase illustrated is that of "dis-ease and disharmony." Adaptations required by the body (e.g., "strong defense/immune system needed"), and dysfunctions contributing to dis-ease (e.g., "body parts functioning at 100%"), are again balloon-captioned. There is a problem with consistency of intent, tense, and derivation of the phrases which are captioned. The inclusion of two causes and one effect of bodily disharmony make for a confusing mixture of metaphor.

The third loop illustrates the end stage on the spectrum of symptoms and disease. Captions here are: "... itis, ... osis, ... oma and syndromes." This final stage of chronic illness on the continuum is extremely vague and grossly oversimplified. This phase is also not loyal to its cited source, Dr. Virgil Strang's publication, Essential Principles of Chiropractic, as the end of the continuum is "death" in the text, rather than "chronic illness" as noted on the poster.

Additionally, Dr. Strang's book not only delineates the cycles along the continuum, but emphasizes the importance of knowing the direction that the patient is moving within that cycle and along the continuum. Although all stages are portrayed as loops on the poster, there is no information provided regarding the regression or reversal direction for each cycle. Questions as to how stress or subluxation may be counteracted, what happens when immune function is increased, or how the chronic "... osis" or "... itis" may be reversed remain unaddressed. If these are to be depicted as "loops," then vital information is absent.

In summary, Dr. Dockery's poster is an adequate jumping off point for discussion of the health continuum, but misses the larger vision of the "state of the organism" or "survival value" by oversimplification and omission. Although the poster refers to the constant state of flux of health status, it fails to show the route back toward optimal wellness and the important recognition of subclinical dis-ease for promotion of wellness care.

Silvestrone Rating: 5