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The Bookshelf: March 3, 2015

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights Vitamania.

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Trib+Health is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books of note in the field of health care. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit 

VITAMANIA: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection

by Catherine Price

A catchy title that captures our obsession with vitamins and our belief that getting plenty of them will ensure our good health.

However, freelance journalist Price has produced a book much broader in scope than the title indicates. The author provides a history of the discovery of vitamins and of the finding that certain diseases — e.g., scurvy, pellagra and rickets — are caused by vitamin deficiencies. She also makes clear that there is still much uncertainty about what these chemical entities actually do and how much of them our bodies require. The larger story, however, is about the thousands of dietary supplements that are widely marketed even though very little is known about them Consequently, it is nearly impossible for consumers to identify high-quality supplements Appendices provide specific data about the nature and function of each of the vitamins, and tables list the recommended daily intake based on age and sex.

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