April 1961

Alcoholism: The Nutritional Approach

Author Affiliations

By Roger J. Williams. Price, $2.50. Pp. 118. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 1959.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):623-624. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040149023

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One social drinker in fifty becomes a drunkard. Why? What changes him? How does he differ from his companions? Experts have offered many explanations. Some have asserted that physiologic or somatic changes precede alcoholism, and that chronic alcoholism may result from causes as organic as those of Addison's disease. Williams, the author of the book under review, is a pioneer in this field. For a decade, he has hammered home the concepts of biochemical individuality and genetotrophism. Each person has a distinct biochemical structure, which charts his susceptibility to infections, to mental illness, to drugs, or to alcohol. The genetotrophic concept infers that one may be born with a great need for certain nutritional elements. Williams believes that these two factors—biochemical individuality and the genetotrophic concept—favor alcoholism in man. In this book, he presents his thesis, adduces his evidence, and appeals for action.

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