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May 1961

The Chemistry of Lipids in Health and Disease

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):788-789. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050154022

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Despite an interesting and ambitious title, this book has no claim to merit. The author, a British biochemist, has the objective of simplifying the important subject of lipid biochemistry for the medical practitioner. He has not succeeded. His book is superficial, incomplete in content, and is written in a pedantic, "down the nose" style better suited for grammar-school students or the lay public.

Here are a few illustrations. "Today we fear metabolic disorders such as atherosclerosis." "Warfarin... is easily disguised in bait, more humane, and less dangerous to children and domestic animals than are conventional rodenticides." The author says not a word about the use or value of warfarin as an anticoagulant, a strange deficiency when he has undertaken to discuss the use of vitamin K antagonists in clinical medicine. The lipoproteins are scarcely mentioned. Fat is digested and absorbed and then left sitting for eternity in the intestinal wall.

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