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This book, written by a wise thinker and a chemist, Mr. Linus Pauling, reads well and easily, thanks to the author's clear style and the air of importance he renders in his words. The book is apparently a product of a scientific mind. It avoids simplifications and bad style insulting the reader (like most popular books on nutrition have). It refers to studies, and quotes a lot of other primary sources.
In reading it, the lay person will learn about a variety of biochemical topics, each of which is of a great importance for the health of man. He/she will read about vitamin C, cholecalciferol, rickets, vitamin E, carnitine, pellagra, EDTA, the red bread mold, hepatitis, the common cold, and much more, all in passing rather than in depth, and will be stimulated to further reading. He will read things not often said elsewhere. Quote: "persons with a deficiency in vitamin B12 usually become psychotic even before they become anemic" - [page 19].
Two Pauling's chief recommendations are eating ascorbic acid and other vitamins as supplements, and avoiding sugar. Each of them has a great merit for health in itself. Both ascorbic acid and sucrose are potent (albeit not extremely potent) chelators, but clearly their effects in the organism are not identical.
I disagree with Pauling's recommendation that people should eat 6,000 to 18,000 mg of ascorbic acid each day. High intakes of the vitamin (even below the amounts recommended in the book) are known to cause an adaptation reaction manifesting as "rebound scurvy" on cessation of intake. This information is also found in the book [page 12].
I agree with most of the author's points and conclusions, and in a sense I am his follower.
Many people live on deficient diets these days out of sheer folly or lack of interest, or due to misplaced dietary advice (like skipping red meat), while they could nourish themselves properly without incurring additional expense.
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