Top critical review
157 people found this helpful
on 15 March 2007
"The New Optimum Nutrition Bible" is excellent in many ways, and full of interesting and accurate information, with dietary advice that is, in general, sound, though I would have some reservations about the fairly heavy emphasis on supplements and fairly expensive blood tests, and, while these are, of course, optional, they may be beyond the pockets of many readers. The book is very much about personal health, without any side-trips about saving the environment, animal welfare, or ethical vegetarianism, and is none the worse for that, as there are many excellent books which cover these issues, along with the personal health aspects. I would, however, be concerned about the accuracy (or the provenance) of some of the claims in this particular Bible:
The comparison (on page 283) that the incidence of breast cancer in China is 1 in 100,000 women compared to an incidence of 1 in 10 women in Britain is not backed up by any reference to any study, scientific or otherwise, and does not appear to be borne out by Dr Colin Campbell's "China Study". There is no doubt that the incidence of breast (and other) cancers in rural China IS a good deal lower than in the West, but even in China some cancers were 100 times more frequent in some counties than in others, and I would very much like to know where the "one in 100,000" figure comes from.
Mr Holford does not seem to be aware that recommending the purchase of only "cold-pressed" oils is misleading, as this term apparently has no legal force, (i.e. there is no particular temperature defined as "cold")and has nothing, in the final analysis, to do with whether an oil is chemically refined or not (see "Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" by Udo Erasmus.) I understand that the only unrefined oil normally available in general retail outlets is extra-virgin olive oil.
Ths more or less blanket recommendation,in the chapter "Eat Right For Your Blood Type", of the theories of Peter D'Adamo seems ill-advised.
While there may be something in these blood-group theories, I understand Mr D'Adamo has not referred to having published any studies supporting his theories in any independent scientific journals, and his diet has been denounced by "all of the leading scientific organizations, including government health organizations, and all the major universities and medical journals that have commented on it": (John Robbins in "The Food Revolution".) D'Adamo's diet has, apparently, pushed many people (Blood Type O & Type B) towards daily meat eating, which is surely a step in the wrong direction, when the thrust of all independent studies of diet in at least the last hundred years is towards a plant-based one, and a reduction or elimination of meat from the diet.