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A kind of hybrid of last year's controlling-allergy guides and this year's how-to-get-off drugs manuals--with the result that neither problem gets adequate attention. Saifer, a clinical ecologist, and Zellerbach (The Type 1/Type 2 Allergy Relief Program)have a point that's basically reasonable: we are poisoned both by substances in our environment that we inadvertently contact (pollutants, common allergens such as petroleum products) and by substances we purposely ingest or inhale (the caffeine to cocaine group). They describe the many forms that toxic reactions to these substances can take, from headaches to general malaise, and explain the body's biological reaction to such toxins: how the respiratory, digestive, urinary, and other systems deal with and diffuse the dangers. They then briefly cover the three major groups of toxins--contactants, ingestants, and inhalants--and lay out a beginning detox program: basically, avoiding problem substances, while improving overall health through diet and exercise. Finally, for each of the common toxin addictions (alcohol, caffeine, chemicals, foods, cocaine, and so on), the authors outline first the dangers of use and then the steps to eliminate addiction. (Self-treatment--plus a word on how to get help.) This is all fine as far as it goes; but by organizing their material around an overly-simple theme--combating toxins, no matter what their origin--the various environmental, food, or substance abuse problems don't get the in-depth development they warrant. For a better chance of success, stick with the multitude of more specific guides.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1984
Publisher: Tarcher--dist. by Houghton Mifflin