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E is for vitamin E (""tocopherol"" to the initates). E is also for emphasis, enthusiasm, eggs-aggeration (eggs and other high-cholesterol foods are in). Then there's pangamate (vitamin B) and the other Bs, and C and A and selenium (a trace mineral) and meditation and exercise. According to Passwater and Carlton Fredericks--who offers an introduction--this regimen is very heaven for heart and soul. Pangamate, for example, is extolled as postponing aging, preventing and curing heart disease, reducing fatigue, and improving your sense of well-being. For support, the author surveys a vast literature, first condemning low-cholesterol, high-polyunsaturated fat diets, and then showing positive results for the various vitamin-mineral supplements. There are countless anecdotes, in addition to references to test reports and papers in Lancet or the New England Journal of Medicine as well as such obscurities as ""Soobsch. Akad. Nauk. Griz."" Generally, this data is presented in such cursory form that the reader with any scientific bent will want to know more about the experiment samples--race, age, sex, other medications. Throughout, Passwater's regimen is based on the purported truth about plaque formation in atherosclerosis. The theory is that certain agents (a cigarette smoke ingredient, for example) may cause a mutation in a cell in the arterial wall. Cells descendent from that cell proliferate to form a plaque which in itself produces cholesterol and bulges out to narrow the artery and Slow circulation. Vitamin E and other suggested agents counteract these effects, making your blood ""slippery"" and destroying the plaque. This is theory; it may be right. What cannot be right is to preach supernutrition as an immediate panacea now, in a diet based on a self-test offered at the end of the book. Of course you are urged to check with your doctor first, counseled against toxic levels, warned against using dietary supplements with some medications--or in the presence of other disorders. But if an ideal life includes ""Dr. Rinse's Breakfast""--a concoction of lecithin, polyunsaturated oils, yeast, yogurt, B complex, plus swallowing something over a dozen pills or capsules of high potency vitamins and minerals a day, include me out!

Pub Date: June 30th, 1977
Publisher: Dial