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Skin Diseases, Nutrition and Metabolism. by Erich Urbach; Edward B.

LeWinn
Review by: H. Hanford Hopkins
The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Dec., 1946), p. 406
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2810591 .
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406

THE QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY

pages. The illustrations,


withthe exceptionof the
By ErichUrbach,
withthecollaboration
ofEdwardB. frontispiece,
arepoor. The first
37 pagesaretakenup
LeWinn. Grune& Stratton,
New York. $10.00. bya reviewoftheanatomy
andphysiology
oftheskin.
xxii + 634 pp.; illus. 1946.
The remaining
pagescontaina classified
discussion
of
This book is dividedintofiveparts: biochemistry
ofthe cosmetics,
attention
beingpaid to detailsofmanufacskin; diseasesofthe skindue to malnutrition
(including ture,chemical
composition,
and humanusage,in paravitaminosesand food allergies); the influenceof dis- ticular
tothedevelopment
relationship
ofdermatitis
by
eases of the digestiveapparatus on the skin; dietary users. The distinctiou
betweenprimary
irritants
and
therapeutics;and nutritionaltables.
allergens
is pointedout. The bookis bothinteresting
The metabolismand biochemistryof the skin, de- anduseful
tothedermatologist,
andwouldbe stillmore
scribedin the firstpart in relationshipto diseasesofthe so had theauthorsbeenable to listtrade-name
examskin, is a relativelyunexploredfield. The author's plesofthecosmetics
discussed. However,thereader
work in this field,utilizingmicrochemicalmethodson may findthislack suppliedby usingthe references,
his unique punchbiopsyspecimensoflivingskin,stands whichareextensive.
SKIN DISEASES,NUTRITION
ANDMETABOLISM.

alone. His concept of "skin diabetes" based on this


workis a contribution
whichhas occasionedwide commentand interest. The interpretation
of muchof the
vast materialhereinreported,however,is controversial,
and stillremainsto be clarified.
Amongthe many nutritionaldeficiencystates causing dermatosesdiscussed by the author, he includes
low-proteinedema, carotinemia,pellagra, the role of
vitaminB in seborrheiceczema, of vitaminK in purpura, togetherwith a reviewof the experimentalwork
on animals. Seventy-three
pages are devoted to food
allergy as a cause of skin diseases. Although this
treatise,as well as many others,makes a convincing
case forfoodas a sensitizerand cause of manyobscure
dermatoses,the conclusionsdrawnare based upon too
fewcase reports,oftenuncontrolledor unconfirmed,
to
be accepted in theirentirety.
The thirddivisionofthe book containsin one partan
interestingdiscussionof eruptionsdue to poisonsor infoodtaken into the digestivetract,and
fection-bearing
of eruptionsassociated with diseases of the digestive
due to so-called
systemin another. Autointoxication,
intestinalputrefactionand fermentation,
receivesdue
basis
attention,but is placed on no soundera scientific
than in priorpublications.
Nutritionaltherapyof skin diseases, treatedin the
fourthpart,takes up 159 pages. By dietaryregulation
it is contendedthat widely divergent dermatological
entities,such as, forexample,eczema, Darier's disease,
acne, and tuberculosis,can be cured or ameliorated.
Sample diets foreverydermatologicaldisease,where
indicated,and nutritivefoodvalues mav be foundboth
in the substanceofthe book and in the 112 tablesat the
end. The bibliographyis verycomplete.
H. HANFORD HOPKINS

H. HANFORD
HoPKiNS

,W
KNOWYouR PROSTATE. The DangerousAge of M-an.
By Edwin F. Bowers. KnickerbockerPublishing
Company, New York. $2.00. 152 pp. 1945.

"Awaybackin 1916,"saystheauthor,
"I published
a
book-'Alcohol-Its Influence
on Mind and Body'whichmaybe foundcoveredwithdustandmildew-in
someoftheoldlibrary
shelves."(p. 122).
This statement
regarding
an earlierpublication
appearsto be quiteprophetic
of thefateof thepresent
work. A tremendous
amountofresearch
hasobviously
gone into the compilation
of this volume-research
consisting
almostentirely
ofcollecting,
rehashing,
and
directly
quoting(inmanycaseswithout
anymention
of
theoriginal
source)ofmyriads
ofnewspaper
andmagazinearticles,
ofwhichmanyare ofthe"it waslearned
heretoday"type!
The workis clearlyintended
forthelay ratherthan
the professional
reader. Even so, thereis not much
hereaboutthe prostatethatis not to be foundin a
seniorhighschoolcoursein biology. After
afewbrief
on thegeneralanatomyand physiology
paragraphs
of
theprostate,
thereaderis led through
theentire
endocrinesystem,
foodsanddiets,sleepandrest,
ionization,
andfinally
intowhatappearstobe heartofthework,a
bungling
attemptto debunkpresent-day
tobaccoand
whiskey
ads. An attackon the"weed" and"demon
rum"bywayoftheprostate
is at leastsomething
new
in the annalsof literature,
eventhoughthe resultis
bizarreand far-fetched.
One is surprised
to findthat
suchan ardentextoller
oftheevilsoftobaccoandalcohol as the authorseemsto be has apparently
never
heardofthelateRaymond
Pearl'sclassicresearches
into
theeffects
ofsmoking
anddrinking
onhumanlongevity.
At manypointsthroughout
the text,the reader,
willbe irritated
whether
lay or professional,
by bad
COSMETICSANDDERMATITIS.
grammar,
faultysentence
structure,
misspelling,
forced
By Louis Schwartzand Samuel M. Peck. Paul B.
humor,needlessrepetition,
and statisticsthat have
Hoeber,New Yorkand London. $4.00. x + 189 pp. beenquotedwithout
mention
oftheoriginal
sourceof
information.
Severalstatements
whicharesufficiently
+ 13plates. 1946.
This is a small book, consistingof 189 well-printed revealing
follow:

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