Optimizing Women's Health through Nutrition: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Optimizing Women's Health through Nutrition

1st Edition

Edited by Lilian U. Thompson, Wendy E. Ward

CRC Press

472 pages | 19 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781420043006
pub: 2007-12-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429146299
pub: 2007-12-03
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It is no surprise that women and men experience biological and physiological differences fundamentally and throughout the lifecycle. What is surprising is that faced with such a self-evident truth, there should be so little consideration to date of how these differences affect susceptibility to disease and metabolic response to dietary treatment. Understanding these differences and developing a gender-based approach focusing on the specific needs and conditions of women is crucial to achieve effective nutritional strategies for women’s health.

Expanding the knowledge-base regarding sex, nutrition, and medicine, Optimizing Women’s Health through Nutrition presents the biology, physiology, and metabology unique to women. The book demonstrates in a practical, accessible manner the scientific application of this data addressing lifecycle changes, disease prevention, and treatment. Based on sound research and supported by extensive references, it begins by describing recent research on biological and physiological differences and how these differences translate into varying disease trends between the sexes. Contributions describe the nutritional needs of women during the lifecycle, particularly during adolescence, pregnancy and lactation, premenopause, and menopause and midlife stages. The bulk of the book addresses each of the common major diseases or conditions that specifically affect the health of women. It emphasizes the role of nutrition in disease risk reduction as well as management and treatment of disease. Specific disease selection was dictated by those in which women are more vulnerable or have a higher incidence than men.

The concluding section identifies areas for future research and strategic areas of investigation for researchers and health professionals, government regulators, and food industry professionals involved in creating novel foods that enhance women’s health.


”This excellent compilation presents peer-reviewed research on women’s unique physiology, nutritional needs, and disease tendencies. In 19 well-referenced chapters by expert contributing authors, the editors (both, Univ. of Toronto) focus on “sex-based nutrition” or how nutritional requirements and responses to nutrients differ in women versus men. The four sections include a discussion of the normal nutritional needs of women throughout the life cycle, how nutritional recommendations may be modified to prevent and treat chronic diseases, e.g. cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of women; cancer (particularly breast and ovarian); and special conditions that disproportionately affect women, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. In all discussions, the emphasis is on research performed specifically on women in order to differentiate the biology, physiology, and disease risks between the sexes (sex hormones are the driving force). Overlap among chapters allows many to stand on their own. The concluding chapter suggests a need for future research in this critical area. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.”

—A.P. Boyar, CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College

"Highly recommended as a supporting course text in all advanced college-level nutrition courses, notable for distinguishing the difference between the metabolic needs of men and women (as it guides women to more well-reasoned eating habits)."

--The Electric Review

Table of Contents


Need to Optimize the Health of Women, L.U. Thompson and W.E. Ward

Sex-Specific Biology of the Gastrointestinal Tract, M.J. Legato

Normal Nutrition

Adolescence, N. Larson, J.A. Fulkerson, J. Stang, and M. Story

Premenopause, P. Skidmore and A. Cassidy

Pregnancy and Lactation, L.A. Houghton and D.L. OConnor

Menopause and Midlife, S.E. Geller, M. Goldstein Adams, and L. Studee

Nutrition in Chronic Disease and Various Conditions

Obesity and Weight Management, P. Clifton

Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, J.A. Vogt and T.M.S. Wolever

Cardiovascular Disease, A.H. Lichtenstein and N.R. Matthan

Breast and Ovarian Cancer, B. Caan and C.A. Thomson

Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis, W.E. Ward

Rheumatoid Arthritis, L.K. Stamp and L.G. Cleland

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, G.E. Mullin and L.A. Lee

Eye Health, J. Evans

Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Forms of Dementia, P. Perrig-Chiello, S. Hutchison,and H.B. Staehelin

Depression and Psychiatric Disorders, C.P. Borba and D.C. Henderson

Eating Disorders, R.E. Kreipe and S. Bucher Della Torre

Oral Health, P.C. Fritz and W.E. Ward


Conclusion: What We Know, and Where Do We Go from Here, L.U. Thompson and W.E. Ward


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Gynecology & Obstetrics
MEDICAL / Nutrition