CRC - Diet, Exercise, and Chronic Disease: The Biological Basis of Prevention

Organization: CRC
Publication Date: 18 April 2014
Page Count: 440


The idea of producing a book on the prevention of chronic diseases through exercise and diet was intriguing for me when I was first approached with the idea. I had been teaching nutrition, exercise, and health science courses with a focus on cellular aspects of prevention for many years and had to develop all of my own materials because very few books were available. And of those that were, they had a decided clinical approach with very little discussion about the actual biochemistry or molecular mechanisms involved in prevention. When I broached the concept with several potential coauthors, the prevailing opinion was that books that covered biochemical and molecular aspects of disease etiology also were in very short supply. Thus this book was born: an attempt to collate the latest cellular- and molecularbased research on the etiology of chronic diseases with how these mechanisms of cause are modified by various aspects of diet and exercise. Essentially, we have tried to produce a text that translates molecular-based data on etiology and prevention into a clinical prescription for the prevention of chronic disease.

The focus on diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, cancer, and degenerative neurological disease is because they are the major causes of morbidity and mortality by chronic disease and also because there is sufficient molecular evidence for a strong dietary and activity (or rather, an insufficiency of both) component to their etiology. The inclusion of a separate chapter on "Inflammation" became necessary when it was clear that inflammatory signaling is a fundamental component of each of these diseases and that reducing inflammation is key to reducing risk for all of these diseases. At the time we started, obesity had not yet been declared a disease, so it did not get its own chapter. It is discussed as a major contributor to other diseases rather than a disease in and of itself. The chapter on "Hunger and Satiety Signaling" provides a very interesting and probably the most realistic take on the regulation of eating behavior available. As it becomes more obvious from reading this and the other chapters, many things may not really be what "everyone" seems to believe.

Ultimately, we hope that this book can help readers to develop a broader understanding of how chronic disease "works"; to better integrate molecular, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms of cause and prevention into the study of chronic disease; and to get excited about developing new research into the etiology of prevention and into clinical methodologies that translate that research into successful prevention strategies. With recent advances in techniques to determine various aspects of proteomics, metabolomics, epigenetics, and functional genomics, we can anticipate great things in the near future for prevention research.