It was with great excitement that I turned to the first page of the newly received four volumes of the Handbook of Physiology, dealing with the gastrointestinal system, which were published between 1989 and 1992. It had been a long time since the original volumes were conceived and published. They brought comprehensive reviews of uniformly excellent quality, presented in a detailed manner, that could not be found anywhere else.
This expected quality has been carried into the current volumes of the Handbook of Physiology with extensive updating and interpretation of the new aspects of physiology that have been elucidated by techniques developed over the last 20 years. The unique quality of the Handbook remains the comprehensive presentation of each of the topics, which allows concentrated, sophisticated knowledge to be gained within very focused areas of gastrointestinal physiology. Witness the 26 pages on intrinsic factor and cobalamin absorption, annotated with 231