Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) The amount of chemical that, if ingested daily over a lifetime, appears to be without appreciable effect.
Acesulfame K Acesulfame K, or acesulfame potassium, is a low-calorie sweetener approved for use in the United States in 1988. It is an organic salt consisting of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, sulphur and potassium atoms. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose, has a synergistic sweetening effect with other sweeteners, has a stable shelf-life and is heat stable. It is excreted through the human digestive system unchanged, and is therefore non-caloric.
Active Ingredient Chemical component of the plant or tablet/capsule with therapeutic effect
Adaptogen Aiding adaptation of the body
Additives (food additives) Any natural or synthetic material, other than the basic raw ingredients, used in the production of a food item to enhance the final product. Any substance that may affect the characteristics of any food, including those used in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of food.
Adsorb Adhere to, bind with
Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) A system operated by FDA which monitors and investigates all complaints by individuals or their physicians that are believed to be related to a specific food, food and color additives or vitamin and mineral supplements. The ARMS computerized database helps officials decide whether reported adverse reactions represent a real public health risk associated with food so that appropriate action can be taken.
Aerial Parts Above ground parts of a plant
Aerobic Exercise Aerobic exercise refers to the kind of fast-paced activity that makes you “huff and puff.” It places demands on your cardiovascular apparatus and, over time, produces beneficial changes in your respiratory and circulatory systems.
Agrochemicals Term for artificially produced chemicals (such as feed additives, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers or pesticides) used in agriculture to improve crops or livestack production.
Algin A compound which is extracted from algae and used in puddings, milk shakes and ice cream to make these foods creamier and thicker and to extend shelf life.
Alitame A sweetener made from amino acids (L-aspartic acid, D-alanine, and a novel amide [a specific arrangement of chemical bonds between carbon, nitrogen and oxygen]). It offers a taste that is 2000 times sweeter than that of sucrose and can be used in a wide variety of products including beverages, tabletop sweeteners, frozen desserts and baked goods. Only the aspartic acid component of alitame is metabolized by the body. As a result, alitame contains 1.4 kcal/g. Since alitame is such an intense sweetener, however, it is used at very low levels and thus contributes negligible amounts of calories. It is highly stable, can withstand high temperatures in cooking and baking, and has the potential to be used in almost all foods and beverages in which sweeteners are presently used. FDA is currently considering a petition to approve its use in the United States food supply. Alitame has been approved for use in all food and beverage products in Australia, Mexico and New Zealand.
Alkaloid Highly active plant constituent containing nitrogen atoms
Allergen A substance which causes an allergic reaction
Allergen (food allergen) A food allergen is the part of a food (a protein) that stimulates the immune system of food allergic individuals. A single food can contain multiple food allergens. Carbohydrates or fats are not allergens.
Allergy (food allergy) A food allergy is any adverse reaction to an otherwise harmless food or food component (a protein) that involves the body’s immune system. To avoid confusion with other types of adverse reactions to foods, it is important to use the terms “food allergy” or “food hypersensitivity” only when the immune system is involved in causing the reaction.
Ally methyl trisulfide, dithiolthiones - A type of sulfide/thiol found in cruciferous vegetables which may provide the health benefits of lowering LDL cholesterol and of maintaining a healthy immune system.
Alopecia Loss of hair; baldness in areas where hair is usually present.
Alpha-carotene A type of carotenoid found in carrots which provides the health benefit of neutralizing free radicals that may cause damage to cells.
Alternative Medicine Medical systems, therapies, and techniques that mainstream Western (conventional) medicine does not commonly use, accept, study, understand, or make available. Alternative medicine includes practices usually used instead of conventional medical practices. Alternative health care practices include a vast array of treatments and beliefs, which may be well-known, exotic, mysterious, or even dangerous. They are based on no common or consistent philosophy or school of thought. A few of the many alternative medicine practices include the use of acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, therapeutic massage, and traditional oriental medicine to promote well-being or treat health conditions.
Alternative Therapy Treatments used in place of traditional or mainstream medicine, for example homeopathy, naturopathy and herbal medicines. These treatments are not considered mainstream because they haven't been tested thoroughly enough for general acceptance by the medical community.
Alzheimer’s disease This disease causes progressive memory loss and dementia in its victims as it kills brain cells (neurons). It is named after Alois Alzheimer who in 1906 first described the Amyloid ß Protein (AßP) plaques in the human brain that are caused by this disease. The drug Tacrine appears to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but there is currently no way to stop the disease.
Amino acids Amino acids function as the building blocks of proteins. Chemically, amino acids are organic compounds containing an amino (NH2) group and a carboxyl (COOH) group. Amino acids are classified as essential, nonessential and conditionally essential. If body synthesis is inadequate to meet metabolic need, an amino acid is classified as essential and must be supplied as part of the diet. Essential amino acids include leucine, isoleucine, valine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, lysine, histidine and possibly arginine. Nonessential amino acids can be synthesized by the body in adequate amounts, and include alanine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline and serine. Conditionally essential amino acids become essential under certain clinical conditions.
Amylases Amylases are digestive enzymes which hydrolyse starch and glycogen to maltose and glucose, thus making starch available for the human organism.
Amylopectin Amylopectin is the substance forming the outer coating of starch grains. It swells up on contact with water - this is how glue is produced from potato starch.
Amylose Amylose is the soluble, non-gluing constituent of starch. One use for potato amylose is for the production of biodegradable films.
Anaemia Anaemia is a condition in which a deficiency in the size or number of erythrocytes (red blood cells) or the amount of hemoglobin they contain limits the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the tissue cells. Most anaemias are caused by a lack of nutrients required for normal erythrocyte synthesis, principally iron, vitamin B-12, and folic acid. Others result from a variety of conditions, such as haemorrhage, genetic abnormalities, chronic disease states or drug toxicity.
Anaesthesia A substance that prevents pain from being felt, given before an operation.
Analgesic A medication or agent that reduces pain.
Anaphylaxis A rare but potentially fatal condition in which several different parts of the body experience food-allergic reactions simultaneously, causing hives, swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing. It is the most severe allergic reaction to an allergen and requires immediate medical attention when it occurs.
Anodyne Pain-easing, painkilling.
Anorexia Nervosa An eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain a minimally normal weight for height and age. The condition includes weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight 15 percent below normal; an intense fear of weight gain or becoming fat, despite the individual’s underweight status; a disturbance in the self-awareness of one’s own body weight or shape; and in females, the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles that would otherwise be expected to occur.
Anthocyanidins A type of flavonoid found in various fruits which provides the health benefits of neutralizing free radicals and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.
Antibilious Against biliousness or excess bile
Antibiotic resistance The ability of a bacterium to synthesize a protein that neutralizes an antibiotic.
Antibody An immune system protein that counteracts or eliminates foreign substances known as antigens
Anticarcinogens Substances which inhibit the formation of cancers or the growth of tumors. More than 600 chemicals are claimed to be anti-cancer agents. These range from natural chemical constituent present in garlic, broccoli, cabbage and green tea to manmade antioxidants, such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and derivatives of retinoic acid.
Anti-emetic Substances that prevent vomiting
Antigen A substance capable of inducing an immune response. Exposure to this substance results in production of a specific antibody or a sensitized lymphocyte that in turn interacts with the antigen. In some auto-immune diseases, the body’s own tissues may act as antigens.
Antioxidants Antioxidants protect key cell components by neutralizing the damaging effects of “free radicals,” natural by-products of cell metabolism. Free radicals form when oxygen is metabolized, or burned by the body. They travel through cells, disrupting the structure of other molecules, causing cellular damage. Such cell damage is believed to contribute to aging and various health problems.
Antiscorbutic Preventing scurvy, i.e. a source of vitamin C
Antisense A piece of DNA that produces the mirror image, or antisense messenger RNA, that is exactly opposite in sequence to one that directs the cells to produce a specific protein. Since the antisense RNA binds tightly to its image, it prevents the protein from being made.
Antiseptic Preventing putrefaction or infection
Antispasmodic Preventing spasms
Antitussive Substance that prevents or relieves coughing
Anus The opening of the rectum where solid waste leaves the body.
Aperient Promoting a mild or natural movement of the bowels.
Aphrodisiac Exciting the sexual organs
Aromas Aromas are mostly to be found in foodstuffs of plant origin. They are flavourings or fragrances which stimulate the appetite. A distinction is made between natural and natural-type aromas. The latter are chemical copies of naturally occurring appetisers. In the meantime a large number of artificial flavouring agents have been developed without reference to any natural model.
Arthritis Painful inflammation of joint tissues
Arthroplasty Surgery done to improve joint function and relieve pain. May involve insertion of metal alloy or high-density plastic materials or total joint replacement.
Ascorbic acid Also known as vitamin C, it is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissue. Vitamin C speeds the production of new cells in wound healing and it is an antioxidant that keeps free radicals from hooking up with other molecules to form damaging compounds that might attack tissue. Vitamin C protects the immune system, helps fight off infections, reduces the severity of allergic reactions and plays a role in the synthesis of hormones and other body chemicals. Green peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, and other fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C.
Aspartame A dietary sweetener (about 200 times sweeter than sugar)with almost no calories and no nutritional value. Apartame is a source of Phenylalanine. The safety or otherwise of aspartame is subject to controversy.
Asthma Asthma is a chronic medical condition, affecting approximately 10 million Americans (3 to 4 percent of the population). Asthma results when irritants (or trigger substances) cause swelling of the tissues in the air passage of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
Astringent Causing contraction of the tissues
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Commonly called “hyperactivity,” Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a clinical diagnosis based on specific criteria. These include excessive motor activity, impulsiveness, short attention span, low tolerance to frustration and onset before 7 years of age.
Autoimmune disease A condition in which the body’s immune system reacts against its own tissues. This process is thought to occur in rheumatoid arthritis and some related diseases.
Ayurvedic Traditional system of Indian medicine, which literally means 'A science of life'
Basal metabolism Basal metabolism is the energy (calories) a body burns when completely at rest. Basal metabolism rate (BMR) is the level of energy needed to keep involuntary body processes going. These processes include heartbeat, breathing, generating body heat, perspiring to keep cool, and transmitting messages to the brain. For a sedentary person, BMR accounts for about 60-70 percent of daily energy expenditure; the remaining 30-40 percent is from physical activity and from body heat produced after a meal. Physical activity is responsible for as much as 50-60 percent of the total energy expenditure in people who include frequent aerobic activity into their lifestyles
Basophil Blood cells which when connected to immunoglobulin E antibodies release histamine or other substances causing allergic symptoms.
Beta glucan A soluble fibre in oats which provides the health benefit of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing circulating blood cholesterol.
Beta-carotene A type of carotenoid found in various fruits and vegetables which provide the health benefit of neutralizing free radicals that may cause damage to cells.
Biodegradable Describes any material that can be broken down by biological action (e.g., dissimilation, digestion, denitrification). The breakdown of material (chemicals) by microorganisms (bacteria, fungus, etc.).
Biodiversity Biodiversity means the diversity of different species within a single ecosystem, or the genetic variability within a single species. An agreement concerning the conservation of biodiversity was approved at a UN conference for environment and development in 1992; up to now it has been signed by 175 countries, though not by the USA. If genetically improved crop plants are introduced into an area with high biodiversity, measures must always be taken to protect the species existing there —> Biosafety. At the same time, transgenic varieties can potentially enhance biodiversity because they make it possible for farmers to spray fewer chemicals onto their fields.
Bioplastics Certain bacteria accumulate within themselves reserve materials similar to plastics, in much the same way as animals store energy in the form of fat deposits. Unlike the usual plastics produced from mineral oil, these bioplastics are made of renewable resources like vegetable fats, oils or carbohydrates. This means that bioplastics are biodegradable, since they can be used as a source of nutrition by a wide range of microorganisms in compost or sewage sludge. This method of producing plastic is still very inefficient because of the very low yields. However, plant-based “plastic production” might one day be greatly improved with the aid of gene technology gene technology and become a viable alternative.
Biopsy The removal of a sample of body tissue for microscopic examination to aid in diagnosis. A biopsy of joint tissue may help diagnose unusual forms of arthritis for example.
Biotechnology The simplest definition of biotechnology is “applied biology.” The application of biological knowledge and techniques to develop products. It may be further defined as the use of living organisms to make a product or run a process. By this definition, the classic techniques used for plant and animal breeding, fermentation and enzyme purification would be considered biotechnology. Some people use the term only to refer to newer tools of genetic science. In this context, biotechnology may be defined as the use of biotechnical methods to modify the genetic materials of living cells so they will produce new substances or perform new functions. Examples include recombinant DNA technology, in which a copy of a piece of DNA containing one or a few genes is transferred between organisms or “recombined” within an organism.
Bitter Bitter tasting substances used to stimulate appetite
Bladder The muscular bag in the lower abdomen where urine is stored.
Bleaching substance When washing clothes, the soap is often confused with the bleach. Bleach destroys dirt through oxidation. Coloured dirt is converted into white dirt. The white dirt is water-soluble and can easily be washed out.
Blind (single or double) experiment In a single blind experiment, the subjects do not know whether they are receiving an experimental treatment or a placebo. In a double blind experiment, neither the researchers nor the participants are aware of which subjects receive the treatment - until after the study is completed.
Blood sugar level When you haven’t eaten a good breakfast but run around anyway, then you will easily get dizzy. That means that the amount of sugar in your blood is too low. The sugar guarantees that your cells will always have energy. Is this level too low, you quickly have to eat something.
Body Mass Index (BMI) Method used for determining overweight and obesity in adults. BMI is a calculation that divides a person’s weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (BMI = [kg/m²]. BMI can also be calculated in pounds and inches: BMI=[lbs/in²] X 703. The general guideline currently recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is that individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight and those individuals with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is also known as “mad cow disease.” It is a rare, chronic degenerative disease affecting the brain and central nervous system of cattle. Cattle with BSE lose their coordination, develop abnormal posture and experience changes in behavior. Clinical symptoms take 4-5 years to develop, followed by death in a period of several weeks to months unless the affected animal is destroyed sooner.
Bran Bran is coarsely ground cereal grains. It is rich in roughage, minerals and vitamins.
Bulimia Nervosa An eating disorder characterized by rapid consumption of a large amount of food in a short period of time, with a sense of lack of control during the episode and self-evaluation unduly influenced by body weight and shape. There are two forms of the condition, purging and non-purging. The first type regularly engages in purging through self-induced vomiting or the excessive use of laxatives or diuretics. Alternatively, the non-purging type controls weight through strict dieting, fasting or excessive exercise.
Caffeic acid A type of phenol found in various fruits, vegetables and citrus fruits which has antioxidant like activities that may reduce the risk of degenerative diseases, heart disease and eye disease.
Caffeine Caffeine is a naturally-occurring substance found in the leaves, seeds or fruits of over 63 plant species worldwide and is part of a group of compounds known as methylxanthines. The most commonly known sources of caffeine are coffee and cocoa beans, cola nuts and tea leaves. Caffeine is a pharmacologically active substance and, depending on the dose, can be a mild central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine does not accumulate in the body over the course of time and is normally excreted within several hours of consumption.
Calorie A calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one milliliter (ml) of water at a standard initial temperature by one degree centigrade (1°C).
Carbohydrate Carbohydrates are organic compounds that consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They vary from simple sugars containing from three to seven carbon atoms to very complex polymers. Only the hexoses (sugars with six carbon atoms) and pentoses (sugars with five carbon atoms) and their polymers play important roles in nutrition. Carbohydrates in food provide 4 calories per gram. Plants manufacture and store carbohydrates as their chief source of energy. The glucose synthesized in the leaves of plants is used as the basis for more complex forms of carbohydrates. Classification of carbohydrates relates to their structural core of simple sugars, saccharides. Principal monosaccharides that occur in food are glucose and fructose. Three common disaccharides are sucrose, maltose and lactose. Polysaccharides of interest in nutrition include starch, dextrin, glycogen and cellulose.
Carcinogens, natural and synthetic The basic mechanism involved in the entire process of carcinogenisis—from exposure to the organism to expression of tumours—are qualitatively similar, if not identical, for the synthetic and naturally occurring carcinogens. Consequently, both naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals can be evaluated by the same epidemiologic or experimental methods and procedures.
Carminative Easing griping pains and expelling flatulence
Carrageenan A compound extracted from Irish moss (a type of seaweed) that is used in puddings, milk shakes and ice cream to stabilize and keep color and flavor even.
Cartilage A fibrous connective tissue that lines joints and helps form the flexible portions of the nose and the ears. Also located at the ends of bones as a part of the joint.
Casein Casein is the element in milk which is precipitated by the enzyme chymosin and thus hardens the mild to cheese. Casein is of high dietary value, i.e. it is particularly suitable for nutrition in special situations (sickness, deficiency conditions, pregnancy).
Catechins A type of flavonoid found in tea which provides the health benefits of neutralizing free radicals and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.
Cathartic Producing evacuation of the bowel.
Catheter A tube inserted through the penis to the bladder in order to drain urine from the body.
Cellulases Cellulases are enzymes which degrade plant cellulose to cellobiose. Cellulose is the basic material for paper and cardboard. For human beings, cellulose is indigestible roughage, but it is also important for digestion and for the feeling of satiation. Unlike human beings, cattle possess certain intestinal bacteria which are able to digest cellulose.
Cholagogue Producing a flow of bile
Cholesterol (dietary) - Cholesterol is not a fat, but rather a fat-like substance classified as a lipid. Cholesterol is vital to life and is found in all cell membranes. It is necessary for the production of bile acids and steroid hormones. Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal foods. Abundant in organ meats and egg yolks, cholesterol is also contained in meats and poultry. Vegetable oils and shortenings are cholesterol-free.
Cholesterol (different types) - Blood cholesterol is divided into three separate classes of lipoproteins: very-low density lipoprotein (VLDL); low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which contains most of the cholesterol found in the blood; and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL seems to be the culprit in coronary heart disease and is popularly known as the “bad cholesterol.” By contrast, HDL is increasingly considered desirable and known as the “good cholesterol.”
Cholesterol (serum, or blood) - High blood cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. Most of the cholesterol that is found in the blood is manufactured by the body, in the liver, at a rate of about 800 to 1,500 milligrams a day. By comparison, the average American consumes 300 to 450 milligrams daily in foods.
CLA See 'Conjugated lenoleic acid' (CLA)
Clinical trials Clinical trials undertake experimental study of human subjects. Trials may attempt to determine whether the finds of basic research are applicable to humans, or to confirm the results of epidemiological research. Studies may be small, with a limited number of participants, or they may be large intervention trials that seek to discover the outcome of treatments on entire populations. The “gold standard” clinical trials are double-blind, placebo-controlled studies which employ random assignment of subjects to experimental and control groups unknown to the subject or the researcher.
Clone A clone is a cell or organism originating from a genetically identical cell or from a genetically identical organism. The sheep Dolly is the most popular example of a clone. Whether a clone is identical in appearance and behaviour with the original organism depends not only on the genes but also on the environmental conditions under which it grows.
Colic Spasmodic pain affecting smooth muscle, such as the abdomen
Collagen A long protein fiber that connects and strengthens various tissues.
Colourings Colourings are added to foods to give them a particular colour. There are natural and artificial colourings. Natural colourings include the carotenoids, which are used to give orangeade or butter an orange-yellow colour. Colourings are labelled with E-numbers 100-199.
Complementary Medicine Alternative medical systems used in conjunction with or in addition to conventional medicine to further promote health. For example, a person may use herbal remedies to ease some of the side effects, such as nausea, of certain conventional drugs.
Conjugated lenoleic acid (CLA) - A type of fatty acid found in cheeses and some meat products which may provide the health benefits of improving body composition and decreasing the risk of certain cancers.
Contraindication Inadvisability of using a substance that may cause harm under specific circumstances
Controlled experiment In this type of research, study subjects (whether animal or human) are selected according to relevant characteristics, and then randomly assigned to either an experimental group, or a control group. Random assignment ensures that factors known as variables, which may affect the outcome of the study, are distributed equally among the groups and therefore could not lead to differences in the effect of the treatment under study. The experimental group is then given a treatment (sometimes called an intervention), and the results are compared to the control group, which does not receive treatment. A placebo, or false treatment, may be administered to the control group. With all other variables controlled, differences between the experimental and control groups may be attributed to the treatment under study.
Corticosteroids Anti-inflammatory drugs created from or based on a naturally occurring hormone produced by the cortex of the adrenal glands (cortisone).
Cortisone A naturally occurring hormone produced by the cortex of your adrenal glands. It decreases inflammation.
Crop residues Plant materials remaining from the former crop that are left on the soil surface after planting form crop residues. Crop residues reduce soil erosion, air and surface water pollution, conserve soil moisture, and improve the soil by adding organic matter.
Cyclamate A sweetener which is 30 times sweeter than sucrose, calorie free and heat stable and works synergistically with other sweeteners. It is approved for tabletop use in Canada and more than 50 countries in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Since 1970, however, the use of cyclamate has been banned in the United States on the basis of a study that suggested that cyclamates may be related to the development of bladder tumours in rats. Although 75 subsequent studies have failed to show that cyclamate is carcinogenic, the sweetener has yet to be reapproved for use in the United States.
Cystoscope A tubelike instrument used to view the interior of the bladder.
Decoctions Decoctions are made by pouring cold water on to finely divided botanical drug and then allowing the mixture to simmer. Decoctions are not permanent preparations and should be prepared fresh daily.
Demulcent Drugs which soothe and protect digestive canal
Dental caries Popularly known as cavities, dental caries occur when bacteria in the mouth feed on fermentable carbohydrates and produce acids that dissolve tooth enamel. Various conditions affect this process, such as heredity and the composition and flow of saliva. Any fermentable carbohydrate (starches and sugars) can serve as food for cavity-causing bacteria. The amount of carbohydrate is not as important as how often these foods are eaten and how long they stay in the mouth. Widespread use of fluoride in water supplies and oral health products is credited with the dramatic decline in dental caries among children and adults alike over the past 20 years.
Diabetes Diabetes is the name for a group of medical disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels. Normally when people eat, food is digested and much of it is converted to glucose—a simple sugar—which the body uses for energy. The blood carries the glucose to cells where it is absorbed with the help of the hormone insulin. For those with diabetes, however, the body does not make enough insulin, or cannot properly use the insulin it does make. Without insulin, glucose accumulates in the blood rather than moving into the cells. High blood sugar levels result. See Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes.
Diaphoretic Promoting perspiration
Digestive Aiding digestion
Diuretic Increasing the flow of urine
Double-Blind A type of study in which neither the participants nor the doctors giving the treatments know who is getting the active treatment and who is getting the placebo.
E. coli: O157:H7 - The bacteria Escherichia coli: O157:H7 is a type of E. coli associated with foodborne illness. Healthy cattle and humans can carry the bacteria. It can be transferred from animal to animal and animal to human, and from animal to human on food. Transmission from person to person through close contact is a potential problem, especially among young children in daycare.
Eczema Term for a wide range of skin conditions
Ejaculation Discharging semen from the penis during sexual climax.
Elastin Connective fiber in various tissues that is flexible and elastic. Helps hold tissues in place.
Ellagic acid A natural-cancer fighting agent found in strawberries.
Emetic Causes vomiting
Emmenagogue Promoting menstrual flow.
Emollient Softening and soothing
Emulsifiers An emulsion is a liquid containing two non-miscible phases. Emulsifiers ensure that both elements, e.g. fats and water, remain mixed together. Emulsifiers are labelled with E-numbers 322-375 (which also include acidulents).
Enriched foods Enriched foods are those that nutrients have been added to replace the nutrients which were lost during food processing. For example, B vitamins are lost in processing wheat to white flour and these are then added back to the flour.
Epidemiology The study of distribution and determinants of diseases or other health outcomes in human populations. It seeks to expose potential associations between aspects of health (such as cancer, heart disease, etc.) and diet, lifestyle, habits or other factors within populations. Epidemiological studies may suggest relationships between two factors, but do not provide the basis for conclusions about cause and effect. Possible associations inferred from epidemiological research can turn out to be coincidental.
Epilepsy Abnormality of brain function causing seizures
Expectorant Loosening phlegm
Fats (dietary fats) Fats are referred to in the plural because there is no one type of fat. Fats are composed of the same three elements as carbohydrates—carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, However, fats have relatively more carbon and hydrogen and less oxygen, thus supplying a higher fuel value of nine calories per gram (versus four calories per gram from carbohydrates and protein). One molecule of fat can be broken down into three molecules of fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol. Thus, fats are known chemically as triglycerides. Fats are a vital nutrient in a healthy diet. Fats supply essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, which is especially important to childhood growth. Fat helps maintain healthy skin, regulate cholesterol metabolism and is a precursor of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that regulate some body processes. Dietary fat is needed to carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and to aid in their absorption from the intestine.
Fatty acids Fatty acids are generally classified as saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. These terms refer to the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon atoms of the fat molecule. In general, fats that contain a majority of saturated fatty acids are solid at room temperature, although some solid vegetable shortenings are up to 75 percent unsaturated. Fats containing mostly unsaturated fatty acids are usually liquid at room temperature and are called oils.
Ferulic acid A type of phenol found in various fruits and vegetables and citrus fruits which has antioxidant like activities that may reduce the risk of degenerative diseases, heart disease and eye disease.
Fibre Dietary fibre generally refers to parts of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes that can’t be digested by humans. Meats and dairy products do not contain fibre. Studies indicate that high-fibre diets can reduce the risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer. There are two basic types of fibre - insoluble and soluble. Soluble fibre in cereals, oatmeal, beans and other foods has been found to lower blood cholesterol. Insoluble fibre in cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables and fruits helps move foods through the stomach and intestine, thereby decreasing the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. See "Fibre - Insoluble"
Fibre - insoluble A type of dietary fiber found in wheat bran, cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables and fruits which helps move foods through the digestive system and thereby may decrease the risks of cancers of the colon and rectum. Insoluble fiber may also help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Flatulence Excessive amount of gas in the stomach or intestines
Flavanones A type of flavonoid found in citrus fruits which provides the health benefits of neutralizing free radicals and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.
Flavour enhancers Flavour enhancers are substances which intensify the taste of a particular food. In themselves, flavour enhancers have little or no taste at all. The most frequently used flavour enhancer is glutamate (E 620), an amino acid. Flavour enhancers are labelled with the E-numbers 602-640.
Fluoride Fluoride is a natural component of minerals in rocks and soils. Widespread use of fluoride in water supplies and oral health products is credited with the dramatic decline in dental caries among children and adults alike. All water contains fluoride, but it is sometimes necessary to add it to some public supplies to attain the optimal amount for dental health. Fluoride makes tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay. It also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and interferes with converting fermentable carbohydrates to acids in the mouth.
Folic acid Folic acid, folate, folacin, all form a group of compounds functionally involved in amino acid metabolism and nucleic acid synthesis. Good dietary sources of folate include leafy, dark green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits and juices, peanuts, whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals. Recent studies show, if all women of childbearing age consumed sufficient folic acid (either through diet or supplements), 50 to 70 percent of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord could be prevented, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) Folic acid is critical from conception through the first four to six weeks of pregnancy when the neural tube is formed. This means adequate diet or supplement use should begin before pregnancy occurs. Recent research findings also show low blood folate levels can be associated with elevated plasma homocysteine and increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - The Food and Drug Administration is part of the Public Health Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all foods sold in interstate commerce except meat, poultry and eggs (which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture). FDA develops standards for the composition, quality, nutrition, safety and labeling of foods including food and color additives. It conducts research to improve detection and prevention of contamination. It collects and interprets data on nutrition, food additives and pesticide residues. The agency also inspects food plants, imported food products and feed mills that make feeds containing medications or nutritional supplements that are destined for human consumption. And it regulates radiation-emitting products such as microwave ovens. FDA also enforces pesticide tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency for all domestically produced and imported foods, except for foods under USDA jurisdiction.
Food Guide Pyramid The Food Guide Pyramid is a graphic design used to communicate the recommended daily food choices contained in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The information provided was developed and promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Food intolerance A general term for any adverse reaction to a food or food component that does not involve the body’s immune system.
Fortified foods Fortified foods have nutrients added to them that were not present originally. For example, milk is fortified with vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus found naturally in milk.
Free radical Highly reactive substances that result from exposure to oxygen, background radiation, and other environmental factors. These free radicals cause cellular damage in the body. The damage may be repaired by antioxidants.
Fructo-oliogosaccharides (FSO) - A type of prebiotic/probiotic found in Jerusalem artichokes, shallots and onion powder which may improve gastrointestinal health.
Fructose Fructose is a monosaccharide found naturally in fruits, as an added sugar in a crystalline form and as a component of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Fruit juice Fruit juice is produced from fresh or deep-frozen fruits. 100% pure fruit juice contains no preservatives or any added sugar or water. In the case of fruit juice concentrates, the fruit juice is exposed to heat to remove some of its water content. The concentrate is deep-frozen for transport and afterwards thawed out. Water and sugar can then be added, up to 15 g per litre concentrate.
Fruit juice drink Fruit juice drinks are a type of nonalcoholic soft drink. They are a mixture of water with natural fruit extract and sugar, and with or without added carbon dioxide. The minimum fruit content in fruit juice drinks must be 30% for pome fruit or grape juice, 6% for lemon juice, and 10% for other juices.
Fruit nectar A fruit nectar is a mixture of fruit juice and/or fruit pulp, water and sugar. Examples are apple, banana or orange fruit nectar. The minimum fruit content is 25 to 50%, depending on the type of fruit. Fruit nectars are not allowed to contain any preservatives.
Functional foods Foods that may provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Examples include tomatoes with lycopene, thought to help prevent the incidence of prostate and cervical cancers; fiber in wheat bran and sulfur compounds in garlic also believed to prevent cancer.
Fungicide A chemical that is mixed with wax and applied to fruits or vegetables to prevent mould and rot from developing.
Galactagogue Milk inducing.
Galactose A monosaccharide occurring in both levo (L) and dextro (D) forms as a constituent of plant and animal oligosaccharides (lactose and raffinose) and polysaccharides (agar and pectin). Galactose is the sugar derived from digesting lactose (‘milk sugar”).
Gallbladder disease There are several different forms of gallbladder disease: 1) Gallstones without symptoms. About 20% of women and 8% of men will develop gallstones. In most of these cases, gallstones do not produce symptoms and thus usually do not require treatment. 2) Biliary colic. This condition occurs when a gallstone intermittently blocks the duct that drains the gallbladder (cystic duct). Biliary colic usually causes severe, steady pain that lasts from 15 to 60 minutes to up to 6 hours. 3) Inflammation of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis). This condition occurs when a gallstone becomes stuck in the cystic duct, causing severe abdominal pain that lasts longer then 6 hours. It is the most common complication of gallstone disease. 4) Chronic cholecystitis. This condition develops when there is long term (chronic) inflammation of the gallbladder. The wall of the gallbladder may be thickened and rigid. 5) Common bile duct stones (choledocholithiasis). This condition occurs when a gallstone passes through the cystic duct into the common bile duct. About 8 to 15% of people who have gallstones also have common bile duct stones. Most people who have common bile duct stones do not have symptoms. However, people who do have symptoms may develop life-threatening complications, such as infection and inflammation of the bile duct or pancreas.
Gastritis Inflammation of the stomach lining
Gelatine Gelatine is produced by boiling down connective tissues, skin and bones. It is a protein which solidifies at temperatures below 35 °C. Cakes and jelly-babies often contain gelatine.
Gene A natural unit of the hereditary material, which is the physical basis for the transmission of the characteristics of living organisms from one generation to another. The basic genetic material is fundamentally the same in all living organisms; it consists of chain-like molecules of nucleic acids—deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in most organisms and ribonucleic acid (RNA) in certain viruses—and is usually associated in a linear arrangement that (in part) constitutes a chromosome.
Genetic engineering/genetic modification/genetic enhancement The selective, deliberate alteration of genes (genetic material) by man. This term has a very broad meaning including the manipulation and alteration of the genetic material of an organism in such a way as to allow it to produce endogenous proteins with properties different from those of the normal, or to produce entirely different (foreign) proteins altogether. Other words applicable to the same process are gene splicing, gene manipulation, or recombinant DNA technology.
Gland An organ that makes and releases substances to other parts of the body.
Glucocorticoids Hormones released from the adrenal glands that affect carbohydrate metabolism and have powerful anti-inflammatory actions as well as adverse side effects.
Glutamate Glutamate is an amino acid. It is necessary for metabolism and brain function, and is manufactured by the body. Glutamate is found in virtually every protein food we eat. In food, there is “bound” glutamate and “free” glutamate. Glutamate serves to enhance flavours in foods when it is in its free form and not bound to other amino acids in protein. Some foods have greater quantities of glutamate than others. Foods that are rich in glutamate include tomatoes, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, milk and mackerel.
Glycerin A syrupy type of alcohol derived from sugar which is used in food flavorings to maintain desired food consistency.
Glycerol A colorless, odorless, syrupy liquid—chemically, an alcohol—that is obtained from fats and oils and used to retain moisture and add sweetness to foods.
Glycoside Active plant constituent containing one or more sugar groups
GMO GMO is the customary abbreviation for “genetically modified organism”. This is understood to refer to any species of plant, animal or microorganism in the genome of which one or more genes have been inserted, removed or repaired.
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Regulatory approval mechanism for a process to manufacture a given food or food additive. It is implemented instead of specific regulations (such as those used to dictate processes in simple food manufacturing, as in beef packing), due to the newness of the technology and may later be superseded (due to further advances in the technology).
Gout A condition in which excess uric acid leads to intense pain and swelling in a single joint of the foot, usually at the base of the big toe.
GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) GRAS is the regulatory status of food ingredients not evaluated by the FDA prescribed testing procedure. It also includes common food ingredients that were already in use when the 1959 Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was enacted.
Guar gum A substance made from the seeds of the guar plant which acts as a stabilizer in food systems. Is found as a food additive in cheese, including processed cheese, ice cream and dressings.
Haemostatic Controlling or stopping bleeding
Hard gel capsules Are gelatine (vegetable or animal in origine) enclosures that encapsulate drugs or nutrients in exact dosages and convenient sizes for swallowing. Hard gel capsules are usually used to encapsulate powders or granules. (See also Hardshell capsules)
Heavy metals Some of heavy metals are trace elements of vital importance for human metabolism, such as iron. Many others are extremely poisonous, including lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic.
Herbicides Herbicides are a class of crop protection and specialty chemicals used to control weeds on farms and in forests, as well as in non-agricultural applications such as golf courses, public tracts of land and residential lawns.
Hormone A substance that stimulates the function of a gland.
Hydrogenation Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen molecules directly to an unsaturated fatty acid from sources such as vegetable oils to convert it to a semi-solid form such as margarine or shortening. Hydrogenation contributes important textural properties to food. The degree of hydrogenation influences the firmness and spreadability of margarines, flakiness of pie crust and the creaminess of puddings. Hydrogenated oils are sometimes used in place of other fats with higher proportions of saturated fatty acids such as butter or lard.
Hypertension Hypertension is the persistently elevated arterial blood pressure. It is the most common public health problem in developed countries. Emphasis on lifestyle modifications has given diet a prominent role for both the primary prevention and management of hypertension.
Hypnotic Producing sleep
Immune system Cells and tissues that protect the body against infection. Disordered immune system function (autoimmunity) has been associated with the development of arthritis and other diseases.
Immunostimulant Substance that enhances and stimulates the body's immune (defence) mechanism
Impotent Unable to have an erection.
Incontinence The inability to control urination.
Infusions Aqueous preparations made by pouring boiling water over finely chopped botanical drugs, herbs, roots, barks, flowers or seeds. Infusions are mainly used when the drug to be extracted is of light structure as with leafy herbs. Infusions are not permanent preparations and should be prepared fresh daily.
Insecticide Insecticides are a class of crop protection and specialty chemicals used to control insects on farms and forests, as well as non-agricultural applications such as residential lawncare, golf courses and public tracts of land.
Insomnia Condition where falling sleep is difficult or impossible
Intestinal flora The term intestinal flora a term used to refer to all intestinal bacteria.
Irradiation - food The exposure of food to sufficient radiant energy (gamma rays, x-rays and electron beams) to destroy microorganisms and insects. Irradiation is used in food production and processing to promote food safety.
Isoflavones - Daidzein, Genistein A type of phytoestrogen found in soybeans and soy-based foods which may reduce menopause symptoms.
Joule The joule (J) is the official unit (SI Unit) of measurement for energy. The energy content of foodstuffs is usually given in kilojoules (kJ). The unit in general use up to 1978 was the calorie. 1 joule is equal to 0.24 calories.
Lactic acid Lactic acid is present in yoghurt, vegetable juices fermented with lactic acid bacteria, and sauerkraut. Two types of are distinguished - laevorotatory and dextrorotatory lactic acid. Dextrorotatory lactic acid is also formed by the human organism and is for this reason more readily available. This makes a notable difference only where large quantities are concerned, or for babies. Strenuous exercise leads to the formation of excessive lactic acid in muscles. The muscle must break down this lactic acid as quickly as possible to carbon dioxide and water.
Lactose A sugar naturally occurring in milk, also known as “milk sugar,” that is the least sweet of all natural sugars and used in baby formulas and candies.
Lactose intolerance Lactose intolerance is an inherited inability to properly digest dairy products, due to a deficiency in the amount of the enzyme, ß-galactosidase in the small intestine. This enzyme is necessary for the hydrolysis of lactose (a disaccharide) into its constituent monosaccharides, glucose and galactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance, including abdominal cramps, flatulence and frothy diarrhea, can increase with age.
Lecithin A by-product of the refining for soybean oil and is also found in eggs, red meats, spinach and nuts. Historically, lecithin has been used commercially in food processing as an emulsifier, instantizing agent and lubricating agent. Lecithin is a source of choline when digested; and is a critical component of the lipoproteins which transport fat and cholesterol molecules in the blood stream. Lecithin (choline) promotes synthesis of high-density lipoproteins (i.e., HDLP also know as “good” cholesterol) by the liver, when it is consumed by humans.
Legumes There are two classes of legumes (or pulse vegetables): grain legumes (including peas, peanuts and lupins) and clover-type legumes (including red clover, white clover and lucerne). Legumes are used in animal feeding stuffs and also as fertilisers, because they contain large amounts of protein and enrich the soil with nitrogen. They obtain this nitrogen from the atmosphere through a symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing nodule bacteria living on their roots.
Lignans A type of phytoestrogen found in flax, rye and various vegetables which may provide the health benefits of lowering LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides thereby protecting against heart disease and some cancers.
Linoleic acid Linoleic acid is a di-unsaturated fatty acid which is present in many vegetable oils.
Linolenic acid Linolenic acid is a tri-unsaturated essential fatty acid occurring particularly in linseed oil.
Lipases Lipases are enzymes which break up fats in the organism to glycerides and fatty acids.
Liquid Extracts Liquid extracts are prepared by percolating or macerating the comminuted drug with sufficient of the solvent best suited for the extraction of the drug constituents, this may be water or alcohol.
Listeria Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium, found in at least 37 mammalian species, as well as 17 species of birds and possibly some fish and shellfish. The bacteria can be isolated from soil, and is resistant to heat, freezing and drying. Listeria has been associated with foods such as raw milk, soft-ripened cheeses, ice cream, raw vegetables, raw and cooked poultry, raw meat and raw and smoked fish. Unlike other pathogenic bacteria, such as salmonella, listeria can survive and grow at temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F). Acute infection with listeria may result in flu-like symptoms including persistent fever, followed by septicemia, meningitis, encephalitis, and intrauterine or cervical infections in pregnant women. Possible gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, alone or couple with other symptoms (mentioned above).
Lutein A type of carotenoid found in most green vegetables which positively contributes to maintenance of eye vision.
Lycopene Lycopene is a carotenoid related to the better known beta-carotene. Lycopene gives tomatoes and some other fruits and vegetables their distinctive red color. Nutritionally, it functions as an antioxidant. Research shows lycopene is best absorbed by the body when consumed as tomatoes that have been heat-processed using a small amount of oil. This includes products such as tomato sauce and tomato paste.
Lysine An essential, basic amino acid obtained from many proteins by hydrolysis.
MAOI's Group of antidepressant drugs
Meta-analysis A quantitative technique in which the results of several individual studies are pooled to yield overall conclusions.
Metabolism The entire set of enzyme-catalyzed transformations of organic nutrient molecules (to sustain life) in living cells. Conversion of food and water into nutrients that can be used by the body’s cells, and the use of those nutrients by those cells (to sustain life, grow, etc.).
Methionine An essential amino acid; furnishes (to organism) both labile methyl groups and sulfur necessary for normal metabolism.
Methyl cellulose A number of gummy substances, produced through reaction between cellulose and methyls. It is found in fruit butters and jellies and serves to keep these products from separating.
Microorganisms Simple unicellular and structurally similar representatives of the plant and animal kingdoms. With few exceptions, the unicellular organisms are invisible to the naked eye and generally have dimensions of between a fraction of a micron and 200 micron.
Mono- & di-glycerides Emulsifying agents found in shortening, margarine, cacao products and bakery products. Usually derived from soybean fat, these food additives keep food products from separating.
MSG (monosodium glutamate) MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Glutamic acid, or glutamate, is one of the most common amino acids found in nature. (see glutamate) In the early part of the century, MSG was extracted from seaweed and other plant sources. Today, MSG is produced in many countries around the world through a fermentation process of molasses from sugar cane or sugar beets, as well as starch and corn sugar.
Mucilage A glutinous substance contained in a plant
Mycotoxins Toxins produced by fungi. More than 350 different mycotoxins are known to man. Almost all mycotoxins possess the capacity to harmfully alter the immune systems of animals. Consumption by humans and animals of certain mycotoxins (e.g., via eating infected corn, nuts, peanuts cottonseed products, etc.) can result in liver toxicity, gastrointestinal lesions, cancer and muscle necrosis.
Mydriatic Causing dilation of the pupil of the eye.
Myopathy Any disease involving muscle. Polymyositis is an example of an inflammatory myopathy that results in muscle weakness.
Narcotics A group of drugs that relieve pain by preventing transmission of pain messages to the brain.
Neotame A versatile, new no-calorie sweetener composed of two elements of protein, the amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine, combined with two organic functional groups, a methyl ester group and a neohexyl group. It is approximately 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar and as such captures the “essence of sweetness.” with only a very small amount required for use. The chemical composition of neotame makes it stable for use in baking. The FDA has recently approved Neotame for use in a variety of food products and as a tabletop sweetener.
Nervine Restoring the nerves, mildly tranquillizing
Neural tube defect In simple terms, a neural tube defect (NTD) is a malformation of the brain or spinal cord (neurological system) during embryonic development. Infants born with spina bifida, where the spinal cord is exposed, can grow to adulthood but usually suffer from paralysis or other disabilities. Babies born with anencephaly, where most or all of the brain is missing, usually die shortly after birth. These NTDs make up about 5 percent of all U.S. birth defects each year. According to the CDC, the use of sufficient folic acid is enough to eliminate the risk of NTDs.
Neuropathy Any disease involving nerves. One nerve may be affected (mononeuropathy) or many small nerves (polyneuropathy).
Nitrite Nitrite is a safe food additive that has been used for centuries to preserve meats, fish and poultry. It also contributes to the characteristic flavor, color and texture of processed meats such as hot dogs. Because nitrite safeguards cured meats against the most deadly foodborne bacterium of all, Clostridium (C.) botulinum, its use is supported by the public health community. The human body generates much greater nitrite levels than are added to food. Nitrates consumed in foods such as carrots and green vegetables are converted to nitrite during digestion. Nitrite in the body is instrumental in promoting blood clotting, healing wounds and burns, and boosting immune function to kill tumor cells.
Nitrogen A nonmetallic element that constitutes nearly four-fifths of the air by volume, occurring as a colorless, odorless, almost inert diatomic gas in various minerals and in all proteins. It is used in a wide variety of important manufacturers, including ammonia, nitric acid, TNT and fertilizers.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Medications, used to reduce inflammation, that aren’t corticosteroid-based.
Nutraceuticals One term used to describe substances in or parts of a food that may be considered to provide medical or health benefits beyond basic nutrition, including disease prevention. Research indicates this term might not appeal to consumers.
Nutritive Substance that promotes nutrition
Obesity, or overweight Although precise definitions vary among experts, overweight has been traditionally defined as 10 percent to 20 percent above an optimal weight for height derived from statistics. Obesity is defined as body weight being 20% above normal. Some scientists argue that the amount and distribution of an individual’s body fat is a significant indicator of health risk and therefore should be considered in defining overweight. Abdominal fat has been linked to more adverse health consequences than fat in the hips or thighs. Thus, calculations of waist-to-hip ratio are preferred by some health experts to help determine if an individual is overweight.
Obstruction A clog or blockage that prevents liquid from flowing easily.
Occupational therapist A professional trained to help maximize physical potential at home and in the workplace through use of assistive devices and lifestyle adaptations.
Ointments See Topical Agents
Omega-3 fatty acids - DHA/EPA A type of fatty acid found in fish and marine oils which provide the health benefits of reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved mental and visual function.
Orexigenic Stimulating the appetite
Organic Organic defines agricultural products that are grown using cultural, biological and mechanical methods prior to the use of synthetic, non-agricultural substances to control pests, improve soil quality an/or enhance processing. Currently organic defines an agricultural process in which farmers use techniques such as crop rotation, cultivation, mulching, soil enrichment and the “encouragement” of predators and microorganisms which naturally keep pests away. The now widely accepted definition allows farmers to use natural pesticides, but nothing synthetic.
Osteoarthritis A form of arthritis involving the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones within joints. Also called degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis.
Osteoporosis Abnormally reduced bone mass (density). Predisposes a person to fractures after slight trauma. Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease in which the bones lose mass and density, the pores in bones enlarge, and the bones generally become fragile. Osteoporosis often is not diagnosed until a fracture occurs, most commonly in the spine, hip or wrist. Osteoporosis is four times more common in women, whose bones are naturally thinner and less dense, than in men. Women start losing bone mass and density at an earlier age, and the process is accelerated by menopause, causing osteoporosis to manifest itself between the ages of 50 and 60. Research has shown that in addition to regular exercise, calcium intake during childhood, adolescence and early-adulthood helps build a “bone bank” of calcium stores. While bone length is established by age 20, bone strength and density continue to develop through age 30.
Oxidation The loss of electrons from a compound (or element) in a chemical reaction. When one compound is oxidized, another compound is reduced. That is, the other compound must “pick up” the electrons that the first has lost.
Oxytocic Stimulating contractions of the womb.
Palpitations Fast and erratic beating of the heart
Pathogens Virus, bacterium, parasitic protozoan, or other microorganisms that cause infectious disease by invading the body of an organism know as the host. Note that infection is not synonymous with disease because infection does not always lead to injury of the host.
Pectin A natural gelling agent found in ripe fruit. Pectin is an important ingredient in making jams and jellies. Some fruits have high pectin levels (e.g., citrus fruit, blackberries, apples and red currants) but others are low in pectin (e.g., strawberries) so lemon juice is added to strawberry jam to help the set.
Pectoral Having an effect upon the lungs
Pellagra Pellagra is a disease caused by a deficiency of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide and occurs principally in countries in which maize and millet form the staple diet. The initial symptoms are headache and anorexia, followed by skin complaints, diarrhoea, etc.
Perineum The area between the scrotum and the anus.
Pessaries Suppositories which are used to introduce medicaments into the vagina.
Pesticide A broad class of crop protection chemicals including four major types: insecticides used to control insects; herbicides used to control weeds; rodenticides used to control rodents; and fungicides used to control mold, mildew and fungi. In addition consumers use pesticides in the home or yard to control termites and roaches, clean mold from shower curtains, stave off crab grass on the lawn, kill fleas and ticks on pets and disinfect swimming pools, to name just a few “specialty” pesticide uses.
Pheromones “Sex perfume” traps used to disrupt insect reproduction cycles.
Photosensitisation Process by which a substance or organism becomes sensitive to light
Phytate A chemical complex (large molecule) substance that is the dominant (i.e., 60 to 80%) chemical form of phosphorous within cereal grains, oilseeds, and their by products. Monogastric animals (e.g., swine) cannot digest and utilize phosphorus within phytate, because they lack the enzyme known as phytase in their digestive system, so that phosphorus (phytate) is excreted into the environment. When phytase enzyme is present in the ration of a monogastric animal, at a high enough level, the monogastric animal is then able to digest the phytate (thereby releasing that phosphorus for absorption by the animal).
Phytochemical Phytochemicals are substances found in edible fruits and vegetables that may be ingested by humans daily in gram quantities and that exhibit a potential for modulating the human metabolism in a manner favorable for reducing risk of cancer.
Phyto-oestrogens Phyto-oestrogens are secondary plant substances. They are plant-specific hormones, and are believed to help against signs of ageing. The oestrogen hormone group is responsible in women for the firmness of the skin, but its production is much reduced after the menopause. Since real oestrogens are restricted to medical use, the cosmetics industry uses plant hormones instead, since these are very similar and produce the same effects. Oestrogens capture radicals, and for this reason it is thought that phyto-oestrogens may also reduce the risk of cancer. Phyto-oestrogens are also found in fairly large quantities in soya and beer.
Placebo A presumably pharmacologically inactive or “fake” treatment. If in the form of a pill, a placebo sometimes is referred to as a “dummy pill” or “sugar pill.”
Placebo-Controlled A type of study of usually one group of subjects to distinguish the specific and nonspecific effects of the active treatment. Randomized Study participants are assigned without bias to particular arms of a study.
Polyols A type of sweetener used in reduced-calorie foods. They differ from intense sweeteners in that they are considered nutritive; that is, they do contribute calories to the diet. Polyols are incompletely absorbed and metabolized, however, and consequently contribute fewer calories than sucrose. The polyols commonly used in the United States include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, maltitol syrup, lactitol, erythritol, isomalt and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. Most are approximately half as sweet as sucrose; maltitol and xylitol are about as sweet as sucrose. Polyols are found naturally in berries, apples, plums and other foods. They also are produced commercially from carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose, and starch for use in sugar-free candies, cookies and chewing gum. Along with adding a sweet taste, polyols perform a variety of functions such as adding bulk and texture, providing a cooling effect or taste, preventing the browning that occurs during heating and retaining the moisture in foods.
Post harvest waxes After a fruit or vegetable is picked, it continues to need moisture to stay fresh and edible. To help retain moisture, certain varieties of fresh produce are given new wax coating to replace the natural wax the fruit or vegetable loses during harvest and shipping. If a fungicide is mixed with the wax to prevent molding, retail stores must label the waxed produce.
Prebiotics Prebiotics is a term used for all substances which create favourable living conditions for probiotic bacteria. These include all foodstuffs with a high proportion of soluble roughage, especially legumes
Prion A prion is a rogue protein, that appears to cause Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Proanthocyanidins A type of tannin found in cranberries, cranberry products, cocoa and chocolate which may provide the health benefits of improving urinary tract health and of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Probiotics Probiotics are foodstuffs which contain bacteria included among the intestinal flora. To increase the number of active bacteria in the intestinal flora or restore them after illness, bacteria strains have been bred with particularly high resistance to gastric acid.
Prophylactic Preventive. Protects from disease
Prostaglandin Hormone like substances that have a wide range of functions, including acting as chemical messengers and causing uterine contractions
Prostate Male gland surrounding neck of bladder and urethra
Proteases Proteases (also known as proteinases) are enzymes which break down protein. In the organism they degrade unwanted or no longer required proteins, e.g. as part of the digestive process. However, they can also serve to activate proteins. Their ability to decompose proteins has been harnessed to industrial uses - proteases, most of them genetically modified, are nowadays contained in all washing agents which dissolve fats and proteins. This makes it possible to wash clothes at much lower temperatures.
Protein Primary macronutrient for growth and maintenance of our body's structural parts (including muscle). Cannot be stored, so must be replenished through diet. (1 gram=4 calories).
Protein (Egg) Source of protein with high Protein Efficiency Ratio, usually in egg white form (albumin) when used in protein powder to avoid cholesterol in egg yolk. Egg protein is the standard by which all other proteins are measured because of its very high ration of indispensable amino acids (also called essential amino acids because they must be supplied to the body from food or supplements) to dispensable amino acids.
Protein (Soy) Soy protein does not offer much benefits to a bodybuilder. Soy protein does not form a good curd in the stomach, thus making it a fast protein. The amino acid pattern in soy is inferior to that of milk proteins, and not as favorable toward promoting growth. However, it is a unique vegetarian protein that contains all of the Essential Amino Acids you need.
Protein (Whey Hydrolyzed) When you hydrolyze whey protein, you permanently modify the native protein structure, meaning that the protein has been denatured. A denatured whey protein has little or no biological activity. The hydrolysis process breaks apart peptide bonds, which destroys the protein structure and the bital whey protein biological activity. However, you still get the amino acids of whey proteins from the hydrolyzed whey protein. Half the reason bodybuilders eat protein is to obtain these healthful smaller protein chains.
Protein (Whey Ion-Exchange) This special process revolved around the positive and negative charges or ion properties of whey protein. It featured the use of a resin to isolate the protein material from the whey. This is followed by ultrafiltration methods to furthur concentrate the protein. This contains 90% protein, and less than 1% lactose. True ion exchange whey protein is clear in a solution.
Protein (Whey Microfiltration) Microfiltration Whey Protein features filtering membranes with microscopic holes. This is also sometimes called Cross-Flow filtration, or Nanofiltration, depending on the size of the holes of the filtering membranes.
Protein (Whey Protein Concentrate) This type of protein contains 80% protein. The remaining 20% include moisture, lactose, fat and minerals. They have more 'fractions' and biologically active proteins than whey protein isolates. There is no difference between whey protein isolates and concentrates in the ability to spport muscle growth and recovery.
Protein (Whey Protein Isolate) This type of protein contains 90% protein, and about 10% moisture. There is almost no lactose and fat in this type of protein. They normally taste better, are easier to digest, and is much more expensive than Whey Protein Concentrate. There is no difference between whey protein isolates and concentrates in the ability to spport muscle growth and recovery.
Protein (Whey) Dairy source of protein (other than cassein), known for high levels of BCAA's and high nitrogen retention. Made from milk curd, whey protein is the Rolls Royce of proteins because it has a superior amino acid composition (including high levels of leucine, arguably the most important branched chain amino acid), superior biological value (meaning that more of what you eat gets digested and into your system), is very low in lactose (a milk sugar that most adults have difficulty digesting).
Provitamin A The body uses provitamin A (beta-carotene) to produce vitamin A when required. Vitamin A is an important interceptor of free radicals and thus helps to reduce the cancer risk - though overdosages actually enhance the cancer risk in the case of smokers. Provitamin A is also important for the efficient functioning of the immune system. A provitamin A deficiency in childhood can lead to visual defects or even blindness, a problem which is very widespread in Asia. This was the reason for the development of what is known as “golden rice”, which was genetically modified in such a way as to contain a large proportion of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is also used as a colouring in many products, e.g. orangeade or butter, because it gives them an orange tint. This is how golden rice got its name.
Provitamins Provitamins are precursors which the organism can transform into proper vitamins. Provitamins themselves are generally without effect.
Pulmonary Of the lungs
Purgative A substance that evacuates the bowels, more drastic than an aperient or laxative.
Purslane It is a weed that is edible, and sometimes put on salads, mostly in Europe. It is loaded with linolenic acid, and omega-3 fatty acid that may help reduce the risk of heart attack, and improve the health of cell membranes in the eyes and brain. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin E, providing 6 times as much as spinach.
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6) A vitamin which supports glycogen and nitrogen metabolism; production and transport of amino acids; production and maintenance of red blood cells (hemoglobin) Essential for the body's utilization of protein. Needed for the production of red blood cells, nerve tissues, and antibodies. Women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of B-6.
Pyruvate A key energy metabolite for the breakdown of fuel (glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, etc.) to energy in our bodies, pyruvate can give us increased energy, assist in burning fat as fuel, and have anticatabolic effects (such as producing alanine). Pyruvate acid is alpha - ketopropionic acid. Studies have shown that pyruvate can help decrease fatigue, and increase vigor with only six grams per day. The human body breaks down carbohydrates for energy though a process called glycolysis. As these sugars and starches are metabolized, pyruvate (pyruvic acid) is produced, which readily enters the mitochondria of cells to create energy fueling the muscles and other parts of the body.
Quercetin This bioflavonoid occurs in many plant foods. Quercitin has a synergistic effect with ephedrine and caffeine, increasing and prolonging their properties.
Radicals Molecules that are highly reactive that also exist in cells. They can induce cell death and can harm the immune system. Radicals are produced when there is light, warmth, radioactive radiation or biochemical processes. Vitamins, enzymes and the trace element selenium have the capability of reacting with the radicals, making them harmless. SEE ALSO 'FREE RADICALS'
Random sample A random sample is a procedure to select subjects for a study in which all individuals in a population being studied have an equal chance of being selected. Using a random sample allows the results of the study to be generalized to the entire population. The term random also applies to assignments within controlled studies, or the division of subjects into groups. Random assignment ensures that all subjects have an equal chance of being in the experimental and control groups, and increases the probability that any unidentified variable will systematically occur in both groups with the same frequency. Randomization is crucial to control for variables that researchers may not be aware of or cannot adequately control, but which could affect the outcome of an experimental study.
Rectum The last part of the large intestine (colon) ending in the anus.
Relaxant Substance that promotes relaxation
Rennet An enzyme used to make cheese. Rennet is extracted from the lining of calves’ stomachs. New technologies have enabled the removal of the specific gene that produces rennet and have reproduced it in bacteria. This allows the production of rennet through a fermentation process, eliminating the need for extracts from calves’ stomachs.
Reproductive system The bodily systems that allow men and women to have children.
Retinol (Vitamin A) A vitamin with antioxidant properties, important for eye protection and bone growth; protein and hormone synthesis (including GH and testosterone); supports tissue maintenance. Helps reduce susceptibility to infection. Essential for healthy skin, good blood, strong bones and teeth, kidneys, bladder, lungs and membranes.
Retropubic Behind the pubic bone.
Rheumatoid Arthritis A form of arthritis that affects the lining of the joints. White blood cells move from the bloodstream into the synovial membrane, causing the membrane to become inflamed.
Rhizome The underground stem of a plant
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) A vitamin which helps with energy production and amino acid production. Helps body obtain energy from protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Helps maintain good vision and healthy skin.
Ribose Ribose is a simple sugar that is extremely important in many processes in the body. Ribose is found in all living cells. It is the backbone of genetic material, and it is the starting point for production of ATP. Ribose effectively increases ATP and TAN (Total Adenine Nucleotide) recovery, while impriving performance in heart and muscle cells. Ribose also fortifies muscle ATP but through a different pathway than creatine. Ribose also bolsters muscle recovery after your train. Ribose promotes more effcient salvage pathway, thus allowing better ATP recycling and consequent increased muscular recovery after training. If the body does not use the salvage pathway, when ribose is insufficient, it must make ATP from scratch.
Saccharin Saccharin, the oldest of the non-nutritive sweeteners, is currently produced from purified, manufactured methyl anthranilate, a substance occurring naturally in grapes. It is 300 times sweeter than sucrose, heat stable and does not promote dental caries. Saccharin has a long shelf life, but a slightly bitter aftertaste. It is not metabolized in the human digestive system, is excreted rapidly in the urine and does not accumulate in body.
Salmonella Salmonella is a Gram-negative bacterium, occurring in many animals, especially poultry and swine. In the environment, salmonella can be found in water, soil, insects, factory and kitchen surfaces, animal fecal matter, and raw meats, poultry (including eggs) and seafood. Acute symptoms of the illness caused by the Salmonella species include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and fever.
Salt Salt (known chemically as sodium chloride) is used as a food condiment. Excessive salt intake can lead to high blood pressure and oedemas (accumulations of fluid in intercellular spaces). In many EU countries much more salt is consumed than is needed. Salt is also a good preservative.
Saponin Active plant constituent producing lather in water
Saturated fat Saturated fats are those in which all carbons contain a hydrogen, and therefore, no double bonds exist. In general, fats that contain a majority of saturated fatty acids are solid at room temperature, although some solid vegetable shortenings are up to 75 percent unsaturated. Some common fatty acids in foods include palmitic, stearic and myristic acids. Saturated fatty acids are more stable than unsaturated fatty acids because of their chemical structure. Stability is important to prevent rancidity and off flavours and odours.
Scrotum The sac of skin that contains the testes.
Scurvy Scurvy is a vitamin C deficiency disease. Due to lack of fresh fruit and vegetables, the disease was greatly feared during the long journeys undertaken in earlier centuries by explorers and traders. Scurvy leads to fatigue, muscle pains, spontaneous haemorrhages and skin lesions.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Medications used to relieve depression. May work by increasing the availability of a brain chemical that helps to regulate mood (serotonin).
Semen The fluid, containing sperm, which comes out of the penis during sexual excitement.
Side Effects Unintended, and usually undesirable, reactions that result from a treatment.
Softgel capsules Are gelatine (vegetable or animal in origine) enclosures that encapsulate drugs or nutrients in exact dosages and convenient sizes for swallowing. Soft gel capsules are usually used to encapsulate oils and pastes.
Soluble fibre A type of dietary fibre found in psyllium, cereals, oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, beans and other foods which increases the viscosity in the gut and acts to reduce high blood cholesterol levels which decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Spasmolytic Able to relieve spasms or convulsions
Spina bifida Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the infant is born with the spinal cord exposed. These children can grow to adulthood although they often suffer from paralysis and other disabilities. Also, see “neural tube defects (NTDs).”
SSRI's Group of antidepressant drugs. See 'Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors'
Stabilisers Stabilisers are additives which prevent parts of the food from settling, or substance mixtures from separating. Stabilisers used for this purpose are emulsifiers, thickeners or gelling agents.
Standardised Uniform content of one or more active ingredient
Stanol/Sterol Esters A functional component found in wood oils, corn, soy and wheat which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Staple Crops Those crops which are most common in people’s diets are considered staple crops. Staple crops of greatest importance include rice, wheat and maize (corn). These three crops provide 60 percent of the world’s food energy intake. And rice feeds almost half of humanity. Typically, staple crops are well adapted to the conditions in their source areas. For example, they may be tolerant of drought, pests or soils low in nutrients.
Starch Starch is a carbohydrate which occurs only in plants, especially cereals and potatoes. It is made up of a very large number of linked glucose molecules and serves as a raw material for many foodstuffs. It is also used for obtaining alcohol. Potato starch consists of amylose and amylopectin. Amylose can be used for producing biodegradable films, amylopectin forms the basis for glue.
Stearate A saturated fatty acid containing eighteen carbon atoms in its molecular “backbone” that is essentially neutral in effect on coronary heart disease in humans (i.e., doesn’t appreciably increase low-density lipoproteins in the bloodstream). Because of the heart disease neutrality and resistance to oxidation/breakdown, stearate-containing oils are an excellent cooking oil choice.
Sterile Unable to reproduce.
Sterilisation Sterilisation is a process used to preserve foodstuffs for very long periods. The foodstuffs are heated for 15 to 20 minutes to 110 -135 °C, which kills off all microorganisms. After sterilisation the products are germfree, i.e. they are sterile and can be stored for years. The disadvantage of the method is that it destroys heat-sensitive vitamins, and also alters the colour and taste of many products. This is especially the case with milk, which is the reason why it is not sterilised but pasteurised or ultra-heat treated.
Stomachic Drugs which ease stomach ache
Sucralose Sucralose is the only low-calorie sweetener that is made from sugar. It is approximately 600-times sweeter and does not contain calories. Sucralose is highly stable under a wide variety of processing conditions. Thus, it can be used virtually anywhere sugar can, including cooking and baking, without losing any of its sugar-like sweetness. Currently, sucralose is approved in over 25 countries around the world for use in food and beverages. In the US, the FDA has been petitioned to approve the use of sucralose in 15 different food and beverage categories.
Sucrose Sucrose, a type of sugar, is a diglyceride composed of glucose and fructose. Also, see “carbohydrates.”
Sudorific Producing copious perspiration.
Sugar alcohols Ingredients used to add sweet flavours to food. Those often used instead of sugars include sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. Many fruits and vegetables contain sugar alcohols naturally. They’re also found in some sugarless gum, hard candies, jams and jellies. Besides adding sweetness, sugar alcohols also add texture, help foods stay moist, prevent browning when food is heated and give a cooling effect to the taste of food. They supply four calories per gram, but are absorbed slowly and incompletely and thus require little or no insulin for metabolism. They are not cavity-producing because they are not metabolized by bacteria that produce cavities.
Sulphite Sulphite agents are sometimes used to preserve the colour of foods such as dried fruits and vegetable, and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms in fermented foods such as wine. Sulphites are safe for most people. A small segment of the population, however, has been found to develop shortness of breath or fatal shock shortly after exposure to these preservatives. Sulphites can provoke severe asthma attacks in sulphite-sensitive asthmatics. For that reason, in 1986 the FDA banned the use of sulphites on fresh fruits and vegetables (except potatoes) intended to be sold or served raw to consumers. Sulphites added to all packaged and processed foods must be listed on the product label.
Sulphoraphane A functional component of cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, kale, horseradish) which provides the health benefits of neutralizing free radicals and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.
Suppositories Small, cone or torpedo shaped moulds, usually made with glyco-gelatine used to carrying medicament to be introduced into the rectum.
Suprapubic Above the pubic bone.
Sweeteners Sweeteners are chemical additives which are not related to sugar and which do not occur naturally. They are used mainly for sweetening so-called “light” products.
Symbiosis Symbiosis is said to take place when two organisms of different species live together because each of them gains an advantage from the other. Ants and aphids are a well-known example - the ants keep the aphids as “milk-cows” and in return protect them against their enemies.
Synergistic Effect The effect achieved by the combination of two or more substances or organisms which neither alone could accomplish.
Tannin Active plant constituents that combine with proteins; originally derived from plants for use in tanning leather
Taurine An essential amino acid. Plays a role in cell-membrane stabilization, calcium balance, growth modulation and the regulation of osmotic pressure in the body (water transfer). It is also a key component of bile, which is necessary for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and control of cholesterol levels. A link has been shown between deficiency in this amino and retinal dysfunction (eye problems).
Testes The male reproductive glands where sperm are produced.
Theine Theine is an older name for caffeine in tea. It was believed that there were differences between caffeine in coffee and caffeine in tea. It is now known that they are identical, even though the effect produced by coffee is short-term and rapid, and that of tea gradual but longer-lasting.
Thiamin (Vitamin B-1) A vitamin which maintains energy levels, supports brain function (memory). Aids in digestion. Necessary for metabolism of sugar and starch to provide energy. Maintains a healthy nervous system. Alcohol can cause deficiencies of this vitamin and all the B-complex vitamins.
Thickeners Thickeners are additives included in foods to thicken them or to bind liquids. Among the most important thickeners are pectin, modified starch or locust bean gum. Thickeners and gelling agents are labelled with E-numbers 400-419.
Thrush Fungal infection of throat or vagina
Thyramine Chemical component of the body which helps sustain normal blood pressure
Tinctures Are spirituous preparations, which use differing strengths of alcohol as their solvent for extracting the botanical drugs to be converted into tinctures.
Tonic Substance which gives a feeling of well being . Restoring, nourishing
Topical Local administration of remedy, e.g. to the skin or the eye
Topical agents Medications that are applied to the skin rather than ingested or injected. They can come in the form of a cream or a gel. Also called ointments.
Toxicity Poisonous reaction that impairs body functions
Trans fats Trans fats occur naturally in beef, butter, milk and lamb fats and in commercially prepared, partially hydrogenated margarines and solid cooking fats. The main sources of trans fats in the American diet today are margarine, shortening, commercial frying fats and high-fat baked goods. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils were developed in part to help displace highly saturated animal and vegetable fats used in frying, baking and spreads. However, trans fats, like saturated fats, may raise blood LDL cholesterol levels (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) - but not as much as the saturates do. At high consumption, levels may also reduce the HDL or “good” cholesterol levels.
Tricyclic antidepressants A group of drugs used to relieve symptoms of depression. These drugs may also help relieve pain.
Tryptophan An essential amino acid, known for its calming and mood enhancing effects. It is a naturally occurring ingredient in turkey that mellows you out and makes you want to take a nap after the Thanksgiving feast. Tryptophan can also be called 5-HTP (5-hydrotryptophan) which is made with a slightly different compound than regular tryptophan.
Type I diabetes - Insulin dependent (Type I) diabetes is less common than Type II. This disease occurs when the pancreas can’t make insulin, or at least not enough. Often this form of diabetes begins in childhood or the young adult years, but people of any age can get it. Insulin shots are required daily.
Type II diabetes - Non-insulin dependent (Type II) diabetes is the more common type of diabetes and people of African-American, Hispanic and Native American decent are at higher risk of this disease. The disease develops slowly and usually becomes evident after age 40. Being overweight is a common risk factor. Often it can be controlled through diet, weight control and exercise.
Tyrosine A conditionally essential amino acid, tyrosine can elevate mood and is a precursor of the brain neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.
Ultrasound A type of test in which sound waves too high to hear are aimed at a structure to produce an image of it.
Umami In addition to the four main taste components (sweet, sour, salty and bitter), there is the additional taste characteristic called “umami” or savory. One of the food components responsible for the umami flavor in foods is glutamate, an amino acid.
Urethra The canal inside the penis that urine passes through as it leaves the body.
Urinary tract The path that urine takes as it leaves the body. It includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Urination Discharge of liquid waste from the body.
Validity The extent to which a study or study instrument measures what it is intended to measure. Refers to accuracy or truthfulness in regard to a study’s conclusion.
Valine One of the three branched chain amino acids. They are called BCAA's because they structurally branch off another chain of atoms instead of forming a line. Studies have shown that BCAA's help to stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit its breakdown, so BCAA's have powerful anabolic and anticatabolic effects on the body. They may also potentiate the release of some anabolic hormones, such as growth hormone. Regular ingestion of BCAA's help to keep the body in a state of postive nitrogen balance. In this state, your body much more readily builds muscle and burns fat. Studies have shown that athletes taking extra BCAA's have shown a loss of more bodyfat than those not taking BCAA's.
Vanadyl Sulfate Source of mineral vanadium; helps optimize glycogen storage to yield more energy. Vanadyl is supposed to help you attain a little more muscle and inhibit fat storage by controlling insulin release. In theory, Vanadyl works inside the muscle cells by bringing carbohydrates into the muscle without the assistance of insulin. If there is less insulin, there is less chance of carbohydrates being converted to stored bodyfat.
Variable Any characteristic that may vary in study subjects, such as gender, age, body weight, diet, behavior, attitude or other attribute. In an experiment, the treatment is called the independent variable; it is the factor being investigated. The variable that is influenced by the treatment is the dependent variable; it may change as a result of the effect of the independent variable.
Vegans Vegans are persons who refuse to include any animal products whatever in their diet. This refusal extends not only to meat and fish but also to egg and animal milk products. Since, however, many essential nutrients are present only in small amounts - or not at all - in plant products, the risk of deficiency diseases is high. For this reason, vegans must take special care to ensure that they have a well-balanced diet, particularly in the case of expectant mothers.
Vegetarian Vegetarians are persons who refuse to consume products from dead animals. There are also ovo-lacto-vegetarians, who refuse to eat meat but accept eggs and animal milk products, lacto-vegetarians, who refuse eggs, and vegans, who refuse all foods of animal origin. To avoid a deficiency of essential amino acids, vegetarians must ensure that their diet plan is well-balanced, otherwise they will incur a higher risk of deficiency diseases.
Virus A simple, noncellular particle (entity) that can reproduce only inside living cells (of other organisms). The simple structure of viruses is their most important characteristic. Most viruses consist only of a genetic material—either DNA or RNA—and a protein coating. Viruses are “alive” in that they can reproduce themselves, but they have none of the other characteristics of living organisms. Viruses cause a large variety of significant diseases in plants and animals, including humans.
Vitamins Complex organic molecules essential for biochemical transformations necessary for proper metabolism and disease protection. Some popular vitamins are: o A: (Retinol) A vitamin with antioxidant properties, important for eye protection and bone growth; protein and hormone synthesis (including GH and testosterone); supports tissue maintenance. Helps reduce susceptibility to infection. Essential for healthy skin, good blood, strong bones and teeth, kidneys, bladder, lungs and membranes. o B-Complex Vitamins A group of eleven known vitamins that work together in your body. All play vital roles in the conversion of food into energy. Essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, and the maintenance of good digestion. Helps promote healthy skin, hair, and eyes. These are water soluble vitamins, which means they cannot be stored by your body and must be replaced every day. o B-1 (Thiamin) Maintains energy levels, supports brain function (memory). Aids in digestion. Necessary for metabolism of sugar and starch to provide energy. Maintains a healthy nervous system. Alcohol can cause deficiencies of this vitamin and all the B-complex vitamins. o B-2 (Riboflavin) Energy production and amino acid production. Helps body obtain energy from protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Helps maintain good vision and healthy skin. o B-3 (Niacin) Important in carbohydrate metabolism, formation of testosterone and other hormones, formation of red blood cells and maintaining the integrity of all cells. Helps body utilize protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Necessary for a healthy nervous system and digestive system. It also lowers elevated blood cholesterol levels when taken in large amounts of more than 1,000 milligrams a day. o B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) Supports carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism; hemoglobin synthesis. Helps release energy from protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Needed to support a variety of body functions, including the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. o B-6 (Pyridoxine) Supports glycogen and nitrogen metabolism; production and transport of amino acids; production and maintenance of red blood cells (hemoglobin) Essential for the body's utilization of protein. Needed for the production of red blood cells, nerve tissues, and antibodies. Women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of B-6. o B-12 (Cobalamin) Necessary for carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Important to amino acid and fatty acid synthesis; essential for hemoglobin and nerve cell growth and maintenance. The anti-stress vitamin, sometimes prescribed for stress reduction. o Biotin Energy metabolism, fatty acid and nucleic acid synthesis. o C (Ascorbic acid) Antioxidant, synthesis of hormones, amino acids and collagen (connective tissue); excretion of excess cholesterol. Necessary to produce collagen, the connective material of all body tissues. Important for the health of the teeth and the gums. Strengthens capillaries and other blood vessels. Plays an important role in healing injuries. Aids in the body's absorption of iron. Vitamin C is water soluble, which means it cannot be stored by your body and must be frequently replaced. o D (Calciferol) Supports calcium absorption and deposition into bones. Must be present for your body to use calcium and phosphorus. Essential for growing children to insure that teeth and bones develop properly. o E (d-alpha-tocopherol) Antioxidant, especially protective of polyunsaturated fats and body tissues. Acts as a preservative, preventing many substances, such as Vitamin A, from destructive breakdown by oxidation in the body. Prolongs the life of red blood cells. Necessary for the proper use of oxygen by the muscles. o Folic Acid Necessary for the production of red blood cells. Essential for normal metabolism. A deficiency may cause a form of anemia. Drinking alcohol and taking oral contraceptives can cause lower levels of this vitamin in your body. Especially important during pregnancy to prevent birth defects. o K Supports blood clotting, bone mineralization.
Volatile Oils Chemicals that evaporate at room temperature
Vulnerary Used in healing wounds.
Water soluble Dissolves in water
Whey Whey is the part of the milk left over after the casein and fats have been separated off. It contains lactose, proteins, antibodies, mineral salts and vitamins.
Whey protein Dairy source of protein (other than cassein), known for high levels of BCAA's and high nitrogen retention. Made from milk curd, whey protein is the Rolls Royce of proteins because it has a superior amino acid composition (including high levels of leucine, arguably the most important branched chain amino acid), superior biological value (meaning that more of what you eat gets digested and into your system), is very low in lactose (a milk sugar that most adults have difficulty digesting).
Whole grain products Flour still containing all constituents of the grains plus the shoot is known as whole grain flour. It differs from whole grain meal only in its fineness.
Whole Grains The whole kernel of grain which includes the bran (outer shell), germ (nutrient rich core) and endosperm (starchy portion). The health benefit provided by whole grains is the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease which results from the combination of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals found in whole grains.
Wild Crafted Harvested from the wild
Willow Bark White willow bark is a source of salicin, a chemical relative of asparin. The effects of willow bark are milk pain inhibition, and increased blood flow to the skin and greater heat loss.
Xenobiotics Synthetic chemicals believed to be resistant to environmental degradation. A branch of biotechnology called bioremediation is seeking to develop biological methods to degrade such compounds.
Yeast Yeast is a collective term for yeast fungi. These include baker’s yeast, which gives rise to carbon dioxide, thus ensuring that dough remains loose and rises, beer and wine yeasts, which form alcohol by fermentation, and also the moulds.
Yohimbe From the bark of an African tree, Yohimbe is a herb perceived as a stimulant and aphrodisiac. Yohimbe contains yohimbine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine in it's energizing effects. Yohimbine is to be avoided for its extreme toxic side effects.
Zeaxanthin A type of carotenoid found in eggs, citrus fruits and corn which positively contributes to the maintenance of eye vision.
Zinc Mineral important as a cofactor in energy metabolism, amino acid and protein synthesis; Antioxidant effects to protect the immune system. Essential for growth, tissue repair, and sexual development. Plays an important role in healing. Since animal proteins are the best sources, vegetarians are often deficient in zinc.