Definitions / Glossary
Allyl Sulphides are prevalent in garlic (Allium sativum). Garlic has been observed to suppress tumor proliferation because the allyl sulfides which it contains, are recognized for their ability to suppress cellular proliferation in turn. This is accomplished by blocking cells in the G2/M phase and by the induction of apoptosis. Garlic-derived allyl sulfides inhibit nitrosamine activation by cytochrome P450s.
Alpha-linoleic acid. (LNA) ( See Vitamin F, and Fatty Acids.)
Alpha-lipoic Acid is sometimes referred to as the "universal antioxidant," because it is soluble in both fat and water. This potent and versatile antioxidant may turn out to be a proven, very important supplement. It is known to help protect the mitochondrial DNA, as well as, nuclear genetic material. In Germany it has been prescribed for some time to treat long-term complications of diabetes, such as nerve damage—probably the result from free-radical damage. There is also evidence that it can help control blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. Lipoic Acid is a coenzyme in the reaction in which acetyl-CoA is formed from glucose breakdown and in a reaction of the citric cycle, and can be synthesized by human cells.
Alpha-Tocopherol (See Vitamin F and Fatty Acids.)
Amino Acids are a group of nitrogen-containing, carbon-based organic compounds that serve as the basic building blocks from which protein and muscle are made. There are 20 amino acids found in protein, and these may be divided into two groups. 1) Nine cannot be produced within the body and are therefore considered “essential”. 2) The remaining 11 are classified as “non-essential” due to the fact that they can be made in the body from the essential amino acids by the process of transamination (Smolin & Grosvenor, 1994). There are additional amino acids, not part of protein, as well.
Nine Essential Amino Acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
(1) Histidine. A five-carbon amino acid that is converted to glutamate. Histidine is essential for children only (Timberlake, 2004).
(2) Isoleucine must be obtained from food or supplements because the human body cannot manufacture it. Isoleucine is necessary for a variety if protein formations in the body.
(3) Leucine is important for protein structure, catalysis and enzyme activities
(4) Lysine aids in the production and regulation of hormones and antibodies and helps support a healthy immune system. It is required for growth, and helps the body effectively use fatty acids for energy production. .Lysine also aids in the production of collagen, promoting healthy skin, cartilage and bone
(5) Methionine is needed for proper growth in infants and for nitrogen balance in adults. It contains sulfur. Methionine can be used by the body to manufacture Cysteine.
(6) Phenylalanine is required for protein formation. It also plays an important role in the information of brain chemicals.
(7) L-Threonine is a neutral, genetically coded amio acid. Molecular formula C4H9NO3. Its Isoelectric point (pH) is 5.64
(8) L-Tryptophan is also a neutral, genetically coded amion acid. Its molecular formula is
C11H12N2O2. Tryptophan has an Isoelectric point (pH) of 5.89
(9) Valine. Along with Leucine comprise the group of compounds known as the branched chain amino acids (BCAA'S). Valine is an aliphatic amino acid that is also closely related to isoleucine both in structure and function. These amino acids are extremely hydrophobic and are almost always found in the interior of proteins. Important sources of valine include soy flour, cottage cheese, fish, meats, and vegetables. Valine is a glycogenic amino that promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination and emotional calm. It is essential for protein structure and the prevention of nervous and digestive disorders. Valine has a stimulating effect on the body and is used by body builders for muscle growth, tissue repair, and energy.
11+ Non-essential Amino Acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine.
(1) Alanine is released from muscle and used for glucose synthesis and energy production in the liver.
(2) Arginine is necessary for protein formation and is also important for maintaining proper vascular tone. It is an essential amino acid for children only.
(3) Asparagine is a non-essential, neutral, genetically coded amino acid. Its Molecular formula
is C4H8N2O3. It has an Isoelectric point (pH) of 5.41
(4) Aspartic acid when bound to a certain mineral helps form the compound, Aspartate—not to be confused with Aspartame, an artificial sweetener. .
(5) Cysteine (cystine) is a principal source of sulfur on the diet which is found in skin and nails, and is the main source of sulfhydryl groups in many proteins in cells. It plays an important role in glutathione structure that acts as a reductant and is scavenger of free radicals. It is also a part of glutathione peroxides, the enzyme that protects against lipid peroxides in the body. Homocysteine is an amino acid that results from methionine breakdown in the body. There is evidence that a high level of homocysteine in the blood is associated with an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid play a role in the maintenance of normal homocysteine levels. Cysteine is considered by some to be a “semi-essential” amino acid.
(6) L-Glutamic Acid is a non-essential, acidic, genetically coded amno acid. Molecular formula C5H9NO4. Its Isoelectric point (pH) is 3.22
(7) Glutamine is synthesized when a second amino group is added to glutamate using the energy from the hydrolysis of ATP.
(8) Glycine. The simplest of all amino acids, has been shown to be necessary for production of glutatione, creatine, and is a neurotransmitter. It is utlized for hemoglobin formation.
(9) L-Proline is another non-essential, neutral, genetically coded amino acid. It is the only protein-forming amino acid with a secondary amino group. Molecular formula C5H9NO2. Its
Isoelectric point (pH) is 6.30.
(10) Serine. In the synthesis of Serine, three steps are required starting with a 3-phosphoglycerate from glycolsis. First the OH group of glycerated is oxidized giving an α–keto acid. This undergoes transamination by glutamate accompanied by the loss of the phosphate group.
(11) Tyrosine is an aromatic amino acid with a hydroxyl group, formed from phenylaline (Timberlake, 2004). Tyrosine is present in many proteins, especially casein, and works synergistically with glutamine and tryptophan. Sources of Tyrosine include aged cheese, beer, wine, yeast, ripe bananas, avocados, strawberries, cherries, apples and almonds. Tyrosine requires the presence of Vitamin C and folic acid to function. Another amino acid.worthy of “semi-essential” status.
Other Amino Acids mentioned in the literature:
( ) Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids Lysine and Methione with the help of Vitamin B6. Sources are meat and dairy products. It is a compound that plays a central role in lipid metabolism. Carnitine is stored in skeletal muscle, and regulates the function of enzymes involved in energy production. Long chain fatty acids, however, are unable to cross the inner mitachondrial membrane. L-carnitine’s primary function is to facilitate the transport of long chain fatty acids into the cells mitochondria. L-carnitine links to the fatty acids and shuttles them successfully across the barrier. Once inside the mitochondria, the fatty acids are broken down,enabling cellular energy to be produced. Natural sources of L-carnitine include dark turkey meat and red meat. Vegetables are a poor source of this amino acid. (See Vitamin-like Compounds.)
( ) Hydroxyproline (C5H9O3N), is an uncommon amino acid (abbreviated as HYP) and a major component of collagen, the protein that strengthens ligaments and tendons and provides skin elasticity. Hydroxyproline is produced by hydroxylation of the amino acid proline, but it requires Vitamin C to complete the process. A lack of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in the diet can cause hydroxyproline deficiency, producing the skin lesions typical of the disease scurvy. Along with proline, it is one of two cyclic amino acids found in proteins.
( ) Ornithine is another non-essential amino acid. It is essential for the removal of waste from the body.
( ) Taurine Is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, but it is not part of protein. It is found in the central nervous system, skeletal muscle and is very concentrated in the brain and heart. Taurine inhibits and modulates neurotransmitter in the brain. It has been reported to benefit epileptics and helps maintain cardiovascular and eye health. Taurine may be synthesized from either Methionine or Cysteine, hence in is found at high levels in human milk. It is only found animal foods, not vegetables.
Antioxidants get their name because they combat oxidation. They are nutrients that play a vital role in cellular health. Each is a unique chemical substance that prevents the reaction of various food constituents with oxygen. Since cells are vulnerable to a process called oxidation, Antioxidants are valuable scavengers that find and "quench" free radicals before they can commence their damaging oxidative reaction(s). Antioxidants may be divided into two main categories: enzymatic and non-enzymatic.
The non-enzymatic antioxidants include the lipid-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin E and Vitamin A, or provitamin A (beta-carotene), and the water-soluble Vitamin C, the element, Selenium, and GSH (see below) and F ? , bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidin (or OPC's from grape seed extract) and pycnogenol.
Enzymatic antioxidant nutrients include superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidases.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an endogenously-produced, intracellular enzyme present in essentially every cell in the body. SOD appears in three forms: (1) Cu-Zn SOD in the cytoplasm with two subunits, (2) Mn-SOD in the mitochondrion, (3) extracellular SOD recently described contains, Copper (CuSOD). Cellular SOD is actually represented by a group of metalloenzymes with various prosthetic groups. The prevalent enzyme is cupro-zinc (CuZn) SOD.
Glutathione peroxidase reduces H2O2 to H2O by oxidizing glutathione (GSH). Rereduction of the oxidized form of glutathione (GSSG) is then catalysed by glutathione reductase. These enzymes also require trace metal cofactors for maximal efficiency, including selenium for glutathione peroxidase; copper, zinc, or manganese for SOD; and iron for catalase.
Arachidonic acid. A fatty acid that can be synthesized from linoleic acid.
Ascorbic acid is the scientific name for Vitamin C.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid compound usually made from a microalg called Haematococcus pluvialis. Some forms are indissoluble (most antioxidants are either fat or water soluble). Since Astaxanthin supplies carotenoids, it should be safe to take - although a precise dosage has yet to be established. It has been claimed to be ten times more effective than beta carotene and 100 times more effective than Vitamin E in preventing lipid peroxidation. However, as Vitamin E and Astaxanthin possibly work in different ways it may be advisable to take both as they could complement each other.
Atoms are the basic particles that make up unique elements. An atom has a nucleus comprised of positively-charged protons, and neutrons--without a charge. Negatively-charged electrons rapidly orbit around it the nucleus completing the atomic structure. Atoms may associate strongly with one another by virtue of bonds, or may simply gain or lose electrons to form ions. An atom with extra neutrons is called an isotope.
Aspartate is compound formed when a mineral is bound to aspartic acid, one of the nonessential amino acid
Beta-cryptoxanthin is classified chemically as a xanthophyll, and is one of the most abundant carotenoids in the North American diet. It is one of the “provitamin A” compounds, and one of approximately 50 carotenoids able to be converted in the body into retinol, an active form of Vitamin A. Beta cryptoxanthin has approximately one-half of the Vitamin A activity of beta-carotene, and .is a natural substance found in higher concentrations in foods that are yellow-orange, orange, red-orange, and red in color. Pronounced “bate-uh-crip-toe-zan-thin” it is prevalent in pumpkins, red peppers, papaya, orange citrus fruits such as tangerines and oranges, carrots, certain vegetable juices and watermelon. (Refer to Carotene, and Carotenoids, below.) Ingestion of this carotneoid has been shown to substantially diminish the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Cilantro, and corn also contain beta-cryptozanthin.
Betaine hydrochloride aids in digestion. Although it is not an enzyme, it is often utilized along with enzymes. As a crystalline substance containing 23% hydrochloric acid it is found in beets and other plants. Betaine hydrochloride also helps to form the amino acid methionine.
Bioavailability means the rate and extent to which an active drug or metabolite enters the general circulation. This is determined by the measurement of the concentration of the substance in body fluids.
Bioflavonoids are biologically active, water-soluble compounds found in plants and functioning in the maintenance of the walls of capillaries in mammals. If brightly colored they may be termed “phytochemical bioflavenoids”. Bioflavonoids are known antioxidants continually being studied for their anticancer disease fighting properties. They have been utilized by natural healers for decades to treat asthma and allergies. Better known bioflavonoids include: hesperin, hesperidin, eriodictyol, quercetin, quercertrin, and rutin. Bioflavonoids collectively, are also called Vitamin P.
Biotin is a sulfur-containing B vitamin which is water-soluble and plays an essential role as a co-enzyme in the rnetabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. (See Vitamin B7.) Biotin likewise serves in crucial roles in the breakdown of amino acids. It is found as a popular ingredient in grooming products because deficiency of this vitamin may result in dermatitis and hair loss.
Boron. Current research suggests that this element may be necessary for the metabolism of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and Vitamin D. Bones contain the highest concentrations of boron. The amount of Boron in the soil is determinate of the ability of vegetables--that are the best food source of boron—to pass it up the food chain Dairy products, meat and fish also contain traces of Boron.
Buffered Vitamin C is regular Vitamin C that combines with calcium ascorbate to create a formula that is gentle to sensitive stomachs.
Caffeine is an alkaloid present in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola drinks and certain supplements. Caffeine, as an ergogenic is often taken before athletic competitions to enhance endurance and improve reaction time.
Calcium is the most abundant element in the body. Besides is primary function of building strong bones and teeth, Calcium maintains a balanced level in the blood. If insufficient calcium is provided in the diet it mineral is drawn from our bones to achieve this equilibrium. Calcium intake becomes less efficient with age is a major contributor to osteoporosis. According the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel on Optimal Calcium Intake, the recommended daily allowance of calcium is 1200-1500 mg.
Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and are found in such foods as fruit (fructose) and table sugar (sucrose). Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together and are found in legumes and grains, and many vegetables, such as potatoes, squash and corn. Carbohydrates form one of the three main classes of foods essential to the body. They may be broken down into three main divisions, i.e, monosaccharides (simple sugars such as fructose, galactose, and glucose) lactose, maltose, and sucrose), oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides (complex sugars such as cellulose, glycogen, and starch).
Carnitine may be classified as non-essential amino acid . L-Carntine transports long chain fatty acids into the "mitochondria," the cell's energy factories.
Catabolism is the destructive phase of metabolism. It includes all the processes in which complex substances are converted into simpler ones, usually with the release of energy.
Alpha-carotene is one of the most abundant carotenoids in the North American diet. It is a “provitamin A” compound, one of approximately 50 carotenoids able to be converted in the body into retinol, an active form of vitamin A. Alpha-carotene has approximately one-half of the vitamin A activity of beta-carotene. Alpha-carotene food sources include carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, green beans, cilantro, and Swiss chard. (whfoods.org, 2005)
Beta–carotene is a carotenoid also found in winter squash, green beans, carrots, but the similarity of the name with the latter is a coincidence. Other food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, turnip greens, collared greens, cilantro, and fresh thyme. To maximize the availability of the carotenoids in the foods listed above, the foods should be eaten raw or steamed lightly. Beta-carotene is a precursor of Vitamin A which is essential for normal vision in humans ("provitamin A") that the body converts into active Vitamin A. Beta-carotene with its antioxidant properties helps protect cells from the action of free radicals and, therefore, may help protect the body from heart disease and cancer. It is a pigment that is found in many dark, green, leafy and yellow vegetables and fruit, and hence is known as one of the best known phytonutrients. Unlike Vitamin A, beta-carotene is not toxic in large doses. Dietary beta-carotene is converted to retinol at the level of the intestinal mucosa. Betacarotene boosts the antioxidant activity of lycopene (Wahlqvist, et al, 1994)
Carotenoids are pigmented micronutrients present in fruits and vegetables. While over 600 carotenoids have been found in the food supply, the most common forms are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, crocetin, canthaxanthin, and fucoxanthin. Beta-carotene is the most widely studied (see particularly, Alpha and Beta-carotene). Carotenoids also have been reported to have a number of other biologic actions, including immuno-enhancement; inhibition of mutagenesis and transformation; and regression of premalignant lesions. Other better understood carotenoids include: lycopene, and lutein.
Carcinogen. Any substance or agent that promotes cancer. A carcinogen causes cancer by altering genetic material in cells, particularly DNA. Rapidly dividing cells, such as are found in skin, reproductive organs, the stomach lining, or mammary gland tissue, are especially sensitive to carcinogens. Cancer is essentially an abnormally rapid division and proliferation of certain cells. Carcinogens consumed by humans are found in some of the food they eat from animals and plants including grains and nuts. DDT, benzene, kepone, EDB, asbestos, and waste rock of oil shale have all been classified as carcinogenic. Tobacco smoke has also been identified as a rich source of dozens of carcinogens, such as formaldehyde. Certain viruses such as Hepatitis B and human papilloma viruses have also been found to cause cancer in humans. Radionuclides are carcinogens and are listed by CERCLA. Too much sun, x-rays and other forms of radiation are known cancer-inducing agents. Recent reports have implicated acrylimide in fried or overheated carbohydrate foods (such as french fries and potato chips) as a potential carcinogenic hazard.
Catechins. A variety of polyphenolic compound belonging to the flavonoid group of brightly-colored carotenoids known as phytochemicals. Teas are a common source of catechins. Purefied catchins come in the form of crystalline epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and are used in studies to understand better the antioxidant properties of green tea and other sources of caretoniods.
Chelate. A compound formed when a metallic ion is bound to an organic molecule; used to improve availability of minerals. Chelation is a process in which a substance, typically a mineral, binds with a protein, a mechanism which is believed to enhance the body's absorption ability rate.
Citrate is a compound formed when citric acid is bound to a mineral. As part of the Krebs cycle, Citric acid plays an integral role in metabolism.
Chloride is an ion of the element Chlorine. The chloride ion helps regulate fluid balance and acid-base balance. It also a constituent of stomach acid, and one of the ingredients of common table salt.
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. However there are two kinds of cholesterol. An elevated blood level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol constitutes an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease with the development of fatty buildups in the arteries. cholesterol. This process, called atherosclerosis, can lead to heart attacks and strokes. HDL cholesterol is know as “good” cholesterol…
Choline is one of the vitamin-like compounds. It often appears as one of the Vitamin B complex supplements. Choline’s function primarily is as a constituent of larger molecules such as plasma lipoproteins, membrane phospholipids and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It may be synthesized in the liver if the amino acid Methionine and the vitamins Folate and Vitamin B12 are available in sufficient quantity. Choline may be helpful in deferring memory loss disorders in cases where acetylcholine is deficient.
Chromium is an essential element that is found in many unrefined foods including wheat germ, Brewer's yeast, nuts, cheese and calf liver. It is also found in trace amounts in a naturally-chelated form within certain mineral deposits such as Montmorillonite—used as an ingredient in the formulation of mineral supplements. Chromium is an activator of certain enzymes and is involved in carbohydrate metabolism. It is considered as a component of the glucose tolerance factor and, therefore, may help regulate blood glucose availability.
Citric acid is naturally-occurring in citrus fruits and berries. It stabilizes the pH value of the skin, and exhibits astringent and antioxidant properties.
Coenzyme. An enzyme activator often composed of non-protein substances such as, or derived from, vitamins. Coenzymes bind enzymes to promote their activity. B vitamins are coenzymes and are essential to the proper functioning of numerous enzymes involved in the metabolism of the energy-containing nutrients. Coenzymes may also be thought of as organic molecules that act as cofactors.
Coenzyme Q = an antioxidant. (See Ubiquinone)
Coenzyme Q10 “CoQ(10)” = endogenous enzyme cofactor and enhances Mitochondrical Complex I activity (which fights Huntington’s Disease)
Colloid. A substance (as gelatin, albumin, or starch) dispersed through another medium. Colloidal means that one substance is suspended in another. Colloidal solutions are sought for nutrition because the particle size in suspension is very small allowing for increased absorption rates. Mineral clays such as Montmorillonite are said to be colloidal.
Complex. A remedy comprised of several active ingredients most often diluted from the “Mother Tincture” (MT) to a 3CH dilution. The combined ingredients are supposed to have have a complementary effect. Complexes are used to drain systems, organs, or tissues to eliminate toxins.
is an element if ingested in trace amounts which
serves several purposes in the human body. It is
involved in iron metabolism such as in the oxidation of ferrous iron to ferric iron. Copper is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, a component of several enzyme systems which may function in asuch capacities as manufacturing of collagen and the healing of wounds. About 100mg are commonly found stored in the liver. Copper is also involved in respiration and the release of energy.
Coronary Heart Disease (“CHD”--also called Coronary Artery Disease “CAD”). CHD is a condition that results when atherosclerotic deposits of fibrous and fatty tissue begin to narrow the coronary arteries. CAD is the most common underlying cause of cardiovascular disability and death. Men are affected about four times as frequently as women. Risk factors leading up to CHD include hypertension, high LDL cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and adverse reactions to mental stress. After menopause women are also at increased risk.
Creatine is a substance made up of three amino acids: methionine, arginine and glycine. A small amount is produced in the liver and stored in the muscles. It is used to make Creatine Phosphate, a substance that helps support the ATP refueling process, and is used by serious athletes and bodybuilders to provide energy.
Cryptoxanthin (C40H56O, Cryptoxanthol, Hydroxy-Beta-Carotene) is another carotenoid. It is commonly found in the petals and berries of Physalis spp., orange rind, Carica papaya (Fam. Caricaceae), Cucurbita pepo (Fam. Cucurbitaceae), Zea mays (Fam. Gramineae), egg yolk and butter. Cryptoxanthin is a known antioxidant, antimutagenic. It helps protect Vitamin E, Vitamin A and other carotenoids from oxidation, and is therefore an interesting component of cancer-prevention.
Curcumin. A substance from the herb, turmeric, significantly improves brain function in animals with memory deficits and is also considered to be an antioxidant.
Cysteine A nonessential, sulfur-containing amino acid converted within the body to cystine, an important constituent of hair. (refer to Amino Acids).
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is an Omega-3 fatty acid. It is a major structural component of brain, nerve and retinal membranes. DHA is transferred to a newborn baby through its mother’s milk. This fatty acid plays a unique role in fetus development and is extremely important during the first few months of life.
DHLA stands for Dihydrolipoic acid.
DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid. A fairly thorough description of its important function in passing on genetic information, and of its chemical composition, is set forth in more detail in the full text of this article. Basically, DNA makes up the chromatin infrastructure of some 23 human chromosomes. Each chromosome carries up to thousands of alleles that determine genetic inheritance.
EGCg means (-) epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a principal catechin of tea. (see Catechin.)
Element. In physics and chemistry an element is a unique number and arrangement of protons and neutrons comprising a single atom if stable, or perhaps two atoms together--in the case of Hydrogen (which otherwise will readily bond with diverse atoms of other elements such as Oxygen or Carbon to form molecules in preference to occurring singly in nature). The mere addition of a single atom--pertaining to one element--to an atom or atoms of a distinct element converts the pair or conglomeration into diverse minerals or molecules depending upon the combination of elements involved. Substances, complexes, enzymes, bases, acids, rocks and so forth are composed of various molecules or minerals, as the case may be. The equation of atoms as individual units of distinct elements opens our understanding of how both animate and inanimate objects are formed and work. In nutrition a thorough comprehension of elements is paramount in order to deal with a whole plethora of terms such as those contained herein. When a simple gain or loss of electrons occurs between atoms, the unique elements are not altered sufficiently to change names or become other elements, but the resulting structures are called anions or cations, respectively of the original elements. If more neutrons are added to a particular atom’s nucleus, the element is said to be an isotope of the original element. Concepts of ions and isotopes are also important medically in the proper nutrition and healing of the human body.
Enzymes are complex protein compounds found in living cells that speed biochemical reactions. Thousands of different enzymes are manufactured in the human body and act as catalysts for all metabolic reactions. A coenzyme works with an enzyme to produce a particular reaction. Extra enzymes do not ordinarily need to be consumed because if the body is functioning correctly, it makes its own enzymes needed for digestion, etc. Pancreatic disease requires pancreatic enzyme supplementation, but by and large, over-the-counter preparations are not beneficial. Moreover, if these store bought enzymes are not coated to protect them, some of the enzymes will be inactivated anyway by the acid and pepsin in the stomach. (Smolin & Grosvenor, 1994).
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) cannot be synthesized in humans and must be provided in food. EFA's are found in supplements such as flax seed oil, borage oil, black currant oil and evening primrose oil. EFA's are precursors for two groups of polyunsaturated fatty acid series, Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Essential oils are aromatic essences of plants that are usually highly concentrated, and volatile. Scientists agree that essential oils may perform more than one function in living plants. In some cases essential oils seem to be a part of the plant's immune system. In other cases they may simply be end-products of metabolism. Essential oils contain hundreds of organic constituents, including vitamins, hormones, and other natural elements that work on many levels. They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated in living plants than the oils in dried herbs. Essential oils may be derived from plants in corner of the world, making aromatherapy a truly global therapy. The purest essential oils are those that come from carefully cultivated and carefully selected wild grown plants.
Fats comprise the body's most concentrated source of energy. All fats are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms arranged in combinations of glycerol and fatty acids. Nutritionist refer to fats as lipids which are found in food in either solid or oil form. In the body, lipids are part of all cell membranes, where they serve as a stored form of energy, help cushion organs and help to create certain hormones.
Fat-soluble means compounds that are stored in the liver and fatty tissues of the body, such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat-soluble also refers to the class of substances found primarily within the fatty portion of foods, such as oils. They are absorbed initially into the lymph glands and then the blood. Fat-soluble compounds are less readily excreted and tend to remain in the body for longer periods of time than the water-soluble vitamins and nutrients.
Fatty acids are the major component of triglycerides. They are chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms that make up fats (or lipids). Fatty acids can be saturated (acetic, butyric, palmitic acids), monounsaturated (oleic acid), or polyunsaturated (linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic acids). (Refer also to GLA.) Although required in the body for cell membrane integrity and function, healthy skin, cholesterol metabolism, and prostaglandin, saturated fatty acids do produce LDL cholesterol. Trans fatty acids are often found in commercially 1) fried food such as French Fries 2) packaged goods such as cookies and crackers, 3) other packaged snacks such as microwaved popcorn, and in vegetable shortening and some margarine. Indeed, any packaged goods that contains "partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils" or "shortening" most likely contain trans fats. As liquid vegetable oils are not stable to heat and can go rancid easily, scientists began to "hydrogenate" liquid oils so that they can withstand better in food production process and provide a better shelf life. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed. However, similar to saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids also increase LDL cholesterol. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are Omega-6, found in raw nuts, seeds, legumes, grape seed oil and flaxseed oil, and. Omega-3 EFA, found in fish, canola oil, and walnut oil. (See also, Vitamin F, and Fish Oil.)
FDA stands for “The Food and Drug Administration”. In the USA, the FDA is the official regulatory body for foods, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. It is a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Fish oil. The fatty acids in fish oil have been found to be a rich source of omega fatty acids such as DHA and AA which helps to support the cardiovascular system. Cod Liver Oil is a natural source of Vitamins A and D and Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain healthy cardiovascular function by promoting normal triglyceride levels and vascular tone. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent red blood cells from unnecessarily sticking together, thereby promoting healthy circulation.
Flavonoids is a general word for the more precise term “bioflavonoids” (see above). They are potent phytochemicals that prevent and reverse chronic disease. Flavonoids also defined ase polyphenolic compounds that are ubiquitous in nature and are categorized, according to chemical structure, into flavonols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, catechins, anthocyanidins and chalcones. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified, many of which occur in fruits, vegetables and beverages (tea, coffee, beer, wine and fruit drinks).
Flax Seed Oil is one of Nature's sources of Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega-3.) Adequate levels of omega fatty acids are contribute to radiant hair and healthy skin.
Folic acid is active as a co-enzymine in helping chemical reactions take place. It is a member of the B-Vitamin complex. Folic acid (or folate) has been indicated as a dietary factor in the prevention of neural tube defects, congenital disorders and more recently, as an ingredient that can support the cardiovascular system. It is essential for normal growth, reproduction, and the formation of heme, the iron-containing protein in hemoglobin.
Folate. One of the B-complex vitamins.
Free Radicals are unstable molecules, usually containing oxygen. The are created by normal chemical processes in the body and by radiation or other environmental influences. The interaction of free radicals with DNA and other molecules leads to impaired functioning of the cells. Three well-known free radicals are hydroxyl, superoxide and peroxide. If they are not neutralized into "good oxygen", free radicals can speed up the aging process and play a major part in the development of degenerative and/or chronic diseases. It is important to know that free-radicals are not all bad. They can be good too. Free radicals are vital to human health. These molecules (Reactive Oxidant Species) are extremely important to human metabolic processes. (See radicals.) Any molecule can become a free radical by either losing or gaining an electron, and molecules containing these uncoupled electrons are very reactive. Once free radicals are initiated, they can propagate by becoming involved in chain reactions with other less reactive types. The resulting chain reaction compounds generally survive longer in the body and therefore increase the potential for cellular damage. A free radical has three stages: the initiation stage, propagation and finally, termination. They are terminated or neutralized, by nutrient antioxidants, enzymatic mechanisms, or by recombining with each other. The aim is to attain a delicate balance between free radical activity and optimum antioxidant activity, thereby achieving a state of balance (homeostasis).
Fructose. A simple sugar that occurs naturally in fruit or honey.
Gluconate. A compound formed when a mineral is bound to gluconic acid.
GLA. Gamma-linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid (EFA) in the omega-6 family that is found primarily in plant-based oils.
Glucosamine sulfate is a protein found in connective tissue and in cartilage. As an important component of joint cartilage Glucosamine supports healthy joint function.
Glutathione (L-gammaglutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine) is a tri-peptide of the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine, Glutathione is an antioxidant compound found in living animal and plant tissue. It takes up and gives off hydrogen and is important in cellular respiration. A deficiency of glutathione can cause hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells, leading to anemia) and oxidative stress. Glutathione is essential in intermediary metabolism as a donor of sulfhydryl groups which are essential for the detoxification of acetaminophen. It is the major endogenous antioxidant produced by the cell. Glutathione participates directly in the neutralization of free radicals, reactive oxygen compounds, and maintains exogenous antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E in their reduced (active) forms. In addition, through direct conjugation, glutathione plays a role in the detoxification of many xenobiotics (foreign compounds) both organic and inorganic. Glutathione is an essential component of the human immune response.
Glycine. A nonessential amino acid that participates in the body's synthesis of creatine, glyoxylic acid, porphyrins, and purines.
Grape Seed is one of nature's richest sources of flavonoids and is a potent bioflavonoid food supplement with anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant flavonoids found in Grape (Vitus vinifera) Seed are powerful neutralizers of free radicals and support healthy tissue and organs. Grape seed helps promote the antioxidant activity in turn of Vitamins C and E. Specifically, it is a source of proanthocyanidin, or OPC's--from extract. (Refer to non-enzymatic antioxidants, above.) OPC (also known as Pycnogenol) may also be found in Pinebark extract.
Green Tea, also known as Chinese green tea, ontains polyphenols. Its regular usage is found to increases beneficial catechins and decrease heart disease and cancers. Green tea is widely used for its antioxidant properties. Its active ingredients include bioflavinoids, caffeine, and fluoride.
HDL, often called the "good cholesterol", HDL acts as a transporter of cholesterol from the tissues to the liver to be broken down and excreted.
Huntington Disease. (HD), a neurodegenerative disease brought about by mitochondrial dysfunction. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) enhances mitochondrial complex I activity and is thought to provide a therapeutic benefit in HD. The gene causing Huntingdon disease is located near the tip of the short arm of chromosome 4. The mutation that causes Huntington disease consists of an unstable region of DNA capable of expanding and contracting as it is passed from generation to generation. When the region expands, Huntington disease results (Pierce, 2003).
Hypertension, common term = High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of cardiac arrest (heart attack) and stroke because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to weaken and become enlarge. High blood pressure may cause damage to the walls of the arteries.
Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally low blood glucose levels. Severe hypoglycemia is rare and dangerous. It can be caused by medications such as insulin, severe physical exhaustion and some illnesses. Hypoglycemia is often a condition that immediately precedes the even more serious condition known as diabetes.
Inositol (myo-inostol). A water-soluble chemical compound closely related to glucose, stored in heart and skeletal muscle, and in the brain. Inositol has a lipotropic effect and may aid in the metabolism of fats. It is often a constituent of Vitamin B complex supplements. Inositol is a white crystalline material with a sweet taste, and in plants it is part of phytic acid—a binder of calcium and iron which interferes with their absorption. Inositol can be synthesized from glucose and has not been shown to be essential in human diet.
Iodine. An essential element used in producing thyroid hormones which affect the functioning of nerves and muscles, as well as, physical and mental growth. Adequate levels of iodine in the human body are imperative for thyroid health, and for the production of thyroid hormones that regulate the metabolic energy of the body, and set the basal metabolic rate. Saltwater fish, shellfish, sea vegetables (seaweed) and iodized salt are the usual sources of iodine.
Iron is another essential element. It is required to build red blood cells, and to transport of oxygen in the blood. Iron is available in food as heme (organic) which is derived primarily from the hemoglobin of meat, and is well absorbed. Non-heme (non-organic) iron is absorbed less efficiently, and unfortunately 90% of the iron ingested by humans is usually of this latter variety.
Isoleucine. One of the nine essential amino acids.
Laetrile (Amygdalin) is derived from apricot pits and raw bitter almonds. It is also found in other plants, such as lima beans, clover, and sorghum. When the actor Steve McQueen was dying from cancer he resided in Mexico where he could be treated with this non-essential nutrient. An herbal remedy for centuries in spite of being known to contain cyanide (a poison that inhibits cellular energy production) in recent studies it has been shown to represent an actual danger with no proven cancer-fighting effects. Its prescription, therefore, is not recognized by the FDA as a legitimate therapy.
L-Carnitine. (refer to non-essential amino acids). The primary function of L-carnitine is to facilitate the transport of long chain fatty acids into the cells' mitochondria.
LDL Cholesterol. The "bad cholesterol." LDL delivers cholesterol to tissues and has been implicated in the accumulation of plaque within the arteries.
Leucine. Another essential amino acid that the body cannot manufacture, leucine must be obtained from food or supplements.
Linoleic Acid (EFA) . A liquid polyunsaturated fatty acid abundant in plant fats and oils; a fatty acid essential for nutrition for the formation of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in the body. It occurs in some fish and many seed oils that are used in the formation of prostaglandins. (See Vitamin F.)
Lipase. A fat-digesting enzyme.
Lipids. The technical term for fats, waxes and fatty compounds. Lipids include oils, sterols, and complex compounds such as phospholipids.
L-Tyrosine is another non-essential amino acid that serves as a precursor for epinephrine, thyroxin and melanin.
Lutein is an antioxidant found in many plants. It is from the carotenoid family, which consists of naturally occurring, fat-soluble pigments in plants. Lutein is the main carotenoid found in the retina. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of cataracts. In association with zeaxanthin lutein helps protect the retina from sunlight overexposure and macular degeneration. Lutien together with Lypocene also promotes cardiovascular health
Lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomato products and others such as the Gâc Fruit. It prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease according to several studies. Other studies indicate it also may help prevent prostate and other forms of cancer, and other serious diseases. In the body, lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, colon and skin, besides the prostate gland. Its concentration in body tissues tends to be higher than all other carotenoids. Ongoing preliminary research suggests that lycopene may also beis associated with reduced risk of macular degenerative disease, serum lipid oxidation and particularly cancers of the lung, bladder, cervix and skin.
Lysosome. A primary site for protein degradation in cells. Lysosomes break proteins into their component amino acids. Then these amino acids are either used to synthesize new proteins, broken down for energy, or converted into carbohydrate or fat.
Lysine is not made in the body and must be obtained from the diet. (See Essential Amino Acids.)
Lysozyme is an enzyme that digests certain high-molecular-weight carbohydrates.
Magnesium is an element that is a component of enzymes required for the synthesis of ATP, and for the release of energy from ATP. It is also a component of enzymes involved in muscle contraction and protein synthesis. The best sources of magnesium are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, however, naturally chelated magnesium is also available in some mineral clays, such as Montmorillonite. In nutritional texts magnesium is referred to as an essential mineral found in bones, teeth, and red blood cells. Magnesium also affects calcium metabolism.
Malate. A compound formed when a mineral is bound to malic acid.
Manganese is another of those essential elements which activates enzyme systems involved in protein and energy metabolism. Manganese is also involved in connective tissue and bone formation, insulin action, and cholesterol synthesis. Besides mineral deposits, sources include bananas, bran, beans, beets, blueberries, chard, chocolate, peas, leafy vegetables and whole grains.
Metabolism. The chemical reactions that break down food into usable nutrients for immediate energy, and build nutrient molecules into more complex molecules for specific body functions.
Methionine (See Essential Amino Acids)
Minerals – Chemical definition: Certain combinations of elements or compounds occurring in nature, but not derived from living things. (Coal is not a true mineral because its carbon content signifies that it is the result compressed vegetation.) Minerals often represent compounds of atoms in an ionized form, i.e., usually the combination of a metal and nonmetal element. E.g., ordinary table salt, or Sodium Chloride, is the combination of Sodium, a metal, and Chlorine, a gas, whereby the Sodium molecules have given up some of their electrons to the Chlorine molecules rendering the combination a solid, and at the same time producing ionized mineral. When this happens Chlorine is properly called Chloride. Water, though a liquid, can arguably be called a mineral because it is a combination of two gasses, i.e., two atoms of Hydrogen for each single atom of Oxygen (hence, H2O). A given mineral always has the same characteristics. These include the same geometric form, hardness, luster, conduction of heat and light and weight relative to water. Metallic minerals do not let light pass through them. When polished they reflect. Nonmetallic minerals are translucent or transparent, at least around the edges. Chromite (Iron Chromium Oxide) has the appearance of metal, but when reduced to very thin flakes, is actually transparent. It is therefore classified as submetallic.
--Nutritional definition: Minerals are single elements that appear in solid form such as Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, and Sulfur, or are combinations of certain elements, usually with Oxygen as a component, to form such compounds as Phosphate, Sodium Nitrate, Sulfide, etc. Thus minerals in the nutritional sense may even be the individual elements that will remain identifiable in the ash, after the body of a dead organism has been incinerated. Macrominerals are those which the organism requires in frequent dosages and/or large amounts, such as: Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium. Microminerals are those not only required in small amounts, but whose overdose may very well result in toxicity, or even death, such as: Chromium, Selenium and Zinc. “Major minerals” might be said, make up an intermediate group that overlaps the Macrominerals, but rather than being required in consistently large doses, are elements merely found in more substantial quantities that the Microminerals. Arguably, “Major minerals” include: Magnesium, Sodium and Sulfur which occur in the human body in amounts larger than 5 grams.
Molecule. (Physics definition) The smallest component of a compound that exhibits the chemical properties and qualities of that substance, and which can exist alone in a free state. (Chemistry definition) A group of atoms so united and combined by chemical affinity that they form a complete, integrated whole, being the smallest portion of any particular compound that can exist in a free state.
Molecules are electrically neutral overall, although they can have a dipole. Their internal bonds are strong and hard to break. The reason that water (in its vaporized state is a molecule lighter than carbon dioxide) is a liquid at room temperature is because it has a strong dipole and the bonds between the water molecules have a very strong ionic character. On the other hand, the molecules of a compound are bound together into either solids or liquids by Van der Waals forces which are very weak. In fact, ice is much more ionic than molecular in character.
Molybdenum. A heavy metal found naturally in green leafy vegetables and grain. Although the RDA has not been established, the “Estimated Safe and Adequate Intake” has been set at 75-250 mcg. Molybdenum plays a role in three enzyme systems. It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and is also found in tooth enamel.
Mycozyme is an enzyme that digests carbohydrates.
Niacin (Also known as Vitamin B3) can be eaten, preformed, or made in the body from its precursor, tryptophan, one of the amino acids. Niacin functions as part of the co-enzymes NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADP (its phosphate form) used in energy metabolism.
Nitrogen Dioxide is a radical.
Nonvitamins. A partial list would be Pangamic Acid, Laetrile, Para-aminobenzoic acid, and bioflavonoids. (See Vitamins, and Vitamin-like Compounds.)
Nucleic Acid may be either DNA or RNA (See respective definitions).
Nutrients. Any food or substance providing the body with elements necessary for metabolism. Certain nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) provide energy, while other nutrients (water, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals) are essential to the metabolic process.
Nucleus. A segregated portion of each cell where the bulk of the DNA is contained. Often the nucleus appears to be in the very center of the cell.
Omega 3 fatty acids. Any of several polyunsaturated fatty acids found in leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils and fish such as salmon and mackerel, capable of reducing serum cholesterol levels and having anticoagulant properties.
Omega 6 fatty acid. The difference between the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids lies in the distance of their double bonds from the methyl end of the carbon chain.
Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid.
Organic Material. Molecules containing Carbon atoms, or any substance derived naturally from a living organism. Nutrients that contain carbon such as: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins are organic by definition.
Organic Minerals – Mineral compounds containing Carbon atoms such as Calcite, a rock, which is so named from its Calcium Carbonate (Ca CO2) infrastructure.
Oxide. A compound formed when a mineral is combined with oxygen. (See Free Radicals.)
Oxidant. A free radical generated as a consequence of oxidation. Examples are singlet oxygen atoms, chemicals whose names end in “ide” or “ite”, damaged DNA particles, ozone, and certain carcinogens.
– 1) Inorganic--With ions this means the loss of one or more electrons by an atom considered to be a metal to another atom that is a nonmetal. The metal atoms (or element if the particular atom cannot occur in nature singly) that lose the electrons are said to be oxidized while the nonmetal atom(s) gaining the electron(s) are said to be reduced. Ion is just another name for the same element (one or more atoms of the same kind), plus or minus an electron or two. In other words, atoms that have lost or gained electrons are the still the same elements, but have become ionized. The ion formed by an electron loss is called a Cation and is positively charged while the ion formed by gaining one or more electrons is called at Anion, and is negatively charged. Un-ionized elements have neutrally charged atoms because the number of protons and electrons in the atom(s) is balanced.
2) Organic--Some molecules contain Carbon atoms and others merely share electrons rather than give them up completely. This is phenomenon is called covalency. Nevertheless, due to electronegativity one element “gains control” of the bonds between it other atom partner. In the case of organic material (which is so defined by the presence of Carbon atoms) oxidation occurs if the carbon atoms gain bonds to oxygen atoms, or the Carbon atoms lose bonds to Hydrogen atoms. Reduction is the corollary to Oxidation. A Carbon atom losing a bond it has to Oxygen or gaining bonds to Hydrogen is said to be reduced. These are important concepts to understand when discussion the usage of minerals and organic molecules in nutrition.
Pangamate. A compound formed when a mineral is combined with pangamic acid. (See Vitamin B15.)
Pantothenic acid is a B-complex Vitamin ingredient that occurs naturally in eggs yeast, grain, heart, liver, or salmon. It is part of coenzyme A which is necessary for the Kreb's cycle, and the conversion of amino acids and fats to carbohydrates. (See Vitamin B5)
Genetic material. Usually DNA and RNA, or their component parts and building blocks including polypeptides, amino acids, and nucleotides, or the more complex substances made up by these such as chromatin, genes and chromosomes.
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurogical disorder brought on by oxidative stress found in association with nigral mitochondrial complexT deficiency visual dysfunction is a usual eventual symptom. Features of Parkinson's disease (PD) include: oxidative stress, nigral mitochondrial complex I deficiency and visual dysfunction, all of which are also associated with coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)) deficiency (Muller et al , 2003)
Phenol is a term for a benzene ring (hexagonal, or aromatic as known in chemistry) bonded to at least one hydroxyl group (--OH, also known as an alcohol). As additional hydroxyl groups are added to the outside of the ring, and/or additional carbon atoms or even different elements such as Bromine are added as well, a variety of phenols with corresponding unique names are composed. (Timberlake, 2004.)
Phenylalanine. It is converted to tyrosine in the human body. (See essential amino acids)
Phosphorus. The second most abundant mineral in the body. Phosphorus performs a wide variety of functions and used in energy transfer and in buffer systems that maintain acid-base balance. It is a principal mineral of bones and teeth, part of phospholipids and part of every cell, and is an important in
Phytochemicals are nonnutritive plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds. To date more than 900 different phytochemicals have been identified as components of food, and many more are under discovery today. More than 100 different phytochemicals are estimated to be in just one serving of vegetables.
Picolinate. A compound formed when a mineral is combined with picolinic acid.
Polypeptides. A string of amino acids composed in turn of groups of three nucleotides.
Polysaccharide. A carbohydrate made up of a combination of monosaccharide molecules, such as starch, dextrin, glycogen, and cellulose.
Potassium. An element considered to be a metal also described as a “major mineral” that plays an important role in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and cell integrity. Potassium is the third most abundant element in the human body. It is involved in acid-base balance, the transfer of nutrients into and out of cells, insulin secretion, muscle relaxation, and various enzyme reactions.
Protease is a protein-digesting enzyme.
Pyridoxal phosphate. A form of vitamin B6 which acts as a coenzyme in the brain for the production of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Pyridoxine is the scientific name for vitamin B6.
Quercetin. A highly active bioflavonoid which is absorbed most effectively in combination with bromelain.
RDA. Recommended Daily Allowance usually proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Canadian equivalent is RNI. A dosage in excess of ten times the RDA or RNI may be toxic even for water soluble vitamins. For this reason ESADDI (Estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intakes) are offered on many labels. Dosages in the upper range of ESADDI parameters should not be taken habitually in order to avoid toxicity.
Retinol, the dietary form of Vitamin A, is a fat-soluble, antioxidant important in vison and bone growth. It belongs to the family of chemical compounds known as retenoids. Whereas plants contain carotenoids, Retinol is from animal sources (milk and eggs). Tissue cells convert these precursors to retinol, and then to either retinal or retinoic acid. Many of the non-vision functions of Vitamin A are mediated by retinoic acid, which acts at intracellular retinoic acid receptors.
Saturated fats are readily converted to LDL cholesterol and thought to encourage production of arterial disease. This type of fat tends to be solid at room temperature. Saturated fats include animal fats, dairy products, and certain vegetable oils, such as, coconut and palm oils.
Riboflavin. The scientific name for vitamin B2.
Selenium. A relatively rare element found as number (x) on the periodic table. Commonly thought of only as toxic until about ten years ago, Selenium in micro amounts has taken on new value in the nutritional scheme of things. As an antioxidant, it is free radical scavenger. Selenium works with Vitamin E to protect body compounds from oxidation.
Silicon is a common element found in the earth’s crust but present in living organism’s skeletal structures and teeth in trace amounts.
Sodium. A prevalent element in the human body. It is necessary for proper water balance, as well as, for nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction because of its influence on potassium and calcium. It is one of the all-important electrolytes.
Soy isoflavone. A substance derived from soy that is also known as phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. Isoflavones are thought to play a role in delivering the health benefits associated with soy protein. These compounds are being extensively studied because they exert physiological effects.
Soy. A member of the legume family, also known as glycine soja (wild soybean). Soybeans are the world's primary source of vegetable protein. Soy contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is low-fat, cholesterol free, lactose free, and yet is a good source of calcium. The FDA recently approved a health claim on the labels and labeling of foods containing soy protein about the role soy may play in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease: "Twenty-five grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."
Substance. That which has mass and occupies space; "an atom is the smallest indivisible unit of matter", the stuff of which an object consists (http://www.thefreedictionary.com)
Succinate is a compound formed when a mineral is combined with succinic acid, an intermediate product in the Krebs cycle.
Sucrose is a simple sugar obtained from sugar cane, sugar beets and other sources. It is converted in the intestines into glucose and fructose by the enzyme sucrase.
Sulfur. Is present in proteins and plays an important role in determining the contour of protein molecules. Skin, hair and nails contain some of the body's more rigid protein and these have a high sulfur content. Sulfur containing amino acids include L-cysteine, L-cystine, L-menthionine and taurine.
Synthesis. (From the Greek words syn = plus and thesis = position) is commonly understood to be an integration of two or more pre-existing elements which results in a new creation. In chemistry, synthesis is more precisely the process of forming a particular molecule from chemical precursors. To make, derive, produce or transform a new substance from one or more other substances.
Tannins are two large groups of complex substances that are widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. They have an astringent or vegetables, nuts, legumes and wines. The terms tannins and tannic acid are often confused. There are two kinds of tannins. First, condensed tannins are a class of compounds called flavanols. These include catechins, epicatechins, and the powerful antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These compounds are the ones that provide teas with their healthful benefits. The second group of tannins, called hydrolysable tannins, is more prevalent, and includes tannic acid. They typically occur in the bark and fruit of trees, such as oak and sumac. These tannins are used in the dying and tanning industries and are not found in teas. Positive and negative health effects have been reported relating to the consumption of tannins. In living tissues tannins exhibit an astringent action. This is the basis for the historical use of tannins to treat diarrhea and burns. Other reported benefits include anti-viral effects and the inhibition of both tumor initiation and the mutagenicity of several carcinogens. In addition, tannins are reported to increase the retention of Vitamin C and to prevent the development of dental plaque. They appear to have antioxidant properties as well. On the other hand, high levels of tannins may inhibit the absorption of such nutrients as protein, iron and Vitamin A.
Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. It is found in the centeral nervous system, skeletal muscle and is very concentrated in the brain and heart. Taurine inhibits and modulates neurotransmitter in the brain. It has been reported to benefit epileptics and helps maintain cardiovascular and eye health.
Thiamin is a scientific name for Vitamin B-1, and is widely distributed in various animal and plant foods. Dry yeast and wheat germ are the richest natural sources. Thiamin is necessary for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It also acts as a coenzyme, and is essential for the transfer of pyruvic acid into the Kreb's cycle.
Tocopherol is a general term that describes Vitamin E. It is a phenol. There are actually 8 known Vitamin E isomers (including alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta-), and tocotrienols. Alpha-tocopherol has the greatest vitamin E activity. When the letter "d" appears before alpha-Tocopherol, it means that the vitamin E is all natural. If there is a "dl" before alpha-Tocopherol, it is a synthetic vitamin E, which is less expensive to create and some believe that it is not as bioavailable as the natural form. Nevertheless, synthetic dI-alpha-tocopherol has the same activity as natural alpha-tocopherol. Gamma-tocopherol is able to quench certain free radicals that alpha-tocopherol does not. Of the E vitamins it has been stated that only gamma-tocopherol gets rid of peroxynitrite, a highly destructive nitric oxide radical.
Tocotrienols are much neglected members of the Vitamin E family. Like Vitamin E, tocotrienols are potent antioxidants against lipid peroxidation (the damaging of fats by oxidation). Test tube and animal studies indicate a possible role for tocotrienols in protecting against breast and skin cancer). Like vitamin E, tocotrienols may offer protection against hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) by preventing oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol (oxidation of LDL cholesterol is believed to be one of the triggering factors for atherosclerosis). Tocotrienols are found primarily in the oil fraction of rice bran, palm fruit, barley, and wheat germ. (Vitacost, 2005) There are also alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocotrienols. Comparatively, the tocotrienol structure differs by possessing three double bonds in their side chain rather than being saturated. Some studies have confirmed that tocotrienol activity as an antioxidant, anti-cancer and cholesterol reducing substance to be much stronger than tocopherols.
Triglyceride. The main form of lipids found in food and in the body. Triglycerides contain three fatty acids and one glycerol and are stored in the fat cells in the body. When these cells break down, triglycerides are released into the blood.
Trypsin/chymotrypsin is a digestive enzyme (formed in the small intestine) that breaks down polypeptides or proteins.
Tyrosine. A nonessential amino acid used to manufacture adrenal and thyroid hormones, and converted into melanin, a pigment influencing eye color and skin tone.
Ubiquinone. (Coenzyme Q) in addition to its well-established function as a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, in recent years it has acquired increased attention as an antioxidant. Ubiquinone:
· Occurs in all cellular membranes as well as in blood serum and in serum lipoproteins
· Protects membrane phospholipids and serum low-density lipoprotein from lipid preoxidation
· Protects mitochondrial membrane proteins and DNA from free-radical induced oxidative damage
· Acts independently of other antioxidants such as Vitamin E
Administration of ubiquinone as a dietary supplement seems to lead primarily to increase serum levels, which may account for most its reported beneficial effects.
Unsaturated fats may be either semisolid or liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are missing hydrogen atoms in specific places on the fatty acid molecule. Depending on the number of missing atoms, these fats are classified as mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated. The main natural sources of un saturated fats are plants and fish.
Unsaturated fatty acid. Any fatty acid containing one or more double bonds, including oleic, linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonic acids.
Vanadium is an element required in trace amounts for proper growth, reproduction, and healthy red blood cells.
Valine is another of the essential amino acids that the human body cannot manufacture.
Vitamin. Any organic, noncaloric substance essential for the health, growth, reproduction, and maintenance of the body, hence life. Vitamins usually act as coenzymes or precursors of coenzymes in regulating metabolic processes, but do not provide energy. Rather they assist the enzymes that release energy from foods. Nutritional scientists recognize 13 essential substances that fit the definition of vitamin—some of these substances have been given vitamin names but have no known role in human nutrition. (See Non-vitamins.) Others have vitamin-like properties and are necessary in the human body to maintain proper cell function, but in healthy individuals, can be synthesized. In addition there are a host of non-vitamins present in many substances. (Smolin & Grosvenor, 1994). A Polish scientist, Casimir Funk coined the word, vitamin—thinking an extract from rice husks, was a certain an amine (a compound containing an amino group), vital to life. Today, vitamin refers to all such vital substances. Vitamins originally were named alphabetically in the order in which they were identified.
1-Vitamin A (Retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin (the first to be so-recognized) that is involved with the maintenance of the cornea, epithelial cells, mucous membranes, skin, tooth and bone growth, immunity and reproduction. Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA): Men = 5000 IU (or 3 mg beta carotene); Women = 4000 IU (or 2.4 mg beta carotene)
2-Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is water-soluble. It functions as part of the co-enzyme thiamin pyrophosphate, which is used in energy metabolism. It also supports normal nerve function and appetite, increases circulation, assists in the production of hydrochloric acid, and blood formation and is needed for normal muscle tone of vital internal organs. The classic symptom of a thiamin deficiency is the disease beriberi in which a person may experience reduced function of the lower extremities, nerve damage, heart problems, or brain damage. RDA: Men = 1.5 mg; Women = 1.1 mg
3-Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is part of many co-enzymes that are used in energy metabolism. It also supports normal vision and skin health. Vitamin B2 is also water-soluble. RDA: Men = 1.7 mg; Women = 1.3 mg; Pregnant Women = 1.6 mg
4-Vitamin B3 (Niacin). This water-soluble vitamin is a component of co-enzymes that are used in energy metabolism. It also supports the health of the skin, nervous system and digestive system. Niacin is a precursor of the amino acid tryptophan. A form of Vitamin B3, Nicotinamide, has been used to treat elevated levels of cholesterol with great success. RDA: Men = 19 mg; Women = 15 mg; Pregnant Women = 17 mg
5-Vitamin B4 (Adenine) is one of two Purines and four fundamental nitrogenous bases, comprising the structure of nucleotides utilized in the formation of nucleic acids--essential components of DNA. Adenine is an integral part of the structure of many coenzymes.
6-Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is water-soluble vitamin, which means that it cannot be stored by the body and must be replenished every day. It is involved in a number of biological reactions, including the production of energy, the catabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, the synthesis of fatty acids, lipids, cholesterol and steroid hormones, and the production of both Coenzyme A, and the cellular antioxidant glutathione. The RDA for men is 10 mg and women is 8 mg.
7-Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a component of several co-enzymes that are used in amino acid and fatty acid metabolism. It also helps to convert the amino acid tryptophan to niacin. Water-soluble Vitamin B6 assists in the production of red blood cells. RDA: Men = 2 mg; Women = 1.6 mg; Pregnant Women = 2.2 mg.
8-Vitamin B7 (Biotin) also known as Vitamin H, is a water-soluble. Biotin is involved in energy production, the biosynthesis of fatty acids, and metabolism of the branched-chain amino acids. Recent research indicates it may play a role in gene expression. It's estimated minimum daily requirement is between 30 mcg to 300 mcg.
10-Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) is a component of co-enzymes that are involved in new cell synthesis. It also helps maintain nerve cells, reform the co-enzyme folate, and helps break down some fatty acids and amino acids. Vegetarians often have a difficult time getting enough of this water-soluble vitamin because it is found only in animal sources. RDA: Men = 6 mcg; Women = 4 mcg; Pregnant Women = 2.2 mcg.
Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid) is not a true vitamin, but better classified, actually, as a nonvitamin. This is because it is not dietary essential. Its actual definition is still imprecise.
Vitamin B17 (Amygdalin) contains cyanide which is believed to be the main cancer-killing ingredient of Laetrile. (See Laetrile, an acronym for laevorotatory and mandelonitrile which is used to describe a purified form of the chemical amygdalin.) Amygdalin was first isolated in 1830. It is actually defined as a nonvitamin.
Vitamin Bx (PABA) is often thought of as a member of the B complex but is not a true vitamin. PABA is part of the structure of Folic Acid. Its true name is Para-aminobenzoic Acid. PABA itself is readily available in food and is synthesized by our intestinal bacteria. It is known specifically for its nourishment to hair and its usefulness as a sunscreen. PABA is found in brewer’s yeast, eggs, molasses, liver, wheat germ, and whole grains such as rice. It is stored in body tissues. No RDA is listed for PABA.
11-Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) This water-soluble vitamin is involved in collagen synthesis and the formation of scar tissue. Vitamin C also provides the matrix for bone growth and aids in amino acid metabolism. It functions as an antioxidant in immune resistance and helps in the absorption of iron. R DA: Men = 90 mg; Women = 75 mg; Pregnant Women = 70 mg; Smokers = 125 mg
12-Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes mineralization of bones. It raises blood calcium and phosphorus by increasing absorption from the digestive tract, withdrawing calcium from bones and stimulating retention by the kidneys. Some expose to natural sunlight each day is good to promote the manufacture of Vitamin D. RDA: Men = 400 IU (5 mcg); Women = 200 IU (5 mcg); Pregnant Women, Children, Adolescents = 400 IU (10 mcg).
13-Vitamin E occurs in food in several forms - alpha, beta, delta, and gamma-tocopherols and alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocotrienols. Vitamin E is a fat-soluable vitamin. RDA: Men = 40 IU; Women = 30 IU; Pregnant or Nursing Women = 15 IU (10 mg).
Vitamin F (Alpha-Tocopherol) is not a vitamin at all, but a generic term for essential fatty acids--composed of two fatty acids: linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (LNA) - with linoleic acid being the most complete fatty acid. There are two basic categories of EFA's (essential fatty acids) - omega-3 and omega-6 which include linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid. The body is not capable of manufacturing essential fatty acids, while the fatty acid arachidonic acid can be synthesized in the body from linoleic acid.
Vitamin H (See Vitamin B7)
Vitamin K (Menadione, Phylloquinone) Another fat-soluable vitamin known for its value as an aid to blood-clotting.
Vitamin L (Anthranilic Acid) is an aromatic amine which occurs physiologically as a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan. It is used commercially as an intermediate in dye synthesis.
“Vitamin P”. Not a true vitamin, it is better classified as a nonvitamin. Vitamin P is comprised of rutin and hesperidin, better known as bioflavonoids.
Vitamin-like Compounds include: Choline, Carnitine, Taurine, Inositol (or myo-inositol) Ubiquinone (or Coenzyme Q), and Lipoic Acid. (See separate definitions.)
Zeaxanthin reduces oxidative stress. It is a
Zinc is an element required in micro amounts as an important part of many enzymes. Zinc supports the work of numerous proteins in the body, assists in immune function, and in growth and development. It is also important to healthy reproductive functioning. It is one of the essential “trace minerals” required for normal skin, bones, and hair, proper wound healing, insulin function, and enzyme systems involved in digestion and respiration.
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