Glossary

A

ABDOMEN.
Part of the body that extends from the chest to the groin.
ABDOMINAL CAVITY.
The hollow part of the body that extends from the chest to the groin and holds the major abdominal organs such as the stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and small and large intestines.
ABSCESS.
A pocket of pus formed by an infection.
ACACIA GUM.
The hardened sap of several species of acacia trees. Also known as gum arabic, acacia gum is a complex mixture of sugars and proteins, and is widely used in the food industry as a stabilizer.
ACANTHOSIS NIGRICANS.
A brownish or blackish discoloration of the skin that sometimes develops in people with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
ACCEPTABLE DAILY INTAKE LEVEL (ADI).
The level of a substance that a person can consume every day over a lifetime without risk. The ADIs for artificial sweeteners are very conservative measurements.
ACCEPTABLE MACRONUTRIENT DISTRIBUTION RANGE (AMDR).
A range of intakes for a particular energy source that is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease while providing adequate intakes of essential nutrients. An AMDR is expressed as a percentage of total energy intake.
ACCULTURATION.
Cultural modification of an individual or group of individuals through the adoption of traits from another culture or the merging of two cultures.
ACESULFAME POTASSIUM.
A calorie-free artificial sweetener, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K, marketed under the trade names Sunett and Sweet One. Acesulfame potassium is 180–200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), as sweet as aspartame, about half as sweet as saccharin, and one-quarter as sweet as sucralose. Like saccharin, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. Kraft Foods has patented the use of sodium ferulate to mask acesulfame's aftertaste. Alternatively, acesulfame K is often blended with other sweeteners (usually sucralose or aspartame).
ACETAMINOPHEN.
An aspirin substitute that works as a pain killer and fever reducer but does not have anti-inflammatory properties and does not produce the side effects associated with aspirin, such as stomach irritation.
ACETOUS.
Vinegar, like vinegar, or vinegar producing.
ACID-ASH HYPOTHESIS.
An outdated medical theory that attributed osteoporosis and other negative health effects to excessively acidic diets. The theory held that meat, poultry, fish, and other high-protein foods that produce acidic ash after combustion induce the body to reduce the level of acid by removing calcium from bone, thus weakening bone and increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
ACID-BASE HOMEOSTASIS.
The regulation of the pH of the body's extracellular fluid (ECF) at a stable level. Extracellular fluid accounts for about a third of the human body's total water content.
ACIDOPHILUS.
Bacteria found in yogurt that, when ingested, helps restore the normal bacterial populations in the human digestive system.
ACIDOSIS.
Excessive acidity of body fluids due to accumulation of acids.
ACNE VULGARIS.
An inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by pimples and cysts that may cause scarring in severe cases.
ACRODERMATITIS ENTEROPATHICA.
A genetic disorder resulting from the impaired uptake and transport of zinc in the body.
ACUTE RETROVIRAL SYNDROME (ARS).
A syndrome that develops in about 30% of HIV patients within a few weeks of infection. ARS is characterized by nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, general tiredness, and muscle cramps.
ADDED SUGAR.
Sugar added to foods during processing, preparation, or meals.
ADEQUATE INTAKE (AI).
The daily average intake level of a nutrient that is likely to be adequate for a healthy, moderately active individual, as determined by the Institute of Medicine.
ADIPOSE.
Tissue that contains fat cells.
ADRENALINE.
The substance made by the body when under stress, which provides a short-term energy boost and increases heart and respiration rates.
AEROBIC EXERCISE.
Sustained exercises such as jogging, rowing, brisk walking, swimming, or cycling that stimulate and strengthen the heart and lungs, improving the distribution and use of oxygen in the body.
AFTER-BURN.
The increased rate of body metabolism that lasts for several hours after a session of vigorous exercise.
AGGLUTINATION.
The clumping or clotting of cells.
AGRIBUSINESS.
A term that has two different meanings, depending on context. It is often used by farmers in a neutral way to refer simply to any business aspects of farm production, such as equipment purchasing, marketing, retail sales, and the like. It is also used, however, by opponents of large-scale factory farms to contrast these farms with smaller family-owned farms.
AHIMSA.
A Sanskrit word for nonkilling and nonharming, adopted by the American Vegan Society as its official watchword. The AVS notes that the six letters in ahimsa stand for the basic principles of veganism: Abstinence from animal products; Harmlessness with reverence for life; Integrity of thought, word, and deed; Mastery over oneself; Service to humanity, nature, and creation; and Advancement of understanding and truth.
ALBUMIN.
Water-soluble proteins that can be coagulated by heat and are found in egg white, blood serum, milk.
ALCOHOL USE DISORDER (AUD).
A disorder characterized by excessive use of alcohol despite a desire to stop and the fact that this use causes problems in a person's life.
ALGAE (SING., ALGA).
Any of numerous groups of one-celled organisms containing chlorophyll. Spirulina is a blue-green alga.
ALKALI.
A chemical substance that neutralizes acids.
ALKALOID.
An organic compound found in plants; chemically it is a base and usually contains at least one nitrogen atom.
ALLERGEN.
A foreign substance that causes an allergic reaction in some sensitive people but not in most others.
ALPHA-FETOPROTEIN.
A protein produced in the liver of a developing fetus that also can be found in the mother's blood. Also a tumor marker.
ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID (ALA).
An essential omega3 fatty acid that must be obtained from food; it is converted to other omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL.
The most biologically active form of vitamin E.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.
A system of healing that rejects conventional, pharmaceutical-based medicine and replaces it with the use of dietary supplements and therapies such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, massage, and cleansing diets. Alternative medicine includes well-established treatment systems such as homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as more-recent, fad-driven treatments.
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.
An incurable disease of older individuals that results in the destruction of nerve cells in the brain and causes gradual loss of mental and physical functions.
AMARANTH.
An herb cultivated as a food crop in Mexico and South America. Its grains can be toasted and mixed with honey or molasses as a vegetarian treat.
AMENORRHEA.
Absence or suppression of normal menstrual periods in women of childbearing age, usually defined as three to six missed periods.
AMPHETAMINE.
A drug that stimulates the central nervous system. Amphetamines may be physically and psychologically addictive in some individuals.
AMYLOPHAGIA.
The compulsive eating of purified starch, typically cornstarch or laundry starch.
AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (ALS).
A rare progressive and eventually fatal disease affecting the nerve cells that control movement. It is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Some evidence indicates that the ketogenic diet can slow the progression of ALS.
ANABOLIC STEROIDS.
Any of a number of synthetic steroid hormones that are commonly used to increase muscle mass and strength.
ANAEROBIC DIGESTION (AD).
The use of microbes to break down organics such as food waste to produce biogas, primarily methane and carbon dioxide, for electricity or refining into natural gas or fuels.
ANAEROBIC EXERCISE.
Brief, strength-based activity, such as sprinting or weight training, in which anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism occurs in the muscles.
ANAL FISSURE.
A crack or slit that develops in the mucous membrane of the anus, often as a result of a constipated person pushing to expel hardened stool. Anal fissures are quite painful and difficult to heal.
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK.
A severe allergic reaction characterized by airway constriction, tissue swelling, and lowered blood pressure that can be fatal.
ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE.
A category of medical or dietary evidence based on or consisting of individual reports, usually written by observers who are not doctors or scientists.
ANEMIA.
Anemia refers to a reduction in the quantity of the oxygen-carrying pigment hemoglobin in the blood. The main symptoms of anemia are excessive tiredness and fatigue, breathlessness on exertion, pallor, and poor resistance to infection.
ANENCEPHALY.
A fatal hereditary defect resulting in the partial to complete absence of a brain and spinal cord.
ANGINA.
A medical condition that occurs when insufficient blood flows into the heart, which causes chest pains.
ANGINA PECTORIS.
Chest pain or discomfort. Angina pectoris is the more common and stable form of angina. Stable angina has a pattern and is more predictable in nature, usually occurring when the heart is working harder than normal.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.
The practice of breeding and raising livestock (including poultry) for meat and other food products. It is also called animal science.
ANION.
A negatively charged ion, one in which the number of electrons is greater than the number of protons.
ANORECTIC.
A drug that suppresses the appetite.
ANOREXIA.
Anorexia nervosa; an eating disorder characterized by extreme weight loss, distorted body image, and fear of gaining weight.
ANTHOCYANINS.
A subgroup of flavonoids that cause the red, dark blue, or purple color of certain plants. Anthocyanins are responsible for the dark purplish color of açaí berries.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL.
Pertaining to anthropology or the study of the natural and cultural history of humans.
ANTIBIOTIC.
Drug that kills bacteria and other germs.
ANTIBODIES.
Proteins within blood that seek and destroy foreign bodies or substances in the body.
ANTICONVULSANT.
A drug given to prevent or control seizures.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS.
Drugs used primarily to treat depression.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY.
Preventing or reducing inflammation.
ANTIMICROBIAL.
A type of food preservative that works by preventing the growth of bacteria, fungi, molds, or yeast in foods.
ANTIOXIDANT.
A molecule that prevents oxidation. In the body, antioxidants attach to other molecules called free radicals and prevent the free radicals from causing damage to cell walls, DNA, and other parts of the cell. Vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotene are common antioxidants.
ANTIOXIDANT ENZYME.
An enzyme that can counteract the damaging effects of oxygen in tissues.
ANTIOXIDANTS.
Antioxidants are nutrients that deactivate reactive molecules (free radicals) and prevent harmful chain reactions.
ANUS.
The terminal opening of the digestive tract.
APOLIPOPROTEIN (APO).
Proteins that combine with lipids to produce lipoproteins; variants of the APOA1 and APOE genes code for lipoproteins that respond differently to different diets.
APPENDECTOMY.
The procedure to surgically remove an appendix.
APPENDICITIS.
Inflammation of the appendix.
APPETITE.
The desire to eat foods, usually due to hunger.
APPETITE SUPPRESSANT.
A drug that reduces appetite.
ARCHAEA.
Prokaryotic microbes that have no cell nucleus or membrane-bound organelles in their cells.
ARSENIC.
A metal element naturally found in water, air, and soil, and absorbed by some growing crops. It is sometimes called a contaminant as it is not intentionally added to foods.
ARTERIES.
The largest blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the body.
ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION.
A tangle of abnormal veins and arteries in the brain that may cause headaches, seizures, or stroke.
ARTHRITIS.
A condition characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and swelling.
ASCITES.
Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.
ASCORBIC ACID.
Another name for vitamin C.
ASH.
In analytical chemistry, the nonliquid and nongaseous residue left after the complete combustion of a substance. Reducing a substance to ash is done to analyze and measure its metal and mineral content.
ATHEROSCLEROSIS.
A thickening of the artery walls that impedes the flow of blood supplying the heart, brain, and other organs.
ATOPY.
An inherited tendency toward strong and immediate hypersensitivity reactions to substances in the environment. Examples include severe food allergies, allergic skin reactions, and bronchial asthma.
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD).
A persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsiveness; the pattern is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in people at a similar level of development.
AUTISM.
Also called autistic spectrum disorder (ASD); a serious developmental disorder, characterized by profound deficits in language, communication, and socialization.
AUTOIMMUNE.
Diseases caused by antibodies or activated white blood cells (lymphocytes) that attack self-cells in the body as though they were foreign cells.
AUTOIMMUNITY.
A condition in which the body's immune system produces antibodies in response to its own tissues or blood components instead of foreign particles or microorganisms.
AUTOINTOXICATION.
Self-poisoning by toxic products formed within the body during intestinal digestion. This term was coined around 1885 as part of a theory that regarded intestinal function as a central aspect of health.
AUTOSOMAL RECESSIVE.
A term used to describe a pattern of genetic inheritance in which a child receives two copies of a defective gene, one from each parent, on an autosome (a nonsex chromosome).MSUD is an autosomal recessive disorder.
AYURVEDA.
The traditional system of natural medicine that originated in India around 3500 BCE. Its name is Sanskrit for “science of long life.”

B

B VITAMINS.
A group of water-soluble vitamins that often work together in the body, including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7 or vitamin H), folate/folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12).
BACTERIA.
Single-celled organisms without nuclei, some of which are infectious.
BACTERICIDAL.
A state that prevents growth of bacteria.
BACTERIOCINS.
Peptide molecules produced by bacteria that inhibit the growth of similar or closely related strains of bacteria. Bacteriocins are presently being investigated for their potential in food preservation.
BACTERIOSTATIC.
A substance that kills bacteria.
BARBERRY.
A shrub native to southern Europe and western Asia that produces oblong red berries that have a sour taste. Barberry has been used as a natural treatment for giardiasis.
BARIUM.
A thick liquid that coats the stomach after consumption, allowing the inside of the stomach to show up on an x-ray.
BARRETT'S SYNDROME.
Also called Barrett's esophagus or Barrett's epithelia, this is a condition where the squamous epithelial cells that normally line the esophagus are replaced by thicker columnar epithelial cells.
BASAL INJECTION.
An injection of a long-acting insulin or low level of continuous infusion from an insulin pump to cover the glucose output of the liver.
BASAL METABOLIC RATE.
The number of calories the body burns at rest to maintain normal body functions.
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
Changing an individual's behavior through positive and negative responses to achieve a desired result, such as exercising regularly or sticking to a weight-loss diet.
BENIGN.
The description of a growth that does not spread to other parts of the body. Recovery is favorable with treatment.
BENZOIC ACID.
A type of preservative used in processed foods known to cause food sensitivity in some individuals when consumed in the diet.
BETA CELLS.
The specialized cells within the islets of Langerhans that secrete and store insulin. They represent 65%–80% of the tissue in the islets.
BETA GLUCANS.
Naturally occurring polysaccharides found in cell walls of cereals, bacteria, and fungi. They are sometimes used as medicine.
BETA-CAROTENE.
A carotenoid provitamin A in dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables that has one-twelfth the vitamin A activity of retinol.
BETA-GLUCANS.
Soluble, viscous, fermentable glucose polymers that are important sources of fiber from oats and barley.
BILE.
Digestive juice secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder; helps in the digestion of fats.
BILE DUCTS.
Hollow tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder for storage and to the small intestine for use in digestion.
BILIRUBIN.
A yellow pigment that is the end result of hemoglobin breakdown. This pigment is metabolized in the liver and excreted from the body through the bile. Bloodstream levels are normally low; however, extensive red cell destruction leads to excessive bilirubin formation and jaundice.
BINGE DRINKING.
Heavy alcohol consumption that occurs intermittently. Bingeing for men means consuming five or more drinks in a period of about two hours. For women, it is consuming four or more drinks in the same time period.
BINGE EATING DISORDER.
A mental eating disorder that features the consumption of large amounts of food in short periods of time.
BIOAVAILABILITY.
The rate at which a substance or chemical is absorbed into the body or made available for a specific physiological process. Juice fasting sometimes affects the bioavailability of prescription medications.
BIOCHEMICAL PATHWAY.
Long-chain biochemical reactions that take place in the normal operation of the human body.
BIODIVERSITY.
The range of organisms present in a defined ecological system.
BIOENGINEERED.
The application of engineering principles and techniques to the field of biology, especially medicine.
BIOFEEDBACK.
A technique for improving awareness of internal bodily sensations in order to gain conscious control over digestion and other processes generally considered to be automatic.
BIOINFORMATICS.
The science of gathering and analyzing biological data such as genetic codes.
BIOMOLECULE.
Any organic molecule that is an essential part of a living organism.
BIOPSY.
The surgical removal and microscopic examination of living tissue for diagnostic purposes.
BIOTIN.
A B-complex vitamin, found naturally in yeast, liver, and egg yolks.
BISPHENOL A (BPA).
A chemical widely used in food packaging that can seep into foods and has been associated with various health conditions.
BLOOD GLUCOSE.
The main sugar that the body makes from the food in the diet.
BLOOD PLASMA.
The pale yellowish, protein-containing fluid portion of the blood in which cells are suspended. Blood plasma is 92% water, 7% protein, and 1% minerals.
BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER.
A specialized, semi-permeable layer of cells around the blood vessels in the brain that controls which substances can leave the circulatory system and enter the brain.
BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER (BDD).
A mental disorder that features a distorted or disturbed body image. People with BDD are very critical of their physical body and body image even though no defect is easily visible.
BODY MASS INDEX (BMI).
A ratio of weight to height used as an indicator of obesity and underweight status. It is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters.
BODYBUILDING.
Developing muscle size and tone, usually for competitive exhibition.
BOLUS INJECTION.
A single injection of rapid-acting insulin given with a meal to cover the rise in blood sugar that occurs with digestion.
BOMB CALORIMETER.
A type of constant-volume device used to measure the amount of heat produced by combustion of a specific substance. Bomb calorimeters are often used to measure the calorie content of foods.
BONE MARROW.
Spongy material that fills the inner cavities of the bones. The progenitors of all the blood cells are produced in bone marrow.
BONE MINERAL DENSITY (BMD).
Test used to measure bone density and usually expressed as the amount of mineralized tissue in the area scanned (g/cm2). It is used for the diagnosis of osteoporosis.
BOTANICAL.
Relating to plants.
BOTULISM.
Life-threatening paralytic food poisoning caused by botulinum toxin from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
BOVINE.
Referring to domestic cattle.
BRAN.
The edible, nutrient-rich, broken seed coats of grain.
BRANCHED-CHAIN ALPHA-KETO ACID DEHYDROGENASE (BCKD).
The chemical name of the enzyme that is missing or partially inactivated in patients with MSUD.
BROWN ADIPOSE TISSUE.
BAT; brown fat; a heat-producing tissue found primarily in human fetuses and infants and hibernating animals.
BULIMIA NERVOSA.
A mental eating disorder that is characterized by periods of overeating followed with periods of undereating.
BUSHMEAT.
Meat of wild animals killed for subsistence.
BUTTON BATTERIES.
Tiny, round batteries containing mercuric chloride that power items such as watches, hearing aids, calculators, cameras, and penlights.
BYCATCH.
Nontarget species that are caught and discarded by the fishing industry.

C

CACAO.
Refers to the raw, unadulterated bean. Often used interchangeably with the term cocoa.
CACHEXIA.
Unintentional loss of body weight and muscle mass, and weakness that may occur in patients with cancer, AIDS, or other chronic diseases.
CAFFEINE.
A plant alkaloid found in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and some soft drinks that functions as a diuretic as well as a central nervous system stimulant.
CAFO.
Confined animal feeding operation or feedlot; an industrial farming method that confines as many animals as possible into a very small space.
CALCIUM.
Calcium is a mineral present in large quantities in the body, mainly in the bones and teeth. A deficiency of calcium in the diet can increase risk of osteoporosis. Rich sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, and tofu.
CALORIC.
Relating to heat or calories.
CALORIC DENSITY.
A measurement of the number of calories per gram in a given food.
CALORIE.
A unit of food energy. In nutrition terms, the word calorie is used instead of the scientific term kilocalorie, which represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one liter of water by one degree centigrade at sea level. In nutrition, a calorie of food energy refers to a kilocalorie and is therefore equal to 1,000 true calories of energy.
CAMPYLOBACTER.
believe that CR could extend the human life span, as it appears to have that effect in some other species. A genus of bacteria that can cause food poisoning and are found in almost all raw poultry.
CANCER.
A disease characterized by the growth of abnormal cells that form tumors that may damage or destroy normal body tissue.
CARBOHYDRATE.
A macronutrient that the body uses as an energy source. A carbohydrate provides four calories of energy per gram.
CARBOXYL GROUP.
The carbon atom at the end of a fatty acid hydrocarbon chain is attached by a double bond to oxygen and by a single bond to hydrogen forming the chemical structure carboxyl.
CARCINOGEN.
A substance known to cause cancer.
CARDIOVASCULAR.
Related to the heart and blood vessels.
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.
Clinical conditions involving the heart and vascular system (blood vessels), including angina, heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke.
CARIES.
Cavities in the teeth.
CARNITINE.
A naturally occurring substance needed for the oxidation of fatty acids; a deficiency is known to have major adverse effects on the CNS.
CARNIVORE.
An animal whose diet consists mostly or entirely of meat.
CAROTENES.
Various orange or red carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A.
CAROTENOIDS.
Fat-soluble plant pigments, some of which are important to human health.
CARRIER.
A person who harbors an infectious agent or a defective gene without showing clinical signs of disease themselves and who can transmit the infection to others or the defective gene to their children.
CARTILAGE.
Elastic tissue found in many parts of the body, such as the ear, nose, and throat.
CASEIN.
A protein that accounts for about 80% of the protein content in milk and cheese. Its name is derived from the Latin word for cheese.
CASSAVA.
A tropical and subtropical shrub cultivated for its starchy tuberous root that is rich in carbohydrates but poor in protein; a major staple food throughout the developing world.
CATABOLISM.
The metabolic breakdown of large molecules in living organism, with accompanying release of energy.
CATECHINS.
Polyphenolic flavonoid phytonutrients.
CATECHOLAMINES.
Hormones and neurotransmitters including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
CELIAC DISEASE.
A digestive disease that causes damage to the small intestine. It results from an inability to digest gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley.
CELL.
The smallest living units of the body, which group together to form tissues and help the body perform specific functions.
CELL DIFFERENTIATION.
The process by which stem cells develop into different types of specialized cells, such as skin, heart, muscle, and blood cells.
CELLULITE.
Fat deposited in pockets just below the surface of the skin around the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
CELSIUS.
A scale and unit of measurement for temperature, where the freezing point of water is 08C and the boiling point of water is 1008C.
CENTENARIAN.
A person who has attained an age of 100 years or longer. Those who have reached the age of 110 or longer are called supercentenarians.
CENTRAL OBESITY.
An accumulation of large amounts of body fat inside the abdominal cavity (visceral fat), resulting in an expanded waistline and a so-called apple-shaped or pot-bellied figure. Central obesity is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.
CEREBRAL PALSY.
Brain damage before, during, or just after birth that results in lack of muscle coordination and problems with speech.
CERULOPLASMIN.
A blue copper containing dehydrogenase protein found in serum that is apparently involved in copper detoxification and storage.
CERUMEN.
The waxy substance secreted by glands in the external ear canal. It can be tested to screen newborns for MSUD.
CHELATING AGENT.
A type of food preservative that works by binding (or sequestering) metal ions (usually iron or copper) in certain foods to prevent the metals from oxidizing and speeding up spoilage.
CHELATORS.
Various compounds that bind to metals such as mercury.
CHEMOTHERAPY.
Treatment of cancer with drugs.
CHOLECALCIFEROL.
Vitamin D3; the form of vitamin D formed in the skin from the reaction of cholesterol with sunlight and also found in fish, fish-liver oils, and egg yolks.
CHOLELITHIASIS.
The medical term for gallstones. People on a VLCD have an increased risk of developing gallstones from an increase of cholesterol content in the bile produced by the liver.
CHOLESTEROL.
A waxy substance made by the liver and also acquired through diet. High levels in the blood may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
CHOLINE.
A compound found in egg yolks and legumes that is essential to liver function.
CHONDROITIN.
A compound that makes up a part of cartilage; also available as a dietary supplement that is frequently used to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and other similar conditions.
CHONDROITIN SULFATE.
A compound found naturally in the body that is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that helps cartilage to retain its elasticity. Chondroitin sulfate derived from animal or shark cartilage can be taken as a dietary supplement by people with OA.
CHROMIUM.
An essential mineral that must be obtained from the diet. It is important for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and for insulin metabolism, as well as for many enzymatic reactions in the body.
CHROMOSOME.
A microscopic thread-like structure found within each cell of the body that consists of a complex of proteins and DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes arranged into 23 pairs. Changes in either the total number of chromosomes or their shape and size (structure)may lead to physical or mental abnormalities.
CHRONIC.
Chronic refers to a symptom or disease that continues or persists over an extended period of time.
CHRONIC DISEASE.
An illness or medical condition that lasts over a long period of time and sometimes causes a long-term change in the body.
CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE.
A chronic occurrence of both bronchitis and emphysema, which causes the airways to become narrowed.
CHYLOMICRONEMIA.
An excess of chylomicrons in the blood.
CHYLOMICRONS.
Intestinal triglycerides.
CIRCADIAN.
Pertaining to any biological process that has a rhythmic pattern of about 24 hours. The English word comes from two Latin words that mean “around” and “day.”
CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER.
A life-threatening liver disease that scars liver tissue, damages its cells, and severely affects liver function. A cirrhotic liver no longer removes toxins such as alcohol, drugs, and environmental pollutants from the blood.
CIS FORMATION.
The arrangement of atoms in which hydrogen atoms sit on the same side of the carbon-to-carbon double bond.
CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS.
A bacterium that is a common cause of food poisoning.
CLOTTING FACTORS.
Also known as coagulation factors; proteins in plasma that serve to activate various parts of the blood-clotting process.
CLOZE TESTS.
Tests of language proficiency and what they measure.
COBALAMIN.
Vitamin B12.
COENZYME.
Cofactor; a small molecule, such as vitamin B12, that binds to an enzyme and catalyzes (stimulates) enzyme-mediated reactions.
COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT).
A treatment that identifies negative thoughts and behaviors and helps develop more positive approaches.
COLIC.
Excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant.
COLITIS.
Inflammation of the colon (large bowel).
COLLAGEN.
A fibrous protein found in skin, bones, blood vessels, and connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.
COLON.
Part of the large intestine, located in the abdominal cavity. It consists of the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, and the sigmoid colon.
COLON POLYPS.
Small bundles of extra tissue that grow in the colon.
COLONOSCOPY.
A medical examination of the large bowel and the distal part of the small bowel with a tiny CCD (charged-couple device) camera or an optical fiber camera attached to the end of a flexible tube.
COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA).
A local food system in which consumers buy shares in a farmer's harvest before the crops are planted and are, in turn, provided with fresh weekly produce throughout the harvest season.
COMORBIDITY.
The presence of one or more diseases or disorders together with a primary disease or disorder.
COMPENSATORY BEHAVIOR.
Actions that people with eating disorders may do to make up for the excess calories they have consumed; an attempt to overcome anxiety, guilt or other feelings about the act of eating and the food eaten.
COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE.
Also called integrative medicine, this approach combines conventional drugs and surgical treatments with many of the same therapies used in alternative medicine.
COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES.
Starches; polysaccharides that are made up of hundreds or thousands of monosaccharides or single sugar units; found in foods such as rice and pasta.
COMPOSTING.
Decomposition of organic material such as food waste for fertilizer and soil amendment.
CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATION (CAFO).
An agricultural operation in which animals are raised in confined situations, with live and dead animals, feed, manure, urine, and production operations all concentrated in a small area.
CONDITIONING.
In psychology, the process of acquiring, developing, or establishing new associations and responses in a person or animal.
CONGENITAL.
Present at birth.
CONSTIPATION.
The difficult passage of stools or the infrequent (less than three times a week) or incomplete passage of stools.
CONTACT DERMATITIS.
Skin inflammation from contact with an allergen or other irritating substance.
CONTAMINATION.
The undesired occurrence of harmful microorganisms or substances in food.
CONVENIENCE FOODS.
Foods that require little or no preparation before eating. They are also known as tertiary processed foods.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE.
Mainstream or Western pharmaceutical-based medicine practiced by medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and other licensed health care professionals.
CORN SYRUP.
Sugar produced from corn starch that consists chiefly of single glucose molecules.
CORONARY ARTERY.
The arteries that supply blood to the tissues of the heart from the aorta.
CORONARY HEART DISEASE.
A progressive reduction of blood supply to the heart muscle due to narrowing or blocking of a coronary artery.
CORTICOSTEROIDS.
Medication that acts like a type of hormone (cortisol) produced by the adrenal gland of the body. As a drug, a corticosteroid (sometimes just called steroid) provides extra cortisol, which helps treat infection or trauma to the body.
CORTISOL.
Hydrocortisone; a glucocorticoid that is produced by the adrenal cortex and regulates various metabolic processes and has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. Blood levels may become elevated in response to stress.
COUSCOUS.
A North African food consisting of steamed semolina—milled durum wheat—that is also used to make pasta.
C-PEPTIDE.
A protein that is produced in the body as part of the sequence of insulin production. It can be used to measure the amount of endogenous insulin secretion or to evaluate a person for insulin resistance.
CRAN-WATER.
A diuretic drink consisting of one part unsweetened cranberry juice in four parts filtered water.
CREATINE.
An organic acid formed and stored in the body that supplies energy to muscle cells. Meat and fish are good dietary sources of creatine.
CRETINISM.
Severe stunting of physical and intellectual growth in a child due to maternal iodine deficiency.
CROHN'S DISEASE.
A chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract that causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss.
CYANOCOBALAMIN.
The most common compound with vitamin B12 activity and the form usually included in vitamin supplements.
CYST.
The protective shell formed by G. lamblia that keeps the organism alive after it has been expelled from the host's body.
CYTOCHROMES.
Complex proteins within cell membranes that carry out electron transport. Grapefruit juice interferes with the functioning of an enzyme belonging to the cytochrome P-450 group.
CYTOTOXIC.
A substance that is capable of killing body cells and tissue. Chemotherapy agents, for example, are cytotoxic.

D

DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS (DVT).
Blockage of the deep veins; particularly common in the leg.
DEFICIENCY.
Shortage of a substance, such as a vitamin, that is necessary for health.
DEHYDRATION.
A condition of water loss caused by either inadequate intake of water or excessive loss of water as through vomiting or diarrhea.
DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID (DNA).
The cellular substance that contains the genetic information of all organisms except for some viruses.
DEPRESSION.
A mental state characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement.
DETOXIFICATION.
Detox; cleansing; to remove toxins or poisons from the body.
DETOXIFICATION DIETS.
A group of diets that are followed to purify the body of heavy metals, toxic chemicals, harmful microbes, waste products of digestion, and other substances thought to be harmful. Juice fasts are one type of detoxification diet.
DEXFENFLURAMINE.
An anorectic drug formerly marketed under the brand name Redux.
DEXTROSE.
Another name for glucose, it is obtained from sugar cane, sugar beets, and starches.
DIABETES.
A condition in which the body either does not make or cannot respond to the hormone insulin. As a result, the body cannot use glucose (sugar).
DIABETES SELF-MANAGEMENT EDUCATION AND SUPPORT (DSME).
The ongoing process of facilitating the knowledge, skills, and ability necessary for prediabetes and diabetes self-care, as well as activities that assist a person in implementing and sustaining the behaviors needed to manage his or her condition on an ongoing basis, beyond or outside of formal self-management training.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY (DBT).
A specific form of cognitive behavioral therapy.
DIALYSIS.
A method of artificial kidney function used to remove waste products or other substances from the patient's body fluids. In the case of patients with MSUD, dialysis may be used to remove BCAAs from the patient's body during an acute episode requiring hospitalization.
DIALYSIS-RELATED AMYLOIDOSIS (DRA).
Condition characterized by accumulation in body tissues of deposits of abnormal proteins (amyloids) produced by cells.
DIARRHEA.
Thin, watery feces discharged from the anus during bowel movements, often frequently and excessively.
DIASTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE.
The point at which arterial pressure is lowest (when the ventricles are relaxed). The second measurement (usually the lower number) in a blood pressure reading.
DIETARY ACCULTURATION.
Adoption of eating patterns (diets) and food choices by individuals who have migrated to a new country and cultural environment or have moved within their own country from a rural area to an urban environment.
DIETARY APPROACHES TO STOP HYPERTENSION (DASH).
A flexible, balanced eating plan to help lower blood pressure.
DIETARY ASSESSMENT.
An analysis of food and nutrients consumed over a particular time period, including food records, dietary recall, food frequency questionnaires, and diet histories.
DIETARY DEFICIENCY.
Lack or shortage of certain vitamins or minerals within the diet that can result in illnesses.
DIETARY FIBER.
Also known as roughage or bulk. Insoluble fiber moves through the digestive system almost undigested and gives bulk to stools. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps keep stools soft.
DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKE (DRI).
A system of nutritional recommendations used by the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
DIETITIAN.
A health care professional who specializes in individual or group nutritional planning, public education in nutrition, or research in food science. To be licensed as a registered dietitian (RD) in the United States, a person must complete a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related field and pass a state licensing examination. Dietitians are sometimes called nutritionists.
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES.
Molecules that catalyze the breakdown of large molecules (usually food) into smaller molecules.
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.
Organs and paths responsible for processing food in the body. These are the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the small intestine, the large intestine, and the rectum.
DIGESTIVE TRACT.
The tube connecting and including the organs and paths responsible for processing food in the body. These are the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the small intestine, the large intestine, and the rectum.
DISACCHARIDE.
Any sugar formed when two monosaccharides are joined together and a molecule of water is removed.
DISCRETIONARY CALORIES.
The number of calories allocated for treats or extra foods outside of the main food groups, such as sweets or alcohol.
DISEASE-MODIFYING ANTIRHEUMATIC DRUGS (DMARDS).
A class of prescription medications given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis that suppress the immune system and slow the progression of RA.
DIURETIC.
A drug designed to encourage excretion of urine in people who accumulate excess fluid, such as individuals with high blood pressure or heart conditions.
DIVERTICULA.
Small pouch in the colon.
DIVERTICULAR DISEASE.
Disorders arising from diverticulosis, the development of diverticula, small pockets in the muscular wall of the large intestine. Inflammation of the diverticula may cause diverticulitis, a painful condition that can progress to infection and bleeding.
DIVERTICULOSIS.
A condition in which the colon (large intestine) develops a number of outpouchings or sacs (diverticula).
DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID (DHA).
An omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for growth and development and is present in high amounts in fatty fish.
DOPAMINE.
A chemical in brain tissue that serves to transmit nerve impulses (a neurotransmitter) and helps to regulate movement and emotions.
DOPING.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports competition, including anabolic steroids and other substances banned by most international sports organizations.
DOUBLE-BLIND STUDY.
A study in which neither the researchers nor the subjects know the identity of the people in the experimental and control groups during the course of the research.
DOXEPIN.
A psychoactive drug used to treat depression and anxiety.
DRUPE.
Any fruit that contains a soft, fleshy pulp (mesocarp) surrounded by an outer skin (exocarp) and containing a central inner stone or pit (endocarp) that contains the seed. Açí berries are drupes.
DUODENUM.
The first section of the small intestine, extending from the stomach to the jejunum, the second section of the small intestine.
DYSBIOSIS.
A condition of imbalance or maladaptation of microbes on the skin or inside the body (the digestive tract or vagina). Dysbiosis may result from antibiotic overuse, poor diet, or alcohol abuse. It is also known as dysbacteriosis.
DYSENTERY.
Inflammation of the intestine with severe diarrhea and intestinal bleeding, resulting from drinking water containing a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica.
DYSLEXIA.
An inherent dysfunction affecting the language centers of the brain that results in difficulties with reading and writing.
DYSLIPIDEMIA.
A disorder of lipid (lipoprotein) metabolism, including lipid overproduction or deficiency. Dyslipidemias may manifest as elevation of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and a decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration in the blood.
DYSPRAXIA.
A developmental disorder that affects coordination and movement.

E

ECTOPICPREGNANCY.
When a fertilized egg attaches to a place other than the uterine lining, including in the fallopian tube, which may be called a tubal pregnancy.
EDEMA.
Abnormal and excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues or certain cavities of the body. Edema is a symptom of a number of different kidney, liver, and circulatory disorders. Edema can have serious consequences.
EICOSATETRAENOIC ACID (EPA).
An omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for growth and development and is present in high amounts in fatty fish.
ELECTROLYTES.
Ions in the body that participate in metabolic reactions. The major human electrolytes are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl-), phosphate (HPO42-), bicarbonate (HCO3-), and sulfate (SO42-).
ELECTRON.
A component of an atom or molecule. It has a negative charge when a free or unpaired electron exists, making the molecule chemically unstable and likely to initiate chemical reactions.
ELEMENTAL DIET.
A liquid diet consisting of nutrients in their simplest forms, usually sugars, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fats.
ELEMENTALMERCURY(HG).
Metallic mercury; quicksilver; a heavy, silvery, poisonous metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature but vaporizes readily.
ELIMINATION DIET.
A diet in which the patient excludes a specific food (or group of foods) for a period of time in order to determine whether the food is responsible for symptoms of an allergy or other disorder. Elimination diets are also known as food challenge diets.
ELLAGIC ACID.
A phenolic antioxidant in many fruits and vegetables.
EMBOLISM.
Obstruction of an artery by a blood clot or air bubble.
EMOTIONAL EATING.
Eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness, or loneliness. Emotional eating can cause weight gain.
EMPTY CALORIES.
Calories in processed foods that have the same energy content as other calories but lack nutritional value. Most empty calories come from processed carbohydrates or fats.
ENAMEL.
The hard mineralized tissue covering the dentin of the crown of a tooth.
ENDOCRINOLOGIST.
A medical specialist who treats diseases of the endocrine (glands) system, including diabetes.
ENDOGENOUS.
Something produced inside an organism (or other system).
ENDOGENOUS INSULIN.
Insulin produced naturally within the human or animal body by the pancreas.
ENDOMETRIOSIS.
Attachment of the endometrial lining of the uterus to other organs outside the uterus without a way to be shed from the body.
ENDOSCOPE.
A flexible, lighted, fiber-optic instrument that can be introduced into the body through a natural opening or an incision to view specific internal structures.
ENDOSPERM.
The starchy tissue that surrounds the germ of a whole grain and supplies it with nourishment. It is the part of the grain that remains after the whole grain has been refined.
ENDOVASCULAR EMBOLIZATION.
An invasive surgical procedure performed to treat abnormal blood vessels in the brain by blocking blood vessels and blood flow to a specific area.
ENEMA.
Insertion of a tube into the rectum to infuse fluid into the bowel and encourage a bowel movement.
ENERGY.
The ability of a physical system to do work on other physical systems.
ENERGY BALANCE.
The number of calories burned in an hour versus the number of calories taken in.
ENERGY DENSITY.
The amount of energy in a food per volume or weight.
ENERGY METABOLISM.
The body's process of generating energy from nutrients obtained through food consumption. The chemical energy produced is a form of fuel the body can use for sustaining health and life, including growth, repair, and physical activity.
ENRICHED.
Having some of the nutrients that were lost during processing added back.
ENTERAL NUTRITION.
The medical term for tube feeding.
ENTEROTYPES.
The overall composition of the gut microbiota, including all organisms.
EPIDEMIC.
Affecting many individuals in a community or population and spreading rapidly.
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES.
Studies that look at factors affecting the health and illness of populations.
EPIDEMIOLOGIST.
A scientist or medical specialist who studies the origin and spread of diseases in populations.
EPIDIDYMIS.
A highly convoluted duct behind the testis through which sperm pass to the vas deferens in the male reproductive system.
EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE (EGCG).
A strong antioxidant in green tea, made from gallic acid and a polyphenolic flavonoid catechin.
EPIGENETIC.
Chemical modification of DNA that affects gene expression without changing the DNA sequence of the gene.
EPILEPSY.
A disorder of the brain that results in recurrent, unprovoked seizures.
EPITHELIUM.
Layer of cells covering the body's surface and lining the internal organs and various glands.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
The inability to get or maintain an erection.
ERGOCALCIFEROL.
Vitamin D2; the form of vitamin D produced by some plants and fungi and synthesized as a vitamin D supplement.
ERGOGENIC.
Enhancing physical performance, particularly during athletic activity.
ERYTHROPOIETIN (EPO).
A hormone produced by the kidneys that regulates the production of red blood cells. It is sometimes used by athletes to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of their blood.
ESOPHAGEAL ATRESIA.
Disorder of the digestive system in which the esophagus does not develop properly.
ESOPHAGITIS.
Inflammation of the esophagus.
ESOPHAGUS.
Muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach.
ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID.
An amino acid that is necessary for health but that cannot be made by the human body and must be acquired through diet.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACID.
A type of fat that is necessary for proper organ function and that must be obtained from dietary sources because the body does not produce fatty acids.
ESTROGEN.
A hormone produced by the ovaries and testes. It stimulates the development of secondary sexual characteristics and induces menstruation in women.
ETHANOL.
The chemical name of beverage alcohol.
ETIOLOGY.
The cause of a disease or medical condition.
EUKARYOTIC MICROBES.
Nonbacterial single-celled microbes such as algae, protozoa, and fungi.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL.
Oil extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose, Oenothera biennis; contains GLA.
EXCIPIENT.
An inert substance, such as certain gums or starches, used to make drugs easier to take by allowing them to be formulated into tablets or liquids. Some artificial sweeteners are used as excipients.
EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING.
Breast milk is the child's only food source for the first six months of life. No other solids or liquids such as formula or water are introduced at this time, with the exception of liquid vitamins or medicines.
EXOGENOUS.
Something introduced into an organism or other system from an outside source.
EXOGENOUS INSULIN.
Insulin produced by another animal or in the laboratory and delivered into the body to supplement insufficient secretion of endogenous insulin.
EXTRACT.
The substance remaining after a gas, liquid, or solid compound has been reduced to its active ingredients through a chemical extraction process.
EXTRAHEPATIC.
Originating or occurring outside the liver.
EXTRAHEPATIC.
Originating or occurring outside the liver.

F

FACTORY FARMING.
A term that refers to the application of techniques of mass production borrowed from industry to the raising of livestock, poultry, fish, and crops. It is also known as industrial agriculture.
FAMINE.
An extreme and widespread food shortage.
FAT.
A nutrient that the body uses as an energy source. Fats produce nine calories per gram.
FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS.
Vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K that are found in fat or oil-containing foods and which are stored in the liver, so that daily intake is not really essential.
FATTY ACIDS.
Complex molecules found in fats and oils. Essential fatty acids are fatty acids that the body needs but cannot synthesize. Essential fatty acids are made by plants and must be present in the diet to maintain health.
FATTY LIVER.
A condition in which liver cells accumulate fat. The condition is associated with alcohol abuse, obesity, and pregnancy, and can result in serious damage to the liver.
FECES.
Waste product of digestion formed in the large intestine. About 75% of its mass is water; the remainder is protein, fat, undigested roughage, dried digestive juices, dead cells, and bacteria.
FEEDLOT.
An enclosure in which beef cattle are finished prior to slaughter by being fed a specialized diet consisting of hay, sorghum, barley, soybean meal, and a variety of other products. Feedlots are also called feed yards or animal feeding operations (AFOs).
FEMALE ATHLETE TRIAD.
A group of three disorders often found together in female athletes, consisting of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis.
FENFLURAMINE.
An anorectic drug formerly marketed under the brand name Pondimin.
FERMENTATION.
A reaction performed by yeast or bacteria to make alcohol.
FERRITIN.
Iron stored in the body, mainly in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow.
FETAL MACROSOMIA.
Larger than average birth weight, usually exceeding 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4000 grams) regardless of gestational age.
FETUS.
The unborn offspring of a mammal; in humans, the unborn baby more than eight weeks after conception.
FIBER.
Also known as roughage or bulk. Insoluble fiber moves through the digestive system almost undigested and gives bulk to stools. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps keep stools soft.
FIBROMYALGIA.
A disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, along with sleep, memory, and mood issues; exact cause is unknown, but may be related to insufficient circulation or differences in how the brain processes pain signals.
FISTULA.
An opening between two organs or between an organ and the skin, caused by genetics, injury, or disease.
FLATULENCE.
The medical term for intestinal gas expelled through the anus.
FLAVONOIDS.
A large group of aromatic compounds that include many plant pigments and antioxidants.
FLAXSEED.
Linseed; the seed of flax, Linum usitatissimum, used as a source of oil for treating inflammation of the respiratory, intestinal, and urinary tracts, and as a dietary supplement.
FLUORAPATITE.
Fluoride-substituted hydroxyapatite.
FLUORODOSIS.
A cosmetic dental problem that can be caused by the presence of too much fluoride in drinking water. Fluorodosis causes brown spots on the teeth but does not weaken them in any way.
FLUOROSIS.
Mottling; spotting on the teeth due to excess fluoride during the forming of the tooth enamel.
FLUOXETINE.
An antidepressant drug, sold under the brand name Prozac.
FLUVOXAMINE.
An antidepressant drug sold under the brand name Luvox.
FODMAPS.
An acronym (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) that represents a group of short-chain carbohydrates in certain foods that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine.
FOIE GRAS.
Liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. It can be sold whole or prepared as pate′ or mousse.
FOLATE.
Folic acid; vitamin B9.
FOLIC ACID.
Also called vitamin B9, a stable synthetic form of folate that is found in dietary supplements and is added to fortified foods such as flour and cereal.
FOODALLERGEN.
Compounds within foods (usually protein) which are typically harmless but can cause an immediate allergic reaction in a susceptible person.
FOOD DESERT.
Areas without ready access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy whole foods, usually due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers's markets, and other sources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as places where at least 500 people or 33% of the population live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store or more than ten miles in rural areas.
FOOD INSECURITY.
Occasional or consistent lack of access to a sufficient amount of safe and nutritious foods for supplying the dietary requirements necessary for a healthy, active life.
FOOD LOSS.
Food that is lost or spoiled before reaching its final product or retail destination, which may or may not be considered food waste.
FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE (FSIS).
The public health agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.
FOOD SECURITY.
Access by all people at all times to the food required to lead a healthy, active life.
FOOD STAMP PROGRAM (FSP).
A government program that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households to help alleviate hunger and malnutrition.
FORAGE.
Plant material (usually leaves and stems) eaten by grazing livestock and poultry.
FORTIFIED.
Having added nutrients that do not occur naturally in that food.
FRACTURE.
A break in a bone.
FREDRICKSON CLASSIFICATION.
A five-stage classification system (I through V) devised for hyperlipidemias based on plasma appearance, triglyceride values, and total cholesterol values.
FREE RADICAL.
A molecule with an unpaired electron that has a strong tendency to react with other molecules in DNA (genetic material), proteins, and lipids (fats), resulting in damage to cells. Free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants.
FREE RANGE.
Allowed to forage and move around with relative freedom. Free-range chickens are typically raised on small farms or suburban back yards, and are often considered pets as well as egg producers.
FREEGAN.
A vegetarian who obtains food outside the mainstream economic system, most often by growing it, bartering for it, or scavenging for it in restaurant or supermarket trash bins.
FRUCTOSE.
A monosaccharide sugar found in many fruits.
FRUITARIAN.
A vegetarian who eats only plant-based products, such as fruits, seeds, and nuts, that can be obtained without killing the plant. Many fruitarians make occasional use of juice fasts.
FUNCTIONAL DEFICIENCY.
The depleted state of a particular nutrient that causes compromised function within the brain or body.
FUNCTIONAL FOOD.
A term used to describe a natural or processed food that contains biologically active compounds in sufficient amounts to benefit health.
FUNDOPLICATION.
A surgical procedure that increases pressure on the LES by stretching and wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the sphincter.

G

GALLBLADDER.
A small, pear-shaped organ in the upper right-hand corner of the abdomen. It is connected by a series of ducts (tube-like channels) to the liver, pancreas, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The gallbladder receives bile from the liver and concentrates and stores it. After a meal, bile is squeezed out of the gallbladder into the intestine, where it aids in digestion of food.
GALLSTONE.
Stones that form in the gallbladder or bile duct from excess cholesterol or salts.
GANGRENE.
Death of body tissue due to a cutting off of the blood supply.
GASTROENTERITIS.
Inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines.
GASTROENTEROLOGIST.
A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.
GASTROINTESTINAL.
Relating to the stomach and intestines.
GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT (GI TRACT).
The tube connecting and including the organs and paths responsible for processing food in the body. These are the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the small intestine, the large intestine, and the rectum.
GASTROPARESIS.
A disorder that slows or stops the movement of food from the stomach into the intestinal tract for digestion. It is caused by damage to the vagus nerve that controls the stomach muscles. It occurs commonly in individuals with Type 1 diabetes in whom high glucose levels damage the vagus nerve.
GASTROPLASTY.
A surgical procedure used to reduce digestive capacity by shortening the small intestine or shrinking the side of the stomach.
GENE.
A building block of inheritance, which contains the instructions for the production of a particular protein, and is made up of a molecular sequence found on a section of DNA. Each gene is found on a precise location on a chromosome.
GENE EXPRESSION.
The process by which the coded information of a gene is translated into the proteins or RNA present and operating in the cell.
GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE (GRAS).
A phrase used by the federal government to refer to exceptions to the FD&C Act of 1938 as modified by the Food Additives Amendment of 1958. Sweeteners that have a scientific consensus on their safety, based on either their use prior to 1958 or to well-known scientific information, may be given GRAS status.
GENETIC ENGINEERING.
A type of engineering that concentrates on the process of altering genetic material by technical means.
GENETIC PREDISPOSITION.
Increased susceptibility or likelihood of developing a certain disease due to the presence of a specific gene or genes.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED (GM OR GMO) FOODS.
Bioengineered foods; foods from plants or animals that have had their genes modified in the laboratory or that contain genes from other organisms.
GENOME.
The entire DNA sequence of a cell or organism.
GENOTYPE.
All or a portion of the genetic makeup of an individual or group.
GEOPHAGIA.
The compulsive eating of earthy substances, including sand, soil, and clay.
GERM.
The seed embryo in a whole grain; the reproductive portion that will grow into a whole plant.
GERONTOLOGIST.
A doctor who specializes in the study of the aging process.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES.
A type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestation) and affects how body cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes results in high blood sugar that may negatively affect pregnancy and fetal development and cause long-term health problems.
GHRELIN.
A peptide hormone, secreted primarily by the stomach, that has been implicated in the control of food intake and fat storage.
GLA.
Gamma-linolenic acid; an essential fatty acid found in evening primrose oil.
GLAND.
An organ in a human or animal body that secretes biochemical substances such as hormones for use in the body or discharge into the surrounding environment.
GLAUCOMA.
An eye disorder marked by increased fluid pressure within the eyeball that can lead to gradual loss of vision. Glaucoma is sometimes treated with diuretics.
GLEANING.
Collecting produce or crops remaining after harvesting.
GLUCONEOGENESIS.
The process of making glucose (sugar) from its own breakdown products or from the breakdown products of lipids or proteins. Gluconeogenesis occurs mainly in cells of the liver or kidney.
GLUCOSAMINE.
A type of amino sugar that is thought to help in the formation and repair of cartilage. It can be extracted from crab or shrimp shells and used as a dietary supplement by people with OA.
GLUCOSE.
A simple sugar that results from the breakdown of carbohydrates. Glucose circulates in the blood and is the main source of energy for the body.
GLUTAMATE.
Any of several salts formed from glutamic acid. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is one of several glutamates used as flavor enhancers.
GLUTAMIC ACID.
An amino acid that plays an important role in the biosynthesis of proteins. It occurs naturally in meats, dairy products, eggs, fish, and protein-rich plants.
GLUTEN.
A mixture of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats that can trigger celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine) and other intestinal disorders in susceptible people.
GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI).
A measurement of the speed at which the body converts carbohydrates in foods to blood glucose. The more rapidly a food's carbohydrates are converted to glucose, the higher its GI. Only foods with a GI below 50 are allowed on the LGIT version of the ketogenic diet.
GLYCERIN.
A sweet syrupy alcohol obtained from animal fats. It is often used in cough syrups and other liquid medications to give them a smooth texture.
GLYCEROL.
The central structural component of triglycerides and phospholipids. It is made naturally by animals and plants; the ratio of atoms in glycerol is three carbons, eight hydrogens, and three oxygens.
GLYCOGEN.
A polysaccharide that is the main form of carbohydrate storage and occurs primarily in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is used as fuel during exercise.
GOITER.
Swelling in the neck that indicates enlargement of the thyroid gland.
GOLDEN RICE.
A variety of rice produced through genetic engineering to contain beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor. Golden Rice could be used as a vehicle for delivering vitamin A in areas of the world where vitamin A deficiency is common.
GONZALEZ REGIMEN.
An alternative therapy for pancreatic cancer that includes a special diet, nutritional supplements, pancreatic enzymes, and coffee enemas.
GOUT.
Painful inflammation caused by an abnormal uric acid catabolism, resulting in deposits of the acid and its salts in the blood and joints.
GRAM.
A metric unit of mass.
GREENHOUSE GASES (GHG).
Atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide that absorb infrared radiation from the sun, thereby trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming the planet. Human emissions of GHG have increased greatly since the industrial revolution and are the major contributor to climate change.
GROATS.
Whole grains with the outer hull or husk removed.
GULF WAR SYNDROME (GWS).
A disorder characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including skin rashes, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and muscle cramps, possibly related to military service in the Persian Gulf war of 1991. GWS was briefly attributed to the troops' high consumption of beverages containing aspartame, but this explanation has been discredited.
GUT PERMEABILITY.
Also called intestinal permeability, a term describing the regulation of partially digested or digested material, including nutrients, to pass from cells lining the inside of the gastrointestinal tract into the body.

H

HDL CHOLESTEROL.
High-density lipoprotein; “good” cholesterol; lipoprotein in the blood that is primarily protein with small amounts of triglyceride and cholesterol and that helps protect against heart disease.
HEALTH DISPARITIES.
Differences in health, health care, and/or health outcomes among different racial and ethnic groups, genders, and geographical locations within a single population.
HEALTHY EATING PATTERNS.
The combination of foods and nutrients consumed, which can have a positive influence on health. Healthy eating patterns are typically rich in nutrient dense foods with combinations of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, reduced fat dairy products, seafood, and some meat.
HEART ATTACK.
Interruption of blood flow to the heart caused by blockage caused by a blood clot or fragment of atherosclerotic plaque. The blockage of heart vessels deprives the heart muscle of oxygen, causing tissue damage or tissue death.
HEART DISEASE.
Any disorder of the heart or its blood supply, including heart attack, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease.
HEAVY METALS.
Any metal with a high relative density that is often toxic to organisms, examples include lead, mercury, and copper.
HEIRLOOM PRODUCE.
Fruits and vegetables that are open pollinated and were grown much more frequently in the past.
HELICOBACTER PYLORI.
A spiral-shaped Gram-negative bacterium that lives in the lining of the stomach and is known to cause gastric ulcers.
HEMOCHROMATOSIS.
Hereditary disorder in which too much iron is stored in the organs, especially the liver, heart and pancreas.
HEMODIALYSIS.
Type of dialysis to clean wastes from the blood after the kidneys have failed. The blood travels through tubes to a dialyzer, a machine that removes wastes and extra fluid. The cleaned blood then goes back into the body.
HEMOGLOBIN.
A protein in red blood cells that binds oxygen in the lungs and delivers it to the cells of the body.
HEMOLYTIC UREMIC SYNDROME (HUS).
Kidney failure, usually in infants and young children, that can be caused by food poisoning with bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Shigella.
HEMORRHOIDS.
Swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or rectum.
HEPATITIS.
A viral disease characterized by inflammation of the liver cells (hepatocytes). People infected with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus are at an increased risk for developing liver cancer.
HERB.
A plant used in cooking or for medical purposes. Examples include Echinacea and ginseng.
HERBICIDES.
Weed killers; chemicals that destroy unwanted plants.
HERBIVORE.
An animal whose diet consists primarily or entirely of plant matter. Herbivorous animals include deer, sheep, cows, horses, elephants, giraffes, and bison.
HIATAL HERNIA.
Protrusion of a part of the stomach through a small opening (hiatus) in the muscle that separates the chest and abdomen (diaphragm).
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
Blood pressure is the force of the blood on the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition where there is too much pressure, which can lead to heart and kidney problems. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher.
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS).
A mixture of glucose and fructose sugars, also produced from corn starch.
HIGH-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (HDL).
Often referred to as good cholesterol; takes cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it is broken down or excreted.
HIGH-INTENSITYSWEETENER.
A nother term for nonnutritive sweetener, used because these substances add sweetness to food with very little volume.
HIGHLY ACTIVE ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY (HAART).
The major form of pharmacological treatment for HIV since 1996. HAART is a combination of several different antiretroviral drugs selected for patients on an individual basis. It is not a cure for HIV infection but acts to slow the replication of the virus and discourage new mutations. HAART has a number of side effects that complicate maintaining good nutrition in HIV patients.
HOMEOPATHIC.
Relating to homeopathy, a system of treating diseases by giving people very small doses of natural substances which, in healthy people, cause the same symptoms as the disease being treated.
HOMEOSTASIS.
The complex set of regulatory mechanisms that works to keep the body at optimal physiological and chemical stability in order for cellular reactions to occur.
HOMOCYSTEINE.
An amino acid that is not usually in protein and that is turned over with the aid of vitamin B12; high blood levels of homocysteine have been associated with cardiovascular disease.
HORMONE.
A chemical messenger produced by the body that is involved in regulating specific bodily functions such as growth, development, reproduction, metabolism, and mood.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT).
The use of the female hormones estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone) to replace those the body no longer produces after menopause.
HORMONE THERAPY.
Treatment of cancer by changing the hormonal environment, such as by changing testosterone and estrogen.
HUMAN GENOME.
A complete set of nucleic acid sequences encoded as DNA in humans.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE.
An amino acid that stimulates growth and cell reproduction in humans.
HYDROCARBON.
A substance consisting only of carbon and hydrogen atoms.
HYDROGENATION.
A process that turns liquid oils into solid fat. Hydrogenated fats have been implicated in the development of coronary heart disease and impaired cell signaling in the brain.
HYDROXYAPATITE.
Ca5(PO4)3OH; the material of tooth enamel consisting of calcium, phosphorous, oxygen, and hydrogen.
HYDROXYMETHYLFURFURAL.
An organic compound formed by dehydrating certain sugars and found to be toxic for rats and mice as well as potentially toxic for humans. It is found in honey and is thought to be a cause of death in honeybees.
HYPERGLYCEMIA.
An abnormally high level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
HYPERCALCEMIA.
A condition marked by abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood.
HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA.
The presence of an abnormal amount of cholesterol in the cells and plasma of the blood that is associated with the risk of atherosclerosis.
HYPERHYDRATION.
Excess water content of the body.
HYPERLIPIDEMIA.
Elevation of lipid levels (fats) in the bloodstream. These lipids include cholesterol, cholesterol compounds, phospholipids, and triglycerides, all carried in the blood as part of large molecules called lipoproteins.
HYPERPHAGIA.
The medical term for excessive hunger or increased appetite.
HYPERPLASTIC OBESITY.
Excessive weight gain in childhood, characterized by an increase in the number of fat cells.
HYPERTENSION.
Abnormally high arterial blood pressure, which if left untreated can lead to heart disease and stroke.
HYPERTROPHIC OBESITY.
Excessive weight gain, characterized by expansion of preexisting fat cells.
HYPERURICEMIA.
Abnormally elevated blood level of uric acid, the breakdown product of purines that are part of many foods we eat.
HYPERVITAMINOSIS.
Another name for vitamin toxicity.
HYPNOTICS.
A class of drugs given to induce sleep. Most are prescription medications, but some are available over the counter.
HYPOGLYCEMIA.
An abnormally low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
HYPONATREMIA.
Inadequate sodium levels in the body, possibly caused by loss of sodium through perspiration, diarrhea, or vomiting, and replacement of fluids with water that does not contain adequate electrolytes.
HYPOTHALAMIC-PITUITARY-ADRENAL (HPA) SYSTEM.
A complex feedback system among the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal gland that governs the body's response to stress. It is also called the HPA axis.
HYPOTHALAMUS.
Apart of the limbic system in the brain located beneath the cerebral hemispheres and above the brain stem. It links the nervous system and the endocrine system, and contains several nuclei that regulate such important body functions as thirst, hunger, attachment, fatigue, sleep, body temperature, and circadian rhythms.
HYPOTHYROIDISM.
An endocrine disease caused by low levels of thyroxine, a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. It requires daily treatment with a synthetic or animal-based thyroid hormone medication.

I

IDEAL WEIGHT.
Weight corresponding to the lowest death rate for individuals of a specific height, gender, and age.
IDIOPATHIC.
Occurring from unknown causes.
IDIOPATHICINTRACRANIALHYPERTENSION.
Increased fluid pressure within the blood vessels supplying the brain. Obese women are at increased risk of developing this disorder.
ILEUM.
The third and last section of the small intestine located between the jejunum and the large intestine.
IMMIGRANT.
An individual who has moved permanently to a new country.
IMMUNE SYSTEM.
The integrated body system of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products (such as antibodies) that protects the body from foreign organisms or substances.
IMMUNOGLOBULIN (IG).
Also called an antibody; a substance made by B cells that neutralizes specific disease-causing substances and organisms. Immuno-globulins are divided into five classes: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM.
IMMUNOSUPPRESSANT.
Any agent that decreases the immune response of an individual.
IMMUNOTHERAPY.
Treatment of cancer by stimulating the body's immune system.
IMPACTION.
The medical term for a mass of fecal matter that has become lodged in the lower digestive tract. Removal of this material is called disimpaction.
INDICATED.
In medical terminology, reviewed and approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration, or the comparable agency in other nations, for a specific use.
INFLAMMATION.
Swelling, redness, heat, and pain produced in an area of the body as a reaction to injury or infection.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE.
A disease of the bowel that causes inflammation.
INORGANIC ARSENIC.
A form of arsenic believed to be detrimental to health, particularly a cancer risk.
INORGANIC MERCURY.
Inorganic compounds such as mercuric oxide (HgO) and mercuric chloride (HgCl2).
INSOLUBLE.
Cannot be dissolved.
INSOLUBLE FIBER.
Fiber that cannot dissolve in water; found in whole grains, breads, and cereals as well as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes.
INSOMNIA.
An often chronic inability to sleep, or difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep.
INSULIN.
A hormone secreted by the pancreas that stimulates the cells in the liver, muscle, and fatty tissues of the body to use the glucose carried in the bloodstream after a meal.
INSULIN RESISTANCE.
A state in which the body does not respond well to insulin, resulting in the pancreas producing ever-higher levels of insulin when carbohydrates enter the body.
INSULIN RESISTANCE SYNDROME.
A medical condition in which insulin fails to function normally in regulating blood glucose (sugar) levels.
INSULIN SENSITIVITY.
How sensitive an individual is to the effects of insulin. A person with high insulin sensitivity requires smaller doses of insulin to lower blood glucose levels than someone with low insulin sensitivity.
INSULINOMA.
A pancreatic tumor that originates in the beta cells of the pancreas and secretes insulin. It is one potential cause of hypoglycemia.
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.
A medical outlook combining aspects of conventional and alternative medicines.
INTERNATIONAL UNIT (IU).
An agreed-upon standard of physiological activity for a given biological substance such as a vitamin; 1 mg of vitamin E as alpha-tocopherol is approximately 1.5 IU.
INTESTINAL FLORA.
The sum of all bacteria and fungi that live in the intestines. It is required to break down nutrients and fight off pathogens and helps the body build the vitamin E and K. An unbalanced intestinal flora can lead to many health problems.
INTESTINAL VILLI.
Small, finger-like projections of tissue in the intestinal lining that extend into the opening of the small intestine. The villi are part of the small intestine's movement of food particles and nutrients during digestion.
INTRINSIC FACTOR (IF).
A protein produced in the stomach that binds to vitamin B12 and is required for its absorption by the body.
INULIN.
A natural plant fiber typically found in the roots or underground stems of many plants, which use it as an energy source. Inulin used as a prebiotic dietary supplement is most often extracted from chicory root.
ION.
An atom or molecule that has an electric charge. In the body ions are collectively referred to as electrolytes.
IONIZING RADIATION.
Radiation that produces ions.
IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA.
A condition characterized by an inability to make sufficient red blood cells; symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, and weakened immunity.
ISLETS OF LANGERHANS.
The regions of the human pancreas that contain its insulin-producing cells. They were discovered in 1869 by Paul Langerhans (1847–88), a German anatomist and biologist. The islets of Langerhans account for 1%–2% of the total tissue mass of the pancreas.
ISOFLAVONES.
Various phytonutrients with antioxidant and estrogenic activities; found especially in soy.

J

JAUNDICE.
A condition in which bilirubin, a waste product caused by the normal breakdown of red blood cells, builds up in the body faster than the liver can break it down. People with jaundice develop yellowish skin and the whites of their eyes become yellow. The condition can occur in newborns and people with liver damage.
JOULE.
The International System of Units (SI) unit of energy.
JUNK FOOD.
An informal term to describe foods with little or no nutritional value or that contain ingredients considered unhealthy for consumption on a regular basis.

K

KEFIR.
A fermented drink made from cow, sheep, or goat milk by adding a fermentation starter that includes yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. Kefir originated in the Caucasus Mountains.
KETOACIDOSIS.
An imbalance in the makeup of body fluids caused by the increased production of ketone bodies. Ketones are caused by fat breakdown.
KETOGENIC DIET.
A diet with high levels of fat (around 80% of calories) and very low carbohydrates (less than 5% of calories), with the rest of calories from protein. Ketogenic diets are widely used to treat epilepsy and by individuals who find them an effective way of maintaining a healthy weight.
KETONE BODIES.
A group of three compounds (acetoacetic acid, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid) that are formed in an intermediate stage of fat metabolism and excreted in the urine. Measuring the level of ketone bodies in the urine of a patient on the ketogenic diet is the primary way of assessing the diet's effectiveness.
KETONES.
Poisonous acidic compounds produced by the body when fat instead of glucose is burned for energy. Breakdown of fat occurs when not enough insulin is present to channel glucose into body cells.
KETOSIS.
An abnormal increase in the number of ketone bodies in the body, produced when the liver breaks down fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Ketosis is a common side effect of low-carbohydrate diets like the Scarsdale diet. If continued over too long a period of time, ketosis can cause serious damage to the kidneys and liver.
KIDNEY STONES.
A small, hard mass in the kidney that forms from chemical deposits. Kidney stones can be extremely painful and are often difficult to diagnose.
KILOGRAM.
The International System of Units (SI) unit of mass, where one such unit is equal to one thousand grams.
KILOJOULE.
1,000 joules; a unit equivalent to 0.239 calories.
KIMCHI.
A traditional Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most often cabbage and radishes, and seasoned with garlic, ginger, scallions and/or hot chili powder.
KINASE.
An enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of phosphate groups between molecules in cell-signaling pathways.
KOMBUCHA.
A type of sweetened black or green tea fermented by a combination of yeast and bacteria. The beverage is thought to have originated in northeastern China.
KWASHIORKOR.
Severe malnutrition in children primarily caused by a protein-poor diet, characterized by growth retardation.

L

LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS.
This bacterium is found in yogurt and changes the balance of the bacteria in the intestine in a beneficial way.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE.
A condition in which the body does not produce enough lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose (milk sugar). Ovolactovegetarians with lactose intolerance often choose to use soy milk, almond milk, or other milk substitutes as sources of protein.
LACTOVEGETARIAN.
A vegetarian who uses milk and cheese in addition to plant-based foods.
LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE APPROACH.
An approach to teaching reading based on activities and stories developed from the personal experiences of the learner.
LANOLIN.
A greasy substance extracted from wool, often used in hand creams and other cosmetics.
LAPAROSCOPIC.
Pertaining to a surgical procedure that uses an instrument that can be inserted into the body to view structures within the abdomen and pelvis.
LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY.
A minimally invasive surgery in which a camera and surgical instruments are inserted through a small incision.
LARGE INTESTINE.
The terminal part of the digestive system, site of water recycling, nutrient absorption, and waste processing located in the abdominal cavity. It consists of the caecum, the colon, and the rectum.
LAXATIVE.
A substance that stimulates movement of food through the bowels. Laxatives are used to treat constipation.
L-CARNITINE.
A molecule in muscle that is responsible for transporting fatty acids across mitochondrial membranes; obtained from meat and milk.
LDL CHOLESTEROL.
Low-density lipoprotein; “bad” cholesterol; lipoprotein that has a high proportion of cholesterol; high LDL levels increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
LEAN MEATS.
Meats, such as turkey breast, that have a low fat content.
LEAVENING.
Yeast or other agents used for rising bread.
LECTINS.
Protein substances found in foods that bind with carbohydrates in blood, causing it to clot.
LEGUME.
Any plant belonging to the family Fabaceae. Legumes are grown for their grain seeds and for livestock forage; they include chickpeas, alfalfa, lentils, clover, peas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts.
LEPTIN.
A peptide hormone, produced by fat cells, that acts on the hypothalamus to suppress appetite and burn stored fat.
LEUCINE.
An essential amino acid and one of the three branched-chain amino acids implicated in MSUD. Leucine is the most toxic of the three and the one whose level is most closely monitored in dietary therapy for MSUD.
L-HISTIDINE.
An essential amino acid important for the growth and repair of tissues.
LIGNANS.
A group of compounds found in plants that have characteristics similar to the female hormone estrogen. They appear to have some anticancer and antioxidant effects.
LIMONOIDS.
A class of phytochemicals in citrus fruits and other plants that may have health benefits.
LIPASE.
An enzyme produced from the pancreas that breaks down fats.
LIPID PEROXIDATION.
Refers to the chemical breakdown of fats.
LIPIDS.
Group of chemicals, usually fats, that do not dissolve in water, but dissolve in ether.
LIPOATROPHY.
Loss of fat or formation of a lump under the skin resulting from repeated injections of insulin in the same location.
LIPODYSTROPHY.
The medical term for redistribution of body fat in response to HAART, insulin injections for diabetes, or rare hereditary disorders.
LIPOGENESIS.
The production and storage of fatty acids and triglycerides in liver cells as a step in the metabolism of sugars such as glucose and fructose. Lipogenesis leads to fatty liver disease.
LIPOPROTEINS.
Proteins present in blood plasma. The five major families are: chylomicrons, very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
LIPOTROPIC.
Factors that promote the utilization of fat by the body.
LISDEXANFETAMINE MESYLATE.
Vyvanse; the only FDA-approved medication for binge-eating disorder.
LISTERIOSIS.
A usually mild illness caused by food poisoning with Listeria monocytogenes, but which can be serious or fatal in newborns, the elderly, and the immunocompromised and which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth if contracted during pregnancy.
LOCAVORE.
A person who consumes foods that are grown or raised locally or regionally rather than transported long distances.
LONGITUDINAL STUDY.
A clinical study in which the researchers follow the same group of patients over a period of time. Many older studies of the ketogenic diet have been longitudinal studies.
LONG-LIFE COCKTAIL.
A drink consisting of one teaspoon of powdered psyllium husks or one table-spoon of ground or milled flaxseed in 8 oz. (237 mL) cran-water.
LOW BIRTH WEIGHT.
Infants are considered to be of low birth weight if they are born after the normal gestational period (38–42 weeks) but weigh less than 5.5 lb. (2.5 kg) at birth.
LOW SALT FOODS.
Food products which contain not more than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.
LOW-CARBOHYDRATE HIGH-FAT (LCHF).
A diet with high levels of fat (around 80% of calories) and very low carbohydrates (less than 5% of calories), with the rest of calories from protein.
LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (LDL).
Often referred to as bad cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and can cause a harmful buildup of cholesterol.
LOWER ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER (LES).
A muscular ring at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach, allowing the passage of food into the stomach. Weakness of the LES allows food to pass back into the esophagus, a condition called gastroesophageal reflux.
LUNASIN.
A peptide in soy and some cereal grains that may have anticancer properties.
LUPUS.
A systemic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation affecting the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, brain, heart, and lungs.
LYCOPENE.
A plant pigment that appears red in natural light and is responsible for the red color of tomatoes. Grapefruit is rich in lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant and is thought to slow skin aging and may help to protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

M

MACADAMIA NUT.
A hard-shelled nut resembling a filbert, produced by an evergreen tree native to Australia and cultivated extensively in Hawaii. The nut is named for John Macadam, an Australian chemist.
MACROBIOTIC DIET.
A diet based primarily on whole grains, vegetables, and beans, and avoiding refined or processed foods. It is sometimes recommended by practitioners of alternative medicine as a preventive for cancer.
MACROMINERALS.
Minerals that are needed by the body in relatively large amounts. They include sodium, potassium, chlorine, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
MACRONUTRIENT.
A nutrient needed in large quantities, namely protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
MALABSORPTION.
Poor absorption of nutrients by the intestinal tract.
MALABSORPTION SYNDROME.
A condition characterized by indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weakness, caused by poor absorption of nutrients from food as a result of giardiasis, other bowel disorders, or certain surgical procedures involving the digestive tract.
MALIGNANT.
A general term for cells that can break loose from an original tumor, invade, and then destroy other tissues and organs.
MALNOURISHED.
Lack of adequate nutrients in the diet.
MALNUTRITION.
Any disorder of nutrition caused by insufficient or unbalanced diet that can result in impaired absorption or use of foods.
MALTOSE.
Disaccharide containing two glucoses. It is obtained from starch.
MAMMAL.
Any animal belonging to the large class of warm-blooded vertebrates whose young are fed with milk secreted by the mammary glands of the female.
MASLENITSA.
Traditional Russian Orthodoxy holiday celebrated in mid-winter.
MAXIMUM RESIDUE LIMIT (MRL).
The maximum amount of a drug residue that can be allowed to remain in a food product at the time of human consumption.
MEDICAL NUTRITION THERAPY (MNT).
Dietary counseling for treating chronic disease.
MEDITERRANEAN DIET.
A nutritional model based on the traditional foods and eating patterns of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; the diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and olive oil.
MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES (MCTS).
Fatty acids with shorter carbon chains that are absorbed more readily than long-chain triglycerides and speed up the process of fat burning on a ketogenic diet. The most common dietary sources of MCTs are coconut oil and palm kernel oil.
MEGACOLON.
A condition in which the colon becomes stretched far beyond its usual size. Children with long-term constipation may develop megacolon.
MEGADOSE.
A very large dose of a vitamin, taken by some people as a form of self-medication.
MEGALOBLASTIC ANEMIA.
A blood disorder characterized by abnormal red blood cells and usually caused by a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.
MELATONIN.
A hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that regulates circadian sleep/wake cycles. It is sometimes used as an over-the counter medication to treat insomnia or jet lag.
MENADIONE.
A synthetic form of vitamin K, sometimes called vitamin K3.
MENOPAUSE.
A period in the life of women when menstruation decreases and eventually ends, which typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 50 years.
MERCURIC CHLORIDE; MERCURY(II) CHLORIDE (HGCL2).
A poisonous crystalline form of inorganic mercury that is used as a disinfectant and fungicide.
METABOLIC.
Refers to the chemical reactions in living things.
METABOLIC ACTIVITY.
The sum of the chemical processes in the body that are necessary to maintain life.
METABOLIC BONE DISEASE.
Weakening of bones due to a deficiency of certain minerals, especially calcium.
METABOLIC RATE.
The rate at which a person's (or animal's) body burns calories, even when at rest.
METABOLIC SYNDROME.
A group of risk factors (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and belly fat) that increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
METABOLIC SYNDROME X.
Also called insulin resistance syndrome or prediabetic syndrome. The syndrome is closely associated with hypertriglyceridemia and with low HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
METABOLISM.
The sum of the processes (reactions) by which a substance is assimilated and incorporated into the body or detoxified and excreted from the body.
METALLOENZYME.
An enzyme that contains a tightly bound metal ion, such as cobalt, copper, iron or zinc.
METASTASIS.
The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.
METHIONINE.
A crystalline amino acid found in many protein foods. It is sometimes taken as a supplement during a detox diet.
METHYLMERCURY.
Any of various toxic compounds containing the organic grouping CH3Hg. These compounds occur as industrial byproducts and pesticide residues, accumulate in fish and other organisms, especially those high on the food chain, and are rapidly absorbed through the human intestine to cause neurological disorders such as Minamata disease.
METHYLSULFANYLMETHANE (MSM).
A naturally occurring organic sulfur compound used in complementary and alternative medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, including osteoarthritis.
MICROBIAL GENES.
The genetics of microbial species, including genotypes of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and some fungi.
MICROBIOME.
The microorganisms normally present in or on the body, especially in the gut.
MICROBIOMICS.
The study of communities of microorganisms within a variety of environments, including human and animal bodies.
MICRONUTRIENTS.
Essential dietary elements that are needed only in very small quantities. Micronutrients are also known as trace elements. They include copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, magnesium, iron, cobalt, and chromium.
MICROORGANISM.
A general term for bacteria, molds, fungus, or viruses that can be seen only with a microscope.
MIGRANT.
An individual who migrates from one area to another either from country to country or between different areas of the same country.
MILLING.
The grinding of a grain, such as wheat berries, into flour.
MINERAL.
An inorganic substance found in the earth that is necessary in small quantities for the body to maintain health. Examples include zinc, copper, iron.
MITRAL VALVE.
A heart valve, also called the bicuspid valve, that allows blood to flow from the left auricle to the ventricle, but does not allow the blood to flow backwards.
MOLASSES.
The residue from sugar cane processing.
MOLYBDENUM COFACTOR DEFICIENCY.
An inherited disorder in which deficiency of the molybdenum cofactor causes deficiency of a variety of enzymes, resulting in severe neurological abnormalities, dislocated ocular lenses, intellectual disability, xanthinuria, and early death.
MOLYBDOPTERIN.
The chemical group associated with the molybdenum atom of the molybdenum cofactor found in molybdenum-containing enzymes.
MONO DIET.
A type of detoxification diet based on the use of only one food or beverage. Some versions of the grapefruit diet are essentially mono diets.
MONOAMINE OXIDASE INHIBITORS (MAOIS).
A class of antidepressant drugs that inhibit the action of specific enzymes. They are generally used as drugs of last resort for depression because of their potential to interact with tyramine in the diet and lead to severe hypertension.
MONOSACCHARIDE.
The simplest form of sugar. Monosaccharides combine to form disaccharides and such complex carbohydrates as starch and cellulose.
MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE.
MSG; sodium glutamate; a salt derived from glutamic acid that is used to enhance the flavor of foods.
MONOUNSATURATED FAT.
A fat or fatty acid with only one double-bonded carbon atom in its molecule. The most common monounsaturated fats are palmitoleic acid and oleic acid, found naturally in nuts and avocados. Oleic acid is the main component of olive oil.
MORBID OBESITY.
A term used to describe individuals 100 lb. (45 kg) or more than 50% overweight and/or who have a body mass index above 40.
MOTTLING.
Fluorosis; spotting on the teeth due to excess fluoride as the tooth enamel is forming.
MTHFR.
The gene encoding methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase; variants in this gene respond differently depending on folic acid intake.
MUCILAGE.
A sticky, gummy substance used as an adhesive; obtained from certain plants.
MUCOSA.
A mucous membrane, usually one that lines a body organ such as the stomach or esophagus.
MUCUS.
Thick, viscous, gel-like material that functions to moisten and protect inner body surfaces.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.
A chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system in which gradual destruction of myelin occurs in patches throughout the brain or spinal cord, interfering with the nerve pathways and causing muscular weakness, loss of coordination, and speech and visual disturbances.
MYOGLOBIN.
A red protein containing iron that carries and stores oxygen in muscle cells.
MYPLATE.
Pictorial food guide for Americans to help them achieve a healthy balanced diet.

N

NARCISSISM.
Excessive admiration of oneself.
NARINGIN.
A flavonoid responsible for the bitter taste in grapefruit. Naringin has potential health benefits but can also interact with certain medications.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS (NCHS).
The division within the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that compiles, analyzes, and disseminates health statistics for the nation.
NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR DIABETES SELFMANAGEMENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS.
The National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education are designed to define quality Diabetes Self-management Education and Support (DSME) and support and to assist diabetes educators in providing evidence-based education and self-management support. They also serve as a guide for nonaccredited and nonrecognized providers and programs.
NATTO.
Fermented soybeans.
NATURALLY OCCURRING SUGAR.
Sugar that occurs naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.
NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE.
An alternative system of healing that primarily uses homeopathy, herbal medicine, and hydrotherapy and rejects most conventional drugs as toxic.
NATUROPATHY.
A system of disease treatment that emphasizes natural means of health care, such as natural foods, dietary adjustments, massage and manipulation, and electrotherapy, rather than conventional drugs and surgery. Naturopaths (practitioners of naturopathy) often recommend juice fasts as a way of cleansing the body.
NAUSEA.
Unpleasant sensation in the gut that precedes vomiting.
NEPHRONS.
A tiny part of the kidneys. Each kidney is made up of about 1 million nephrons, which are the working units of the kidneys, removing wastes and extra fluids from the blood.
NEPHROTIC SYNDROME.
A disorder marked by a deficiency of albumin (a protein) in the blood and its excretion in the urine.
NERVOUS SYSTEM.
The brain, spinal cord, and nerves that extend throughout the body.
NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS.
Neural tube defects are serious birth defects that involve incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, and/or protective coverings for these organs.
NEUROPATHY.
Condition of weakness affecting the nervous system.
NEUROTOXIC.
A substance that has a specific toxic effect on the nervous system.
NEUROTRANSMITTER.
One of a group of chemicals secreted by a nerve cell (neuron) to carry a chemical message to another nerve cell, often as a way of transmitting a nerve impulse. Examples of neurotransmitters include acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
NITROSAMINE.
Any of various organic compounds produced by the interaction of nitrites in food with the breakdown products of amino acids. Nitrosamines are also found in tobacco smoke. Some nitrosamines are powerful carcinogens.
NOCEBO.
A harmless substance or treatment that causes adverse side effects or symptoms in patients expecting negative results from the substance or treatment. The English word comes from a Latin verb form that means “I shall harm.”
NONALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE.
A liver disorder that occurs when fat is deposited in the liver for reasons other than alcohol consumption. It is the most common liver disorder in the developed countries and is closely related to the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
NONNUTRITIVE SWEETENER.
Any sweetener that offers little or no energy value when added to food.
NONRESPONSIVE COELIAC DISEASE.
Approximately 30% of celiacs do not respond to a gluten-free diet. This phenomenon is called nonresponsive celiac disease and is often caused by cross-contamination of the diet with gluten. Good communication with a dietitian is essential to minimize such a risk.
NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS (NSAIDS).
A class of drugs commonly given to treat the inflammation and pain associated with both RA and OA. NSAIDs work by blocking prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compounds that cause pain, fever, muscle cramps, and inflammation. Some NSAIDs are prescription drugs whereas others are available in over-the-counter (OTC) formulations.
NOREPINEPHRINE.
A hormone released by nerve cells and the adrenal medulla that causes constriction of blood vessels. Norepinephrine also functions as a neurotransmitter.
NORMAL WEIGHT.
Characterized by having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25.
NOROVIRUS.
Norwalk virus; a large family of RNA viruses that are the most common cause of illness from contaminated food.
NUCLEOTIDE.
A subunit of DNA or RNA consisting of a nitrogenous base (adenine, guanine, thymine, or cytosine in DNA; adenine, guanine, uracil, or cytosine in RNA), a phosphate molecule, and a sugar molecule (deoxyribose in DNA and ribose in RNA).
NUTRACEUTICAL.
A fortified food or dietary supplement that provides health benefits. Nutraceutical is often used as a synonym for functional food.
NUTRIENT.
A source of nourishment, especially a nourishing ingredient in a food.
NUTRITION FACTS LABELS.
Labels affixed to foods sold throughout the United States. Usually on the back or the side of the bottle, package, or bag, the label specifies the amount of calories provided by the contents as well as the amount of nutrients, vitamins, and supplements.
NUTRITION TRANSITION.
A period of adjusting to new foods and a new dietary culture after moving to a different country. Nutrition status may change during this transition, either improving or deteriorating.
NUTRITIVE SWEETENER.
Any sweetener that adds some energy value to food.

O

OBESE.
More than 20% over an individual's ideal weight for height and age or having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.
OBESOGENIC.
Tending to cause obesity; for example, an obesogenic environment is one which encourages or obesity.
OBLIGATE CARNIVORE.
An animal that must have meat in its diet to maintain health. Cats are obligate carnivores, although humans and most breeds of dogs are not.
OBLIQUES.
The diagonal muscles that run along the sides of the abdomen.
OBSERVATIONAL STUDY.
A study in which the researchers simply observe the symptoms or behaviors of interest to them in their group of subjects without trying to influence, medicate, or otherwise change the symptoms or behaviors.
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER.
A psychiatric disorder in which a person is unable to control the desire to repeat the same action over and over.
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA.
A potentially serious sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during sleep.
OFF-LABEL USE.
Drugs in the United States are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific uses, periods of time, or dosages based on the results of clinical trials. It is legal, however, for physicians to administer these drugs for other “off-label” or nonapproved uses. It is not legal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise drugs for off-label uses.
OLIGOSACCHARIDE.
A carbohydrate that consists of a relatively small number of monosaccharides, such as maltodextrins and fructooligosaccharides.
OMEGA FATTY ACIDS.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are long-chain fatty polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) that are crucial structural components of cell membranes that enable the body to function. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, and fish such as salmon and mackerel. Consuming omega fatty acids reduces serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and also provides anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant effects.
OMEGA-3.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid in which the first double bond occurs on the third carbon-to-carbon double bond from the methyl end of the hydrocarbon chain.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID.
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.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid in which the first double bond occurs on the sixth carbon-to-carbon double bond from the methyl end of the hydrocarbon chain.
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS.
Essential fatty acids that are necessary for human health and must be obtained from foods; the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is believed to be important for good health.
OMEGA-9.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid in which the first double bond occurs on the ninth carbon-to-carbon double bond from the methyl end of the hydrocarbon chain.
OMPHALOCELE.
Birth defect that causes abdominal contents to protrude into the base of the umbilical cord.
OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTION.
An infection caused by a normally harmless organism that causes disease when the host's immune system is weakened. Opportunistic infections are a major problem in the medical and nutritional care of HIV patients.
ORGANIC.
In the context of animal husbandry, a label applied to meat or milk produced from animals that have not been treated with either antibiotics or hormones and that have not been exposed to chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
ORGANIC MERCURY.
Poisonous compounds containing mercury and carbon, such as methylmercury, ethylmercury, and phenylmercury.
ORTHOREXIA.
A type of eating disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with the purity or healthfulness of one's food choices, as distinct from obsession about the amount of food consumed. Although the term was not included in the most recent (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, many doctors and dietitians in the developed countries are seeing cases of orthorexia, most often in young adults.
OSTEOARTHRITIS.
A type of arthritis characterized by the steady loss of joint cartilage; usually found in people who are middle aged or older.
OSTEOMALACIA.
A softening of bones caused by a lack of vitamin D and/or calcium in the diet.
OSTEOPENIA.
A bone condition characterized by decreased bone density, which leads to weakened bones and increased risk of breaking bones.
OSTEOPOROSIS.
A condition found in older individuals in which bones decrease in density and become fragile and more likely to break. It can be caused by lack of vitamin D and/or calcium in the diet.
OTOTOXICITY.
Damage caused to the nerves in the ear that are involved in hearing or balance. Ototoxicity is a rare but serious adverse effect of loop diuretics.
OVERWEIGHT.
A body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30.
OVO-LACTO VEGETARIAN.
A vegetarian who consumes eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based foods.
OVOVEGETARIAN.
A vegetarian who eats eggs in addition to plant-based foods but does not use milk or other dairy products.
OVULATORY INFERTILITY.
Female infertility arising from problems with ovulation, the monthly release of an egg. The absence of an egg to be fertilized.
OXIDATION.
A chemical reaction in which electrons are lost from a molecule or atom. In the body these reactions can damage cells, tissues, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), leading to cardiovascular disease or cancer.
OXIDATIVE INJURY.
Damage that occurs to the cells and tissues of the brain and body caused by highly reactive substances known as free radicals.
OXIDATIVE STRESS.
Physiological stress caused by damage from free radicals and associated with aging and insufficient antioxidant activity.
OXYTOCIN.
A hormone that produces a calm, relaxed feeling.

P

PAGOPHAGIA.
The compulsive eating of ice.
PALATABILITY.
The enjoyment and appeal of a food based not just on its flavor or taste but also how the food is perceived by an individual based on a state of deprivation or consumption.
PALPITATION.
The perceived sensation of a rapid fluttering heartbeat.
PAMABROM.
A mild diuretic found in several over-the-counter compounds for the relief of premenstrual discomfort and water retention.
PANCHA KARMA.
An intensive one- to two-week ritual of detoxification practiced in Ayurvedic medicine that includes enemas, bloodletting, and nasal irrigation as well as fasting.
PANCREAS.
Agland near the liver and stomach that secretes digestive fluid into the intestine and the hormone insulin into the bloodstream.
PARASITE.
Anorganism that lives in or with another organism, called the host, in parasitism, a type of association characterized by the parasite obtaining benefits from the host, such as food, and the host being injured as a result.
PARATHYROID HORMONE (PTH).
A hormone that is secreted by parathyroid glands and regulates calcium and phosphorus metabolism in the body.
PARENCHYMA.
Functional tissue (parenchymal tissue) in the brain made up of the two types of brain cells, neurons and glial cells.
PARENTERAL NUTRITION.
Providing a person with necessary nutrients through intravenous feeding.
PAROXETINE.
An antidepressant drug sold under the brand name Paxil.
PASTEURIZATION.
A process for partial sterilization of milk or juice by raising the liquid to a temperature that destroys disease organisms without changing the basic taste or appearance. Pasteurized fruit or vegetable juices are considered unsuitable for juice fasts on the grounds that pasteurization destroys important nutrients in the juices.
PASTURE-RAISED.
Animals such as cattle, buffalo, goats, sheep, and poultry that feed on grass and hay— their natural foods—rather than grain.
PATHOGEN.
A living organism that can cause disease, such as a bacterium or virus.
PAU D'ARCO.
A medicinal bark derived from a tree native to the Amazon rainforest. Pau d'arco is often brewed as a tea and taken as a diuretic or anti-inflammatory preparation.
PECTIN.
A water-soluble heterosaccharide (complex molecule composed of a sugar molecule and a non-sugar component) found in the cell walls of higher plants. It is used primarily as a gelling agent in making jams and jellies, but can also be taken by mouth as a form of plant fiber to relieve constipation.
PEPTIC.
Related to digestion.
PEPTIC STRICTURE.
A narrowing of the lower end of the esophagus, the end-stage result of gastroesophageal reflux disease that exposes the esophagus to acidpeptin digestive juices from the stomach.
PEPTIDES.
Short molecules formed by the linking of two or more amino acids. Peptides are smaller molecules than proteins and may be formed by the partial breakdown of proteins.
PERCENT DAILY VALUE.
An indication of how much of a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. Two thousand calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
PERENNIAL PLANT.
A plant that lives for more than two successive years.
PERFORATION.
A hole in the wall of an organ in the body.
PERIANAL.
The area surrounding the anus.
PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE.
A disease of blood vessels except those that supply blood to the heart.
PERISTALSIS.
A sequence of muscle contractions that progressively squeeze one small section of the digestive tract and then the next to push food along the tract, similar to pushing toothpaste out of its tube.
PERNICIOUS ANEMIA.
A low level of red blood cells caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.
PERSONAL TRAINER.
An individual specializing in diet and exercise who works with clients on an individual basis.
PESCATARIAN.
A vegetarian whose diet includes fish or seafood along with plant-based foods. The English word is derived from the Italian word for fish.
PESTICIDES.
Agents used to destroy pests such as insects that feed on crops or disease-causing organisms such as fungi.
PH.
A numeric scale used in chemistry to denote the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous (water-based) solution. Solutions with numbers below 7 are acid; those with numbers above 7 are alkaline. Pure water has a pH of 7 and is neutral.
PHENOLIC ACIDS.
Common plant metabolites, such as ferulic acid, which can function as phytonutrients.
PHENOLS (PHENOLIC).
Pertaining to plants and plant constituents.
PHENTERMINE.
An anorectic drug sold under a large number of brand names.
PHENYLALANINE.
An essential amino acid that cannot be consumed by people with a metabolic disease known as phenylketonuria (PKU).
PHENYLKETONURIA (PKU).
A rare inherited metabolic disorder resulting in accumulation of phenylalanine, an amino acid, in the body. It can lead to intellectual disability and seizures. People with PKU should not use products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame because it is broken down into phenylalanine (and other products) during digestion.
PHOSPHATIDES.
Fatty acid esters of glycerol phosphate that make up class of fats or lipids found in all human cell membranes.
PHYCOCYANIN.
A protein found in spirulina that gives the alga its blue color. Phycocyanin has anti-inflammatory effects.
PHYLOTYPE.
An environmental DNA sequence used to classify organisms.
PHYTATE.
Plant compound that binds minerals, reducing their ability to be absorbed.
PHYTOCHEMICAL.
A nonnutritive bioactive plant substance, such as a flavonoid or carotenoid, considered to have a beneficial effect on human health.
PHYTOESTROGENS.
Compounds that occur naturally in plants. Under certain circumstances, they may mimic the actions of human estrogen. When eaten, they bind to estrogen receptors and may act in a way similar to estrogen.
PHYTONUTRIENTS.
Phytochemicals; micronutrients from plants, especially whole grains.
PITA.
A round, double-layered or pocket flatbread made from wheat and yeast.
PITUITARY GLAND.
A small gland at the base of the brain that produces hormones that regulate many body functions.
PLACEBO.
A medicinally inactive substance or procedure.
PLACEBOEFFECT.
A term that describes the improvement in symptoms that some patients experience when they are given a placebo (sugar pill or other inert substance that does not contain any medication) as part of a clinical trial. Patients with functional dyspepsia show a high rate of placebo effect in trials of new medications for the disorder.
PLACENTA.
An organ that is attached to the inside wall of the mother's uterus and to the fetus via the umbilical cord. The placenta allows oxygen and nutrients from the mother's bloodstream to pass into the unborn baby.
PLANT STEROLS.
Plant sterols are present naturally in small quantities in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, vegetable oils, and other plant sources.
PLAQUE.
Accumulation of fatty deposits, fibrous material, cellular debris, and minerals on damaged areas of the tissue lining the arteries that narrows the arteries and increases blood pressure. Plaque is the underlying cause of atherosclerosis.
PLASMA.
The liquid part of the blood and lymphatic fluid, which makes up about half of its volume. It is 92% water, 7% protein and 1% minerals.
POLLOTARIAN.
A vegetarian whose diet includes poultry along with plant-based foods. The English word is derived from the Spanish word for chicken.
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS).
A hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is characterized by infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or higher than normal male hormone levels.
POLYOL.
An alcohol containing more than two hydroxyl (OH) groups, such as sugar alcohols and inositol.
POLYP.
A tissue growth that extends out into the hollow space of an organ such as the intestine or uterus.
POLYPEPTIDE.
A molecule made up of a string of amino acids. A protein is an example of a polypeptide.
POLYPHENOLS.
Organic compounds, either natural, synthetic, or a combination of the two found in plentiful supply in the human diet; thought to help prevent some degenerative diseases.
POLYSACCHARIDE.
Any of a class of carbohydrates, such as starch, amylose, amylopectin, and cellulose, consisting of several monosaccharides.
POLYUNSATURATED FAT.
A fatty acid molecule with two or more double bonds, known to be beneficial to health when consumed in moderate amounts. A type of fat found in some vegetable oils, such as sunflower, safflower, and canola oils.
POLYURIA.
An excessive production of urine.
POMELO.
A large pear-shaped citrus fruit with a thick rind that was crossed with the sweet orange in the West Indies to produce the modern grapefruit.
PORPHYRIA.
A hereditary metabolic disorder characterized by the excretion in the urine of porphyrins, which are molecules that normally combine with iron atoms to form heme—a protein found in hemoglobin, the red pigment that gives blood its color. Some types of porphyria can be triggered by fasting or diets with severe calorie restriction like the Scarsdale diet.
POSTPARTUM.
The period of time after childbirth.
POST-PRANDIAL REACTIVE HYPERINSULINEMIA.
A condition resulting from excess insulin production after eating.
PREFORMED VITAMIN A.
Retinol and retinyl ester that are obtained from animal sources—fish, meat (especially liver) and dairy products—and that are used directly by the body or metabolized to retinal and retinoic acid.
PREHYDRATION.
Drinking fluid prior to exercise or heavy work in order to maintain proper hydration during the activity.
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS).
A syndrome that involves symptoms that occur in relation to the menstrual cycle and which interfere with a woman's life. The symptoms usually begin 5 to 11 days before the start of menstruation and usually stop when menstruation begins, or shortly thereafter. Symptoms may include headache; swelling of ankles, feet, and hands; backache; abdominal cramps or heaviness; abdominal pain; bloating or fullness; muscle spasms; breast tenderness; weight gain; recurrent cold sores; acne flare-ups; nausea; constipation or diarrhea; decreased coordination; food cravings; less tolerance for noises and lights; and painful menstruation.
PRIMARY PULMONARY HYPERTENSION.
Abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, with no other heart disease causing this problem.
PROBIOTIC.
Foods or supplements containing beneficial live bacteria such as lactobacilli.
PROCYANIDIN.
Associated with flavonoid antioxidants derived from grape seed extract, grape skin and red wine. Like Quercetin and Resveratrol, it has many health-promoting benefits.
PROGESTERONE.
A female steroid hormone secreted by the ovary; it is produced by the placenta in large quantities during pregnancy.
PROHORMONE.
A substance the body can convert into a hormone.
PROINSULIN.
A precursor of human insulin that is synthesized in the beta cells of the pancreas and processed in a series of biochemical changes to form active insulin.
PROKINETIC DRUGS.
A class of medications given to strengthen the motility of the digestive tract.
PROLAPSE.
The falling down or slipping out of place of an organ or part.
PROOF.
A measure of alcohol. In the United States, one proof is equal to 0.5% alcohol content.
PROSCRIPTION.
Prohibitions, rules against.
PROSTAGLANDINS.
A group of biologically important molecules that have hormone-like actions. They help regulate expansion of the blood vessels and the airways, control inflammation, and cause the uterus to contract. Made from fatty acids, they also are found in semen.
PROTEASES.
Enzymes that break peptide bonds between the amino acids of proteins.
PROTEIN.
A nutrient that helps build many parts of the body, including muscle and bone. Protein provides four calories per gram. It is found in foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and tofu.
PROTEIN BIOSYNTHESIS.
A biochemical process, in which proteins are synthesized from simple amino acids.
PROTEIN SEQUENCE.
The arrangement of amino acids in a protein.
PROTON PUMP INHIBITOR.
An acid-suppressive medication that reduces production of stomach acid by blocking acid-producing enzymes in the stomach lining.
PROTOZOAN.
Any member of a phylum of one-celled eukaryotes (organisms with cell nuclei) that are able to move but are not animals in the strict sense. The organism that causes giardiasis is a protozoan.
PROVITAMIN.
A substance that the body can convert into a vitamin.
PROVITAMIN A.
Carotenoids such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin that are converted to vitamin A in the body.
PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS COLITIS.
Inflammation of the colon associated with overgrowth of the bacterium Clostridium. Also called C. difficile colitis.
PSORIASIS.
An autoimmune skin condition marked by the buildup of dried, dead skin cells that form thick scales.
PSYCHOANALYSIS.
A psychological theory that concerns the mental functions of humans both on the conscious and unconscious levels.
PSYCHOGENIC POLYDIPSIA.
A psychiatric disorder in which patients consume excessive amounts of water, sometimes going to great lengths to obtain it from any source possible.
PSYLLIUM.
Psyllium husk comes from the crushed seeds of the Plantago ovata plant, an herb native to parts of Asia, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. Similar to oats and wheat, psyllium is rich in soluble fiber and has been used as a gentle bulk-forming laxative for constipation.
PUBERTY.
A stage of physiological maturity that marks the start of being capable of sexual reproduction, causing physical changes in the body.
PULMONARY EMBOLISM.
Lodging of a blood clot in the lumen (open cavity) of a pulmonary artery, causing a severe dysfunction in respiratory function. Pulmonary emboli often originate in the deep leg veins and travel to the lungs through blood circulation. Symptoms include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain (worse with breathing), and rapid heart and respiratory rates.
PURGING.
A behavior associated with eating disorders that includes self-induced vomiting and abuse of laxatives as well as diuretics.
PURINES.
Components of certain foods that are transformed into uric acid in the body.
PYCNOGENOL.
Trade name of a commercial mixture of bioflavonoids (catechins, phenolic acid, proantho-cyanidins) that exhibits antioxidative activity.
PYRIDOXAL 5’-PHOSPHATE.
The active form of pyridoxine or vitamin B6.
PYRIMIDINE.
A nitrogen-containing, double-ring, basic compound that occurs in nucleic acids.
PYRUVATE DEHYDROGENASE DEFICIENCY.
A rare X-linked genetic disorder that may take either a metabolic or a neurological form. Children with the neurological form often develop seizures and may be treated with a ketogenic diet.

Q

QUERCETIN.
A natural compound that belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They have many health-promoting benefits that may protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
QUINOA.
A high-protein grain native to South America (pronounced keen-wah).

R

RACEMIC.
A chemical term, relating to the way a compound turns a beam of light. Racemic compounds are composed of equal amounts of left-turning and right-turning molecules. Molecules that turn a beam of light to the right are dextrorotatory, while those that turn a beam to the left are levorotatory.
RADIATION THERAPY.
Treatment using high-energy radiation from x-ray machines, cobalt, radium, or other sources.
RANCID.
Spoiled; having a bad smell or taste.
RAW FOOD DIET.
A dietary practice that limits food intake to only or mostly uncooked foods (foods that have not been heated above 92° to 118°F [33° to 48°C]) and unprocessed foods. Some vegans follow a raw food diet.
RAW FOODISM.
A group of dietary regimens composed entirely of foods that have not been raised above a certain temperature. Many raw foodists are vegans, although some eat raw meat or fish and use unpasteurized dairy products.
RAW MILK.
Milk that has not been homogenized or pasteurized.
RECOMBINANT BOVINE SOMATOTROPIN (RBST).
An artificial growth hormone produced by recombinant DNA technology, given to lactating cows to increase milk production. It is marketed under the trade name Posilac.
RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCE (RDA).
The average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (approximately 98%) healthy individuals.
RECTUM.
Short, muscular tube that forms the lowest portion of the large intestine and connects it to the anus.
REDUCED SODIUM.
Containing 25% less sodium than the usual amount found in that product.
REFINING.
The processing of grains to remove the bran and germ, leaving the starchy endosperm.
REGURGITATION.
A backward flowing such as vomiting from the stomach or blood returning to the heart when a heart valve is defective.
REMINERALIZATION.
Recalcification; the process by which minerals from saliva and food are added to the surface of the tooth enamel or to the dentin.
RENNET.
An enzyme used to coagulate milk, derived from the mucous membranes lining the stomachs of unweaned calves.
RESECTION.
Surgical removal of a structure or organ.
RESERVOIR.
A term used for animals that carry parasites that cause disease in humans without falling ill themselves. Beavers, dogs, cats, cattle, and horses are common reservoirs of G. lamblia.
RESISTANCE TRAINING.
Also called strength or weight training, this type of exercise increases muscle strength by working the muscles against a weight or force. Free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or a person's body weight can be used in resistance training.
RESVERATROL.
A natural compound found in grapes, mulberries, peanuts, and red wine that may protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
RETINA.
The layer of light-sensitive cells on the back of the eyeball that function in converting light into nerve impulses.
RETINOL.
A fat-soluble vitamin found in animal food sources; also known as vitamin A.
RETINOL ACTIVITY EQUIVALENT (RAE).
The standard measure for vitamin A; 1 RAE is equal to 1 mcg of retinol, 12 mcg of beta-carotene, 24 mcg of other provitamin A carotenoids, or about 3 IU.
RETROVIRUS.
A single-stranded virus that replicates by reverse transcription to produce DNA copies that are incorporated into the genome of infected cells. AIDS is caused by a retrovirus.
RHABDOMYOLYSIS.
A condition in which damaged skeletal muscle tissue breaks down and the breakdown products are released into the bloodstream.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.
A chronic disease located in the joints, which frequently causes swelling, stiffness, and weakness; it can lead to damage and eventually destruction of the joints.
RHEUMATOLOGIST.
A physician, usually a pediatrician or internist, who has additional specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the bones, muscles, and joints.
RHIZOME.
The underground stem of certain plants that sends out roots and shoots. Rhizomes are sometimes called creeping rootstalks. The rhizome of the turmeric plant is used to produce new plants.
RIBONUCLEIC ACID (RNA).
A molecule that helps decode genetic information (DNA) and is necessary for protein synthesis.
RICKETS.
A disease in growing children that is characterized by soft and deformed bones and is caused by the failure to absorb and utilize calcium and phosphorous, usually due to vitamin D deficiency.
RNA.
A chemical similar to DNA from which proteins are made. Unlike DNA, RNA can leave the nucleus of the cell.
ROME CRITERIA.
A set of guidelines for defining and diagnosing functional dyspepsia and other stomach disorders, first drawn up in the mid-1980s by a group of specialists in digestive disorders meeting in Rome, Italy. The Rome criteria continue to be revised and updated every few years.
RUMINANT.
Eating habit characterized by regurgitating and then rechewing previously swallowed foods.

S

S-ADENOSYL METHIONINE (SAME, ALSO SPELLED SAM-E).
A chemical found naturally in the body, it is made from methionine, an amino acid found in foods. SAMe has been used as a dietary supplement to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders as well as osteoarthritis.
SALMONELLA.
A genus of bacteria that causes food poisoning, acute gastrointestinal inflammation, typhoid fever, and septicemia.
SALMONELLOSIS.
Food poisoning by bacteria of the genus Salmonella, which usually causes severe diarrhea and may be transmitted to the fetus.
SARCOPENIA.
The loss of muscle mass, strength, and quality. It may occur as part of cachexia associated with cancer or as part of frailty associated with aging.
SATIATION.
The feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.
SATIETY.
The quality or state of feeling comfortably full. It is sometimes used as a criterion for evaluating people's satisfaction with diets or diet products.
SATURATED FAT.
Hydrogenated fat; fat molecules that contain only single bonds, especially animal fats.
SCHIZOPHRENIA.
A severe mental disorder in which a person loses touch with reality and may have illogical thoughts, delusions, hallucinations, behavioral problems and other disturbances.
SCLERODERMA.
An autoimmune disease with many consequences, including esophageal wall thickening.
SCURVY.
A syndrome characterized by weakness, anemia, and spongy gums, due to vitamin C deficiency.
SEBACEOUS GLANDS.
Small glands in the skin, usually part of hair follicles, that produce sebum.
SEBUM.
The fatty substance secreted by sebaceous glands. It helps moisturize and protect skin and hair.
SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS (SSRIS).
A class of antidepressant drugs used to treat major depression and some anxiety disorders. They are thought to work by increasing the extracellular amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
SEROTONIN.
A widely distributed neurotransmitter that is found in blood platelets, the lining of the digestive tract, and the brain, and that works in combination with norepinephrine. It causes very powerful contractions of smooth muscle and is associated with mood, attention, emotions, and sleep. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression.
SERTRALINE.
An antidepressant drug sold under the brand name Zoloft.
SERUM.
The clear fluid part of the blood that remains after clotting. Serum contains no blood cells or clotting proteins, but does contain electrolytes.
SERUM CHOLESTEROL.
Cholesterol that travels in the blood.
SET POINT.
In medicine, a term that refers to body temperature, body weight, or other measurements that a human or other organismtries to keep at a particular value.
SHIGA TOXIN-PRODUCING E. COLI (STEC).
Strains of the common, normally harmless, intestinal bacteria Escherichia coli that produce Shiga toxin, causing serious food poisoning; E. coli O157:H7 is the most commonly identified STEC in North America.
SHORT BOWEL SYNDROME (SBS).
Digestive malabsorption caused by the surgical removal or loss of function of a portion of the small intestine. SBS most commonly results from removal of a portion of the small intestine to treat Crohn's disease.
SHORT-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS (SCFA).
Produced in the large intestine by the gut microbiota, SCFA help determine the gut environment, support colon function, and provide cellular energy for the host and microbes in the gut.
SICKLE CELL ANEMIA.
Genetic disorder in which red blood cells take on an unusual shape, leading to other problems with the blood.
SIGMOIDOSCOPY.
A minimally invasive examination of the large intestine, going from the rectum to the last portion of the colon.
SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES.
Simple sugars; monosaccharides, such as fructose found in fruit, and disaccharides made up of two sugar units, such as lactose and sucrose or table sugar.
SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS (SNPS).
Variable nucleotides (letters) within a DNA sequence.
SLOW CARBOHYDRATES.
Slowly metabolized carbohydrates, including all fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains or products made with whole grains.
SMALL INTESTINE.
The 20-foot coiled tube of the digestive tract located between the stomach and the large intestine. It consists of the duodenum, where food is broken down, and the jejunum and ileum, from which nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.
SMOOTHIE.
A blended beverage resembling a milkshake in texture but often made with nondairy ingredients.
SODIUM BENZOATE.
A type of preservative used in processed foods known to cause food sensitivity in some individuals when consumed in the diet.
SOFAS.
Solid fats and added sugar that occur together in many processed foods.
SOLUBLE.
Capable of being dissolved.
SOLUBLE FIBER.
Fiber that partially dissolves in water; found in oatmeal, nuts and seeds, beans, apples, pears, and berries.
SORBITOL.
Sugar alcohol food additive used as a sweetener in commercially prepared low sugar foods and gum.
SORGHUM.
A food grain that is also cultivated for syrup, alcohol production, and animal fodder.
SPA.
A hotel or resort for relaxation or health- and fitness-related activities. Some people undergoing a juice fast do so at a spa to combine the fast with colonics, massage therapy, or other practices associated with juice fasts. The English word spa comes from the name of a famous health resort in Belgium.
SPERMATIC CORD.
A cord-like structure in the male reproductive system formed by the vas deferens and tissue that connects to each testicle.
SPINA BIFIDA.
A birth defect in which the neural tube that develops into the spinal vertebrae does not completely close, leaving parts of the spinal cord exposed.
SPORTS DRINK.
Any beverage containing carbohydrates, electrolytes, and other nutrients as well as water, intended to help athletes rehydrate after training or competition. Sports drinks are isotonic, which means that they contain the same proportion of water, electrolytes, and carbohydrates as the human body.
SQUAMOUSEPITHELIAL CELLS.
Thin, flat cells found in layers or sheets covering surfaces such as skin and the linings of blood vessels and esophagus.
STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS.
A bacterium that causes food poisoning.
STAPLE.
A food that is regularly consumed in such quantities that it constitutes a major portion of the diet and supplies the majority of a population's energy and nutritional requirements.
STARCH.
A naturally abundant nutrient carbohydrate found in seeds, fruits, tubers, and roots.
STATIN.
A group of drugs used to treat high cholesterol in individuals with or at risk for cardiovascular disease.
STEATORRHEA.
The passage of large amounts of fat or grease in the stool, caused by failure to absorb it during digestion. Steatorrhea is often associated with chronic giardiasis.
STEERS.
Castrated male beef cattle.
STEROID.
A family of compounds that share a similar chemical structure. This family includes the hormones estrogen and testosterone, vitamin D, cholesterol, and the drugs cortisone and prednisone.
STEROLS.
Any of a group of predominantly unsaturated solid alcohols of the steroid group.
STETHOSCOPE.
A medical instrument for listening to a patient's heart and lungs.
STOMA (PLURAL, STOMATA).
A surgical opening created in the abdominal wall to allow the passage of fecal material in patients with cancer or Crohn's disease who have had part of the intestine removed.
STRAIN.
In bacteriology, a subtype or genetic variant of a microbial species. L. rhamnosus GG is an example of a bacterial strain.
STRICTURE.
Abnormal narrowing of a tubular structure in the body, most often the esophagus or a section of the intestine.
STROKE.
The sudden death of some brain cells due to a lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage or the rupture of an artery to the brain.
SUBJECTIVE.
Based on feelings and opinions.
SUBSTRATE.
The surface on which an organism lives, or the substances that enzymes act upon to produce the final products. Prebiotics serve as substrates for probiotic bacteria and yeasts.
SUCCULENT.
Plants with large fleshy leaves, stems, and roots capable of storing a lot of water. These plants grow in dry environments.
SUCROSE.
The scientific name for table sugar. Sucrose is a disaccharide derived from glucose and fructose.
SUGAR ALCOHOLS.
Compounds such as erythritol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol that are less sweet than sucrose and have fewer calories.
SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES (SSBS).
Beverages with added sugar, including sodas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, flavored water, and presweetened coffee and tea.
SULFITES.
A type of preservative used in processed foods known to cause food sensitivity in some individuals when consumed in the diet; it also occurs naturally in some foods.
SULFUR DIOXIDE.
A type of preservative used in processed foods known to cause food sensitivity in some individuals when consumed in the diet.
SUPERFOOD.
An unscientific term used largely in marketing to describe foods that have a high nutrient content or plant-derived compounds thought to be beneficial to health.
SUPPOSITORY.
A tablet or capsule, usually made of glycerin, inserted into the rectum to stimulate the muscles to contract and expel feces.
SUPRACHIASMIC NUCLEUS (SCN).
A small structure within the hypothalamus in the brain that regulates circadian rhythms.
SUSTAINABILITY.
The ability of a system, such as a food system, to remain indefinitely diverse and productive.
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE.
A term that refers to farming practices aimed at producing healthful crops and animal products while maintaining the soil in good condition and without doing long-term harm to the local environment.
SYNAPTIC VESICLES.
Also called neurotransmitter vesicles, these pouches store the various neurotransmitters that are released by nerve cells into the synaptic cleft of a synapse.
SYNBIOTICS.
A class of foods or dietary supplements that combine prebiotics and probiotics.
SYNDROME X.
Metabolic syndrome; a metabolic condition characterized by excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high fasting blood-glucose levels, and high blood triglycerides, that may affect at least one in four women and increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
SYNTHETIC.
Made with an artificial chemical process, often to resemble a natural product.
SYSTEMIC.
A substance, such as fluoride, that is ingested, absorbed into the bloodstream, and distributed throughout the body.
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (SLE).
A serious autoimmune disease of connective tissue that mainly affects women. It can cause joint pain, rash, and inflammation of organs such as the kidney.
SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE.
The point at which arterial pressure is highest (when the ventricles are contracting). The first measurement in a blood pressure reading.

T

TANNIN.
A type of brown or yellowish-colored polyphenolic compound, found naturally in plants and also synthesized, that binds to proteins and some other organic compounds.
TARGET HEART RATE.
A method using pulse measurements to monitor progress while exercising. A target heart rate is typically 50%–85% of an individual's maximum heart rate.
TEFF.
A cereal grain from North Africa.
TEMPEH.
A food product made from whole fermented soybeans that originated in Indonesia. It can be used as a meat substitute in vegan dishes or sliced and cooked in hot vegetable oil.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDERS.
Abbreviated TMJD, TMD, or TMJ syndrome, a group of disorders that cause acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the skull and the jaw.
TESTOSTERONE.
A male sex hormone that is responsible for secondary sex characteristics.
TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (TVP).
A meat substitute made from defatted soybean flour formed into a dough and cooked by steam while being forced through an extruder. It resembles ground beef in texture and can replace it in most recipes. TVP is also known as textured soy protein or TSP.
THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a United States government agency which investigates complementary and alternative medicine.
THE NATIONAL DIABETES ADVISORY BOARD.
Established by congress in 1976 to insure the implementation of the long-range plan of the National Commission on Diabetes to combat diabetes. There are seven Federal health officers as members of the board in addition to seven health professionals and five members of the general public.
THEOBROMINE.
A breakdown product of caffeine that is responsible for the diuretic effect of coffee and tea.
THERMOGENIC.
Producing heat. Relating to diet drugs, the term indicates a drug which causes increased use of calories without exercise.
THIMEROSAL.
A crystalline organic mercury compound used as an antifungal and antibacterial agent and present in very small amounts in some vaccines.
TINCTURE.
A preparation of a botanical made by soaking plant matter in a solution of alcohol and water.
TISSUE EROSION.
Gradual destruction of body tissue such as mucous membrane through inflammation, ulceration, or trauma.
TOFU.
Bean curd; a soft food made by coagulating soymilk with an enzyme, calcium sulfate, or an organic acid, and pressing the resulting curds into blocks or chunks. Tofu is frequently used in vegetarian or vegan dishes as a meat or cheese substitute.
TOLERABLE UPPER INTAKE LEVEL (UL).
Upper level; the highest daily intake level of a nutrient that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects in almost all individuals in the general population.
TOLERANCE.
Adjustment of the body to a drug so that it takes more and more of the drug to produce the same physiological or psychological effect.
TOPICAL.
Referring to a medication or preparation intended to be applied to the outside of the body (skin, hair, nails, and eyes).
TOTAL CHOLESTEROL.
The total amount of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance made in the body and present in many foods.
TOXIC.
Harmful or poisonous substance.
TOXIN.
A general term for something that harms or poisons the body.
TOXOPLASMA GONDII.
A very common parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis and is a leading cause of death from food poisoning; although it infects large numbers of people, T. gondii is usually dangerous only in immunocompromised patients and in newly infected pregnant women.
TOXOPLASMOSIS.
A disease characterized by flulike symptoms and caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infection early in pregnancy may cause miscarriage. Infection late in pregnancy can infect the fetus, even if the mother shows no symptom
TRACE MINERALS.
Minerals needed by the body in small amounts. They include: selenium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, chromium, arsenic, germanium, lithium, rubidium, tin.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM).
An ancient system of medicine based on maintaining a balance in the vital energy or qi that controls emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. In TCM, diseases and disorders result from imbalances in qi, and treatments such as massage, exercise, acupuncture, and nutritional and herbal therapy are designed to restore balance and harmony to the body.
TRANS FATS.
Short for trans fatty acids, they are also known as a partially hydrogenated oils. The acids are formed when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
TRANSFERRIN.
A protein synthesized in the liver that transports iron in the blood to red blood cells.
TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK (TIA).
A neurological event with the signs and symptoms of a stroke, but which go away within a short period of time. Also called a mini-stroke, a TIA is due to a temporary lack of adequate blood and oxygen (ischemia) to the brain. This is often caused by the narrowing (or, less often, ulceration) of the carotid arteries (the major arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain). TIAs typically last 2 to 30 minutes and can produce problems with vision, dizziness, weakness, or trouble speaking.
TRANSVERSE ABDOMINIS.
The innermost abdominal muscle whose fibers run horizontally across the body.
TRAVELER'S DIARRHEA.
Diarrhea resulting from eating or drinking food or water contaminated by infected human bowel waste. Travelers to developing countries of the world are especially at risk.
TRIGLYCERIDES.
The main constituents in 90% of natural fats and oils and human body fat. Triglycerides are manufactured by the liver.
TRITICALE.
A hybrid grain produced by crossing wheat and rye.
TROLOX EQUIVALENT (TE).
A measurement of antioxidant activity based on Trolox, a commercial vitamin E derivative.
TROPHOZOITE.
The active feeding stage in the life cycle of G. lamblia. The trophozoites multiply within the small intestine and cause diarrhea and other symptoms of giardiasis.
TUBER.
Swollen plant stem below the ground.
TUMOR.
An abnormal growth resulting from a cell that lost its normal growth control restraints and started multiplying uncontrollably.
TYPE 1 DIABETES.
Previously known as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus,” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes.” A life-long condition in which the pancreas stops making insulin. Without insulin, the body is not able to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. To treat the disease, a person must inject insulin, follow a diet plan, exercise daily, and test blood sugar several times a day. Type 1 diabetes usually begins before the age of three.
TYPE 2 DIABETES.
Formerly called adult-onset diabetes. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas either does not make enough insulin or cells become insulin resistant and do not use insulin efficiently.
TYRAMINE.
A compound derived from the amino acid tyrosine. It is found naturally in cheeses, some types of red wine, and other foods, and can interact with MAO inhibitors to cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.

U

ULCERATION.
An open break in surface tissue.
ULCERATIVE COLITIS.
Inflammation of the inner lining of the colon, characterized by open sores that appear in its mucous membrane.
UMAMI.
A Japanese word coined by the chemist Kikunae Ikeda for one of the five basic tastes (the other four are sweet, salty, bitter, and sour). Umami is variously described as a savory, meaty, or brothy taste. Humans taste umami through a distinctive set of taste receptors in the taste buds.
UNDERNUTRITION.
Food intake is too low to maintain adequate energy expenditure or inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals.
UNSATURATED FAT.
A type of fat derived from plant and some animal sources, especially fish, that is liquid at room temperature.
U-PICK.
A farming method in which consumers pick their own fruits and vegetables from the field.
URIC ACID.
An acid found in urine and blood that is produced by the body's breakdown of nitrogen wastes.

V

VANILLIN.
A synthetic version of vanilla flavoring.
VASODILATOR.
A substance that causes blood vessels in the body to widen, allowing the blood to flow more easily.
VEGAN.
A vegetarian who excludes all animal products from the diet, including those that can be obtained without killing the animal. Vegans are also known as strict vegetarians.
VEGETARIAN.
A diet containing no meat, but usually containing other animal products such as milk and eggs.
VENOUS RETURN.
The blood returning to the heart via the inferior and superior venae cavae.
VERY LOW-CALORIE DIET (VLCD).
A term used by registered dietitians to classify weight-reduction diets that allow around 800 or fewer calories a day. The Scarsdale diet is a VLCD.
VILLI.
Tiny, finger-like projections that enable the small intestine to absorb nutrients from food.
VISCOUS.
Having a thick consistency.
VITAMIN.
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to remain healthy but that the body cannot manufacture for itself and must acquire through diet.
VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN).
A vitamin that plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. A deficiency can lead to a disorder called Beri Beri, which results in widespread nerve degeneration that can damage the brain, spinal cord, and heart. Good sources of this vitamin for lacto-vegetarians include cereals, beans, potatoes, and nuts.
VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN).
A vitamin or coenzyme that functions by helping the enzymes in the body function correctly. A good source of this vitamin for lacto-vegetarians is milk.
VITAMIN B6.
A vitamin that is present in many foods and is required for many enzyme reactions as well as for proper brain development and immune function.
VITAMIN B12.
A water-soluble, cobalt-containing member of the complex of eight B vitamins that is required for many bodily functions, sometimes in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid.
VITAMIN E.
A fat-soluble vitamin essential for good health.
VOLVULUS.
A twisted loop of bowel that causes obstruction.

W

WASTING SYNDROME.
A combination of weight loss and change in composition of body tissues that occurs in patients with HIV infection. Typically, the patient's body loses lean muscle tissue and replaces it with fat as well as losing weight overall.
WATER HOMEOSTASIS.
A condition of adequate fluid level in the body in which fluid loss and fluid intake are equally matched and sodium levels are within normal range.
WATER INTOXICATION.
A condition that results from taking in more fluid than is needed to replace fluid losses from sweating, digestion, and other body processes. It is also called overhydration or hyperhydration.
WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMIN.
A vitamin that dissolves in water and can be removed from the body in urine.
WEIGHT CYCLING.
Repeatedly gaining and losing weight.
WESTERN DIET.
The shift in dietary consumption (food intake) and energy expenditure (physical activity) that occurs as a result of demographic, economic, and epidemiological changes when moving to countries of the Western hemisphere.
WHEY.
The watery part of milk, separated out during the process of making cheese.
WHOLE GRAINS.
Cereal grains that contain the germ, bran, and endosperm of the grain. They can usually be sprouted, whereas refined grains cannot.
WHOLE-GRAIN FOODS.
A grain is considered whole when all three parts—bran, germ, and endosperm— are present. Common whole-grain foods include wild rice, brown rice, whole-wheat breads and cookies, oatmeal, whole oats, barley, whole rye, bulgar, and popcorn.
WINDOW.
The term used in intermittent fasting to refer to the time period when eating is allowed. It is also called the eating window.

X

X-RAYS.
High energy radiation used in high doses, either to diagnose or treat disease.

Y

YIN/YANG.
Universal characteristics used to describe aspects of the natural world.
YOLK.
The yellow spherical mass in the inner portion of an egg. It contains almost all of the fat and cholesterol found in eggs.

Z

ZOONOSIS (PLURAL, ZOONOSES).
Any infectious disease that can be transmitted from other animals to humans, or from humans to other animals.

Disclaimer:   This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.

(MLA 8th Edition)