Glossary

Antioxidant: Chemical substances that prevent or repair damage caused by exposure to oxidizing agents. Oxidizing agents are formed in the normal process of producing energy for the body’s needs. Oxidizing agents can also be obtained from environmental pollutants, ozone and smoke.



Coumarins: Plant substances that prevent blood clotting.



DNA: Is the abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is a molecular structure that through its 4 different components, called nucleotides, joins in various combinations to act as different codes to build different proteins. Like the letters e, i, m, and t can join to form the words time or mite. Nucleotides join in various ways to form different codes to make different proteins.



Ergogenic aids: A substance designed to increase performance



Flavonoids: Substances found in vegetables and fruit, which may maintain capillary wall integrity.  Some of these substances give yellow, blue and red pigmentation.



Gene: A gene is a segment of DNA found on a particular site of a chromosome which codes for a particular protein.



Genitourinary: Pertaining to the reproductive and urinary tract.



Glycemic index: The measure of the absorption of glucose after eating a given quantity of carbohydrate as compared to the absorption of glucose when the same quantity of white bread or glucose is consumed.



Goiter: A deficiency in iodine causing an enlargement of the thyroid gland, resulting in swelling of the front part of the neck.



Hemophiliac: A person who has the disease hemophilia. This disease is inherited and is characterized by an inability for the blood to clot due to a lack of a particular coagulation factor in the blood.



Hereditable: From the word hereditary, which means the genetic transfer of a particular trait from parent to offspring.



Ionic: to contain ions. The word “ion” means an atom or molecule that has lost or gained one or more negatively charged particles called electrons. The loss of an electron results in an atom or molecule that has a positive ionic charge (cation). Atoms or molecules that gain electrons have a negative ionic charge (anion).



Isoflavones: A plant phytoestrogen that may inhibit the production of cholesterol.



Metabolic: Adjective form of the word “Metabolism”. Metabolism is defined as the sum total of the chemical and physical reactions that occur in a living cell (i.e. body) that produces the substances that are used by the cell (i.e. body).  An example of metabolism is the processes in the body that converts glucose to energy or fat.



Organic: A chemical substance which contains carbon.



Oxalates: A phytochemical found in vegetables that can bind minerals making them unavailable.



Phytates: Naturally occurring plant substances that can tightly bind minerals making the minerals unavailable to the human who ingested them.



Phytochemicals: Plant substances that give flavour and colour. They also participate in the process of protecting plants from disease and insects.



Phytoestrogen: Naturally occurring substances found in plants that have similar structure and function to 17 B-estradiol, or may have effects similar to estrogen.



RNA: Is the abbreviation for ribonucleic acid.  RNA has three major types: messenger RNA, transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA. Like DNA, all three RNA types are involved in the genetic transfer of information.



Saponin: A group of glycosides (specialty carbohydrates) found in over 500 genera of plants that are foaming agents, lower tissue cholesterol, inhibits many enzymes and liberation of hemoglobin from red blood cells.



Serotonin reuptake inhibitors: Substances that inhibit the hormone serotonin from being taken up by brain neurons, resulting in an increase concentration of serotonin that appears to balance mood.



Teats: Nipple part of the mammary gland



Transgenic: Introduction of new DNA into the genetic makeup of an organism.



Venous thromboembolism: Obstruction of a vein


References for Glossary:

  1. Ayman, A. A. E.  2002.  Phytoestrogens in the Management of the Menopause: Up-to-Date.  Obstetrical and gynecological survey 57(5):306-313.
  2. Brown, J. E.  1999.  Nutrition Now. 2nd ed.  West/Wadsworth, Albany NY
  3. Dorland’s Pocket Medical Dictionary.  1982.  23 ed.  W. B. Saunders Co
  4. Lehninger, A. L.  1975.  Biochemistry.  2nd ed.  Worth Publishers
  5. Lewin, B.  1987.  Genes III.  John Wiley and Sons Inc.
  6. Lu, C. D., Tsai, L. S., Shaer, D. M. and Jorgensen, N. A.  1987.  Alteration of fermentation in continuous culture of mixed rumen bacteria by isolated alfalfa saponins.  J Dairy Sci.  70:799-805
  7. MIMS Australia 1997 Medi Media Australia
  8. Van Horn,  L.,  Archer S., Thedford, K. and Battes, A.  2001.  Other dietary components and cardiovascular risk.  In: Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease.  Academic Press.
  9. Whitney, E. N. and Hamilton, E. M. N.  1984.  Understanding Nutrition.  3rd ed.  West Publishing Co.
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