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Glossary

We have made ever attempt to get definitions for you to understand nutrition and your health.  If there is a definition you cannot find or you want a simpler definition than the one below, please email us at definitions@mcvitamins.com

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A1C:  A test that measures glucose levels in the blood over a 3 month period.  It is also the result of the test expressed as a number that indicates the range of glucose levels in the blood.
A
bsorption
:  Nutritionally, the process by which nutrients are passed from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream to be used by the body. Taking a substance and accepting it into the body's system.   If nutrients are not properly absorbed, nutritional deficiencies can result.
Acetate: A derivative of acetic acid.
Acetic acid: A colorless acid with a strong smell that is mainly what vinegar is made up of.  It is used in the making of drugs, dyes and plastics. Used as a synthetic flavoring agent, one of the first food additives (vinegar is approximately 4 to 6 percent acetic acid); it is found naturally in cheese, coffee, grapes, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries. Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) when used only in packaging.
Acetone: A colorless solvent for fat, oils, and waxes, which is obtained by fermentation (inhalation can irritate lungs, and large amounts have a narcotic effect). 
Acetylcholine:  One of the chemicals the body makes to transport messages along your nerves.. (A neurotransmitter) This neurotransmitter is made using choline. 
Acid: A substance, usually liquid, that easily reacts with other chemicals and can break down different kinds of material. It does this by stealing certain atoms or molecules from a substance until the substance becomes unstable. A water-soluble substance with sour taste. An acid is any class of compounds that share certain basic chemical characteristics. Acids found in plant tissues (especially fruits) tend to prevent the secretion of fluids and shrink tissues. 
Acute illness: An illness that comes on quickly and may cause relatively severe symptoms, but is of limited duration.
Adaptogen: A term used for a substance, usually an herb, that produces suitable adjustments in the body.  Adaptogens tend to normalize body functions, and when  the job is completed, they are eliminated or incorporated into the body without side effects.  Some beneficial adaptogens include garlic, ginseng, echinacea, gingko, and goldenseal.
Addiction: Compulsive use of habit-forming drugs.
Adenosine: A flavonoid (substances found in fruits and vegetables) found in onions. It maybe helpful in lowering cholesterol.
Adipose: the scientist's name for fat tissue or body fat. 
Adrenal gland: You have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. They are triangular-shaped. They make and store a number of steroid hormones. These hormones quickly prepare the body to meet emergencies.   They include DHEA, dopamine (increase blood pressure), norepinephrine (vasoconstrictor), and epinephrine also known as adrenaline (stimulates autonomic nerve action - it is used as a heart stimulant, vasoconstrictor and in the treatment of asthma). 
Aerobic - Exercise that is done "with air".  It means that the exercise is done in a manner that the muscles get a large supply of oxygen as the body is exercised.  This type of exercise is mild but done for a long time.  Examples of this would be light jogging, or weight lifting with low weight but many repetitions.
AIDS:  Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Ajoene: A substance (flavonoid) found in garlic that may help thin your blood and prevent blood clots. 
Albumins: Albumins are proteins. They are part of what all the tissues of the body are made of.  Albumins from food are taken into the stomach by the process of digestion and then absorbed into the blood, whence they go to build up tissues gradually worn out in the activity of the body. 
Alcohol: The name of chemicals that have many different forms and that can be produced in many different ways, but that have a specific molecule as their basic building block. They are usually made from the sugar contained in flowers or fruit for the purpose of becoming intoxicated.  Other alcohols are made industrially for other purposes like rubbing alcohol for killing bacteria and germs. 
Alkali: An acid-neutralizing substance (sodium bicarbonate is an alkali used for excess acidity in foods).
Alkaline:  Considered the opposite of acid.  It neutralizes acid.  It reacts to other chemicals by forcing atoms or molecules into them.  A very strong version of this type of chemical can cause skin burns or break things down by forcing certain atoms or molecules into that substance until it is unstable. 
Allergen: A substance that provokes an allergic response.  See definition below for Allergy.
Allergy:  An inappropriate response by the immune system to a normally harmless substance.  Allergies can affect any of the body's tissues.   Hay fever is a common type of allergy.   See Allergies
Alpha Carotene: A carotene found in red- and orange-colored foods. It is a powerful antioxidant. (see Free Radicals & Antioxidants).
Alpha linolenic acid (LNA): Omega-3 fatty acids found in plant foods, especially nuts, soybeans, canola oil and flaxseed oil. See Essential Fatty Acids
Alpha tocopherol: The most active form of Vitamin E.
Aluminum
:  A metal that can be found in food storage and cooking materials as well as other places in the environment.  It can also be found in small amounts in certain food or food prepared in cooking utensils that have aluminum on their outside surface.  Aluminum is toxic to the body and can cause things like weakened bodies, reduced production of vital hormones and has been linked to several memory disorders. 
Amenorrhea: Absence or suppression of menstruation.
Amino Acids: The building blocks of protein. Twenty-two amino acids are necessary for life.  They are organic materials that are used by the body to make proteins. 
Amino acid chelates: Chelated minerals that have been produced by many of the same processes nature uses to chelate minerals in the body; in the digestive tract, nature surrounds the elemental minerals with amino acid, permitting them to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Amino acids:  Any of the twenty-two nitrogen-containing organic acids from which proteins are made.   There are twenty-two known amino acids, but only nine are indispensable nutrients for men.
Amnesia: Memory loss.
Amylase:  An enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar.  It is found in saliva and can also be released by the pancreas. 
Amylase inhibitor:  A substance that stops the enzyme Amylase from breaking down starch into sugar. The starch can't be digested because of this, so it is thrown away as waste. 
Anabolic: A conversion of nonliving material into living cells.  It is the constructive phase of metabolism as it is the building up of body tissue.
Anaerobic:  Exercise that is done "without air".  It means that the exercise is done with very high intensity so the muscles don't have enough oxygen to keep up with the effort required of them.  This exercise burns up sugar in the muscle tissue and builds muscle mass. 
Analgesic: Tending to relieve pain, or a substance that relieves pain.
Anemia:  A deficiency in the blood's ability to carry oxygen to the body tissues. It is a general term meaning that your red blood cells either don't have enough hemoglobin in them (the oxygen carrying protein in the blood), or that you have a reduction in normal amount of red blood cells. 
Anesthetic: Causing the loss of sensation, or a substance that causes the loss of sensation, especially the ability to feel pain.
Aneurysm:
Localized abnormal dilation of a blood vessel; may be due to congenital defect or weakness of blood vessel wall. 
Angina pectoris: Severe attacks of pain about the heart, caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the heart.  Also called Angina. Due to the heart not getting enough oxygen, the symptoms include chest pain with sensations of suffocation, typically brought on by exertion and relieved by rest.  
Anorectic
: Having no appetite.
Anorexia: Loss of appetite.
Anorexia nervosa: A symptom of  a disturbance that causes loss of appetite for food and compulsive dieting.
Antacid: A substance that neutralizes acid in the stomach, esophagus (food pipe that leads to the stomach), or the first part of the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine that comes after the stomach).
Antagonist: (in reference to chemicals or hormones) A substance that counteracts the effect another substance has on the body. 
Anthocyanins: Found in blue foods such as blueberries and grapes. They protect your eyes against free radicals.
Antibiotic:  Tending to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, especially bacteria and/ or fungi, or a the various substances that are effective in inhibiting or destroying bacteria.
Antibody: A protein molecule made by the immune system that is designed to intercept and neutralize a specific invading organism or other foreign substance.
Anticholinergic:  A drug used to relieve cramping and spasms of the stomach, intestines, and bladder.
Anticoagulant: Something that delays or prevents blood clotting; blood-thinner.
Antidyskinetics: Drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. 
Antiemetic: Remedy to prevent vomiting.
Antigen: Any substance not normally present in the body that stimulates the body to produce antibodies.
Antihistamine: A substance used to reduce effects associated with colds and allergies by interfering with the action of the histamines. For more information see Allergies.
Antineoplastics: Drugs that prevent growth and development of malignant cells.
Antioxidant:  A substance that prevents damage to the cells that can be caused by free radicals.  A substance that blocks or inhibits destructive  reactions in the body.   Enzymes that protect your body by capturing the byproduct of your body's energy production - free radicals - and escorting them out of the body before they do any more damage.    See article on: Free Radicals and Antioxidants
Antispasmodic: A drug used to relieve cramping and spasms of the stomach, intestines, and bladder.
Antitoxin: An antibody formed in response to--and capable of--neutralizing a poison of biologic origin.
APC: Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), phenacetin, and caffeine; common combination of ingredients in a variety of cold remedies and analgesics. 
Aphrodisiac: An agent that produces sexual desire.
Apnea: Temporary cessation of breathing, usually during sleep. 
Arthritis: Inflammation of joints.
Arrhythmia:  Cardiac arrhythmia - an abnormal heart rate or rhythm
Arteriosclerosis: A circulatory disorder characterized by a thickening and stiffening of the walls of large and medium-sized arteries.  It impedes circulation.. Also called Atherosclerosis. 
Artery: A blood vessel through which blood is pumped by the heart to all the organs, glands, and other tissues of the body.
Arachidonic Acid: A type of omega-6 fatty acid. See Essential Fatty Acids.
Artery: Blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to other parts of the body.  It brings nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the body. 
Arginine:
A non-essential amino acid helpful for boosting the immune system.
Arthritis: A condition where a person's joints become painful, swollen and stiff. It can happen to only one joint or it can happen in all joints of the body depending on the cause of the condition for that person.  There are many ways it can occur but some common ones are: breakdown in the lining of the joints, a deposit of minerals or crystals in the joints or infection of the joint. See Arthritis
Ascorbate: A mineral salt of Vitamin C.  Taken as a nutritional supplement, ascorbates are less acidic (and therefore less irritating) than pure ascorbic acid, and also provide for better absorption of both the vitamin C and the mineral.
Ascorbic Acid: Part of the Vitamin C complex. It is a chemical form of Vitamin C. 
Aspirin: Acetylsalicylic acid, used to relieve headaches, pain, fever, and inflammation.
Assimilation: The process whereby nutrients are used by the body and changed into living tissue.
Asthma: Condition of lungs characterized by decrease in diameter of some air passages; It is also a spasm of the bronchial tubes or swelling of their mucous membranes. 
Ataxia: Loss of coordinated movement.
Atheroma: Fatty deposit in an artery; the first stage of plaque. It is an abnormal deposit that develops within the walls of arteries that is made out of cholesterol and calcium. 
Artherosclerosis: The most common type of arteriosclerosis, caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits, called plaque, built up inside your arteries. It is often  in an artery that nourishes your heart or leads to your brain.  
ATP: A molecule called adenosine triphosphate, the fuel of life. It supplies energy to cells through its conversion to ADP (adenosine tripyhosphate). with B1 B2, B3, and pantothenic acid.  ADP  is converted to ATP for the storage of energy.
Aura: Warning sign of a migraine headache, usually occurring an hour or two before the headache strikes. The aura if usually visual - many people see flashing lights or zigzag patterns.
Autoimmune disorder: Any condition in which the immune system reacts inappropriately to the body's own tissue and attacks them, causing damage and/or interfering with normal functioning.   Examples include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic erythematosus.
Autologous transfusion: A transfusion of one's own blood that has been collected and kept for later use.
Avidin: A protein in egg white capable of inactivating biotin. 

 

B

B
acteria:
A single-celled very tiny organism.  Some bacteria can cause disease; other "friendly" bacteria are normally present in the body and perform such useful functions as aiding digestion and protecting the body from harmful invading organisms.
Banaba Leaf: The leaf of a tree that grows in southeast Asia.  It has the herbal property of helping push sugar into the cells. 
Bariatrician: A weight-control doctor.
B Complex -
(B Complex Vitamins) referring to the most important forms of Vitamin B as a whole which consist of 6 different forms of vitamin B
Benfotiamine:
  A version of Thiamine (B1) that is fat soluble so it can be stored by the body and used more effectively than regular thiamine.
Benign:  Means "harmless" Used to refer to cells, especially cells growing in inappropriate locations, that are not cancerous.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH): A condition caused by an enlarged prostate gland, which presses on the urethra and causes a need to urinate frequently.
Benzene:  A toxic chemical that is used in making insecticides, and motor fuels.  It is one of the chemicals that can be created by heating food in a microwave.  See microwave oven
Beriberi: A deficiency disease caused by a lack of thiamin (a B vitamin, also called B1).
Beta-adrenergic blocking agent: A substance that blocks the transmission of stimuli thereby slowing down the rate of nerve response in the heart, and the heart rhythm itself. 
Beta-blocker: See beta adrenergic blocking agent above.
Beta carotene: The body easily converts carotene into Vitamin A. Beta carotene is a carotene found in abundance in many red- and orange-colored plant foods. While too much vitamin A can be toxic, beta carotene is non-toxic. The body stores carotene, and makes Vitamin A from it only as it needs vitamin A. Abbreviation:  B Carotene.
Beta cell - A cell in the pancreas that makes insulin. 
Beta-cryptoxanthin: The body easily converts carotene into Vitamin A. Beta-cryptoxanthin is a carotene found in some plant foods such as oranges and peaches.  It's also used to color butter.
BHA: Butylated hydroxyanisole; a preservative and antioxidant used in many products; insoluble in water; can be toxic to the kidneys. See butylated hydroxyanisole
BHT: Butylated hydroxytoluene; a solid, white crystalline antioxidant used to retard spoilage of many foods; can be more toxic to the kidney than its nearly identical chemical cousin BHA. See butylated hydroxytoluene.
Bile: A bitter, yellowish liquid substance that produced by the liver and released from the liver into the intestines for the digestion of fats. 
Bile Acids: Made from cholesterol in the liver and stored in the gallbladder, bile acids help the body to break fats into smaller droplets. This exposes a larger surface area of fats to the action of fat-digesting enzymes, speeding up fat digestion.
Bioavailability:  The rate that nutrients or material is reorganized, absorbed and used by the body. 
Biofeedback:  A technique for helping an individual to become conscious of usually unconscious body processes, such as heartbeat or body temperature, so that he or she can gain some measure of control over them.
Bioflavonoids: Usually from orange and lemon rinds, these citrus-flavored compounds.  They are essential for the absorption of vitamin C.  Although they are not technically vitamins, they are sometimes referred to as vitamin P.  They provide anti-oxidant effects, assist other vitamins in their functions, as well as a number of other minor positive effects.  They are needed to maintain healthy blood-vessel walls are widely available in plants, citrus fruits, and rose hips.
Biologically active:  Having an effect on the chemical activity of living cells. 
Biopsy: To remove a bit of tissue from a living being for diagnosis.
Biotin: (B7) A B vitamin made in your body by friendly bacteria in your small intestine. It is needed for a lot of body processes that break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates into fuel for energy. It is sometimes called Vitamin H.
Blood-brain barrier:  A mechanism involving the capillaries and certain other cells of the brain that keeps many substances, especially water-based substances, from passing out of the blood vessels to be absorbed by brain tissue.
Blood cholesterol: All cholesterol in transit from bowel to liver and body cells, and all cholesterol returning from cells to liver to be turned into bile acids and discarded into our intestine.
Blood clotting:  The formation of thick mass from the material of the blood for the purpose of closing a wound to stop the wound from bleeding. 
Blood count:  A basic diagnostic test in which a sample of blood is examined and the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets is determined.  It is also the results of this test. 
Blood Glucose Level: See Blood Sugar
Blood pressure: The pressure of the blood within the arteries, primarily maintained by contraction of the left ventricle. The left ventricles is a chamber of the heart that contracts pushing the blood into the arteries to the body. The right ventricle pushes the blood into the lungs.  See Blood Pressure
Blood Serum:  The liquid part of the blood.  It is what the blood cells float throughout the body in. It makes up about 55% of what blood is made of.
Blood Sugar:  (Blood Sugar Level, Blood Glucose Levels, Plasma Glucose)  The amount of sugar in the form of glucose in the blood.  Sentence:  Her blood sugars are going too high.
Blood Vessel: Intricate networks of hollow tubes that transport blood throughout the entire body. 
Bond
: see Chemical bond. 
Bonded: The condition of two atoms or molecules being connected together by chemical forces. 
Boron: An essential trace mineral needed for to build ad maintain healthy bone bones.   It is found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, beer and wine.  It is also a vital part of maintaining the cell walls and keeping them healthy and strong. 
BP:  Abbreviation for Blood Pressure. 
Bradycardia: Slow heart rate.
Bran: The thin inner husk of grains such as wheat, rice and oats. A good source of soluble and insoluble fiber as well as minerals and vitamins.
Brewer's Yeast:  The yeast that is used in brewing beer, also used as a dietary source of vitamins, especially vitamin B. 
Bronchi: The two main branches of the trachea (windpipe) that lead to the lungs.
Bronchitis: Inflammation of the throat especially the tubes that lead into the lungs that is usually caused by infection. 
Butylated hyroxyanisole(BHA): an artificial preservative added to oils to slow down their deterioration; it replaces vitamin E, which is removed during oil processing.
Butylated hydroxytoluene(BHT): an artificial preservative added to oils to slow down their deterioration, it replaces vitamin E, which is removed during oil processing.
B-Vitamins: A group of several related water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in different functions of the body. . They all pull together to keep you healthy.   They each have an assigned number and have similar purposes in the body but are different in structure.   You need each and every one of them.  B Vitamins can have the following positive health effects:  healthy skin and muscle tone, immune system improvement, better nerve function.  A lack of B vitamins can cause nerve damage of neuropathy as well as other physical problems. (See Definitions of the vitamin name for what they do).
B1 - Thiamin
B2 - Riboflavin
B3 - Niacin
B5 - Pantothenic Acid
B6 - Pyridoxine
B7 - Biotin
B9 - Folic Acid
B12 - Cobalamin



C

Calcification: 1. The condition where calcium is building up in different parts of the body as deposits that can cause different health problems.  2.  The process of the body adding to tissue in the body to make it harder of stronger.  That is good when it happens to teeth or bones, but is bad when it happens to tissue that is supposed to be soft like blood vessels. 
Calciferol: Another name for Vitamin D. A colorless, odorless crystalline material, insoluble in water; soluble in fats; a synthetic form of vitamin D made by irradiating ergosterol with ultraviolet light. 
Calcifidol: Another name for Vitamin D2; the form of Vitamin D you get from foods or supplements.
Calcitrol: Yet another name for Vitamin D2, the form of Vitamin D you get from food or supplements.
Calcium: The most abundant mineral in your body, needed to build bones and teeth, make some hormones and enzymes, make your muscles contract, and other functions.  It is required in over 200 different chemical processes in the body. 
Calcium Ascorbate - a chemical form of Vitamin C. 
Calcium gluconate: An organic form of calcium.
Calorie (regarding food): A unit of energy that is used as a measurement of the amount of energy which food provides.   It is NOT an actual substance contained in food, but a measurement of ho much energy food provides when digested.  1 calorie is enough energy to increase the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 degree Celsius.  This is about the same as taking a medium sized pot full of water and putting it on the stove at the highest flame for 30 seconds. 
Capillary: A minute, very tiny blood vessel (there walls are about one cell thick - about the thickness of a human hair) that allow the exchange of nutrients and wastes between the bloodstream and the body's cells.  The capillaries connect the arteries and veins.
Carb: and abbreviation for carbohydrate (see below)
Capsanthin: A xanthophyll found in red peppers. 
See also: xanthophyll, carotenes
Carbohydrate: Long chains of sugar molecules connected together. It is any one of the many organic substances, almost all of them of plant origin, that are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and serve as a major source of energy in the diet.  There are many kinds of carbohydrates that come from many types of foods.  There are carbohydrates that come from grains and bread.  They also come in the form of starch such as potatoes.  This also includes the sugar that one might find at a dinner table.   Pasta in any form contains carbohydrates.  The common denominator of all these different kinds of carbohydrates is that when you eat them they turn into simple sugar in the body. 
Carbon chain: carbon atoms linked to one another in a chain by bonds formed when atoms share electrons.
Carcinogen: A substance that can increase the likelihood of developing cancer. It is anything that is capable of inducing cancerous changes in cells and/or tissues.  
Cardiac:  Pertaining to the heart.
Cardiac arrhythmia:  An abnormal heart rate or rhythm.  Irregular heart beats caused by disturbances in discharge of cardiac impulses.
Cardiovascular: Pertaining to heart and blood vessels.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD): collective term for diseases of the heart and arteries. CVD includes arteriosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease, emboli, heart failure, heart enlargement, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, abnormal blood clotting, and other conditions.
Carnitine: An amino acid useful for people with heart disease.
Carotene: An orange-yellow pigment occurring in many plants and capable of being converted into vitamin A in the body. 
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:  Pain and weakness in the hand caused by the muscles in the wrist getting inflamed and squeezing the blood vessels and nerves that pass through the wrist. 
Carrier:  A neutral substance that connects to an active ingredient that is added to something as a way of making sure the active ingredients get to where it is needed. 
Carrier co-factor: A substance that has both of the properties of a carrier and a co-factor. (see co-factor below)
Casein: The protein in milk that has become the standard by which protein quality is measured. See also: Carotenes, xanthophylls.
Carotenoids: Orange- or red-colored substances found in many fruits and vegetables such as carrots. See also: carotenes, xanthophylls.
Cartilage: The super-smooth, tough tissue attached to the ends of your bones. IT forms joints and cushions the bones.
Catechins: Antioxidant flavonoid found in tea. See also: flavonoid.
Catabolism: The metabolic change of nutrients or complex sub-stances into simpler compounds, accompanied by a release of energy.
Catalyst: A substance that modifies, especially increases, the rate of chemical reaction without being consumed or changed in the process. A catalyst is a molecule that facilitates a specific chemical reaction that would not otherwise take place. Most catalysts in the body are protein enzymes.
Cataract: Clouding of the lens of the eye, whi0ch prevents clear vision.
Catecholamines: Epinephrine and norepinephrine; biologically ac-active amines derived from the amino acid tyrosine; produce marked effects on the nervous and cardiovascular systems, metabolic rate, temperature, and smooth muscle.
CAT scan: Computerized x-ray scanning procedure used to create a three dimensional picture of your body, or part of your body, for the purpose of detecting abnormalities.  Stands for Computerized Axial Tomography scan)
Cauterization: A technique used to stop bleeding that involves applying electric current, a laser beam, or a chemical directly to a broken blood vessel.
Cell:  A very small but complex organic unit consisting of a nucleus, cytoplasm, and a cell membrane.  All living tissues are composed of cells   It is the smallest basic living unit of the body.  It reproduces by splitting to make copies of itself. 
Sentence:  The vitamin was transported directly to the cell.  The glucose couldn't get into the cells.  The skin is made up of different types of cells. 
Cell membrane: It that surround each living cell in all organisms. It is a thin layer of tissue that forms the outer surface of the cell and regulates the passage of materials in and out of the cell. 
Cell Receptors:  Small portals on the outside of every cell that act as communication terminals.  Different substances that are made in the body fit into them and tell the cell to do something.  Insulin fits into certain cell receptors that then tell the call to take in glucose from the blood (glucose is used by the cell to make energy). 
Cellulose:  An indigestible carbohydrate found in the outer layers of fruits and vegetables.  It aids in intestinal elimination and has no nutrimental value.
Cell Wall:  See Cell membrane
Cerebral:  Pertaining to the brain. 
Cerebral : Poor blood circulation to the brain, causing senility, memory loss, and depression.
Cervix: The neck-shaped structure leading from the vagina to the uterus.
Cervical dysplasia: Abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. These abnormalities can eventually lead to cervical cancer.
Chelation:  A chemical process by which a larger molecule or group of molecules surround or enclose a mineral atom.  A process by which mineral substances are changed into easily digestible form by binding them chemically to an amino acid or other harmless substance. Chelation helps your body absorb minerals better.
Chelation therapy:  The introduction of certain substances into the body so that they will chelate, and then remove, foreign substances such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals.  Chelation therapy can also be used to reduce or remove calcium-based plaque from the linings of the blood vessels, easing the flow of blood to vital organs and tissues. 
Chemical:  1. A basic substance made up of atoms or molecules.  2.  A substance that is created by combining or changing atoms or molecules. 
Chemical bond: Atoms held together by sharing electrons with one another to form molecules. Two shared electrons, one each from two atoms, constitute a chemical bond between those atoms.
Chemical Reaction:  See Reaction.
Chemotherapy: Treatment of disease by the use of chemicals (such as drugs), especially the use of chemical treatments to combat cancer. A way of handling cancer in the body that is often used by medical doctors.  It involves injecting harmful chemicals into the body with the idea that the chemical is more harmful to cancer cells than to healthy cells.   The person receiving the chemicals will often get very sick.   There are many side effects from chemotherapy  See Chemotherapy side effects.
Chiropractic: A system of healing based on the belief that many disorders result from misalignment (called subluxation) of the spinal vertebrae and other joints.  Chiropractors primarily treat illnesses by using physical manipulation techniques to bring the body into proper alignment and thus restore normal health and functioning.
Chlorophyll: The pigment responsible for the green color of plants.  It can be taken as a supplement as a source of magnesium and trace elements. 
Chloride: A mineral needed to control blood pressure and for other body functions. It is an electrolyte.
See also: electrolyte.
Cholecalciferol: The form of Vitamin D you make in your body from sunshine. Also called Vitamin D3.
Cholesterol: A complex fatty substance with many important functions in the body. The body uses to make cell membranes, the sheaths that cover your nerves, and hormones, among other things. It can be made in our body or supplied through food of animal origin.   It is a necessary part of cell membranes and helps to transport and the absorption of fatty acids.  Excess cholesterol, however, is a threat to your health because oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol combined with free radicals produced as a waste product of metabolism) may damage and be deposited in artery linings. (See Free Radicals and Article Free Radicals and Antioxidants)
Choline: A substance closely related to the B vitamins. It is involved in the metabolism of fats and in nerve function. It is found in egg yolks, beans, liver and certain vegetables.  By itself choline does not do anything for the body, but it is needed by many other nutrients in the body in order to do their job.  It is necessary for proper nerve function, and the strength of cell walls. 
Chromium: A trace mineral needed to help you use glucose in your cells. This nutrient is found in grains, potatoes, oysters, liver, seafood, cheese and others. The best food source is Brewer's yeast.   This nutrient is a necessary part of the process of insulin causing sugar to be forced into a cell.  When this occurs the chromium is used up and must be replaced by the diet. 
Chromium yeast:  Brewer's yeast, or yeast that is specifically grown to contain more chromium then usual. 
Chronic: Of long duration; continuing; constant.
Chronic illness:  A disorder that persists or recurs over an extended period of time, often for life.  Chronic illnesses can be relatively harmless such as hay fever or as serious as multiple sclerosis.
Chylomicron: Fat and cholesterol carrying vehicle, made in our intestinal walls and transported by the lymphatic system into our bloodstream. It is the body's way of getting digested food fats into the bloodstream for distribution to the trillions of cells that need these fats. 
Circadian rhythm: Your body's 24-hour internal clock.
Cirrhosis: A chronic liver disease characterized by dense or hardened connective tissue, degenerative changes or alteration in structure.
Citric acid: An organic acid found in citrus fruits. 
Clinical Trial:  A scientific test of the effectiveness and safety of a device or substance meant to benefit a person in some way like: curing a disease, improving health, preventing disease, etc. 
Clot:  To form a thick mass out of something such as blood.  A thick mass hat is made from the process like when blood is exposed to air and becomes thicker. 
Clotting factors: Substances that are present in your blood and are important to  help it clot and stop bleeding.
CNS: Central nervous system.
Coagulate:  When the blood clots.
Cobalamin: A B vitamin, also known as Vitamin B12, see vitamin B12
Cobalt: An essential trace mineral used to make cobalamin.
Cobalt 60: A radioactive form of the element cobalt that is widely used in radiation therapy.
Co-carcinogen: An agent that acts with another to cause cancer.
Coenzyme: A substance, usually a vitamin or mineral, that works with an enzyme to enable the enzyme to perform its function in the body.  Coenzymes are necessary in the utilization of vitamins and minerals. 
Coenzyme Q: A coenzyme your mitochondria (a structure found in each cell where glucose is converted into energy) needs to produce energy. Supplements can be a very helpful for people with heart failure. 
Co-factor:  A substance that doesn't do something by itself but is used by the body to help other vital nutrients do their job. 
Cold pressed:  A term used to describe food oils that are extracted without the use of heat in order to  preserve nutrients and flavor. 
Cold sores: Lesions, particularly in and around the mouth, caused by herpes simplex virus.
Colic:  Sharp abdominal pains that result from spasm or obstruction of certain organs or structures, especially the intestines, uterus, or bile ducts. 
Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine.
Collagen: A protein used to make the connective tissue that holds your cells together and makes up your bones, tendons, muscles, teeth, skin, blood vessels, and every other part of you.
Colonoscope: An instrument for examining the colon.
Coma: Complete loss of consciousness.
Complete Protein: A source of dietary protein that contains a full complement of the eight essential amino acids. 
Complex Carbohydrates: A type of carbohydrate that, owing to its chemical structure, releases its sugar into the body relatively slowly and also provides fiber.  The carbohydrates in starches and fiber are complex carbohydrates.  Also called polysaccharides. 
Complex Sugar: A sugar that is made up of 2 or more simple sugars.  A complex sugar is usually broken down into smaller sugars when digested. Sentence:  The starch was broken down in the stomach from a complex sugar into many simple sugars. 
Complication: A secondary infection, reaction, or other negative events that makes recovery from illness more difficult and/or longer. 
Compound:  Something that is made by combining two or more things. 
Compress: a cloth soaked in an infusion or decoction and pressed against the skin. 
Congenital: Condition existing at birth, but not necessarily  inherited.. 
Constipation: Having fewer bowel movements than normal or having stools that are hard, dry, and difficult to pass. Also called irregularity.
Contraceptive: Tending to prevent conception, or a device, substance, or method used to prevent pregnancy.
Contusion: A bruise: an injury in which the skin is not broken.
Convulsion: A seizure characterized by intense, uncontrollable contraction of the voluntary muscles that result from abnormal cerebral stimulation. 
Copper: An essential trace mineral needed to make enzymes important for your blood vessels and nerves. It is found in liver, seafood, nuts and whole grains.  Copper works along with iron to create new red blood cells and is a major part of what makes up the lining of the cells. 
Coronary Heart Disease:  A disease where so much plaque has built up in the arteries that it is blocking blood flow to the heart.  It usually leads to a heart attack and is considered the #1 cause of death in the US. 
Corosoic Acid:  The active ingredient in Banaba leaf that helps the body push sugar into the cells.  It acts like insulin in the body. 
Corticosteroid: Any of various steroid substances obtained from the adrenal gland.
Corticosterone: An adrenal cortex hormone that influences the me-metabolism of carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium; essential for normal absorption of glucose.
Cortisone: An adrenal gland hormone; also used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Coryza:  The nasal symptoms of the common cold. 
Crohn's disease: A serious inflammatory disease of the large intestine.
Cross-link: Bones that make tissues more rigid leading to aging.
Cruciferous: Literally "cross-shaped".  A term used to refer to a group of vegetables- including broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, and rutabagas - that have the characteristic cross-shaped blossoms. These vegetables have unique health factors called phytonutrients which are plant-based chemicals that have additional health factors, yet are not essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Cyanocobalamin: The form of Vitamin B12, used in vitamin pills. It is the most common form of Vitamin 12.  Very little of this type of B12 is absorbed in the body.  See Methylcobalamin. 
Cysteine: A sulfur-containing nonessential amino acid. A nonessential amino acid is one of the 11 amino acids you can get from your food or make in your body from the nine essential amino acids. An essential amino acid is one you must get from your food. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. 
Cystoscope: Instrument used to examine the urinary bladder.

 


D

Dawn Phenomena:  it is something that happens to some diabetics where just before they wake up the liver starts producing a lot of sugar.  The Diabetic wakes up and takes their first "fasting" sugar level and sees that it's really high, when really it has been normal or at least much lower at night. 
DC:  Doctor of Chiropractic  See Chiropractic
Decoction:
a water extract of bark or roots prepared at a low boil for 10 to 20 minutes - stronger than an infusion.
Deficiency disease: Illness caused by a deficiency of a vitamin. Classic deficiency diseases include scurvy and beriberi. Absence of one or more of the 50 substances essential to normal functioning of human cells, tissues and organs. 
Degenerative disease: loss of the capacity of cells, tissues and organs to function normally. Causes include deficiency of essential nutrients, presence of interfering substances, excess of substances or imbalance in the relative concentration of substances.
Dehydration: A condition resulting from an excessive loss of water from the body.
Demulcent: A substance that soothes inflamed mucous membranes.
Denatured: (in reference to food) Cause to have no nutritional value or to be bad for you.  
Degenerative Disease: A disease where the tissue of the body becomes less and less healthy or slowly dies.  It can have many different causes and can effect small portions of the body or large portions. 
Dermatitis: An inflammation of the skin; a rash.
Dermis: The layer of skin that lies underneath the epidermis. Blood and lymphatic vessels and the glands that secrete perspiration and sebum (oils) are all found in the dermis.
Desiccated: Dried; preserved by removing moisture.
Detoxification: The process of reducing the buildup of various poisonous substances from the body.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): A hormone made in your adrenal glands from cholesterol (See also: steroid hormone). You body converts DHEA into other hormones. 
Diabetes:  Diabetes is a set of related diseases in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.   In a healthy person, the blood glucose level is regulated by several hormones, one of which is insulin.  Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a small organ near the stomach.   People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or cannot use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes), or both.  In diabetes, glucose in the blood cannot move into the cells, and it stays in the blood.  This not only harms the cells that need the glucose for fuel, but also harms certain organs and tissues exposed to the high glucose levels.  See Diabetes
Diabetes Keto Acidosis:  A condition where the body of a diabetic person begins using muscle tissue and other vital tissue in the body for energy because the body can't get the blood sugar into the cells. 
Diabetic neuropathy: Neuropathy is a disease or abnormality of the nervous system. Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that causes numbness, tingling and pain in the nerves of the feet and legs; it sometimes spreads to the nerves of the arms and trunk. See Neuropathy
Diarrhea: Frequent passing of loose, watery stools.
Diastolic pressure: Your blood pressure when your heart is at rest between beats - the lower number in your blood pressure reading. See also: Systolic pressure.
Dicalcium phosphate: A filler used in pills that is derived from purified mineral rocks and is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus.
Diet: A regulated course of food and drink to promote health or for weight control.  verb, to eat according to prescribed rules.[Old French, diete, from Latin diaeta 'way of living]
Dietary fiber
: The indigestible parts - mostly cell walls - of plant foods. Unprocessed food contains fiber, processed foods do not. Insoluble fiber has the ability to absorb water which keeps your stools soft and easy to pass, so you have regular bowel movements. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a soft gel which helps lower your blood cholesterol, removes wastes and toxins from your body, and help you control your blood sugar if you have diabetes. They help eliminate bile acids and cholesterol from the body. 
Digestive: Improving digestion.
Digestive tract:  The passage going all the way from the mouth to the anus,  including the organs through which food passes for digestion and elimination as waste. 
Diluents: Fillers; inert material added to tablets to increase their bulk in order to make them a practical size for compression. 
Diosgenin: A phytoestrogen (hormone-like hormones found in plant foods) that is found in Mexican wild yam root. It resembles the female hormone progesterone and was used to make the first birth control pills.
Disorientation: The loss of a normal relationship to one's surroundings: the inability to comprehend time, people, and place.
Diuretic: A drug or herb that makes your kidneys produce more urine. It increases flow of urine from the body. Diuretics remove water - and also some minerals and vitamins - from your body.  Anything that increases urine flow.
DNA: (Deoxyribonueleic acid) A substance in the cell nucleus that genetically contains the cell's blueprint and determines the type of life form into which a cell will develop; It is the nucleic acid in chromosomes that is part of the chemical basis for hereditary characteristics. This is the genetic material that carries the instructions for most living organisms. 
Docosahexenoic acid (DHA) Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish. 
Dopamine: A compound that increases blood pressure. 
Dysmenorrhea: Painful or difficult menstruation.
Dyslipidernia:  A disruption in the amount of fats in the blood.  It can either be too high or too low. 
Dyspepsia:  Disturbed digestion; indigestion.  



E

Echocardiogram: A diagnostic test that uses ultrasound to detect structural and functional abnormalities of the heart. 
Edema:  Retention of fluid in the tissues that results in swelling. Excessive accumulation of tissue fluid.
EDTA: (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) An organic molecule used in chelation therapy.
EEG: (Electroencephalogram) A test used to measure brain wave or electrical  activity of the brain.
Eicosapentenoic acid (EHA): Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish. .
EKG (or ECG): (Electrocardiogram) A test that monitors the heart function by tracing the conduction of electrical impulses associated with heart activity.
Electrolytes: Minerals that dissolve in water and carry electrical charges. In your body, potassium, sodium, and chloride are the electrolyte minerals. They are named this because they are capable of conducting electrical impulses.  It is the form in which most minerals circulate in the body.
Electron: Part of an atom. The nucleus is the center of an atom and the electrons are little particles that revolve around the nucleus similar to how the earth revolves around the sun.  The nucleus of an atom has a positive charge and the electron a negative charge. If there are more negative electrons than the positive charge of the atom it is part of, it will react with other atoms to form bonds which result in molecules. Molecules are combined atoms and do different things than the single atom. 
Element:  A substance that can't be broken down into a smaller chemical.  Atoms that aren't combined with any other atoms. 
Elemental calcium: The actual amount of usable calcium in a supplement. It's usually given on the label as a percentage of the total calcium in the supplement.
ELISA: (Enzyme-linked immunoadsorbant assay) A test that determines the presence of a particular protein, such as a an antibody, be detecting the presence of an enzyme that is linked to that protein.
Elixir: An alcohol-based medication.
Embolus: A loose particle of tissue, a blood clot, or a tiny air bubble that travels through the bloodstream and, if it lodges in a narrowed portion of a blood vessel, can block blood flow. 
Emulsify: To break fats into smaller droplets by the action of detergents such as lecithin.
Emulsion: A combination of two liquids that do not mix with each other, such as oil and water, one substance is broken into tiny droplets and is suspended within the other.  Emulsification is the first step in digestion of fats.
Endemic: Native to or prevalent in a particular geographic region.  Often used to describe diseases. 
Endocrine gland: A gland, such as your thyroid or testes, which makes hormones.
Endocrine system: The system of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.  Endocrine glands include the pituitary, thyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas, ovaries, and testes. [Deriv. from English  endo- ‘within’ + Greek krinein ‘sift.’
Endogenous: Produced from within the body.
Endorphin: One of a number of natural hormone like substances found primarily in the brain.  One function of endorphins is to suppress the sensation of pain, which they do by binding to opiate receptors in the brain.
Endoscope: Instrument for examining the interior of a hollow organ.
Enteric: Pertaining to the small intestines. 
Enteric coated: A tablet coated so that it dissolves in the intestine, not in the stomach (which is acid).
Enteritis: Inflammation of the intestines, particularly the small intestines.
Enzyme: A number of chemical substances that are produced by living cells. A protein substance found in living cells that brings about chemical changes; necessary for digestion of food. Enzymes initiate or speed up chemical reactions in your body. The enzyme that is used in the reaction is not itself changed.
Epidemic: An extensive outbreak of a disease, or a disease occurring with an unusually high incidence at certain times and places. 
Epidermis: The outer layer of skin.  
Epilepsy: Convulsive disorder.
Epinephrine: Produced by the adrenal medulla and other tissues, it~ has also been synthesized and is used as a vasoconstrictor, heart stimulant, and to relieve asthmatic attacks.
Epithelial tissue: The tissue that covers the internal and external surfaces of your body. Your skin, the linings of your eyes and nose, you entire digestive tract, your lungs, your urinary tract, and your reproductive tract are all epithelial tissue. 
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV): A virus that causes infectious mononucleosis and that may cause other health problems as well, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
Ergocalciferol: The form of Vitamin D you get from foods or supplements. Also called Vitamin D2.
Erythema: Reddening, especially of the skin.
Essential: A term for nutrients needed for building and repair that cannot be manufactured by the body, and that therefore must be supplied in the diet.  At present, there are some forty-two essential nutrients.
Essential Amino Acid: One of the nine amino acids you must get from your food as the body does not make it.
Essential Fatty Acid: Nutrients that cannot be produced in the body but must be taken from the diet.  They are basic building blocks that are necessary for the forming of different hormones, and play an important part in the development of brain and nerve tissue.  See article on Essential Fatty Acids.
Essential nutrient: Any of about 45 nutrients that are known to be necessary to the body structure and physical health. 20 or 21 minerals, 13 vitamins, 8 to 11 amino acids and 2 essential fatty acids must come from food, since the body cannot manufacture them out of other factors.
Essential Factor: Any of about 50 principles known to be necessary for health. In addition to the 45 essential nutrients, as source of calorie energy, water, oxygen, and light are included.
Essential Oil: A scented plant oil used in many herbal medications.
Estrogen: The main female hormones made by the ovaries and uterus.
Excipient: Any inert substance used as a dilutent or vehicle for a drug.
Excision: Surgical cutting away and/or removal of tissue.
Exogenous: Derived or developed from external causes.
Expectorant: A substance that makes mucus easier to cough up.
Extract:  A substance taken from a plant, flower, etc. and used especially in food or medicine.

 

F

Familial Hyperlipidema:
 
Very high cholesterol that are considered to run in the family, from one generation to the next. 
Fasting Blood Sugar Levels:
(Fasting levels, Fasting blood sugar)  Blood sugar levels measured after waking but before eating. 
Fat:
1. A nutritional part of food.  It is a substance that dissolves in water, is solid at room temperature and belongs to a group of chemicals that are main parts of food.  They come from places like: animal tissue, nuts and seeds.  It supplies more than twice the energy to the body than carbohydrates do.   2. The substance under the skin of humans and animals that stores energy and keeps them warm. 
Fat Burning Mechanism:  The action that is performed in the body of taking stored fat and processing it to create energy and then throwing away any waste products of this process. 
Fat soluble: (In reference to vitamins) These are vitamins that are stored in body fat for use by the body when needed.  Capable of dissolving in the same organic solvents as fats and oils.
Fat Soluble vitamins: A vitamin that dissolves in fat and can be stored in your body's fatty tissue. Vitamin A, E & K are fat soluble.
Fatty acid: Any one of many organic acids from which fats and oils are made.
Fatty degeneration: Fat-related interference with normal biological functions, commonly found in arteries, around tumors, and in liver and other internal organs. 
Ferment: To break down something into simper materials. 
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS): The developmental effect of maternal consumption on children: wide spaced eyes, mental retardation, motor problems, emotional liability.
FDA: Food and Drug Administration. A government agency charged with controlling the safety of foods and drugs. Has come under fire for biased enforcement favoring drugs over nutrients. 
FBS: Fasting blood sugar.  The level of glucose present in a blood sample drawn at least eight hours after the last meal.
Fiber:  1. A substance in foods such as fruit, vegetables and brown bread that travels through the body as waste and helps the contents of the bowels to pass through the body easily.  2, The indigestible portion of plant matter.  Fiber is an important component of a healthy diet because it is capable of binding to toxins and escorting them out of the body. 
Fibrin: An insoluble protein that forms the necessary fibrous net-work in the coagulation of blood.
Fibromyalgia:  Chronic pain in the muscles and joints, and chronic tiredness.  The cause of the disease is not currently known by medical doctors. 
Flatulence: Excessive amounts of gas in the stomach or other part of the digestive tract. 
Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD): A riboflavin-containing enzyme needed by your mitochrondria to release energy. 
Flavin mononucleotide (FMN): A riboflavin-containing enzyme needed by your mitrochondria to release energy.
Flavonoid: Substances found in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoid give these foods their color and taste.
Flax: An ancient plant whose seed oil is the richest source the fatty acid linolenic acid which is rare in foods. It also contains protein, minerals, and vitamins. It is a rich source of mucilage and fiber, which help the body eliminate cholesterol and help prevent reabsorption of toxic wastes from the large intestine. Flax is also the richest known source of lignans, which have anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. Its oil is used in natural programs for the reversal of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, premenstrual syndrome, inflammatory conditions, arthritis, etc.  See Omega Oils & Omega Bars
Flea seeds: See Psyllium powder.
Fluoride: A trace mineral that helps prevent tooth decay.
Folacin: another name for folic acid.
Folate: The natural form of folic acid found in foods.
Folic Acid:  See vitamin B9.
Food: that which is eaten to sustain life, provide energy and promote th growth and repair of tissues; nourishment [Old English fada, "nourishment"]
Formaldehyde:  Toxic chemical used to preserve dead bodies.  It can be formed by heating food in a microwave. 
Fortified milk: Milk that has Vitamin D and (sometimes) Vitamin A added to it.
FOS: See fructooligosaccharides.
Free form amino acids: Amino acid supplements in their pure form, sold as a powder.
Free radicals: An atom or group of atoms that is highly chemically reactive because it has at least on unpaired electron.  Because they join so readily with other compounds, free radicals can attack cells and can cause a lot of damage in the body.  It is a molecular fragment with a single unpaired electron which, wanting to be paired, steals electrons from other pairs. Free radical reactions occur normally in biological processes, but are normally handled by the body's reserve of antioxidants. Example of the destructiveness -  Because they are highly reactive chemical fragments that can produce an irritation of artery walls which will start the arteriosclerotic process if no antioxidants are present. .  See article Antioxidants.
Free radical chain reaction: Uncontrolled free radical reaction that is damaging to biological processes.
Free radical scavenger: A substance that removes or destroys free radicals.
French Lilac:  A flower that has been known since the middle ages to reduce symptoms of Diabetes when eaten. 
Fructooliosaccharides (FOS): Natural sugars found in honey, garlic and artichoke flour that help nourish desirable bacteria in your large intestine.
Fructose: A natural sugar occurring in fruits and honey; called fruit sugar; often used as a preservative for foodstuffs and an intravenous nutrient.
Functional medicine: Functional medicine works to restore your body to its proper functioning with vitamins, minerals and other supplements. 
Fungus: One of a class of organisms that includes yeasts, mold, and mushrooms. A number of fungal species, such as candida albicans, are capable of causing severe disease in immune system weakened hosts.

G

G: Abbreviation for gram.
Gallbladder:  A pear-shaped organ that is underneath the liver.  It stores bile until the body needs it for digesting fats. 
Gallstones: Stone like objects found in gall bladder and its drainage system.
Gamma linoleic acid (GLA): Omega-6 fatty acid found in evening primrose oil and borage seed oil.
Gastric:  Relating to or dealing with the stomach. 
Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach lining.
Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the mucous lining of the stomach and the intestines.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas and gallbladder.
GBAS: Generally Recognized As Safe; a list established by Congress to cover substances added to food.
Genetic: Inherited.
Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth.
Ginkgo biloba: An herbal extract containing many flavonoids. It can be helpful in cases of cerebral insufficiency.
Gland: A type of organ in the body that releases/secretes hormones or other substance(s) for use elsewhere in the body rather than for its own functioning. Organs do not make or release hormones. The system of glands is called the endocrine system. The liver is an exception as it is both an organ and a gland. It acts as both a organ and a gland. The best-known purpose of these organs is making and releasing the hormones, messengers, used to regulate the body. See Hormones. 
Other glands release miscellaneous substances that provide different functions for the body like the tear glands for the purpose of moistening the eyes or the sweat glands that produce sweat to cool off the body. 
Glaucoma: Disease of the eyes in which the pressure of the fluid inside the eye increases.  It will cause a person to gradually lose their sight.  The loss of eyesight is caused by the increasing pressure that destroys eye tissue. 
Glipizide:  (Glucotrol)  See Sulfonylureas.
Globulin: A type of protein found in the blood.  Certain globulins contain disease-fighting antibodies. 
Glucophage:
  Another name for Metformin.
Glucosamine: An amino acid sugar found in the shells of shrimp and lobsters. Glucosamine supplements can be helpful for arthritis.
Glucose: A simple sugar that is the principal source of energy for the body's cells. Blood sugar; a product of the body's assimilation of carbohydrates and a major source of energy. It is the form of sugar circulating in the blood stream and the form into which all sugars and starches are converted in the small intestine before being absorbed.  A sugar found in the blood that is produced by the liver from the food we eat.  It is also absorbed from food in the intestines.  From the blood stream it is given to cells throughout the body. 
Glucose tolerance factor (GTF): a combination of chromium, niacin (vitamin B3), and amino acids. Found in brewer's yeast, GTF improves the body's ability to metabolize glucose.  It is a form of chromium that is combined with essential amino acids to make it effective in handling the difficulty the body is having with using insulin.  It works with insulin to help transport sugar into the cells. 
Glucotrol:  Another name for Glipizide.
Glutamic acid: An amino acid present in all complete proteins; usually manufactured from vegetable protein; used as a salt substitute and a flavor-intensifying agent.
Glutamine: An amino acid that constitutes, with glucose, the major nourishment used by the nervous system. It is useful for intestinal problems.
Glutathione: Your body's most abundant natural antioxidant enzyme. See also antioxidant.
Gluten: A protein found in many grains, including wheat, rye, barley and oats.
Glycogen: Glucose molecules hooked together in long chains -A polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate)- that is the main form in which glucose is stored in the body, primarily in the liver and muscles.  It is converted back into glucose as needed to supply energy.  It is also called "animal starch".  It can be quickly turned into glucose and made into energy for the cells. 
Goiter: A swollen thyroid gland forming a lump in your neck. It's caused by a shortage of iodine.
Gout: Upset in metabolism of uric acid, causing inflammation of joints, particularly in the knee or foot.
Gram: A measurement of the amount of physical matter in an object.  A paperclip is about 1 gram.

H

Hair Analysis: A method of determining the levels of minerals, including both toxic metals and essential minerals, in the body by measuring the concentrations of those minerals in the hair.  Unlike mineral levels in the blood, those in the hair reflect the person's status over several preceding months.  
Half Life: The time it takes for half the amount of a drug to be metabolized or inactivated (disappear from the bloodstream) by the body (an important consideration for determining the amount and frequency of drug dosage).
Hallucination: False perception having no relation to reality and not accounted for by any exterior stimuli; may involve one, all, or any combination of the senses.
HDL;  An abbreviation that stands for a type of thing in the body that is made out of protein and fat molecules and has a specific job in the body.  It is more dense than others of the kind because it is made mostly out of protein.  IT connects to cholesterol, pulls it from the arteries, and carries it to the liver. 
HDL Cholesterol: Cholesterol that is connected to an HDL that can be found in the blood that is unlikely to build up in the arteries.  Because it is less likely to build up in the arteries it is considered the "good" cholesterol. 
Health:  A state of having all glands and organs working together in harmony.  It is not merely the absence of symptoms, it is the body working at an optimum level.  Health is not having symptoms being managed by medications.
Heart Burn:  (Acid indigestion, acid reflux) A burning sensation usually centered in the middle of the chest near or above the bone in the center of the chest.  It is caused by acidic gas being pushed up from the stomach into the throat.  
Heart failure: A condition occurring when your heart is damaged or weak or can't pump blood efficiently.
Heartwood:  Wood from the center of the tree trunk. 
Heavy metal: A metallic element whose specific gravity (a measurement of mass as compared with the mass of water or hydrogen) is greater than 5.0.  Some heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, are extremely toxic.
Hematocrit: The percentage of blood (by volume) that is composed of red blood cells. 
Hematoma: A bulge or swelling that is filled with blood. Hematomas are usually the result of a blunt injury or other trauma that causes a blood vessel under the skin the break. 
Heme iron: The iron found in hemoglobin.
Hemicellulose: An indigestible carbohydrate resembling cellulose, found in plant cells walls, that absorbs water.
Hemoglobin: The iron-containing pigment in the blood that is responsible for the transport of oxygen.
Hemorrhage: Profuse or abnormal bleeding.  It is the loss of blood from a broken blood vessel, either inside or outside the body.
Hemorrhoids: Itchy or painful mass of swollen (dilated) veins in swollen anal tissue. Also called piles. 
Hepatic:  Pertaining to the liver. 
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver. It can result from infection or exposure to toxins. 
Herbal therapy: The use of herbal combinations for healing or cleansing purposes. Herbs can be used in tablet, capsule, tincture, or extract form, as well as in baths and poultices.
Hernia: A condition in which part of an internal organ protrudes, inappropriately, through an opening in the tissues that are supposed to contain it.
Herpes: A group of viruses. Herpes simplex type 1 causes cold sores. Herpes simplex type 2 causes genital herpes. Herpes zoster causes chick pox and shingles. 
Hesperidin: Part of the C-complex. It is a flavonoid found in citrus fruits. It is helpful for improving circulation in small blood vessels.
High Blood Pressure: Blood pressure - the pressure of your blood against your arteries as your heart beats and contracts - that is too high. Also called hypertension. See also diastolic pressure; systolic pressure.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): One of the vehicles found in the bloodstream that carries fats and cholesterol. It returns excess cholesterol from cells to the liver. The liver changes cholesterol into bile fats, and pours them into the intestine to aid in fat digestion on their way out of the body. It's often called "good" cholesterol because it can help removed LDL cholesterol from your blood. LDL is low-density lipoprotein and is considered "bad" cholesterol. (See also Low density lipoproteins)
Histamine: A chemical released by the immune system that acts on various body tissues.  It has the effect of constricting the smooth bronchial tube muscles, dilating small blood vessels, allowing fluid to leak from various tissues, and increasing the secretion of stomach acid.  See Allergies
HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus.  The virus that causes AIDS.
Hodgkin's Disease: A type of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system)
Holistic treatment: Treatment of the whole person.
Homeopathy: A medical system based on the fact that "like cures like". this is, that illness can be cured by taking a minute does of a substance that, if taken by a healthy person, would produce symptoms like those being treated.  Homeopathy employs a variety of plant, animal and mineral substances in very small doses to stimulate the body's natural healing powers and to bring the body back into balance. 
Homeostasis: The body's physiological equilibrium.
Homocysteine: An amino acid formed when other amino acids in your blood are broken down by normal body processes. Too much homocysteine in your blood can cause heart disease. Folic acid breaks down the homocysteine and prevents a toxic buildup.  Adding B6, B12 & folate that can be absorbed by the body will change the homocysteine into cysteine which is used to make the master antioxidant Glutathione.  See good source of these vitamins at the neuropathy page as these vitamins are also used for this. 
Hormone: A Hormone is a chemical made by living cells in the body that influence the development, growth, behavior, etc. of a body or specific body parts and are carried around the body in the blood. here are over 600 hormones and thousands of functions.  It is a  chemical messenger you body makes to tell your organs what to do. It doesn't do the work it tells another body part to do the work. It regulates many bodily functions. Hormones regulate many activities, including your growth, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels and sexual characteristics. Hormones are formed in endocrine organs and transported by body fluids to activate other specifically receptive organs. Example:  the thyroid gland messages a fat cell to burn fat. [Div: Greek hormōn, present participle of horman ‘impel, set in motion.’]
Host: An organism in or on which another organism lives and from which the invading organism obtains nourishment.  
Human papillomavirus (HPV): A sexually transmitted virus that causes venereal warts which can cause cervical dysplasia (abnormal of tissue) and cancer of the cervix. 
Humectant: A substance that is used to preserve the moisture content of materials.
Hyaluronic acid: An organic acid known as the most effective natural skin moisturizer. It is present in human skin, and is able to hold 500 times its own weight in water.
Hydrochloric Acid: A normally acidic part of the body's gastric juice.  It is a strong, corrosive inorganic acid that is produced in the stomach to aid in digestion. 
Hydrogenation: A chemical process by which liquid oils are turned into plastic or hard fats by bombarding the oil molecules with hydrogen atoms. It breaks the double bonds in fatty acids and forms bonds with hydrogen instead thereby saturating carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms.  This destroys the nutritional value of the oil and does not occur in nature.  See also Essential Fatty Acid article and  Saturated Fats definition.
Hydrolyzed: Put into water-soluble form by hydrolysis which is a breakdown of molecules by (enzyme-controlled) addition of a water molecule.
Hydrolyzed protein chelate: Water-soluble and chelated for easy assimilation.
Hypercalcemia: The presence of abnormally high amounts of calcium in the blood.
Hyperglycemia:  Too much sugar in the blood stream. 
Hyperhomocysteinemia: The medical term for too much homocysteine in the blood
Hyperinsulinemic:  See Hyperinsulinism.
Hyperinsulinism:  An abnormally high level of insulin in the blood of a person or animal. 
Hypertension: A condition in which your blood pressure is extremely high. High blood pressure. Generally hypertension is defined as a regular resting pressure over 140/90.  See also high blood pressure.  For more information see High Blood Pressure 
Hyperthyroidism: An under active thyroid gland.
Hypervitaminosis: A condition caused by an excessive ingestion of vitamins. This is usually caused by taking artificial vitamins made in a lab and not whole food vitamins. 
Hypoallergenic: Having a low capacity for inducing hypersensitive (allergic) reactions. 
Hypocalcemia: The presence of abnormally low amounts of calcium in the blood.
Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar. It is a medical condition resulting from dangerously low levels of sugar in the blood. 
Hypotension: Low blood pressure
Hypothalamus: A portion of the brain that regulates many aspects of metabolism, including body temperature and the hunger response. 
Hypovitaminosis: A deficiency disease owing to an absence of vita-mins in the diet.

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