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Glossary

absorption:
uptake by the digestive tract
acid reflux:
splashing of stomach acid into the throat
acidity:
measure of the tendency of a molecule to lose hydrogen ions, thus behaving as an acid
acidosis:
elevated acid level in the blood
acupuncture:
insertion of needles into the skin at special points to treat disease
acute:
rapid-onset and short-lived
adequate intake:
nutrient intake that appears to maintain the state of health
adipose tissue:
tissue containing fat deposits
aerobic:
designed to maintain adequate oxygen in the bloodstream
allergen:
a substance that provokes an allergic reaction
allergic reaction:
immune system reaction against a substance that is otherwise harmless
allergy:
immune system reaction against substances that are otherwise harmless
amenorrhea:
lack of menstruation
Americanized:
having adopted more American habits or characteristics
amine:
compound containing nitrogen linked to hydrogen
amino acid:
building block of proteins, necessary dietary nutrient
anabolic:
promoting building up
anaerobic:
without air, or oxygen
anaphylaxis:
life-threatening allergic reaction, involving drop in blood pressure and swelling of soft tissues especially surrounding the airways
anemia:
low level of red blood cells in the blood
angioplasty:
reopening of clogged blood vessels
anorexia nervosa:
refusal to maintain body weight at or above what is considered normal for height and age
anthropometric:
related to measurement of characteristics of the human body
antibiotic:
substance that kills or prevents the growth of microorganisms
antibody:
immune system protein that protects against infection
antioxidant:
substance that prevents oxidation, a damaging reaction with oxygen
anxiety:
nervousness
appendicitis:
inflammation of the appendix
aqueous:
water-based
artery:
blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart toward the body tissues
arthritis:
inflammation of the joints
assisted-living:
facility that provides aid in meal preparation, cleaning, and other activities to help maintain independent living
asthma:
respiratory disorder marked by wheezing, shortness of breath, and mucus production
asymptomatic:
without symptoms
atherosclerosis:
build-up of deposits within the blood vessels
atole:
a porridge made of corn meal and milk
atoms:
fundamental particles of matter
ayurvedic:
an Indian healing system
B vitamins:
a group of vitamins important in cell energy processes
bacteria:
single-celled organisms without nuclei, some of which are infectious
bactericidal:
a substance that kills bacteria
bacteriostatic:
a state that prevents growth of bacteria
basal metabolic rate:
rate of energy consumption by the body during a period of no activity
basal metabolism:
level of body energy consumption and chemical processes in the absence of exertion
behavioral:
related to behavior, in contrast to medical or other types of interventions
bile:
substance produced in the liver which suspends fats for absorption
binge:
uncontrolled indulgence
bioavailability:
availability to living organisms, based on chemical form
biochemical:
related to chemical processes within cells
biodiversity:
richness of species within an area
biological:
related to living organisms
biotin:
a portion of certain enzymes used in fat metabolism; essential for cell function
biotoxin:
poison made by living organisms
blood clotting:
the process by which blood forms a solid mass to prevent uncontrolled bleeding
blood pressure:
measure of the pressure exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels
body mass index:
weight in kilograms divided by square of the height in meters times 100; a measure of body fat
bone marrow:
dividing cells within the long bones that make the blood
botanical:
related to plants
botulism:
poisoning from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum
bowel:
intestines and rectum
brain allergy:
allergy whose symptoms affect brain function
bulimia:
uncontrolled episodes of eating (bingeing) usually followed by self-induced vomiting (purging)
calcium:
mineral essential for bones and teeth
calorie:
unit of food energy
cancer:
uncontrolled cell growth
candidal:
related to the yeast Candida
candidiasis:
a yeast infection
carbohydrate:
food molecule made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, including sugars and starches
carbohydrate metabolism:
breakdown and use of sugars and starches in the body
carcinogen:
cancer-causing substance
cardiovascular:
related to the heart and circulatory system
cardiovascular disease:
disease affecting the heart and/or circulatory system
caries:
cavities in the teeth
carotenoid:
plant-derived molecules used as pigments
carrageenan:
a thickener derived from red seaweed
catabolism:
breakdown of complex molecules
catalyze:
cause to happen more rapidly
cataract:
clouding of the lens of the eye
cellulose:
carbohydrate made by plants; indigestible by humans
chiropractic:
manipulation of the spine and other bones for healing
cholera:
bacterial infection of the small intestine causing severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration
cholesterol:
multi-ringed molecule found in animal cell membranes; a type of lipid
chronic:
over a long period
chronic disease:
diseases that occur over a long period, in contrast to acute diseases
clinical:
related to hospitals, clinics, and patient care
cloning:
creation of an exact genetic copy of an organism
congenital:
present from birth
Congregate Dining:
a support service that provides a meal at a central location on a specified day
constipation:
difficulty passing feces
consumerism:
reliance on buying, rather than making, items necessary for living
contraindicated:
not recommended
convenience food:
food that requires very little preparation for eating
coronary heart disease:
disease of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels surrounding the heart
cretinism:
arrested mental and physical development
crossbreeding:
breeding between two different varieties of an organism
cuisine:
types of food and traditions of preparation
cytoplasm:
contents of a cell minus the nucleus
deamination:
removal of an NH2 group from a molecule
dehydration:
loss of water
dementia:
loss of cognitive abilities, including memory and decision making
dentition:
formation of the teeth
deoxyribonucleic acid:
DNA, the molecule that makes up genes
dependence:
a condition in which attempts to stop use leads to withdrawal symptoms, including irritability and insomnia
depression:
mood disorder characterized by apathy, restlessness, and negative thoughts
DETERMINE:
checklist used to identify nutritionally at-risk individuals
development:
the process of change by which an organism becomes more complex
diabetes:
inability to regulate level of sugar in the blood
diet:
the total daily food intake, or the types of foods eaten
dietary assessment:
analysis of nutrients in the diet
Dietary Reference Intakes:
set of guidelines for nutrient intake
diphtheria:
infectious disease caused by Cornybacterium diphtheriae, causing damage to the heart and other organs
disaccharide carbohydrate:
molecule composed of two linked sugars
diuretic:
substance that depletes the body of water
diversity:
the variety of cultural traditions within a larger culture
diverticulosis:
presence of abnormal small sacs in the lining of the intestine
DNA:
deoxyribonucleic acid; the molecule that makes up genes, and is therefore responsible for heredity
drugs:
substances whose administration causes a significant change in the body's function
dyslipidemia:
disorder of fat metabolism
dysmorphia:
the belief that one's body is different (fatter, thinner, etc.) than it really is
eating disorder:
behavioral disorder involving excess consumption, avoidance of consumption, self-induced vomiting, or other food-related aberrant behavior
ecological:
related to the environment and human interactions with it
eczema:
skin disease causing itching and flaking
edema:
accumulation of fluid in the tissues
efficacy:
effectiveness
electrolyte:
salt dissolved in fluid
elemental:
made from predigested nutrients
elimination diet:
diet in which particular foods are eliminated to observe the effect
endotoxin:
toxic substance produced and stored within the plant tissue
enema:
substance delivered via the rectum
energy:
technically, the ability to perform work; the content of a substance that allows it to be useful as a fuel
enrichment:
addition of vitamins and minerals to improve the nutritional content of a food
enteric:
pertaining to the intestine; delivered via a tube into the intestine
entrepreneur:
founder of a new businesses
environment:
surroundings
environmental illness:
illness due to substances in the environment
enzymatic:
related to use of enzymes, proteins that cause chemical reactions to occur
enzyme:
protein responsible for carrying out reactions in a cell
epinephrine:
hormone that promotes "fight or flight;" also called adrenaline
epithelial cell:
sheet of cells lining organs throughout the body
Escherichia coli:
common bacterium found in human large intestine
essential fatty acids:
particular molecules made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that the human body must have but cannot make itself
estradiol:
female hormone; a type of estrogen
estrogen:
hormone that helps control female development and menstruation
etiology:
origin and development of a disease
eukaryots:
organisms whose cells contain nuclei
failure to thrive:
lack of normal developmental progress or maintenance of health
famine:
extended period of food shortage
fast food:
food requiring minimal preparation before eating, or food delivered very quickly after ordering in a restaurant
fat:
type of food molecule rich in carbon and hydrogen, with high energy content
fat-soluble:
able to be dissolved in fats, including the membranes of cells
fatigue:
tiredness
fatty acids:
molecules rich in carbon and hydrogen; a component of fats
fermentation:
reaction performed by yeast or bacteria to make alcohol
fiber:
indigestible plant material that aids digestion by providing bulk
folate:
one of the B vitamins, also called folic acid
food additive:
substance added to foods to improve nutrition, taste, appearance, or shelf-life
food poisoning:
illness caused by consumption of spoiled food, usually containing bacteria
fortification:
addition of vitamins and minerals to improve the nutritional content of a food
fortified:
altered by addition of vitamins or minerals
free radical:
highly reactive molecular fragment, which can damage cells
functional food:
food whose health benefits are claimed to be higher than those traditionally assumed for similar types of foods
fungal:
of or from fungi
galactosemia:
inherited disorder preventing digestion of milk sugar, galactose
gamma rays:
very high energy radiation, more powerful than x rays
gastric:
related to the stomach
gastric mucosa:
lining of the stomach
gastrointestinal:
related to the stomach and intestines
gastrointestinal system:
the digestive tract (mouth to anus) plus associated organs
gastrointestinal tract:
the continuous tube through which food passes including throat, stomach, and intestines
gene:
DNA sequence that codes for proteins, and thus controls inheritance
gene expression:
use of a gene to make the protein it encodes
genetic:
inherited or related to the genes
genetic engineering:
manipulation of genes to change the characteristics of a living organism
globalization:
development of world-wide economic system
glucagon:
hormone that promotes release of sugar from the liver to raise the level of blood sugar
glucose:
a simple sugar; the most commonly used fuel in cells
gluten:
a protein found in wheat
glycerol:
simple molecule that forms a portion of fats
glycogen:
storage form of sugar
glycolysis:
cellular reaction that begins the breakdown of sugars
growth factor:
protein that stimulates growth of surrounding cells
growth hormone:
hormone produced by the pituitary gland that increases the rate of growth
growth spurts:
periods of rapid growth
guar gum:
a thickener made from a tropical bean
Harris-Benedict equation:
a formula for calculating a person's minimum energy expenditure
HDL:
high density lipoprotein, a blood protein that carries cholesterol
health-promotion:
related to advocacy for better health, preventive medicine, and other aspects of well-being
heart attack:
loss of blood supply to part of the heart, resulting in death of heart muscle
heart disease:
any disorder of the heart or its blood supply, including heart attack, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease
heavy metal:
lead, chromium, and other metals found in the middle section of the periodic table of the elements
hemoglobin:
the iron-containing molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen
hemorrhoids:
swollen blood vessels in the rectum
hepatitis:
liver inflammation
hepatitis B:
viral disease affecting the liver
herbal:
related to or made from herbs
high blood pressure:
elevation of the pressure in the bloodstream maintained by the heart
high potency:
a claim about vitamin or mineral content, defined as 100% or more of the Recommended Daily Intake
homeostasis:
regulation of the proper internal state
hookworm:
parasitic nematode that attaches to the intestinal wall
hormone:
molecules produced by one set of cells that influence the function of another set of cells
hydration:
degree of water in the body
hydrolyze:
to break apart through reaction with water
hygiene:
cleanliness
hype:
advertising and brash claims
hypercholesterolemia:
high levels of cholesterol in the blood
hyperglycemia:
high level of sugar in the blood
hyperlipidemia:
high levels of lipids (fats or cholesterol) in the blood
hypertension:
high blood pressure
hypertrophy:
excess increase in size
hypoglycemia:
low blood sugar level
hypoglycemic:
related to low level of blood sugar
immune system:
the set of organs and cells, including white blood cells, that protect the body from infection
immunocompromised:
having a weakened immune system
immunologic:
related to the immune system, which protects the body from infection
incidence:
number of new cases reported each year
incisor:
chisel-shaped tooth used for cutting; one of the types of primary teeth
indigestion:
reduced ability to digest food
infectious diseases:
diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or protozoa, which replicate inside the body
informed consent:
agreement to a procedure after understanding the risks
injera:
spongy flat bread
insoluble:
not able to be dissolved in water
insulin:
hormone released by the pancreas to regulate level of sugar in the blood
internship:
training program
interstitial:
between the tissues
intestines:
the two long tubes that carry out the bulk of the processes of digestion
intravenous:
into the veins
iron:
nutrient needed for red blood cell formation
isoflavones:
estrogen-like compounds in plants
job sharing:
splitting a single job among two or more people
junk food:
food with high fat and sugar content, without correspondingly high amounts of protein, vitamins, or minerals
keto-acid:
an acid compound containing the reactive CO group
ketoacidosis:
accumulation of ketone bodies along with high acid levels in the body fluids
ketones:
chemicals produced by fat breakdown; molecule containing a double-bonded oxygen linked to two carbons
ketosis:
build-up of ketone bodies in the blood, due to fat breakdown
kidney stones:
deposits of solid material in kidney
killer-cell:
type of white blood cell that helps protect the body from infection
kinetic:
related to speed of reaction
Krebs cycle:
cellular reaction that breaks down numerous nutrients and provides building blocks for other molecules
kwashiorkor:
severe malnutrition characterized by swollen belly, hair loss, and loss of skin pigment
lactic acid:
breakdown product of sugar in the muscles in the absence of oxygen
lactose intolerance:
inability to digest lactose, or milk sugar
learned behaviors:
actions that are acquired by training and observation, in contrast to innate behaviors
leavening:
yeast or other agents used for rising bread
legumes:
beans, peas, and related plants
lifestyle:
set of choices about diet, exercise, job type, leisure activities, and other aspects of life
lipid:
fats, waxes, and steroids; important components of cell membranes
lipoprotein:
blood protein that carries fats
listeriosis:
infectious disease caused by Listeria bacteria
long-term care facilities:
hospitals or nursing homes in which patients remain for a long time for chronic care, rather than being treated and quickly discharged
lymph node:
pocket within the lymph system in which white blood cells reside
lymph system:
system of vessels and glands in the body that circulates and cleans extracellular fluid
lymphatic system:
group of ducts and nodes through which fluid and white blood cells circulate to fight infection
macrobiotic:
related to a specific dietary regimen based on balancing of vital principles
macronutrient:
nutrient needed in large quantities
macular degeneration:
death of cells of the macula, part of the eye's retina
malabsorption:
decreased ability to take up nutrients
malaise:
illness or lack of energy
malaria:
disease caused by infection with Plasmodium, a single-celled protozoon, transmitted by mosquitoes
malignant:
spreading to surrounding tissues; cancerous
malnourished:
lack of adequate nutrients in the diet
malnutrition:
chronic lack of sufficient nutrients to maintain health
marasmus:
extreme malnutrition, characterized by loss of muscle and other tissue
meditation:
stillness of thought, practiced to reduce tension and increase inner peace
menopausal:
related to menopause, the period during which women cease to ovulate and menstruate
menopause:
phase in a woman's life during which ovulation and menstruation end
menstrual cycles:
the build-up and sloughing off of the lining of the uterus in women commencing at puberty and proceeding until menopause
metabolic:
related to processing of nutrients and building of necessary molecules within the cell
metabolic activities:
sum total of the body's biochemical processes
metabolism:
the sum total of reactions in a cell or an organism
metabolism-free radical:
highly reactive molecular fragment, which are created through metabolism, or processing of nutrients
metabolite:
the product of metabolism, or nutrient processing within the cell
metabolize:
processing of a nutrient
microflora:
microscopic organisms present in small numbers
micronutrient:
nutrient needed in very small quantities
microorganisms:
bacteria and protists; single-celled organisms
mineral:
an inorganic (non-carbon-containing) element, ion, or compound
miscarriage:
loss of a pregnancy
mitochondria:
small bodies within a cell that harvest energy for use by the cell
molar:
grinding tooth toward the rear of the mouth
molecule:
combination of atoms that form stable particles
monocultural:
from a single culture
monoglyceride:
breakdown product of fats
morbidity:
illness or accident
mucosa:
moist exchange surface within the body
muscle wasting:
loss of muscle bulk
mycotoxin:
poison produced by a fungus
myoglobin:
oxygen storage protein in muscle
nandrolone:
hormone related to testosterone
nausea:
unpleasant sensation in the gut that precedes vomiting
needs assessment:
formal procedure for determining needs
nervous system:
the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that extend throughout the body
neural:
related to the nervous system
neural tube defects:
failures of proper development of the spinal cord
neurological:
related to the nervous system
neuropathy:
malfunction of nerve cells
neurotransmitter:
molecule released by one nerve cell to stimulate or inhibit another
NHANES:
National Heath and Nutrition Examination Survey
niacin:
one of the B vitamins, required for energy production in the cell
nitrite:
NO2, used for preservatives
nitrogen:
essential element for plant growth
nonpathogenic:
not promoting disease
nonpolar:
without a separation if charge within the molecule; likely to be hydrophobic
nutrient:
dietary substance necessary for health
nutrient deficiencies:
lack of adequate nutrients in the diet
nutrition:
the maintenance of health through proper eating, or the study of same
nutritional deficiency:
lack of adequate nutrients in the diet
nutritional requirements:
the set of substances needed in the diet to maintain health
obese:
above accepted standards of weight for sex, height, and age
obesity:
the condition of being overweight, according to established norms based on sex, age, and height
opacity:
impermeability to light
opportunistic infections:
infections not normally threatening, which gain a foothold in people with weakened immune systems
oral-pharyngeal:
related to mouth and throat
osteoarthritis:
inflammation of the joints
osteoblast:
cell that forms bone
osteomalacia:
softening of the bones
osteopathic:
related to the practice of osteopathy, which combines standard medical therapy with manipulation of the skeleton to correct problems
osteoporosis:
weakening of the bone structure
over-the-counter:
available without a prescription
overweight:
weight above the accepted norm based on height, sex, and age
oxidative:
related to chemical reaction with oxygen or oxygen-containing compounds
oxygen:
O2, atmospheric gas required by all animals
paralysis:
inability to move
parasite:
organism that feeds off of other organisms
parasitic:
feeding off another organism
parasitic diseases:
diseases caused by parasites, including amebic diseases, Giardia, roundworms, and others
pasteurization:
heating to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms, after Louis Pasteur
pathogen:
organism that causes disease
pH:
level of acidity, with low numbers indicating high acidity
phenylketonuria:
inherited disease marked by the inability to process the amino acid phenylalanine, causing mental retardation
phospholipid:
a type of fat used to build cell membranes
phosphorus:
element essential in forming the mineral portion of bone
physiological:
related to the biochemical processes of the body
physiology:
the group of biochemical and physical processes that combine to make a functioning organism, or the study of same
phytate:
plant compound that binds minerals, reducing their ability to be absorbed
phytochemical:
chemical produced by plants
phytoestrogen:
plant-derived estrogen compound
pituitary gland:
gland at the base of the brain that regulates multiple body processes
plaque:
material forming deposits on the surface of the teeth, which may promote bacterial growth and decay
plasma:
the fluid portion of the blood, distinct from the cellular portion
plateaus:
periods during which growth is greatly reduced
pluralistic:
of many different sources
pneumonia:
lung infection
polar:
containing regions of positive and negative charge; likely to be soluble in water
polyunsaturated:
having multiple double bonds within the chemical structure, thus increasing the body's ability to metabolize it
potable:
safe to drink
pre-renal:
kidney disease caused by change in the blood supply to the kidney
prevalence:
describing the number of cases in a population at any one time
preventive medicine:
treatment designed to prevent disease, rather than waiting for it to occur before intervening
processed food:
food that has been cooked, milled, or otherwise manipulated to change its quality
proscription:
prohibitions, rules against
prostaglandin:
hormone that helps regulate inflammation and other tissue processes
prostate:
male gland surrounding the urethra that contributes fluid to the semen
protein:
complex molecule composed of amino acids that performs vital functions in the cell; necessary part of the diet
protein digestion:
breakdown of proteins into amino acids in the digestive tract
psoriasis:
skin disorder characterized by red, dry, scaly skin
psychological:
related to thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences
psyllium:
bulk-forming laxative derived from the Plantago psyllium seeds
puberty:
time of onset of sexual maturity
reactivity:
characteristic set of reactions undergone due to chemical structure
Recommended Dietary Allowances:
nutrient intake recommended to promote health
renal failure:
inability of the kidneys to cleanse the blood
respiratory system:
the lungs, throat, and muscles of respiration, or breathing
rice genome:
the set of genes possessed by rice
rickets:
disorder caused by vitamin D deficiency, marked by soft and misshapen bones and organ swelling
ritual:
ceremony or frequently repeated behavior
RNA:
ribonucleic acid, used in cells to create proteins from genetic information
salmonellosis:
food poisoning due to Salmonella bacteria
saturated fat:
a fat with the maximum possible number of hydrogens; more difficult to break down than unsaturated fats
scurvy:
a syndrome characterized by weakness, anemia, and spongy gums, due to vitamin C deficiency
sedentary:
not active
serotonin:
chemical used by nerve cells to communicate with one another
serum:
noncellular portion of the blood
serum estrone:
blood level of estrone, a steroid hormone that is one of the estrogens, a type of female hormone
shock:
state of dangerously low blood pressure and loss of blood delivered to the tissues
sideroblastosis:
condition in which the blood contains an abnormally high number of sideroblasts, or red blood cells containing iron granules
sleep apnea:
difficulty breathing while sleeping
smallpox:
deadly viral disease
smog:
air pollution
social group:
tribe, clique, family, or other group of individuals
socioeconomic status:
level of income and social class
staples:
essential foods in the diet
steroid:
class of hormones composed of carbon rings, necessary for sexual development and mineral balance
steroid hormones:
class of hormones composed of carbon rings, necessary for sexual development and mineral balance
steroids:
group of hormones that affect tissue build-up, sexual development, and a variety of metabolic
sterol:
building blocks of steroid hormones; a type of lipid
stillbirth:
giving birth to a dead fetus
stress:
heightened state of nervousness or unease
stroke:
loss of blood supply to part of the brain, due to a blocked or burst artery in the brain
subcutaneous:
beneath the skin
sucrose:
table sugar
temperate zone:
region of the world between the tropics and the arctic or Antarctic
testosterone:
male sex hormone
thalassemia:
inherited blood disease due to defect in the hemoglobin protein
thermogregulate:
regulate temperature
tofu:
soybean curd, similar in consistency to cottage cheese
tolerance:
development of a need for increased amount of drug to obtain a given level of intoxication
toxicant:
harmful substance
toxins:
poisons
trace:
very small amount
trans-fatty acids:
type of fat thought to increase the risk of heart disease
triglyceride:
a type of fat
tuber:
swollen plant stem below the ground
tuberculosis:
bacterial infection, usually of the lungs, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis
tularemia:
bacterial infection by Francisella tularensis, causing fever, skin lesions, and other symptoms
type II diabetes:
inability to regulate the level of sugar in the blood due to a reduction in the number of insulin receptors on the body's cells
typhoid:
fever-causing bacterial infection due to Salmonella typhi; transmitted contaminated food or water
typhus:
bacterial disease transmitted by infected rodents
ulcer:
erosion in the lining of the stomach or intestine due to bacterial infection
uncharged:
neither positively nor negatively charged
undernutrition:
food intake too low to maintain adequate energy expenditure without weight loss
uric:
from urine
vaccine:
medicine that promotes immune system resistance by stimulating pre-existing cells to become active
vegan:
person who consumes no animal products, including milk and honey
viral disease:
disease caused by viruses, including flu, colds, AIDS, hepatitis, and others
virus:
noncellular infectious agent that requires a host cell to reproduce
vitamin:
necessary complex nutrient used to aid enzymes or other metabolic processes in the cell
vitamin D:
nutrient needed for calcium uptake and therefore proper bone formation
wasting:
loss of body tissue often as a result of cancer or other disease
water-soluble:
able to be dissolved in water
wean:
cease breast-feeding
wellness:
related to health promotion
white blood cell:
immune system cell that fights infection
yeast allergy:
allergy to yeasts used in baking or brewing
zinc:
mineral necessary for many enzyme processes

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