KNOW HOW & KNOWLEDGE

Glossary

Absorption

In nutrition, the process of moving nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) and micronutrients (e.g., vitamins and carotenoids) from the digestive system into the bloodstream. Most (micro)nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine.

Adequate Intake (AI)

Defines a daily dietary intake level for a nutrient sufficient to meet the requirements. However, the amount established is somewhat less firmly believed to be adequate for everyone in the demographic group than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). An AI is set when no RDA has been established.

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

A medical condition, usually of older adults, which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (macula) because of damage to the light sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye (retina).

Alzheimer’s disease

The most common cause of dementia in older adults. Symptoms include memory loss and confusion, which worsen over time. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the formation of amyloid plaque in the brain and nerve cell degeneration. The brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress, which is thought to play a role in the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

Amine

Organic compounds (e.g., NH2CH3) that are derivatives of ammonia (NH3), wherein one or more hydrogen (H) atoms have been replaced by an atom (group) such as an alkyl group (CH3).

Anemia

The condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in diminished oxygen transport. Anemia has many causes, such as iron, vitamin B12, or vitamin B9 deficiency.

Angina pectoris

Pain generally experienced in the chest, but sometimes radiating to the arms or jaw, due to a lack of oxygen supply to the heart muscle.

Antioxidant

Antioxidant substances, such as vitamins and carotenoids, are thought to protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, ending the electron-"stealing" reaction. They act as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is important in the development of fatty build-ups in the arteries (see Atherosclerosis). Antioxidant substances, such as vitamins and carotenoids, can potentially prevent LDL oxidation and its harmful effects.

Asthma

A chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, characterized by recurrent episodes of reversible airflow obstruction.

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the wall of arterial blood vessels thickens as the result of a build up of fatty materials ─ so-called plaques. If a plaque suddenly ruptures it can cause the formation of a clot (thrombus) that rapidly slows or stops blood flow, leading to death of the tissues fed by the artery. A thrombosis of a coronary artery can cause a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and a thrombosis of a brain artery can cause a stroke. Atherosclerosis of the blood vessels to the legs (peripheral artery disease) can lead to pain when walking.

The underlying cause of atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory response in the arteries leading to a hardening of the vessel walls. This process is promoted by the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol through free radicalsAntioxidant nutrients can potentially protect the arterial wall against the damaging oxidative effects.

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