Abdomen - Also known as the belly, is the part of the body
between the chest and the pelvis (thorax) that helps support of the
the inner organs.
Abdominal - Relating to the abdomen or belly.
Absorption - The absorbing of nutrients in the digestive tract.
Acetylcholine - A neurotransmitter that is composed of an ester of
choline and acetic acid that enables brain cells to exchange
Acid reflux - A condition where acid from the stomach leaks into the
oesophagus and causes discomfort and a burning sensation in the
Acidity - The measure of a molecule in pH that has lost hydrogen
ions and behaves like an acid.
Acidosis - Increased acidity level in the blood. Opposite of
Acupuncture - Where needles are inserted into the skin at special
points to treat certain physical conditions.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) - A molecule that serves as an energy
source for plants and animals. ATP breaks down into adenosine
diphosphate and a another phosphate group that releases energy used
to power the body's cells.
Adequate Intakes (AIs) - A measurement providing recommendations for
nutrients for which no RDA is set.
Adipose Tissue - Tissue containing fat deposits and also known as
Addiction - A condition characterized by substance dependence often
brought about by chemical changes in the brain brought about by the
drug itself. Addictive drugs include but are not limited to alcohol,
cocaine, heroin and nicotine.
Adrenaline - A hormone also known as epinephrine that can produce
the 'fight or flight response' amongst other things. When released
into the body, adrenaline speeds up respiration and heart rate.
Alanine - An amino acid that transforms into glucose that the body
can use as an energy source.
Albumin - A protein present in blood plasma that helps maintain the
body's fluid balance.
Allergen - An antigen that produces a specific response in the
immune system causing an allergic reaction.
Allergic reaction - A specific response of the immune system
occurring when a substance that is usually considered harmless
Alpha-tocopherol equivalent - The vitamin E compound with the
greatest vitamin E activity.
Amino acid - A chemical containing nitrogen that is a building block
used for the making of proteins.
Anaphylaxis - An allergic reaction with a drop in blood pressure and
swelling of the tissues surrounding the airways that can be
Anemia - A condition caused by an insufficient number of red blood
cells in the blood.
Anesthesia - A temporary loss of feeling or awareness used to help
minimize or remove completely, pain that a patient would otherwise
feel. A general anaesthetic puts the person to sleep whereas a local
anesthetic is introduced locally without affecting the person's
Anabolism - The process by which large molecules are built up from
smaller molecules and the opposite of catabolism.
Angioplasty - The widening of narrow or obstructed arteries.
Anorexia nervosa - An eating disorder characterized by an irrational
fear of gaining weight that is sometimes known as voluntary
starvation. It is more common among women than among men.
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) - A hormone that is secreted by the
hypothalamus located at the base of the brain.
Anthropometric - A measurement of the characteristics of the human
body such as size or proportion.
Antibiotic - A chemical that kills or prevents the growth of
bacteria and other microorganisms.
Antibody - A protein created in the immune system that protects the
body against infection.
Antioxidant - A molecule that prevents a chemical reaction called
oxidation occurring. This stops the parts of a molecule called free
radicals from joining together and forming a potentially dangerous
compound in your body.
Appetite - A desire to eat food that can be a physical or
psychological reaction brought about by hunger or a craving for
Arteriosclerosis - A general term used to describe the thickening or
hardening of the arteries.
Aorta - The largest artery in the body extending from the heart to
the abdomen that carries the majority of all blood to the rest of
Arginine - An amino acid that is important for cell division and
found in a wide variety of foods.
Artery - A blood vessel that carries oxygen rich blood away from the
heart toward the body tissues.
Arthritis - An inflammation of the joints
Ascorbic Acid - Vitamin C.
Aspartame - An artificial sweetener with almost no calories used as
a sugar substitute.
Aspartic acid - An amino acid produced in the body with the largest
quantity found in the brain and known to increase neurological
Assisted-living - A facility that provides meal preparation
assistance as well as cleaning and other household tasks to help
maintain independent living.
Asthma - A respiratory disorder producing shortness of breath and
Atherosclerosis - A hardening or thickening of the arteries and a
leading cause of strokes and heart attacks.
Atkins Diet - A low-carbohydrate diet popularized by Dr. Robert C.
Atkins. The diet allows for large amounts of meat, cheese and eggs
while restricting carbohydrates, including sugar, bread, pasta,
milk, fruits and vegetables.
Atole - A porridge made from maize, water and milk.
of diet and weight loss terms can be found in alphabetic order below.