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Glossary



Amino acids- the basic chemical structural units of proteins

Andropause- a gradual decline in sex hormone levels over a period of years resulting in physiological and psychological changes.

Aorta- is the main artery to our body. It receives blood from the heart, and distributes it to the rest of the body via its branches. The aorta is analogous to the trunk of a tree that also has multiple side branches.

Arteriosclerosis- is a generic term for the thickening and hardening of the arterial wall.

Artery- are blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply the heart muscle. Peripheral arteries are arteries located away from the heart:

    Renal arteries- the arteries to the kidneys
    Brain arteries- the arteries to the brain
    Femoral arteries- the arteries to the lower extremities

Atherosclerosis- is a type of arteriosclerosis that affects the larger arteries. It is a diffuse process that may occur anywhere in the body, not only in the heart. The walls of the arteries become thickened and covered with fatty plaques (deposits on the walls of blood vessels, containing cholesterol, fat, and calcium- similar to the calcium deposits seen on the inside of water pipes). Coronary vascular disease refers to atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries (blood vessels supplying the heart muscle).

Chelation- The word is derived from the Greek "chele" and refers to the claw of a crab or lobster. A substance is "chelated" out of the body when it is grabbed, trapped and transformed by a chelating agent. Chelation therapy is a medical treatment that improves metabolic and circulatory function by removing toxic metals (such as lead and cadmium) and abnormally located nutritional metallic ions (such as iron) from the body.

Diabetes mellitus- a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia, due to defective insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. It is associated with many long-term sequelae including damage to eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

Essential nutrients- are those nutrients derived from food, that the body is unable to produce on its own. They are absolutely necessary for human life. They include: certain amino acids (L-leucine, L-phenylalanine, L-methionine, L-isoleucine, L-threonine, L-tryptophan, L-valine), vitamins (A, D, E, K, C, B1 [thiamine], B2 [riboflavin], B3 [niacin], B5 [pantothenic acid], B6 [pyridoxine], B12, folic acid and biotin), minerals (such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, chromium, sodium), fatty acids (such as linolenic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, oleic acid), water and carbohydrates.

Fatty acids- are the building blocks from which fats and oils are made. There are three categories of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Ferritin- an iron protein complex which regulates iron storage and transport from the intestinal lumen to plasma.

Free radicals- molecules that have a missing or unpaired electron.

Glycation- the binding of glucose and other sugars onto proteins.

Heart- is a muscle that pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. The heart weighs only 250-300 grams, and is approximately the size of your fist.

Homocysteine- A metabolite of methionine that is converted to the benign cystathionine by a B6-dependent enzyme. Homocysteine has been implicated in the pathogenesis of heart disease.

Hormone- a chemical substance formed in one part of the body and carried in the blood to another organ or part. Hormones can alter the functional activity, and sometimes the structure of their target organs or sites.

Ischemia- a term used to describe reduced blood flow to an organ.

Ischemic heart disease- refers to decreased blood flow to the heart due to atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. Often used synonymously with the terms Coronary Vascular Disease and or Coronary Heart Disease.

Lymphatic system- a network of thin walled vessels that remove excess extracellular fluid from the tissues and return it to the blood. In addition to clearing fluid, this system also clears toxins, wastes, and infection from all tissues of the body.

Menopause- permanent cessation of menses.

Mitochondrion- an organelle found within cells which serves as the principal energy source of the cell.

Myocardial infarction- (aka heart attack)- is damage or death of an area of the heart muscle, secondary to a decrease in the blood supply to that area. Most myocardial infarctions cause pain, however, some are silent, and occur in the absence of pain (commonly in diabetics).

Osteoporosis- a condition of reduced bone mass, with reduced cortical thickness and a decrease in the number and size of the trabeculae of cancellous bone resulting in increased fracture risk.

Steroids- are lipids that have a unique ring-like structure.

Unstable plaque- are newly formed or small plaques that are at most risk for rupture and are referred to as unstable.

Vein- a blood vessel carrying blood towards the heart. All veins carry deoxygenated blood with the exception of the pulmonary veins from the lungs.