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Glossary

ACE Inhibitors
Drug that inhibits the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). ACE is an enzyme needed in the production of peptide angiotensin II, causing arteries to constrict, raising blood pressure. ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure by the inhibition formation of angiotensin II, relaxing arteries and lowering blood pressure.

Acetylcholine (ACh)
Neurotransmitter that plays an important role in memory function. Used in the control of sensory input signals and muscular control. ACh is a stimulatory neurotransmitter, when released by muscle nerves, muscles contract. It is made from the precursor nutrient choline and there is some evidence that increased dietary choline can increase production and use of acetylcholine.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Disease which progressively destroys central portion of the retina, known as the macula. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 50 and over in the Western World. It is noted that about 30-million people throughout the world are thought to suffer from the condition. There are two known types of AMD - the wet type and the milder and more common dry type.

Agonist
An agent which stimulates or increases secretion from a specific gland.
 
Alzheimers Disease
Known as SDAT (senile dementia Alzheimer's type). Disease is characterized by general loss of mental qualitative ability and impairment of memory, judgment, abstract thinking, as well as changes in personality. Symptoms include loss of speech, disorientation and apathy. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, rarely occurring before the age of 50.
 
Amino Acid
An organic acid containing the amine (ammonia-like) chemical group in its make up. Amino acids are put together by your body in highly specific ways to manufacture proteins.

Acetyl L-Carnitine
Acetyl L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring nutrient in the body- that transports fats into the mitochondria. Studies show that it may help in the protection of the brain by nourishing NMDA-sensitive glutamate receptors- that normally decline with age. ALC has also been shown to help prevent the formation of lipofuscin or age spots, a potassium pigment, to increase cerebral blood flow.

Anti Aging Role:
Anti-aging benefits may include protection of the brain from signs of aging, possible improvement of memory with long-term use, increased attention and vitality, and protection and treatment of senile dementia. Studies confirm that ALC can reduce both lipid peroxidation and lipofuscin concentration in brain cells. Some research notes that ALC supplementation can be helpful in the management of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Therapeutic Amount:
ALC is distributed in 250mg and 500mg tablets, and has been known to be administered in oral liquid form. Pharmaceutical trade name preparations include Branigen, Ceredor, Nicetile, Normobren and Zibren. Follow instructions on packaging.

Maximum Dosage: 1500mg per day

Contraindications:
Side effects may include nausea, headache, dizziness or vomiting when starting treatment or at increased dosages. Those with kidney or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking supplementary ALC.

Arginine
Arginine is known as a non-essential amino acid that the body can synthesize in the liver, but in times of stress or trauma it becomes an essential amino acid. Arginine is naturally found in beans, brewer’s yeast, dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, nuts, oatmeal, popcorn, raisins, seafood, seeds, sesame seeds, soy, sunflower seeds, whey, and whole grains.

Role in Anti-Aging:
It boosts nitric oxide production in the body, making it potentially useful in the treatment of congestive heart failure, angina, impotence, and sexual dysfunction in women. It has the ability to relax blood vessels, arteries flexible, seemingly acting as a natural anticoagulant by reducing the "stickiness" of platelets. Evidence has suggested that arginine may help regulate cholesterol levels. These benefits suggest that arginine may help in the reduction of the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It is also vital in the production of protein and the secretion of the hormones glucagon and insulin, also stimulating the pituitary gland to release growth hormone. Arginine can also help to increase sperm production, boost the immune system, and aid wound and burn healing.
Decreased sperm count is the sign of deficiency of arginine.

Daily Dosage:
A typical dosage of arginine is 2-3 g per day. Most do not need to take supplementary arginine. Those suffering from serious burns, infections, or other trauma may need extra arginine; however the dosage should be administered by a doctor. A maximum safe level has not been established.

Contraindications:
Possible side effects may include diarrhea and nausea. Those with renal or hepatic insufficiency as well as those with insulin-dependent diabetes should avoid large doses of arginine. It is to be noted that those with allergies to eggs, milk, or wheat avoid it.

Note: L-Arginine should not be taken in combination with L-Lysine; lysine is an antagonist of arginine. L-Arginine can interfere with the metabolism of lysine, which can reactivate the herpes simplex virus in humans. Those taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as aspirin, and drugs that alter potassium levels, for example ACE inhibitors, should be extra cautious ff taking the supplement arginine. People with kidney or liver disease should consult with their physician before taking supplementary arginine.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) Leucine/Isoleucine/Valine
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) leucine, isoleucine, and valine are used by the body to manufacture proteins. Muscles are known to have a high content of BCAA’s; adequate amounts of BCAA’s are obtained through diet, but injury may increase the need for BCAA’s to repair sustained damage. They are found in all protein-containing foods, but best sources are known to be red meat and dairy products.

Role in Anti Aging:
BCAA’s are utilized for their muscle-building properties; however, evidence obtained through clinical trials suggests that there is no improvement in performance, reduction in fatigue, or increase in the body’s muscle to fat ratio. It is known that BCAA’s have a hand in reduced symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and improve the appetite of cancer patients. There are no known deficiency markers for leucine and valine; however, a severe deficiency of isoleucine may cause hypoglycemia.

Therapeutic dosage:
Dosage is 1-5 g per day.

Contraindications:
Those with kidney or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking supplementary leucine, isoleucine, or valine. BCAA’s may reduce the effectiveness of anti-Parkinson’s drugs.

Cysteine, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid that is manufactured in the liver. It is obtained through the diet from beans, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dairy products, eggs, fish, garlic, meat, nuts, onions, red peppers, seafood, seeds, soy, whey, and whole grains. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a modified form of cysteine. NAC helps the body make the antioxidant enzyme glutathione.

Role in Anti- Aging:
Cysteine may help in diminishing the effects of aging, protecting against heart disease and cancer, boosting the immune system, promoting metabolism of fats and production of muscle tissue, and aid healing after surgery. It is known to work synergistically in combination with vitamin E and selenium as an antioxidant. It protects against the damaging effects of radiation, and acetaldehyde in tobacco smoke, alcohol and environmental pollutants.

Studies have found that NAC is beneficial to patients with chronic bronchitis and angina issues; preliminary evidence suggests that it may help to prevent colon cancer. It is rumored to aid in the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs, and reduces possible side effects, but there is little evidence to suggest it is correct. Very high doses of NAC are given to patients in hospital to treat acetaminophen poisoning. Symptoms of cysteine deficiency include: apathy, pigmentation loss in hair, edema, liver damage, muscle loss, skin lesions, weakness, fat loss, and stunted growth in children.

Therapeutic Dosage:       
Optimal levels of NAC and cysteine are said to be 250 to 1,500 mg of NAC per day. This has been used in clinical trials with no adverse effects. There are no known signs of toxicity from cysteine. NAC appears to be a very safe supplement even in high doses, but an animal study has found that 60-100 times the normal dose could cause liver injury.

Note: NAC is known to have antioxidant activity, however one study found that daily doses of 1.2g or more increased oxidative stress.

Contraindications:
Diabetes mellitus patients and those with allergies to eggs, milk, or wheat should not take supplementary cysteine. People taking the drug may experience severe headaches when taking NAC. Cysteine supplements must be taken with vitamin C to prevent cysteine being converted to cystine, which may form kidney or bladder stones. Those with kidney or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking supplementary cysteine.

 

Amyloid Plaque
Build up of beta-amyloid protein. Amyloid plaques are one of the characteristic structural abnormalities found in the brains of Alzheimer patients. The presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles is used to positively diagnose Alzheimer's disease upon death. 

Antagonist
Medication that opposes the action of another medicine or poison when absorbed into the blood or tissues. 

Anti-oxidant
Nutrient or chemical which reacts with and neutralizes oxidants, free radicals or chemicals that release free radicals. Antioxidants are known as free radical scavengers.
Vitamins A, C, E and some of the B vitamins, beta-carotene, selenium and some key enzymes in your body are all known antioxidants.
 
Anti-proliferative genes

Genes which inhibit cell division or proliferation; known as tumor suppressor genes. 

Apolipoprotein E (APOE)
Gene situated on chromosome 19, codes for protein in lipoproteins that are normal constituents of blood plasma. HDL (high density lipoprotein), LDL (low density lipoprotein), and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) are all an apolipoprotein. There common variations (alleles) of the APOE gene, commonly known as: e2, e3, and e4.

Apoptosis
Programmed cell death is a when a programmed sequence of events leads to the destruction of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area. It is important due to the role in the body that aids in eliminating aged cells, unnecessary cells, and unhealthy cells.

ATP
Adenosine Triphosphate, the universal energy molecule, created within the mitochondria of cells using the energy derived from consumed food. All cellular activities in the body use energy released by splitting ATP.

Atrophy
Dying or death of a specific organ or gland. 

Autoimmune Disease
Illness that occurs when the body is attacked by its own immune system. Those suffering from autoimmune diseases may have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that target their own body tissues. They are more common in women than in men, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and juvenile (type 1) diabetes

Average Life Span
The average number of years that members of a population live. 

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
An inflammatory marker- a protein the body releases in response to inflammation. Elevated levels of CRP in the blood are indicative of inflammation in the body, and is normally not present in a healthy individual.

Caloric Restriction
Experimental approach to studying longevity where the lifespan of laboratory animals have been extended by reducing calories while the necessary level of nutrients is maintained.
 
Catecholamines
Class of neurotransmitters including norepinephrine and dopamine. 
 
Catoplexy
Condition of sudden muscular weakness or fatigue.
 
Celecoxib
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Research suggests it may reduce Alzheimer's risk in persons with family history of dementia. 

Cell Senescence
Stage at which a cell has stopped dividing permanently. 

Central Nervous System (CNS):
The brain, spinal cord and its associated nerves. 

Cerebrovascular Insufficiency
Inadequate supply of blood to the brain due to narrowing of the blood vessels which lead to, or are in various areas of the brain. 

Cholinergic
Parts of nervous system using acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter. 

Chromosomes
Double stranded DNA helixes. 

Cross Linking
Oxidation reaction in which undesirable bonds form between nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) or between proteins (bit into an apple and watch it do yellow over time, this is protein cross linking). 

Dendrites
Fine network of branches extending from the body of a nerve, receiving and carrying impulses into the center of a given cell. 
 
DHT (Dihydrotestosterone)
Conversion of testosterone considered to be an aging biomarker. Its affects are appearance of body-hair, the loss of scalp hair and the onset of prostate gland problems. 

DMAE (demethylaminoethanol)
Found in minimal amounts in the brain, known for brain enhancing affects. 

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)
Genetic blueprint residing in the nucleus of every cell of every living organism. Researchers believe free radicals damage the DNA and may be directly responsible for the aging process and cancer. 

Dopamine
Neurotransmitter critical in motor coordination, immune function, insulin regulation, physical energy, thinking, short term memory, emotions such as sexual desire and autonomic nervous system balance. 

Dopaminergic
Parts of nervous system which utilize dopamine as a neurotransmitter.
 
Double Blind
Scientific experiment in which neither the subject nor the researcher know who is receiving the active substance and who receives the placebo. Researchers that are unaware of which subjects received the active substance then evaluate data generated from the experiment. This type of experiment helps to eliminate personal bias from research.

Double-blind Crossover
This is a study where all subjects switch from an active substance to a placebo or vice versa.

Endocrine System
Term for the group of glands in a specific area; pituitary, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenal, testes and ovaries.

Eugeroic
Unique class of drugs that have stimulatory properties. 

Free Radical
Highly chemically reactive atom, molecule or molecular fragment with a free or unpaired electron. Free radicals are produced in many different ways; through normal metabolic processes, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, nuclear radiation and the breakdown in the body of spoiled fats. Free radicals have been implicated in aging, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Free-Radical Scavenger
A myriad of chemical reactions that occur when a free radical reacts with another molecule to gain an electron. Molecules that lose an electron to the free radical then become a free radical, repeating the process until the energy of the free radical is spent, or the reaction is stopped by an antioxidant.
GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid)
An amino acid which acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

Gene Expression
The process in which genes are transcribed and translated into proteins. Age-related changes in expressions of the gene account for some of the phenomena of aging. 

Glycation
The process in which glucose links with proteins and causes them to bind together, hardening tissue and leading to the complications of diabetes and perhaps some of the physiologic problems associated with aging. 

Growth Hormone (GH)
Hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. GH stimulates growth and repair of the body as well as the activities of the immune system. With age, GH release diminishes (also known as hGH or human growth hormone). 

Hayflick Limit
A finite number of divisions in which a cell is capable of dividing. 

Hippocampus
The area of the brain believed to be responsible for memory and personality.

Hormone
Latin for a “chemical messenger,” such as growth hormone, testosterone or insulin. 

Huntington’s Disease
Hereditary disorder characterized by mental and physical deterioration, ultimately leading to death. Sometimes referred to as Hungtinton's chorea due to the involuntary rapid movement of limbs (chorea), the disease is caused by loss of neurons (nerve cells) in the brain.

Hypersomnia
A condition in which one requires more sleep than is the normal average. 

Hyposomnia
A condition in which one requires very little sleep, akin to an insomniac.
 
Hypothalamus
Area of the brain believed to be the command center, instructing the endocrine system.

Hypoxia
Condition of lowered oxygen levels in the blood system. Hypoxia promotes free radical activity in the body.

Infarct
Tissue that has died due to lack of oxygen resulting from a blood clot or blocking of an artery. 

Inhibitory Neurotransmitter
Neurotransmitter that decreases the electrochemical activity of neurons. GABA and serotonin are inhibitory neurotransmitters. 

Interleukins
Substances secreted by lymphocytes; their levels varying with age. 

Learning
A change in neural function as a consequence of experience. 

Lipofuscin
Brown waste material deposited in the skin and nerve cells commonly known as “age spots.” Lipofuscin is made of free radical damaged proteins and fats. 

Liver Spots
Deposits of lipofuscin in the skin. 

Lymphocytes
White blood cells important to the immune system. Decline in lymphocyte function in advancing age is being studied for insights into aging and disease. 
 
Maximum Life Span
The greatest age reached by any member of a given species. 

Mitochondria
Cell organelles that metabolize sugars into energy. Mitochondria contains DNA, which may be damaged by high levels of free radicals produced in the mitochondrian. They are also structures in cells that act as power plants.

Monoamine Oxidase (MAO)
An enzyme in the brain that breaks down certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. 

Narcolepsy
Condition when one randomly falls asleep due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

Nerve
That which carries information to and from the central nervous system. 

Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
A naturally occurring hormone stimulateing growth of neurons.

Neurites
Tiny projection growths from each nerve cell that carries information between the cells. A nerve cell may have over 100,000 neurites growing out of it; each connected to other nerve cells.

Neurochemical
A chemical that naturally occurs in the nervous system and plays a part in its functioning. 

Neurodegenerative Disease
Type of neurological disorder marked by loss of nerve cells. For example Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease. 

Neurofibrillary Tangles
Accumulation of twisted protein fragments inside the neuron. Neurofibrillary tangles are one of the characteristic structural abnormalities found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Upon autopsy, the presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are used in positively diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.

Neuron
A nerve cell.

Neurotransmitter
One of the many chemicals that carry impulses between nerve cells. 

Neurotrophic Factor
A molecule, typically a protein, such as nerve growth factor (NGF), that promotes nerve cell growth, repair, and survival.

Niacin
Is an active part of Vitamin B3. 

Nootropic
Word developed by Dr. Giurgea to describe the new class of drugs that act as cognitive enhancers with minimal side effects or toxicity, from the Greek words noos, meaning mind and tropein, meaning toward.

Norepinephrine (also known as Noradrenaline)
An excitatory neurotransmitter involved in alertness, concentration, aggression and motivation, among other behaviors. Norepinephrine is made in the brain from the amino acid phenylalanine.

Oxidation
Chemical reaction in which an electron is taken from a molecule of an oxidized substance.

Pancreas
The gland responsible for insulin production. 

Parkinson’s disease
Chronic disease of the central nervous system caused by lowered levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter dopamine. Symptoms include muscular tremors and weakness. 

Photoaging
The process initiated by sunlight through which the skin becomes drier and loses elasticity. Photoaging is being studied for clues to aging due to its similarity in normal aging on certain skin cells. 

Pituitary Gland
Gland at the base of the brain, that secretes several different hormones involved in key metabolic processes.

Placebo
Inert compound usually given to a portion of subjects in a scientific experiment in order to distinguish the psychological effects of the experiment from the physiological effects of the drug being tested. 

Precursor
A chemical that can be converted by the body into another is a precursor of the latter chemical. 

Pregnenolone
The “grandmother” hormone produced in the mitochondria that is the base “raw-material” for all the steroids and neuro-steroids. 

Proliferative Genes
Genes that promote cell division or proliferation; also known as oncogenes. 

Proteins
Molecules that are made up of amino acids arranged in a specific order determined by genetic code. Specific proteins, like the enzymes which protect against free radicals are being studied extensively by gerontologists.
 
Receptors
Sites on the outside of cells where particular messenger molecules such as hormones may attach. Attachment to the receptor site causes corresponding changes inside the cell. 

Regeneration
Regrowth of cells, tissues, organs or limbs.

RNA
Ribonucleic acid, that which carries instructions from DNA in the nucleus to cell polyribosomes, where proteins are made according to the RNA instructions.

Senility
Aging related loss of mental faculties.

Senscequence
Reduction and decline of a gland's output over age.
 
Serotonin
Inhibitory neurotransmitter required for sleep.

Stimulatory Neurotransmitter
Neurotransmitter that increases electro-chemical activity in the nerve cells. Norepinephrine is a known stimulatory neurotransmitter. 

Stroke
A rupture in the blood vessel of the brain, often with disastrous effects depending on where the rupture occurs. 

Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
Zinc, copper or manganese containing enzyme which reacts with superoxide radicals to convert them to less dangerous chemical entities.

Superoxide Radical
A free radical known to play a central role in arthritis and cataract formation.

Synapse
The gap between nerve cells.

Synergies
Compounds are combined and their effects are more than the sum of their individual effects; the compounds are said to have positive synergy. Many nootropic compounds have positive synergy effects with each other, they become synergistic. 

Systemic
Throughout the entire body.

Telomeres
Repeated DNA sequences found at the ends of chromosomes; telomeres shorten each time a cell divides. 

Thymus
Master gland of the immune system located behind the breastbone. 
 
Thyroid
The gland located in the center of the brain responsible (amongst other things) for temperature regulation.

Toxic
Poisons- all matter, including water and oxygen is toxic in sufficiently high doses.

Triglycerides
A class of fats found in the bloodstream. 

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