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Un peu d'histoire
 List of scientific terms
A . B . C. D . E . F . G . H . I . K . L . M . O . P . R . S . T . V . Z
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Amino acids :
Comprised of protein bases, they are indispensable to the body which can only manufacture some of them for certain: they are essential amino acids. The latter must be provided by the diet. They are present in meat, eggs, fish and certain vegetables.

essential fatty Acids :
hese are the fatty acids constitutive of the membranes of our cells.

They also contribute to certain defence reactions against inflammation and remote communication between several organs and cells.

polyunsaturated fatty Acids :
IThey are essentials and come from fats. They play a fundamental role in the structure of neurones, contributing to the equilibrium of fats promoting the production of substances necessary for the functioning of the cells.

They are found in cold water oily fish (salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna…) and in certain vegetable oils (evening primrose, borage, walnut, soya…).

Afssa :
A public State-owned establishment placed under the authority of the Ministreis of Health, Agriculture and Consumption, Afssa was created on 1 April 1999 in accordance with the law of 1 July 1998 relating to health watch and monitoring of products intended for humans.

Anti free radicals:
(see antioxidants)

Antioxydants :
Molecules or set of molecules capable of neutralising the free radicals responsible for cell ageing therefore having a defence role within the membranes or the cell.

The main ones are :

  - vitamins: E, C, A, bêta-carotene
  - minerals : selenium, zinc
  - complex molecules of plant origin: polyphenols, flavonoïdes, anthocyanosides, carotenoïds
  - enzymes: glutathion peroxidase, superoxyde dismutase.

Les antioxydants cooperent souvent ensemble dans la cellule : ainsi la vitamine C regenere la vitamine E, la glutathion peroxidase ne peut agir sans la vitamine E et le selenium.
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Bioavailability :
The bioavailability is the proportion of a substance which will act effectively in the body in respect of the quantity absorbed. We can assimilate it to the speed and/or to the rate of absorption of an active substance from a pharmaceutical preparation.
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Calcium :
Calcium is an major component of a health diet. Contrarily to popular belief, it is not dairy products which represent the best source of calcium, as the calcium/phosphorus proportion is not good. Milk actually contains too much phosphorus which can lead to insufficient calcification. The body needs magnesium, silicon, vitamins A, C and D, proteins and phosphorus to assimilate it well. It plays a part in the formation of bones and teeth; its deficit will therefore affect them (osteoporosis, growth problems). Furthermore, it plays a part in cell exchange and is, for this reason, vital. Its blood level (calcaemia) is extremely regulated, to avoid variations fatal to the body.

The risk of colon cancer seems to be reduced by a diet rich in calcium. The majority of epidemiological studies show that people whose diet contains more calcium are less likely to have colorectal cancer. Over 25 scientific publications show that calcium reduced colic carcinogenesis in rodents. Lastly, three controlled clinical tests showed that taking a calcium carbonate supplement (1-2 g/d) reduces the recurrence of polyps in 15 to 30% of volunteers: So it appears that calcium prevents colorectal cancer.

Carbohydrates :
General term designating the sugars. They are part, with the proteins and lipids, of the essential constituents of living beings and of their nutrition, as they are one of the main biological intermediaries of storage and energy consumption. In autotrophic organisms, like plants, sugars are converted into starch for storage. In heterotrophic organisms, like animals, they are used as a source of energy in metabolic reactions, their oxidization during the digestion of carbohydrates provides around 17 kJ/g according to the study in the calorimetric arsenal.

Cartilage :
Variety of connective tissue characterised by a fundamental compact, transparent, elastic and resistant substance. The cartilage does not normally contain vessels or nerves.

Ceramides :
Ceramides are a family of lipids.

Chromium :
Chromium trivalent is a trace element essential for the metabolism of sugar in humans. A chromium deficiency can affect the potential of insulin to regulate the level of sugar in the body. Chromium has not, like the other trace elements, been found in a protein with a biological activiity, and so its mechanism of action in the regulation of sugar remains unexplained.

Co-factors :
A substance of enzymatic nature in general increasing the action of another substance.

Collagen :
Collagen is a fibrous (glyco) protein the role of which can be compared to a framework. It is the most abundant protein in the body. It is secreted by the cells of the support tissues (connective tissues, bones, tendons,). By contrast to the elastin also present in the connective tissues, collagen is non extensible and resists traction well. It is comprised of different types depending on their location. It is particularly indispensable to healing processes. After a number of transformations, glue can be made out of it.
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Dermis :
A deep layer of skin which nourishes and supports the epidermis, the dermis is a connective type tissue forming the skin along with the epidermis and the hypodermis. Its thickness is variable depending on the body areas but it can reach 1 millimetre.

DHA (Docosahexaenoïc Acid) :
Docosahexaenoic acid is a fatty acid forming part of the family of omega-3s. The brain and the heart need DHA to function optimally. It is particularly found in fish oil. It can also be found in eggs, milk and cheese if the animals have been fed with products rich in DHA.
In humans, a good level of DHA has an anti-inflammatory action and protection of the cardiovascular system and can reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood, which enables reduction of the risks of cardiac illness. Conversely, low levels of DHA have been associated with attention disorders (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, and depression (among others), and it seems certain that taking DHA (functional food) supplements is effective in the fight against this type of disease
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Enzyme :
Substance of a protein nature, an enzyme is a molecule enabling to accelerate up to millions of times the chemical reactions of the metabolism taking place in the cellular or extracellular environments. The enzymes act in low concentration and they are intact at the end of the reaction: they are biological catalysers (or bio-catalysers). An enzyme, like any protein, is synthesized from coded information in the DNA or in the RNA in the case of certain viruses. There are over 3,500 different enzymes recorded. The first enzymes isolated were first called cultures and then diastases. There are two large categories of enzyme: the purely protein enzymes (which are only comprised of amino acids) and the enzymes which are in two "parts": a protein part : “the apoenzyme”; a non-protein part : "the cofactor". The combination of the apoenzyme and the cofactor constitutes "the holoenzyme".

EPA (Ecosapentaenoïc) :
Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil.

Epidermis :
The epidermis is the superficial layer of skin whose surface is formed of dead keratinized cells. The epidermis (etymologically formed in Greece of the words epi, on and derma, skin) designates the tissue which covers the dermis. The epidermis is comprised of five cell layers, or strata, superimposed, which are, on leaving the exterior: the horny layer, the clear layer; the grainy layer; the layer of Malpighi or spiny layer, which contains keratinocytes, (cells producing keratin which gives the skin its toughness), melanocytes (cells producing melanin responsible for skin pigmentation), and nerve endings (sensation of touch); finally the basal layer. The epidermis is not irrigated by any blood vessels. The cells which compose it are nourished by diffusion from the dermis. It contains on the other hand numerous nerve endings. The epidermis is not very thick, about a millimetre thick. It varies according to the parts of the body. It is for example thickest on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet (due to the thickening of the horny layer).

Essential :
Which can only be manufactured by the body. Must be provided by the diet.

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Formulation :
Product shaping of the medicines or food supplements (syrup, tablet, cream, suppository, injectable forms, etc.) with packaging adapted to the customer’s age.

Fibres :
Dietary fibres are the parts of plant origin not transformed by the digestion enzymes. However, they are indispensable for the food functioning of intestinal transit. Resistant to digestion in the intestine, dietary fibres have no apparent nutritional value. In fact, the role of fibres is important in intestinal transit because they increase the volume of the bolus and improve the consistency of the stools thanks to their ability to absorb water, stimulating contractions of the intestine and promoting bacterial activity in the colon. However, absorbed in excess, they can disturb the assimilation of mineral salts and lead to the formation of liquid stools: this is diarrhoea. A deficiency in fibres can result in gastric and intestinal problems : this is constipation.
They have a positive effect of acceleration of fullness, delaying the feeling of hunger, and also limiting the risk of overeating, which helps prevent obesity.
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GMO :
Genetically Modified Organism

GMP :
The acronym designating Good Manufacturing Process which corresponds to BPF in French, ie Bonnes Pratiques de Fabrication.

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HYPRO® :
Commercial designation referring to the combination of trace elements or minerals with rice (HYPRO®-RI) or wheat (HYPRO®) proteins through a manufacturing procedure called chelation.

There is a common absorption route of minerals and trace elements in free form and the latter enter into competition: their assimilation by the body is therefore inefficient. Once connected to a protein (chelate form) they follow the absorption route of proteins and their assimilation is improved. This increase in the bioavailability of certain trace elements such as iron enables to reduce the undesirable side effects linked to the accumulation of this metal in its free form in the digestive tract.
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IP :
IP (Identity Preserved) is a system of expertise enabling to ensure that the authenticity of food products is maintained from the raw materials through to the finished product. The importance of PI is constantly increasing for the food industry. This is in part due to the rejection of genetically modified foods by European consumers and therefore to the industry’s efforts to satisfy their demands for non-GMO products.

Iodine :
The trace element indispensable for the manufacture of thyroïd hormones. These hormones are extremely important, at the stage of the foetus (formation of the nervous system), during puberty and generally throughout our lives.

When the diet provides too little iodine, the thyroid enlarges and goitre forms. Iodine deficiency leads to hypothyroidism (fatigue, depression, memory gaps, weight gain…).

Iron :
Iron has a fundamental role in the composition of the haemoglobin contained in the red blood cells, in the composition of myoglobin contained in the muscles and in that of numerous enzymes indispensable for the body to function.

Iron deficiency can have negative consequences on health, in particular a reduction in physical capacity on exertion, a reduction in intellectual performance, less resistance to infections, and causes problems during pregnancy.

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Keratin :
Keratin is a hard protein, rich in sulphur, which forms in the horny layer of the skin, in the hair and the nails.

Keratin is insoluble, and can be found in the epidermis of certain animals, in particular mammals, which ensures impermeable skin. Sometimes, during too much friction, keratin develops on the surface of the skin: this is horn. The cells which produce keratin die and are continually replaced. The pieces of keratin which remain trapped in the hair are presently called dandruff.
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Lipids :
Lipids constitute the fat content of living beings. They are small hydrophobic (which repel water) or amphipathic molecules mainly comprised of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and have a density lower than that of water. Lipids may be in a solid state, like waxes, or liquid, like oils
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Magnesium :
Mineral absolutely indispensable to metabolism, magnesium exerts, among other things, a sedative effect on the nervous but as the body does not manufacture it itself, it must take magnesium from the diet.

Overwork and stress in general are large consumers of magnesium. The study SU.VI.MAX shows us that 77 % of French women and 72 % of French men have magnesium intakes lower than 2/3 of the Recommended Nutritional Intakes.

Magnesium deficiencies which are shown by fatigue, irritability, palpitations, even insomnia are frequently seen in people who follow drastic weight-loss diets, pregnant women, athletes and heavy drinkers.

Metabolism :
The metabolism is all of the molecular transformations and transfers of energy which take place continuously in the cell or in the living organism. It is an ordered process, which involves processes of degradation (catabolism) and organic synthesis (anabolism). We can distinguish basic metabolism and metabolism in activity.

Anabolism is the metabolism which enables the cell to synthesize the substances indispensable to its life and its function. This synthesis is done from the materials which the cell has absorbed from the external environment and the energy released by the catabolism or coming from the exterior (as in the case of photosynthesis).

Micronutrients :
Micronutrients are the molecules which our body cannot manufacture (essential elements) or whose manufacture is reduced (conditionally essential elements).

They are during digestion foods completely assimilable by the cells which constitute our tissues.

They are minerals, trace elements, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids

Micronutrition :
Micronutrition consists of satisfying the intakes in micronutrients, thanks to a diet sufficiently varied and adapted, and/or with the help of individualised supplementation.
Micronutrients are the molecules which our body cannot manufacture (essential elements) or whose manufacture is reduced (conditionally essential elements). They are minerals, trace elements, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids.

Minerals :
Micronutrition consists of satisfying the intakes in micronutrients, thanks to a diet sufficiently varied and adapted, and/or with the help of individualised supplementation. Micronutrients are the molecules which our body cannot manufacture (essential elements) or whose manufacture is reduced (conditionally essential elements). They are minerals, trace elements, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids.

They are minerals, trace elements, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids.. They are present in the body in small quantities are intervene in various cell functions. Minerals bring together calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K) and phosphorus (P).
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Oméga-3 :
The group of omega-3 fatty acids is polyunsaturated fatty acids found in large quantities in certain oily fish, in linseed, walnuts and colza.
Studies proving the benefits of a diet supplement of omega-3 are rare: the majority studying the influence of a diet rich in these essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, but other factors may influence the results (wealth of fibres, wealth of vitamins...).
The study GISSI IV, published in 1999, showed that an artificial supplement of Omega-3 (in the form of capsules) in patients recently having a coronary thrombosis greatly reduced their mortality.

The omega-3s and omega-6s are classed as essential fatty acids, because the human body absolutely requires them. They are also indispensable because the human body cannot produce them. Previously, they were called "vitamin F". They mainly avoid inflammatory symptoms and maintain the free flow of the blood.
The balance of omega-3 intake with omega-6 intake must be carefully observed (1 x omega-3 for 5 x omega-6s).

Oméga-6 :
The group of fatty acids - omega-6 - are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in the majority of vegetable oilis, grains and cereals. They are found in eggs or certain meats in varying quantities depending on the animal’s diet.
The omega-6s must interact with the omega-3s, their biological effects strongly depend on the quantity of the latter. Essentially, omega-6s preserve the skin and lower cholesterol by aiding assimilation of the proteins contained in fats.

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Phosphatidylserine :
phospholipid constituting the membrane of most of the cells especailly those of the brain (neurones) where it is most abundant.

Phosphatidylserine, like every phospholipid, is permanently renewed but its synthesis is complex and reduces with âge.

In the elderly, the reductionin the level of phosphatidylserine is associated with a deterioration in cognitive functions and in memory.

A number of clinical studies have shown that a diet supplement of phosphatidylserine stabilises the brain’s cognitive functions which tend to reduce with age.

Phyto-oestrogens :
Phyto-oestrogens are active components which are found in the natural state in some plants (mainly soya) with a chemical composition similar to steroid hormones mainly secreted by the ovaries.

At the menopause, the ovaries no longer produce ovules and manufacture a low quantity of oestrogens expressed by hot flushes, night sweats and mood disorders.

Taking phyto-oestrogens contributes to reduce the incidence of or to prevent the appearance of the side effects of the menopause.

Prebiotic :
A non-digestible substance which induces a beneficial physiological effect on the host (intestinal flora: NDLR) by stimulating in a specific way the growth and/or activity of a limited number of bacterial populations already established in the colon. AFSSA June 2003.

Probiotic :
Living micro-organisms which, when they are given in sufficient quantities, produce a health benefit on the host (intestinal flora: NDLR). AFSSA June 2003.

Proteins :
A protein is a macromolecule comprised of a chain of amino acids: in general, we talk about protein when the chain contains more than 100 amino acids. The linking of amino acids is coded by the genome and constitutes the primary structure.
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free Radicals:
Free radicals are elements which the body must manufacture to transform oxygen into water - H2O – then eliminated. Unstable molecules coming most often from over activation of oxygen, they can disturb the functioning of the cells and alter their structure.

Free radicals are involved in the development of certain illnesses. They may contribute to ageing of the skin and of the body. Their overproduction may be triggered by sun, alcohol, tobacco and pollution.

RNI :
The Recommended Nutritional Intakes or RNIs are the quantities advised taking into account the “food culture” of the French population, they bolong to each group of individuals.

RDI :
The Recommened Daily Intakes or RDI’s are different from the RNIs. Properly speaking, they are not nutritional recommendations, but the average legal values adopted by the food-processing industry and in particular manufacturers of food supplements for their ease of use. They correspond to the average daily requirement of an adult in good health.
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Selenium :

Selenium is a trace element and a powerful antioxidant. It is found in pig and cow kidneys, garlic, fish and molluscs. The sulphur in selenium is used as a treatment in dermatology, due to its fungicidal action, for example in the treatment of greasy dandruff (Selsun®). Taking a little selenium every day (200 µg) will reduce the risk of occurrence of several cancers (among which is cancer of the prostate and of the colon). The addition of a small dose of selenium in the diet reduced the carcinogenesis chemically induced in rodents. There would be also a reduction in the frequency of cardiovascular diseases. Selenium contributes to maintaining the immune defences (it reduces in particular the viral load in patients carrying HIV), in the thyroid function.
To summarize, each time a disease is likely to bring about an increased production of free radicals causing lesions of the cells and an increase in inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, selenium is likely to play a protective role. On the other hand, no effect on mortality has been shown.

active Substance :
molecule or part of a molecule which has an action in the body.
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Trace elements :
These are indispensable for cell life and are present in the body in small quantities. The main trace elements are copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), selenium (Se), iodine (I) and zinc (Zn).

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Vitamins :
A vitamin is an organic substance, necessary in infinitesimal doses for the metabolism of the animal organisms and therefore for man. Vitamins are indispensables complements of vital exchanges. It is an organic molecule, a co-enzyme (molecule which participates in the active site of an enzyme), which contains one or more radicals indispensable to the synthesis of an enzyme or a hormone. The body cannot synthesize them, or in an insufficient quantity, they must be provided regularly and in sufficient quantities by the diet.
Vitamins are amino acids soluble in fats and can be stored (A, D, E, K) or water-soluble (B1, B2, B3, … and C).
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Zinc :
Zinc is a trace element indispensable to man, and present in several hundred enzymes, participating in particular in oxygen exchanges – carbon dioxide by the red corpuscles.
According to a study conducted by a team of American nutritionists in 1975, zinc deficiency rendered rats more aggressive and less intelligent. It can be avoided through a diet rich in walnuts, hazelnuts, dandelion, garlic, milk, meat, eggs, fish and vegetables. Zinc also appears to intervene in the immunological processes. Supplementation of this trace element significantly reduces the occurrence of certain infections (essentially pneumonia and diarrhoea) in children in developing countries, which can be shown in terms of saving lives.