Heart Health Glossary
Heart health is a big subject. From understanding what the endothelium is to remembering what various acronyms mean, recalling all of the terminology might get more than a little confusing. Here’s a glossary to help you keep track of it all. I’ll update it periodically, so check back often.
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Amino acids: The building blocks of proteins that serve many other functions in the human body. The amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline are especially crucial for supporting heart health and Nitric Oxide (NO) production.
Antioxidant:Nutrients that protect against (anti) oxidation (oxidants), a process that damages the cells. Oxidation occurs from free radical damage. Antioxidants help the body fight free radical damage to the cells, which supports total health, including the health of the cardiovascular system.
Blood: A mixture of red blood cells, nutrients, hormones and other biological matter that flows through blood vessels (arteries and veins), delivering oxygen and essential nutrients throughout the body; it also picks up waste and delivers it to the appropriate organs to get rid of it. The heart is responsible for pumping blood.
Cholesterol: One of the building blocks of hormones that is vital to the human body; cholesterol is also an essential component of the cell membrane and in producing bile acids and vitamin D3. Two types of lipoproteins—low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL)—are lipids that make total cholesterol count, along with triglyceride and Lp(a) cholesterol.
Circulatory system: The system that circulates blood and lymph throughout the body, composed of the cardiovascular system (heart, arteries, veins and capillaries) and lymphatic system (blood, lymph, and the lymphatic vessels and glands).
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): An important component involved in the process of converting food into energy, which supports normal cellular growth. CoQ10 also fights free radical damage of cells and has antioxidant actions similar to those of other fat-soluble antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which include scavenging free radicals and preventing oxidation of lipids and other fat-soluble molecules.
Endothelium: An organ system within the cardiovascular system that has the main job of creating the signaling molecule Nitric Oxide (NO), a crucial molecule in the cardiovascular system. The human body contains 6 trillion endothelial cells that line 100,000 miles of blood vessels in a single layer; that continuous layer throughout the vascular system (the arteries, veins, and capillaries) makes up the endothelium.
Enzyme: A substance responsible for speeding up certain chemical reactions in the body.
Free radicals: Molecules with unpaired electrons that damage the cells.
L-citrulline: An amino acid that supports endothelial function. The endothelium naturally produces NO using the amino acid L-arginine and is supported by the additional presence of L-citrulline.
NO: see Nitric Oxide
Oxidation: A process caused by free radicals that damage the cells. Antioxidants can help fight free radical damage to the cells.
Vitamin C: A water-soluble antioxidant vitamin that has been shown to support endothelial function and cardiovascular health. By promoting endothelial function and providing general antioxidant support against free radicals, vitamin C supports NO production.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.