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.


Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): A water- and fat-soluble antioxidant that provides general support against free radicals and supports glutathione production, a naturally occurring antioxidant in the body.


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.


Cardiovascular system: The system that transports blood throughout the body, composed of the heart and a network of arteries, veins and capillaries.


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.


Circulation: The movement of blood throughout the body, fueled by the heart.


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: A nonprotein compound that is necessary to the function of enzymes—that’s why it’s called a coenzyme.


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.


Folic acid: A member of the B vitamin complex and important in supporting vascular health.


Free radicals: Molecules with unpaired electrons that damage the cells.


Krill oil: A substance from the small, shrimp-like crustacean krill that contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which maintains cholesterol levels already within a normal range.


L-arginine: 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.


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.


Nitric Oxide: A crucial signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system that helps support the maintenance of already healthy blood pressure levels, while keeping the arteries youthful and elastic.


NO: see Nitric Oxide


Omega-3 fatty acids (Omega-3s): A form of polyunsaturated fat that supports heart health; humans need Omega-3s from food because they cannot be made in the body.


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.


Vitamin E: A fat-soluble antioxidant that works in conjunction with vitamin C to help stabilize and protect the membranes of endothelial cells from free radical damage.


*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.