Acronyms and Glossary

Below is a list of some common things and acronyms used on the blog.  Since they are commonly used I may use an acronym and not explain what it is each time, so this may be helpful for someone who isn’t a regular reader.
Use Control + F (the find function) to quickly find if what you’re looking for is on the list.  The list is listed alphabetically by word (not by the acronym)
Alpha-Linolenic Acid (18:3 n-3)
A short chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is 18 carbons long and has 3 double bonds.  Found mostly in leafy green vegetables, flax seed and fish.
Amino Acid Derivatives
These include carnitine, carnosine, creatine, glutathione and taurine.  They are synthesised but are also found exclusively in animal foods (except glutathione which is also found in plant foods)
Arachidonic Acid (20:4 n-6)
A long chain omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is 20 carbons long and has 4 double bonds.  Found in animal foods.
Blood Pressure
The pressure in arteries.  There are four main measurements: systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP)
Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor
A protein that stimulates the growth of new neurons (neurogenesis).  Discussed in this post
Cardiovascular Disease
A class of diseases affecting the heart and/or arteries.  Includes coronary artery/heart disease, peripheral artery disease and renal artery stenosis.  Discussed in this post
Calorie Restriction
Deliberately reducing calories (as opposed to spontaneously reducing calories) for weight loss or longevity.
Calories In, Calories Out
This idea reduces weight gain/loss to calories in and calorie out, with the implication being that we need to eat less and/or exercise more to lose weight.  It is correct, but doesn’t address the reasons why people eat too much or exercise too little.  Discussed in this post
The Carbohydrate Insulin Hypothesis of obesity
A hypothesis that suggests the insulin spiking property of carbohydrates drives fat into fat cells, increasing fat stores and ultimately causing obesity.  Discussed in this post
Conjugated Linoleic Acids
Naturally occurring fats with both a cis and a trans double bond that are beneficial, not harmful.  Found in red meat, dairy foods and eggs.  Discussed in this post
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Heart Disease
The narrowing of the coronary artery (the artery that supplies the heart muscle with oxygenated blood), which is often caused by atherosclerosis.  It may progress to ischaemic heart disease (IHD)
Diet Induced Obesity
A technique used by researchers to reliably fatten rodents using a particular diet called ‘High Fat Diet’ (HFD) that is highly refined.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (22:6 n-3)
A long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is 22 carbons long and has 6 double bonds.  Is anti-inflammatory.  Found in seafood, grass-fed meat and eggs
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (20:5 n-3)
A long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is 20 carbons long and has 5 double bonds.  Is anti-inflammatory.  Found in seafood, grass-fed meat and eggs
Endothelial Dysfunction
The result of low nitric oxide (NO).  Promotes cardiovascular disease and hypertension.  Discussed in this post
Evolutionary Theory of Disease
Theories that speculate that certain diseases are evolutionary adaptive, which is the reason that the genes that predispose one to those diseases remain in the gene pool.  Discussed in this post
Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols
Rapidly fermentable carbohydrates that can potentially be a source of gastrointestinal symptoms and feed bacterial overgrowth.  Discussed in this post
First Law of Thermodynamics
It states that ‘energy is neither created nor destroyed and in conserved in a closed system’.  Discussed in this post
Food Reward Hypothesis
A hypothesis that suggests hyperpalatability and rewarding elements of food disrupts the neural regulation of appetite, causing us to overeat and gain weight.  Discussed in this post
Free Fatty Acids
A fatty acid not bound to glycerol (glycerol + 3 fatty acids = triglyceride).  Free fatty acids are increased in obesity and insulin resistance.  Elevated free fatty acids are inflammatory
Glucocorticoid Resistance
A state where cells don’t respond effectively to glucocorticoids such as cortisol.  Since glucocorticoids are anti-inflammatory and inhibit inflammation once the infection, etc is over; GCR will exaggerate and prolong inflammatory responses.  A possible result of chronic stress or inflammation.  Discussed in this post
High Density Lipoprotein
Particles that supply antioxidants to endothelial cells and protect against LDL oxidation.  HDL-P refers to the number of HDL particles.  HDL-C refers to the amount of cholesterol in HDL particles.  Discussed in this post
Defined as having blood pressure greater than or equalled to 140 systolic and 90 diastolic.  Discussed in this post
Insulin-like Growth Factor-1
An anabolic hormone for many tissues such as muscle, bone and brain.  Increased by insulin and growth hormone (GH)
Insulin Resistance
Cells respond less well to insulin.  Results in higher fasting glucose and insulin and higher glucose and insulin following meals.  May lead to type 2 diabetes (T2D).  Can occur from obesity, mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation.  Can also be an physiologically adaptive (non-pathological) response to low carb diets
Leptin Resistance
Cells respond less well to leptin.  Results in causes weight gain and obesity.  Discussed in this post and this post
An endotoxin of gram negative bacteria.  Is highly inflammatory.  Discussed in this post
Linoleic Acid (18:2 n-6)
A short chain omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is 18 carbons long and has 2 double bonds.  Found in most foods, particularly in seed oils
Long Chain Omega 3s
These are 20-22 carbon long omega 3s fats, such as EPA and DHA.  Are anti-inflammatory.  Found in seafood, grass-fed meat and eggs
Low Carb Diets
A diet that is low in carbohydrate.  Definitions of ‘low carb’ vary, but I define it as a diet where carbohydrates supply roughly 20% of total calories
Metabolic Syndrome
A group of chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and dyslipidemia (low HDL, high LDL, high triglycerides).
Mitochondrial Biogenesis
The formation of new mitochondria.  Discussed in this post
Mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondria have their own DNA that is vulnerable to oxidative stress and unable to repair itself.  Discussed in this post
Mitochondrial Dysfunction
An underlying pathology where mitochondrial DNA has been damaged and mitochondria no longer function well.  Results in elevated oxidative stress and contributes to several chronic diseases.  Discussed in this post
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Fats with one double bond.  Oleic acid (18:1) is a common MUFA and is found in many foods
The generation of new neurons and neural connections.  Discussed in this post
Omega 3
Refers to omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Omega 6
Refers to omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA)
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Fats with two or more double bonds.  The arrangement of the double bonds makes them vulnerable to oxidation.  Found mostly in fish, nuts, seeds and seed oils
Randomised Controlled Trial
Clinical trials where allocation to one of two or more groups is random, and where there is a control group that receives a placebo or a previously tested treatment.  See here
Reactive Oxygen Species
Oxygen based molecules that are cellular signals but in excess can lead to oxidative stress.  Discussed in this post
Saturated Fatty Acids
Fats with no double bonds.  Found mostly in animal foods, coconut oil and palm oil.  Erroneously blamed for cardiovascular disease (CVD).  See this post
Thrifty Gene Hypothesis
A hypothesis that suggests obese people have thrifty genes from times of feast and famine that allow them to easily store calories.  Discussed in this post
Trans Fatty Acids
Fats with a trans double bond.  The artificial ones in industrial oils or partially hydrogenated oils are toxic, but the natural ones from animals are healthy.  Discussed in this post
Very Low Carbohydrate Diet
A diet that is very low in carbohydrate, where carbohydrates supply less than 10% of total calories.  These diets are often ketogenic (induce a state of ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis))

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