Glossary of terms used on this site
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Adipokines are cytokines (cell-to-cell signalling proteins) secreted by adipose tissue
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia. AD and other types of dementia are most common in the elderly.
Apolipoproteins are proteins that bind lipids such as cholesterol and fat to form lipoproteins and transport lipids through blood and lymph.
Bariatric surgical procedures
Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold causing malabsorption of nutrients or by a combination of both gastric restriction and malabsorption
The CASCADE study (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol) is the first randomized wine study with a focus on diabetes. 224 abstainers with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to consume 1 glass (150 ml) of red wine white wine or water for 2 years on top of a Mediterranean diet that was not restricted in terms of calories.
A case-control study is a study comparing two groups: one with and the other without a certain disease however with similar characteristics. The aim is to try identifying the factors leading to the disease.
Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners researchers patient advocates and others responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. It is a not-for-profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.
Confounding factors is a possible source of bias interfering with the variable that you would like to examine i.e. age what people eat if they smoke etc.
The defining feature of a cross-sectional study is that it can compare different population groups at a single point in time (see also longitudinal study).
Dementia is a form of cognitive impairment where an individual loses the ability to think remember and reason due to physical changes in the brain.
Endothelial dysfunction is a condition in which the endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels fails to function normally. It has become apparent that endothelial dysfunction is an important factor in coronary artery disease (CAD) hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.
Epicatechin is a natural plant phenol antioxidant (phytochemical) in a cis configuration found in grapes green tea and chocolate. It is a strong antixoidant and insulinomimetic which reduces lipid peroxidation inhibits platelet aggregation controls vasodilation by regulating nitric oxide and is thought to improve cardiac efficiency.
Executive function examines semantic fluency drawing lines to connect a sequence of letters and numbers).
Flavonoids represent a structurally diverse group of polyphenolic bioactive compounds found in many commonly consumed foods. Particularly fruits and vegetables such as blueberries apples spinach and onions are considered rich sources of flavonoids but also beverages such as red wine and tea (see polyphenols).
Frailty is a clinical syndrome characterized by an age-related decline of multiple physiological functions leading to a higher vulnerability to even minimal stressors.
Global cognition assesses orientation, attention, language, and memory of individuals.
Glomerular filtration rate
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test used to check how well the kidneys are working. Specifically it estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are the tiny filters in the kidneys that filter waste from the blood.
Heart rate variability
Heart rate variability is variation in the time interval between heart beats.
Hemostasis is the stoppage of bleeding or hemorrhage. It refers also to the stoppage of blood flow through a blood vessel or organ of the body.
Hyperoxia refers to an excess of oxygen in tissues and organs it causes blood vessels to constrict and acutely increases arterial stiffness.
Lay epidemiology compromises knowledge and beliefs about health and causation of disease which are constructed primarily from subjective experience, observation of family and social networks and media sources. This contrasts with standard epidemiology which claims an objective understanding of the causes of diseases based on statistical evidence.
Liver fibrosis is the scarring process that represents the liver’s response to injury. In the same way as skin and other organs heal wounds through deposition of collagen and other matrix constituents repairs the liver injury by depositing new collagen. Over time this process can result in liver cirrhosis where the blood flow through the liver and liver function become disrupted.
In a longitudinal study, researchers conduct several observations of the same participants over a period of time sometimes lasting many years. The benefit of a longitudinal study is that researchers are able to detect developments or changes in the characteristics of the target population at both the group and the individual level. The key here is that longitudinal studies extend beyond a single moment in time (see cross-sectional study).
Mediterranean drinking pattern
The Mediterranean diet, which includes moderate consumption of wine, is considered as one of the healthiest diets in the world by the World Health Organisation. It is not a single diet but a general eating pattern, which is marked by local and cultural differences throughout the Mediterranean region. The traditional Mediterranean Diet encourages the intake of fresh, seasonal and local foods and is closely associated with social and cultural factors.
Metabolic Equivalent Task
Metabolic equivalent task refers to energy expenditure from sports and walking during the week.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of abnormalities including increased abdominal fat poor ability to use the hormone insulin high blood pressure and high blood levels of triglycerides.
The Moli-sani study (www.moli-sani.org) is a cohort study aiming at evaluating the risk factors (environmental genetics bio-molecular) linked to chronic-degenerative disease with particular regard to cancer cardiovascular cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disease.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a common often “silent” liver disease. It resembles alcoholic liver disease but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol. The major feature in NASH is fat in the liver along with inflammation and damage. Most individuals with NASH feel well and are not aware that they have a liver problem. Nevertheless NASH can be severe and can lead to cirrhosis in which the liver is permanently damaged and scarred and no longer able to work properly.
Like intervention studies observational studies attempt to understand cause-and-effect relationships. However unlike interventions the researcher is not able to control how subjects are assigned to groups and/or which treatments each group receives. Researchers record variables’ values as they naturally occur (can be retrospective or prospective) during a certain follow up period (see Intervention studies).
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional as opposed to prescription drugs which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription.
Oxycholesterols is a group of cholesterol compounds that contain extra oxygen atoms were found to be highly toxic and highly effective in producing arteriosclerosis. The highly damaging oxycholesterols are found in foods in which cholesterol is subjected to heating and exposure to the oxygen of the air during food processing cooking or preservation.
A placebo-control study is a study comparing the cause-effect in two groups, where one receives the real treatment and the other one a placebo (a treatment with no effects). The scope is to observe medical and/ or behavioral effects in both groups. If the study is blinded, neither one of the 2 groups know if they are receiving the treatment or the placebo.
Prebiotics are usually non-digestible carbohydrates oligosaccharides or short polysaccharides (ie. inulin oligofructose galactofructose etc.). Prebiotics work in partnership with its host’s digestive system to derive energy and carbon from complex plant polysaccharides which would otherwise be lost in faeces.
Prehypertension is defined as levels of 120--‐139 Mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and 80--‐89 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure.
The term “Publication bias” in a broader sense refers to a number of factors that suppress and distort publication or dissemination of relevant empirical results including selection biases due to language availability cost familiarity impact timing citation and media coverage (in particular evidence of selective use of results and outcomes on the part of primary investigators and health policy interest groups).
Quercetin is a plant flavonol from the flavonoid group of polyphenols. It is found in many fruits vegetables leaves seeds and grains; capers red onions and kale are common foods containing appreciable amounts of it. It has a bitter flavor and is used as an ingredient in dietary supplements beverages and foods.
Randomised-controlled trial (RCT)
A Randomised-controlled trial (RCT) is a study comparing the relation cause-effect into two groups where one receive the real treatment and the other one a placebo or no treatment. Participants are randomly assigned to either the control or intervention group reducing the selection bias.
Red Blood Cells deformability
Red Blood Cells deformability refers to the ability of red blood cells (erythrocytes RBC) to change shape under a given level of applied stress without rupturing. This is an important property because erythrocytes must change their shape extensively under the influence of mechanical forces in fluid flow or while passing through microcirculation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammatory arthritis leading to progressive joint and organ system damage and increasing disability. The rate is three times higher in women than in men. Both genetic and environmental factors (such as smoking hormone use) seem to play a role in the risk of developing RA.
Sick quitters are abstainers who quit drinking alcoholic beverages because of health problems resulting in a poor health profile of abstainers.
Steatosis also known as fatty liver is the collection of excessive amounts of triglycerides and other fats inside liver cells.
A systematic review is an analysis comparing and summarizing the data from different studies on a certain topic.
Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease (CD) is the most common type of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum. Crohn's Disease can affect any part of the digestive tract.