Glossary

Reference: Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com

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Term Definition
Inflammation

is a type of nonspecific immune response that defends the body against the constant threat of microorganisms and chemical substances from the environment. All components of the gut participate in the intestinal immune response. The exchange of regulatory signals via the production of immune mediators (such as cytokines, growth factors, etc.) facilitates and amplifies cell interactions and/or activates inflammation. These mediators play an important role in the modulation of the intestinal immune system. Chronic intestinal inflammation primarily involves a dysfunction of the intestinal mucosa and an overproduction of the pro-inflammatory mediators.

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Insulin resistance

is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly.Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps the body use glucose for energy. Glucose is a form of sugar that is the body’s main source of energy. The body’s digestive system breaks food down into glucose, which then travels in the bloodstream to cells throughout the body. Glucose in the blood is called blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. As the blood glucose level rises after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin to help cells take in and use the glucose. When individuals are insulin resistant, their muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin. As a result, their bodies need more insulin to help glucose enter cells. The pancreas tries to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. Eventually, the pancreas fails to keep up with the body’s need for insulin. Excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, setting the stage for diabetes. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of both glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time. Insulin resistance increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Intervention studies

are considered to provide the most reliable evidence in epidemiological research.  Intervention studies are conducted to evaluate whether an agent (i.e. moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages in the meta-analysis above) or procedure reduces the risk of developing a particular disease among individuals free from that disease at the beginning of the trial. In intervention trials, investigators apply treatments to individuals and then proceed to observe the effect of the treatments on the individuals (see observational studies).

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