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type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell lead to its death. This is one method the body uses to get rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. Apoptosis plays a crucial role in developing and maintaining the health of the body by eliminating old cells, unnecessary cells, and unhealthy cells. The human body replaces perhaps one million cells per second. Too little or too much apoptosis can play a role in many diseases. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells. When apoptosis does not work correctly, cells that should be eliminated may persist and become immortal, for example, in cancer. When apoptosis works too well, it kills too many cells and inflicts severe tissue damage. This is the case in strokes and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. Also known as programmed cell death.

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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.

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Binge drinking

is defined as consuming 5 drinks or more in a row for men (> 4 drinks for women) per occasion within the past 2 weeks or 30 days

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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.

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Cross-sectional study

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).

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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.

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Executive function

examines semantic fluency, drawing lines to connect a sequence of letters and numbers).

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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).

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is a clinical syndrome characterized by an age-related decline of multiple physiological functions leading to a higher vulnerability to even minimal stressors.

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Global cognition

assesses orientation, attention, language and memory of individuals.

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Gut microbiota

is the name for the microbe population living in the human intestine.

The human gut microbiota contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria with more than 3 million genes. Microbiota can, in total, weigh up to 2 kg. One third of the gut microbiota is common to most individuals, while two thirds are specific to each person. The microbiota in each intestine can therefore be considered as an individual’s identity card.

The gut microbiota:

  • helps the body to digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest;
  • helps with the production of some vitamins (B and K);
  • helps to combat aggressions from other microorganisms, maintaining the wholeness of the intestinal mucosa;
  • plays an important role in the immune system, performing a barrier effect;
  • is key to ensuring proper digestive functioning when healthy and balanced
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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.

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refers to an excess of oxygen in tissues and organs, it causes blood vessels to constrict and acutely increases arterial stiffness.

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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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