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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

Don't forget to check the Herbal Remedies/Herbology 101 reference for more definitions!
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Gait (gait analysis)
The manner of walking or pattern of locomotion; the various ways in which a human can move, either naturally or as a result of specialized training. The so-called natural gaits are, in increasing order of speed: walk, jog, skip, run, and sprint. While other intermediate speed gaits may occur natu   (more info - Gait)

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gallic acid
An organic (phenolic) acid, very widely distributed in the vegetable kingdom, being found in blackberries, hot cocoa, mango, raspberries, witch hazel, white tea, etc., and produced artificially. It is a white, crystalline substance with an astringent taste, and is a strong reducing agent, as empl   (more info - gallic acid)

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gamma-linolenic acid (gla)
A downline metabolite of linoleic acid, an Omega-6 oil.

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gastric ulcer
An open sore on the lining of the stomach, usually caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

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genistein
An isoflavonoid derived from soy products having antitumoral properties. It is one of the phytoestrogens along with daidzein.

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geophagy
Eating earth or clay or chalk; occurs in some primitive tribes or sometimes in cases of nutritional deficiency.    (more info - geophagy)

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geraniol
A primary alcohol found in geranium, citronella, lemon, and many other oils. Used largely in perfumery.

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ghrelin
An enzyme produced by stomach lining cells that stimulates appetite; a hormone made by the stomach that increases the desire to eat. Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid peptide and hormone that is produced mainly by cells lining the fundus of the human stomach and cells in the pancreas that stimulates hun   (more info - ghrelin)

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gingivitis
Inflammation of the gums surrounding teeth. Signs of gingivitis are inflamed and bleeding gums. A non-destructive form of periodontal disease. The most common form of gingivitis, and the most common form of periodontal disease overall, is in response to bacterial biofilms (also called plaque) adh   (more info - gingivitis)

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Glaucoma
A group of eye diseases characterized by increased pressure within the eyeball. Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and cause impaired vision and blindness. Glaucoma is the increase of intraocular pressure of the eye. This condition impairs the blood supply to the retina, and over time results in   (more info - Glaucoma)

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glucosamine
One of the amino sugars which is thought to be helpful in treating damaged cartilage, particularly in conjunction with osteoarthritis. Studies have shown it to promote the production of proteins that build cartilage. Glucosamine is found in the exoskeletons of shellfish and cartilage. It is tak   (more info - glucosamine)

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glucose
1. A simple sugar, which is the body's main source of energy and an important intermediate molecule in metabolic processes. It is often given intravenously to replenish fluids and provide nutrients. Tests for diabetes measure this monosaccharide.2. (Chem.) Any one of a large class of sugars, isometr   (more info - glucose)

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glucosides
Any of a number of compounds, typically extracted from plants, that can be hydrolyzed (decompose by reacting with water) into dextrose.

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Glutamic acid (glutamate)
Glutamic acid is an amino acid occurring in proteins; important in the nitrogen metabolism of plants; used in monosodium glutamate to enhance the flavor of meats. Glutamate is a salt or ester of glutamic acid. A neurotransmitter that is normally involved in learning and memory. Under ceratin c   (more info - Glutamic acid)

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glutamine
An amino acid used in nutrition therapy. It is also being studied for the treatment of diarrhea caused by radiation therapy to the pelvis. Not to be confused with glutamate.

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glutathione
A small peptide with the chemical formula C10H17O6N3S which consists of three amino acids linked together (glutamate -cysteine -glycine). Glutathione acts as a reducing agent in redox reactions and helps newly-made proteins fold properly with cross-links between cysteine residues at different poi   (more info - glutathione)

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Glutathione peroxidase
Glutathione peroxidase is the general name of an enzyme family with peroxidase activity whose main biological role is to protect the organism from oxidative damage. The biochemical function of glutathione peroxidase is to reduce lipid hydroperoxides to their corresponding alcohols and to reduce f   (more info - Glutathione peroxidase)

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Gluten
A protein substance that remains when starch is removed from cereal grains (such as wheat, rye, oats and barley); gives cohesiveness to dough as well as its elastic texture. Gluten is a complex and variable mixture of glutin/glutenin or gliadin, vegetable fibrin, vegetable casein, oily material,    (more info - Gluten)

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Glycemic load (glycemic index)
Glycemic index: a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating; a measure of how much your blood glucose increases in the two or three hours after eating. Glycemic load: combines both the quality and quantity of carb   (more info - Glycemic load)

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Glycemic response
The effect of different foods on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels over a period of time. Researchers have discovered that some kinds of foods may raise blood glucose levels more quickly than other foods containing the same amount of carbohydrates. The glycemic response is influenced by the amount    (more info - Glycemic response)

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glycerin
A thick, sweet syrupy polysaccharide that is soluble in both water and alcohol and is a byproduct of saponification (the soap-making process). Glycerin is a humectant (it draws moisture from the air to you skin), and is often added to lotions and skin care products to moisturize. Also called g   (more info - glycerin)

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glycogen
The form in which carbohydrates are stored. A polysaccharide the body uses for energy storage; it is made up of chains of glucose molecules. When the body has depleted the free glucose in the blood, the liver breaks down glycogen into more glucose.

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glycolysis
A process in which glucose (sugar) is partially broken down by cells in enzyme reactions that do not need oxygen. Glycolysis is one method that cells use to produce energy. When glycolysis is linked with other enzyme reactions that use oxygen, more complete breakdown of glucose is possible and more    (more info - glycolysis)

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glycosaminoglycan
A type of long, unbranched polysaccharide molecule. Glycosaminoglycans are major structural components of cartilage and are also found in the cornea of the eye.

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glycoside
Plant substance that produces a sugar and other substances when combined with oxygen and hydrogen. A group of compounds derived from monosaccharides.

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Goitrogens
Any substance that suppresses the function of the thyroid gland, which can induce the formation of a goiter by interfering with iodine uptake (an abnormally enlarged thyroid gland; can result from under-production or over-production of hormone or from a deficiency of iodine in the diet). Chemical   (more info - Goitrogens)

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gouty arthritis (urarthritis) (gout)
A painful inflammation of the big toe and foot caused by defects in uric acid metabolism resulting in deposits of the acid and its salts in the blood and joints.

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Grief (bereavement)
Intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one (especially by death); something that causes great unhappiness ("her death was a great grief to John"); physical pain, or a cause of it (malady). Grief is a natural response to loss. It is the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the   (more info - Grief)

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Guided Imagery (guided visualization)
See visualization.

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Guided meditation (creative visualization)
See visualization.

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gut microbiota (gut flora)
Gut flora consists of a complex of microorganism species that live in the digestive tracts of animals and is the largest reservoir of human flora. In this context gut is synonymous with intestinal, and flora with microbiota and microflora; the word microbiome is also in use. The human body carrie   (more info - gut microbiota)

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These definitions are not intended as a standalone reference guide; they are linked from other pages for the convenience of the users of this site.

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Please consult a qualified health practitioner before taking any course of action.
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