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Calorie Restriction Glossary

 

AA

Arachidonic Acid

 

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

A transport chemical which functions similarly to carnitine but more effectively and efficiently.

 

ad lib or Ad Lib

Short for the latin term "ad libitum" meaning "at will". In the context of CR experiments, it refers to the diet of the control group. If taken literally it means the control group was given free and continuous access to food, and allowed to eat as much as they wanted. In more recent CR experiments, researchers have modified this strategy by feeding the control group a minorly restricted diet in order to prevent obesity. The CR group is usually fed some percentage of the calories eaten by the ad lib group.

 

Advanced Glycation Endproducts

Modified proteins proposed to contribute to pathologies associated with diabetes and aging. Formed by the nonenzymatic reaction of proteins with sugars. AGEs accumulate with age and represent a form of macromolecular damage. Intermolecular cross-linking leading to insolubility is one feature of some AGEs.

 

AEBE

All Else Being Equal

 

AFAIK

As Far As I Know

 

AGE

Advanced Glycation Endproducts

 

AL

Ad Libitum or Ad Lib for short

 

ALA

An ambiguous acronym, sometimes referring to Alpha Linolenic Acid, and sometimes referring to Alpha Lipoic Acid.

 

Albatross

Shorthand name for a famous post to the CR Society email list by Michael Rae in which he presented lots of evidence about the optimal macronutrient ratio for people in general, and for CR practitioners in particular. It is available in the archives here: http://lists.calorierestriction.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0009&L=crsociety&P=R2

 

Alpha Linolenic Acid

An omega-3 fatty acid. The best source is flax seed and flax seed oil.

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid

An anti-oxidant. Comes in R- and S- form. Some evidence suggests the R- form may be better.

 

Androgen

General term for sex hormone. Examples include testosterone and estrogen.

 

Antioxidant

(1) A molecule capable of accepting an electron from an ROS, neutralizing it and halting the associated negative chain reaction. (2) A compound or agent capable of preventing or reversing the creation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROSs) or "free radicals". Examples are too numerous to list exhaustively, but include some vitamins such as vitamin E and C.

 

AO

Antioxidant

 

Arachidonic Acid

An omega-6 fatty acid.

 

ASAP

As soon as possible

 

Atkins

Weight loss diet guru who advocates a diet relatively low in carbohydrates and high in fat.

 

ATP

The energy storage molecule all cells use to perform useful work. Generated by mitochondria.

 

Baroreflex

A negative feedback system which buffers short-term changes in blood pressure. It allows a person to avoid fainting upon rising due to a sudden drop in blood pressure.

 

Basal Metabolic Rate

A measure of calories burned while at rest.

 

BF

Body Fat

 

BG

Blood Glucose

 

BMD

Bone Mineral Density

 

BMI

Body Mass Index. A height-independent measure of relative weight. (704 * weight) / (height * height), where weight is in lbs and height is in inches (also, weight-in-kilograms divided by height-in-meters squared).

 

BMR

Basal Metabolic Rate

 

BP

Blood Pressure

 

Brown Fat

A type of fat abundant in rodents but scarce in people. Responsible for much of the heat generated by rodents.

 

BTW

By The Way

 

BUN

Blood Urea Nitrogen

 

Calorie

Formally defined in scientific circles as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. But this is a very small amount of energy, so the scientific definition of calorie is usually not used when talking about the energy content of food. Instead, a food "Calorie" usually refers to one kilocalorie. One calorie is equivalent to 4.18 joules (another unit of energy) and one Calorie (capital "C") is equivalent to 4180 joules or 4.180 kilojoules.

 

Calorie Restriction

Eating fewer calories while achieving adequate or optimal nutrition. It is the one intervention that has been shown to extend both mean and maximum lifespan in all species tested to date.

 

Carnitine

A transport chemical required for passage of fatty acids through membranes of mitochondria. Synthesized by mammals, carnitine can also be absorbed from ingestion of meat, dairy products, and supplements.

 

CHD

Coronary Heart Disease - a disease of the heart and/or blood vessels in which the flow of blood is obstructed. Used synonymously with cardiovascular disease.

 

CHO

Carbohydrate

 

Coenzyme Q-10

A mitochondrial coenzyme, used to shuttle electrons through the electron transport chain, and a potent antioxidant.

 

CR25

A calorie restriction regime which is 25% below ad-lib calorie intake.

 

CRAN

Calorie Restriction with Adequate Nutrition

 

CRON

Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition

 

CRonie or CRONer.

Slang: A tongue-in-cheek term for a CR practitioner.

 

Cross-over Design

A scientific study in which the conditions are flipped partway through the experiment. For example, if group A received a particular drug during the first part of an experiment, and group B received a placebo, then in the second part of the experiment the groups would be "crossed-over", meaning group A will receive the placebo and group b will receive the drug. Facilitates more reliable statistical analysis by allowing subjects to act as their own controls.

 

CVD

Cardiovascular disease -- a disease of the heart and/or blood vessels in which the flow of blood is obstructed. Used synonymously with coronary heart disease.

 

d5d

Delta-5 desaturase enzyme

 

d6d

Delta-6 desaturase enzyme

 

DGLA

Dihomogamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.

 

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Richest source is fatty fish and fish oil.

 

DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone (Sulphate). DHEA and DHEAS are weak male directed hormones secreted by the adrenal gland. In high doses, they can be converted by the liver into sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. In non-CR people, blood levels of this hormone peaks around age 25 and gradually declines to virtually zero by ago 70.

 

Docosahexaenoic Acid

An omega-3 fatty acid

 

EAA

Essential Amino Acid. Protein is composed of these (and other) amino acids.

 

Eicosanoid

A short-lived, short-range hormone (roughly speaking).

 

Eicosapentaenoic Acid

An omega-3 fatty acid. Richest source is fatty fish and fish oil.

 

EOD

Every Other Day. Usually in reference to the feeding pattern of animal in some CR studies, where they are provided access to food only alternating days. A form of fasting.

 

ER

Energy Restriction. Sometimes used interchangeably with CR, although CR is virtually always associated with a diet restricted in calories, but not lacking in nutrition. In contrast, an energy-restricted diet can sometimes mean simply mean feeding the subjects less of the same food, which could result in nutritional deficits.

 

Essential Fatty Acid

A building block of the body that the human body cannot itself make. They are either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids.

 

ETC

Electron Transport System. The process by which cells, and specifically mitochondria, convert energy in food to a useable form (ATP) for work.

 

FR

Food Restriction. Sometimes used interchangeably with CR however FR does not always imply a nutritionally adequate diet as CR does.

 

FSH

A human hormone

 

FYI

For Your Information

 

GH

Growth Hormone

 

GI

Glycemic Index, or Gastro-Intestinal.

 

GLA

Gamma Linolenic Acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.

 

Glycation

A chemical reaction that link a sugar to a protein or peptide. If not undone, such a reaction can lead to the formation of an Advanced Glycation Endproduct (AGE).

 

Glycemic Index

Measures the impact that a food has on blood glucose levels. Glucose is considered to have a glycemic index of 100. Note that there do exist foods (e.g., dates) which have a glycemic index greater than 100.

 

Glycosylated Hemoglobin

The result of glycation of a sugar with hemoglobin in the blood. Also called glycohemoglobin, or HbA1c. It is used as a common marker for AGE accumulation. Elevated in diabetics, and others eating a high GI diet.

 

HbA1c

Glycosylated Hemoglobin

 

HCT

Hematocrit

 

HGB

Hemaglobin. The oxygen carrying molecule in the blood.

 

hGH

Human Growth Hormone

 

Homocysteine

An amino acid used normally by the body in cellular metabolism and the manufacture of proteins. Elevated concentrations in the blood are thought to increase the risk for heart disease by damaging the lining of blood vessels and enhancing blood clotting.

 

Hormesis

An effect in which a toxic substance acts like a stimulant in small doses, but it is an inhibitor in large doses.

 

HOSO

High oleic sunflower oil -- YABA.

 

HUFA

Highly unsaturated fatty acid. Example: DHA.

 

Hypertension

High blood pressure

 

Hypotension

Low blood pressure

 

IHN

Inositol Hexanicotinate

 

IIRC

If I Recall Correctly

 

IMHO

In My Humble Opinion

 

IMO

In My Opinion

 

In Vitro

A biological study is one which is carried out in isolation from a living organism (in contrast to In Vivo studies).

 

In Vivo

A biological study which takes places within a living biological organism (as opposed to an In Vitro study).

 

Insulin

A hormone critical for metabolizing glucose. But to high levels of insulin, commonly associated with Type II diabetes, is thought to have very negative health consequences.

 

Intrinsic Aging Rate

A technical term referring to the rate of aging of an organism, which is independent of the specific age-associated disease to which the organism eventually succumbs. In other words, as an organism gets older, it becomes more susceptible to a wide range of potential killers -- in some sense more "fragile". It is this rate of increase in susceptibility with time that is referred to as the intrinsic aging rate. Often quantified using the MRDT measure.

 

Kilocalorie

Equivalent to 1000 calories in the formal definition of the term calorie. Kcal is the amount of energy commonly referred to as a "Calorie" when speaking of the energy content in food.

 

LA

Linoleic Acid - An essential omega-6 fatty acid.

 

LE

Life Extension

 

Lectin

Protein found in many grains, rice and legumes which can disrupt cell membranes and may initiate a cascade of immune and autoimmune events leading to cell death.

 

LH

Luteinizing hormone -- stimulates the production of testosterone in male testes.

 

LNA

Alpha Linolenic Acid

 

LOL

Laughing Out Loud

 

LS

Lifespan

 

Macronutrient

One of the three primary categories of nutrients in food -- fat, protein or carbohydrate.

 

Maximum Lifespan

The maximum age to which a species or member of a group can be expected to live. It is typically estimated experimentally as the average age of death of a small fraction (e.g. 5%) of a population or group. There is an important distinction to be made between extending the "maximum lifespan" of a particular study group (as defined above, relative to controls in the same study) vs extending the species maximum lifespan (the maximum age to which normal, well cared-for members of the species live). For former has been shown to result from a number of interventions (e.g. fish oil supplements in autoimmune-prone mice), but CR is the only intervention known to consistently extend species maximum lifespan. See also: mean lifespan.

 

MCH

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin

 

MCHA

Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite

 

MCHC

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration

 

MCV

Mean corpuscular volume. Size of red blood cells.

 

Mean Lifespan

The average age of death of a population. See also maximum lifespan.

 

Medline

An online US Government index of abstracts of medical papers. Also referred to as PubMed. Here is the link to search Medline/PubMed.

 

Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite

Bone-extracted calcium. Very bioavailable, making it a good form of calcium supplement.

 

MiFRA

Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging

 

MIM

Mitochondrial Inner Membrane

 

MIMS

Mitochondrial Intermembrane Space

 

Mitochondrial Inner Membrane

Where the ETS is located.

 

Mitochondrial Intermembrane Space

The space between the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes, where the protons get pumped.

 

MnSOD

Manganese-based superoxide dismutase -- the only SOD which works in the mitochondria. Not present in the mitochondrial intermembrane space.

 

Mortality Rate

The probability that a given individual (or member of a population) will die (from any cause) within a given time period (e.g. one year). See entry for mortality rate doubling time for the relationship between mortality rate and aging.

 

MRDT

Mortality Rate Doubling Time

 

MT

Mitochondria

 

MUFA

Monounsaturated fatty acid. Rich sources include olive oil, hazelnuts, almonds and avocados.

 

n3

Omega-3

 

n6

Omega-6

 

NB

Nota bene -- latin for "note well". Used to call particular attention to something.

 

NIDDM

Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Type II diabetes, the kind associated with obesity, and not the insulin dependent kind which is typically genetic.

 

NOTA

None Of The Above

 

ODA

Optimal Daily Allowance. Optimal, as opposed to recommended daily allowance.

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

A fatty acid. The "3" describes the structure of the fat molecule. It is generally accepted that most people get too many omega-6 fatty acids compared to their omega-3 intake.

 

Omega-6 Fatty Acid

An essential fatty acid. See the description of omega-3 fatty acid.

 

OR

Odds Ratio. The probability of one group exhibiting a particular outcome compared with another group. For example, if the CR group had an odds ratio of 0.6 of getting stomach cancer relative to the AL-fed group, that would mean the CR group was only 60% as likely to get stomach cancer.

 

ORAC

Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. A measure of how good a food is at scavenging ROSs.

 

Ornish, Dean

Diet guru who advocates a diet relatively high in complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, low in fat, and low in simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour.

 

Orthomolecule

A substance which is naturally present in the body and essential to its health. Orthomolecules are substances which have to be in the human body by its very design, whether it comes from without (essential nutrients, air), or within (endogenously-synthesized stuff like R-LA or insulin).

 

OTOH

On The Other Hand

 

Oxidative Stress

A state of imbalance in the body in which Reactive Oxygen Species (ROSs) or "free radicals" are formed. Usually results when prooxidants dominate over antioxidants. Defense against oxidative stress depends primarily on an orchestrated synergism between several endogenous and exogenous antioxidants.

 

Peroxidation

A chemical reaction that creates a peroxide. A peroxide is defined as an oxide that contains more oxygen than some other oxide of the same element (e.g., compare water (h1O) and hydrogen peroxide (h1O2)). Thus, to peroxidize is to oxidize to the greatest possible degree. Lipid peroxidation alters fat molecules within the body, usually with negative consequences.

 

PLT

Platelet (count)

 

Prooxidant

Compound or agent capable of generating Reactive Oxygen Species (ROSs) or "free radicals". An example is iron.

 

Prospective Study

A study in which a population is identified ahead of time, and then followed for a period of time to see the result of their particular behavior. For example, in a prospective study, one might identify tofu eaters, and then follow them as well as a similar group of non-tofu eaters for many years to determine what if any differences there are in the health of the two populations.

 

PubMed

An online US Government index of abstracts of medical papers. Also referred to as Medline. Here is the link to search Medline/PubMed.

 

PUFA

Poly-unsaturated Fatty Acid

 

R-lipoic Acid

A shorthand term used here and there on the list to mean the R- form of alpha lipoic acid.

 

RBC

Red Blood Cell

 

RCI

Respiratory Control Index

 

RDW

Red Cell Distribution Width

 

Recommended Daily Allowance

Guidelines established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (presumably) describing nutrient levels that agency believes to be "good".

 

Respiratory Control Index

The ratio of state 3 to state 4 mitochondrial activity. A (somewhat artificial) means of measuring the amount of energy from calories metabolized that is going to generate useful work/ATP (state 3) vs. thermogenesis (state 4). Can be thought of as a measure of "metabolic efficiency".

 

RMR

Resting Metabolic Rate -- synonymous with Basal Metabolic Rate

 

ROS

Reactive Oxygen Species, more popularly known as "free radicals". Molecules with one too few electrons. They strip electrons from other molecules in the body, damaging the other molecules in the process. The molecule that gets stripped then becomes a ROS, and a negative chain reaction commences. It is this type of chain reaction that is thought is commonly believed to underlie the process of aging and many diseases.

 

SAD

Standard American Diet

 

Set Point

"...that weight toward which one naturally drifts." [Walford, _B120YD_].

 

SHBG

Sex hormone-binding globulin. Ties up androgens like testosterone, preventing them from being biologically active.

 

SMR

Standard Metabolic Rate or Standard Mortality Rate

 

Tanita

A brand of scale that not only measures weight, but also percentage of body fat using an electrical impedance method. A tool commonly used among people practicing CR. See http://www.tanita.com/ for details.

 

Testosterone

Sex hormone found most abundantly in men. Often seen to be reduced by CR.

 

Thermogenesis

The process of generating heat.

 

Torpor

Hibernation-like state in animals in which thermogenesis decreases and body temperature drops. Torpor is facilitated by CR. May be related to the lifespan benefits of CR.

 

Uncoupling Protein

A family of proteins that are embedded in the MIM, and that allow for the leakage of protons back into the mitochondria and in the process generating heat (thermogenesis), without producing useful work (ATP).

 

Uncoupling Protein 3

An uncoupling protein in muscle cells as well as brown fat, UCP-3 uncouples the ETS, making the MIM leakier.

 

VO2max

Maximal oxygen consumption during exercise. Considered to be the single best measure of cardiovascular fitness. VO2max declines with age. A low VO2max score has been shown to be one of the best predictors of all cause mortality in people.

 

WBC

White blood cell. WBC levels are often seen to drop in animals and people subject to CR, despite improvements in the immune system function.

 

WGA

Wheat Germ Agglutinin. Wheat germ agglutinin may be considered a "bad" lectin.

 

WRT

With Respect To

 

YMMV

Your Mileage May Vary

 

Zone

A popular diet advocated by Barry Sears. One primary tenet is achieving the right macronutrient ratio at every meal/snack to balance eicosanoids. The general ratio is 30% of calories from protein, 30% of calories from fat and 40% of calories from carbohydrates -- but Sears says these ratios should be tailored to the individual. The Zone diet also focuses on getting most fat calories from MUFA.

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