Glossary

Allergen:   any substance that causes the immunity system to trigger and fight against it. In normal cases, and in the majority this happens when foreign bodies such as bacteria, enter our body. However, innocent and harmless bodies (proteins) such as pollen, peanuts, milk, penicillin etc. may not be recognized by out immune system and keep thinking of them being a harmful foreign body. On the other hand, wasps and other insects produce allergens as a self defense for themselves. For a list of allergens click here.

 

Antibody:   (Also known as immunoglobulin) A protein that is made by one of the types of white blood cell that is capable of neutralizing an antigen for the protection of our body against bacteria, viruses, toxins etc. However, inappropriate or excessive formation of antibodies may lead to illnesses such as allergy.
 

Antigen:   A substance that can trigger an immune response, resulting in production of an antibody as part of the body's defence against infection and disease.

 

EC Colours:   A list of chemicals and natural products that are added to food as preservative, colours and other agents. Click here for a detailed list.

 

Eczema:   An inflammation of the skin, usually causing itching and sometimes accompanied by scaling or blisters.
 

Enzyme:   a protein acting as a catalyst in a biochemical reaction. Enzymes are assigned a specific function to help a reaction to occur without exhausting themselves. Therefore, enzymes are considered to be very efficient proteins that have a large effect even in small quantities.

 

Fructose:   the natural sugar found in most sorts of fruits. Fructose is often the choice of sugar added to sweeten non-lactose milk, such as Soya milk.

 

Glucose:   the sugar found in our blood stream. Glucose is produced in our digestive system by breaking down other sugars that are introduced by food we consume, e.g. fruits have fructose, sugar cane has sucrose.

 

Immunoglobulin:   see antibody

                              

Lactase:   the enzyme which is responsible to break down lactose into glucose. It is produced by the cells in the lining of the small intestine.

 

Lactose:   the sugar produced by animals and human being found in milk. Lactose is broken down in our digestive system by the help of an enzyme protein called lactase.

 

Maltose:   built of two units of glucose. It is the chief product of the hydrolysis of starch by enzymes including salivary and pancreatic.

 

White Cells:   one of three types of cells found in our blood circulation. There are five types of blood cells each carrying specific functions but all are related to help fight against diseases. One type known as B-lymphocytes turn into plasma cells to produce antibodies.

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