Complex plant molecules of the polyphenol class, with venous tonic and antioxidant properties. They are responsible for the color of most fruits and flowers, ranging from pink to red, blue and finally violet. The most common extracts come from blueberries, blackcurrants and red grape vines (leaves, skins and seeds).
Antioxidants (free radical scavengers)
Single molecules or groups of molecules able to neutralize free radicals and thus defend cell membranes and the cell itself. The main ones are: - Vitamins: E, C, A, beta-carotene - Minerals: selenium and zinc - Complex plant molecules: polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanosides, OPC, carotenoids - Enzymes: glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase. Antioxidants often work together within the cell. Vitamin C spares vitamin E, glutathione peroxidase cannot act without vitamin E and selenium, etc.
Brahmi, known under the name Bacopa, (Bacopa will monniera) is a medicinal plant from India used as tonic for the nervous system. Its effect on training have been the object of clinical studies.
Coryceps are a medicinal mushroom that have been the subject of clinical studies for there effects on anti-fatigue and to stimulate the immune system.
Amino acid formed of 2 cysteine molecules bonded by their sulfur atom to form a "disulfide bridge". Keratin is the protein contained in hair. The more disulfide bridges keratin contains, the stronger and more supple the hair.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
Long chain omega-3 series polyunsaturated fatty acid, found in certain animal fats (e.g. fish, eggs). It is considered to be an essential fatty acid with respect to brain cell activity, where it is present in large quantities. It is indispensable to the metabolism of neurotransmitters in the brain and to the neurohormones involved in memory, sleep, mood and hormone regulation.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
Long chain omega-3 series polyunsaturated fatty acid, found in certain animal fats (e.g. fish, eggs). It plays a beneficial role in the general metabolism of lipids (decrease in cholesterol) and of prostaglandins (decrease in hypertension, improved blood circulation)
Essential fatty acids
Fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must therefore be derived from our food. There are three of them: linoleic acid, linolenic acid and arachidonic acid. Recent work has shown that DHA may also be considered as an essential fatty acid for the brain.
A basic component of lipids, composed of one chain of carbon atoms. In fruit and vegetables, the carbon chain rarely has more than 18 carbon atoms. In foods of animal origin and in our own bodies, the carbon chain can have more than 30 carbon atoms. This extension is made possible by the complex metabolism of our cells. There are 3 types of fatty acid: - Saturated fatty acid - Monounsaturated fatty acid (the carbon chain contains a double bond) - Polyunsaturated fatty acid (contains several double bonds)
Complex plant molecules (polyphenols) with venous tonic and antioxidant properties. Flavonoids extracted from bark and bitter orange skin are called citroflavonoids. Ginkgo, passion flower and thyme also contain flavonoids.
Oxygen atoms that have become aggressive (generally due to heat) or a molecule containing such an atom, which attacks other molecules in order to stabilize itself. The molecules that are attacked are either destroyed or become aggressive themselves, creating a chain reaction on nearby molecules and resulting in cell damage. It is a true oxidation reaction. Free radicals can be beneficial when produced by white blood cells to defend against molecules or foreign micro-organisms. They may be dangerous, for example when they attack skin cells in cases of lengthy exposure to the sun (oxygen in the air is activated by the sun's rays), or when they attack the cells in a smoker's throat (oxygen activated by the heat of the cigarette smoke). Free radicals appear to be essential factors in the appearance or development of cancer, some cardiovascular diseases, as well as the aging process. Free radicals are neutralized by the body's antioxidants, which are mainly drawn from a diet high in fruit and vegetables, the best prevention being to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Omega-3 series polyunsaturated fatty acid (an essential fatty acid). It is the chief component of the omega-3 series from which all other fatty acids are synthesized in longer chains with more double bonds. It is mainly found in canola, soy and wheat germ oil. Unlike omega-6 fatty acids, insufficient quantities of these oils (used for seasoning purposes) are consumed. This imbalance, together with over-consumption of saturated fat, may be a cause of cardiovascular disease. Nutritionists recommend the use of several oils, including canola and soy oil, as well as olive oil (high in monounsaturated oleic acid) and an oil (e.g. peanut oil) that is more resistant to the heat necessary for deep-frying (always bearing in mind that such foods should be avoided). Inadequate consumption of oils that are high in omega-3 may lead to a deficiency in fatty acids belonging to this group. The brain has the highest levels of these fatty acids, which are indispensable to its activity. Recently, milk fed to premature infants has been enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA. Omega-6 series polyunsaturated fatty acid (an essential fatty acid). It is the chief component of the whole omega-6 series from which all other fatty acids are synthesized in longer chains with more double bonds. It is mainly found in sunflower, peanut and corn oil.
A neurohormone, secreted by the pineal gland located in the brain. It plays a number of essential roles in our body: It is involved in biological rhythm and sleep regulation, appears to have anticancer properties as well as stimulating the immune system. Above all, it seems to have antioxidant properties.
Enzyme extracted from the latex (also called papaya sap) that runs from skin of green papayas when they are cut. Papain acts on the digestion of proteins.
Lipids. Amphiphilic molecules (partially soluble in oil and partially in water), composed of two fatty acids (soluble in oil) and a glycerol molecule carrying a phosphate and an amino acid or sugar (water soluble). Phospholipids make up the major part of our cell membranes, where they form an impervious lipid coating between the interior and the aqueous exterior of the cells (because of their water soluble properties). They are particularly abundant in the central nervous system, where nerve cells are connected by many long membrane extensions. Brain phospholipids differ from the membrane phospholipids of other cells in the body because of the nature of their fatty acids. They contain high quantities of long-chain fatty acids and, in particular, DHA.
Molecules of the phytosterol family, which can have a hormonal or protective effect on our body, similar to the estrogens.
Plant molecules with a structure closely resembling that of animal or human sterols, which enables them to carry out biochemical or hormonal functions.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3 series)
Molecule composed of a polyunsaturated carbon chain with three double bonds or more, the first double bond being located on the 3rd carbon atom.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-6 series)
Molecule composed of a polyunsaturated carbon chain with two double bonds or more, the first double bond being located on the 6th carbon atom.
Complex molecules, formed of a succession of amino acids. Dietary protein is derived from plants (mainly grains and legumes) and animals (meat, eggs, dairy products). During the digestion process, amino acids are separated, carried by the blood to the cells which use them to form our "own" proteins (based on the genetic code contained in the nuclei of our cells). Most of our proteins go to make up our muscles, skin, hair, bones and the walls of our organs, and are constantly renewed. Some proteins (enzymes) play a dynamic role in our cells.
Saturated fatty acid
Molecule composed of a saturated carbon chain (no double-bond). Saturated fatty acids are mainly found in fats or oils that remain solid at room temperature (butter, fresh cream, palm oil, the fat in delicatessen products and meat, etc.). The excessive consumption of foods high in saturated fats is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.