Molecule | Health Dictionary

The smallest possible amount of a substance comprising two or more linked atoms which retains the chemical characteristics of that substance. Molecules vary greatly in their size and complexity, ranging from oxygen (two linked oxygen atoms) and water (two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen) to large complex molecules such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) comprising thousands of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus that form the double-helix structure which helps to form GENES, the basic building blocks of the hereditary material of living things.


Molecule | Health Dictionary

Keywords of this word: Molecule


Medical Dictionary

(1) A muscle which contracts and causes a movement. Contraction of an agonist is complemented by relaxation of its antagonist (see below).

(2) A drug that acts through receptors on the surface of the cell or within the cell and provokes a biological response. As the body contains natural agonists that combine with cell receptors, any ‘occupation’ of these cell receptors by drug molecules will have a pharmacological e?ect on the individual. The intensity of that pharmacological e?ect is believed to be directly proportional to the number of receptors on the cell that combine with the drug molecule. For example, the natural agonist noradrenaline contracts the smooth muscle of blood vessels; the drug agonist phenylnephrine has a similar e?ect.

Antagonists are drugs which will combine with the receptor site to prevent another agent from producing its greatest e?ect. If the drug has no e?cacy of its own, but simply prevents the agonist from acting at the receptor site, it is called a full antagonist. A partial antagonist is a drug that provokes some activity at the receptor site. An example of an antagonist is prazosin, which acts against the natural agonist noradrenaline at the receptor site of the cells of blood-vessel muscle and prevents the vascular muscle from contracting.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Alkylating agents are so named because they alkylate or chemically react with certain biochemical entities, particularly those concerned with the synthesis of NUCLEIC ACID. Alkylation is the substitution of an organic grouping in place of another grouping in a molecule.

Alkylating agents are important because they interfere with the growth and reproduction of cells, disrupting their replication. This CYTOTOXIC property is used to retard the division and growth of cancer cells, and alkylating drugs are widely used in the chemotherapy of malignant tumours – often in conjunction with surgery and sometimes with radiotherapy. Unfortunately, troublesome side-e?ects occur, such as: damage to veins when the drug is given intravenously, with resultant leakage into adjacent tissues; impaired kidney function due to the formation of URIC ACID crystals; nausea and vomiting; ALOPECIA (hair loss); suppression of BONE MARROW activity (production of blood cells); and adverse e?ects on reproductive function, including TERATOGENESIS. Indeed, cytotoxic drugs must not be given in pregnancy, especially during the ?rst three months. Prolonged use of alkylating drugs, especially when accompanying radiotherapy, is also associated with a sign?cant rise in the incidence of acute non-lymphocytic LEUKAEMIA. Among the dozen or so alkylating drugs in use are CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE, CHLORAMBUCIL, MELPHALAN, BUSULFAN and THIOTEPA. (See also CHEMOTHERAPY.)... Medical Dictionary

Indian Medicinal Plants

Mill.

Synonym: A. Vera Tourn. Ex Linn. A. indica Royle A. littoralis Koening

Family: Liliaceae; Agavaceae.

Habitat: Cultivated throughout India, wild on coasts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India.

English: Curacao Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Indian Aloe, Jaffarabad Aloe.

Ayurvedic: Kanyaasaara, Eleyaka (dried juice of the leaves). Kumaari, Kumaarikaa, Kanyaa, Grihkanyaa, Ghritkumaarika (plant).

Unani: Gheekwaar, Sibr.

Siddha/Tamil: Sotru Kattraazhai, Kumaari. Moosaambaram (dried juice).

Folk: Elwaa, Musabbar (dried juice of leaves).

Action: Purgative (causes griping), emmenagogue. Gel—topically emollient, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (used for wound healing, sunburn).

Key application: In occasional constipation; contraindicated in intestinal obstruction and acutely inflamed intestinal diseases, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis. (German Commission E, ESCOP, WHO.)

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the use of dried juice of leaves in dysmenorrhoea and diseases of the liver.

Aloe vera improved the hypoglycaemic effect of glyburide (gliben- clamide) when one tablespoonful aloe juice was given orally in the morning and at bedtime to 36 diabetic patients for 42 days. The juice (same dose) showed antihyperglycaemic activity (independently). (Francis Brinker.)

Anthraquinone glycosides, known as aloin, in small doses act as a tonic to the digestive system, and at higher doses become a strong purgative, as well as increase colonic secretions and peristaltic contractions. Resin fraction is also as important as aloin in cathartic action. In A. barbadensis the highest percentage of aloin is 21.8%.

Aloe produces pelvic congestion and is used for uterine disorders, generally with Fe and carminatives. The pulp is used in menstrual suppressions.

A molecule in the Aloe vera gel, ace- mannan, stimulates macrophages and releases immune system potentiators; enhances function of T cells and interferon production. Animal studies have shown promising results in sarcoma.

The carboxypeptidase and salicylate components of Aloe gel can inhibit bradykinin, a pain-producing agent; C-glycosyl chromone appears to reduce topical inflammation. Aloe gel also slows or inhibits the synthesis of thromboxane, which may accelerate the healing of burns. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Dosage: Leaf pulp juice—10-20 ml. (CCRAS.) Dried leaf pulp juice— 125-500 mg powder. (API Vol. I.)... Indian Medicinal Plants

Medical Dictionary

Chemical compounds that are the basic building-blocks of all proteins. Each molecule consists of nitrogenous amino and acidic carboxyl groups of atoms joined to a group of carbon atoms. Polypeptides are formed by amino-acid molecules linking via peptide bonds. Many polypeptides link up in various con?gurations to form protein molecules. In humans, proteins are made up from 20 di?erent amino acids: nine of these are labelled ‘essential’ (or, as is now preferred, ‘indispensable’) amino acids because the body cannot manufacture them and is dependent on the diet for their provision. (See also INDISPENSABLE AMINO ACIDS.)... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Production by the body of complex molecules like fat and proteins from simpler substances taken in the diet.... Medical Dictionary

Herbal Medical

Chemically, molecules containing one or more benzene rings, but in our usage, plant compounds which, upon contact to the air, form gases which can be smelled: volatile oils. (Examples: menthol, Peppermint oil.)... Herbal Medical

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: Low Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium, magnesium About the Nutrients in This Food A banana begins life with more starch than sugar, but as the fruit ripens its starches turn to sugar, which is why ripe bananas taste so much better than unripe ones.* The color of a banana’s skin is a fair guide to its starch/ sugar ratio. When the skin is yellow-green, 40 percent of its carbohydrates are starch; when the skin is fully yellow and the banana is ripe, only 8 per- cent of the carbohydrates are still starch. The rest (91 percent) have broken down into sugars—glucose, fructose, sucrose, the most plentiful sugar in the fruit. Its high sugar content makes the banana, in its self-contained packet, a handy energy source. Bananas are a high-fiber food with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the tiny seeds and soluble pectins in the flesh. They are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium. One small (six-inch) banana or a half-cup of sliced banana has 2.6 g dietary fiber and 8.8 mg vitamin C (12 percent of the R DA for a woman, 10 percent of the R DA for a man), plus 363 mg potassium. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh and ripe. Green bananas contain antinutrients, proteins that inhibit the actions of amylase, an enzyme that makes it possible for us to digest * They are also more healt hful. Green bananas contain proteins t hat inhibit amy- lase, an enzyme t hat makes it possible for us to digest complex carbohydrates. starch and other complex carbohydrates. Raw bananas are richer in potassium than cooked bananas; heating depletes potassium. Buying This Food Look for: Bananas that will be good when you plan to eat them. Bananas with brown specks on the skin are ripe enough to eat immediately. Bananas with creamy yellow skin will be ready in a day or two. Bananas with mostly yellow skin and a touch of green at either end can be ripened at home and used in two or three days. Avoid: Overripe bananas whose skin has turned brown or split open. A grayish yellow skin means that the fruit has been damaged by cold storage. Bananas with soft spots under the skin may be rotten. Storing This Food Store bananas that aren’t fully ripe at room temperature for a day or two. Like avocados, bananas are picked green, shipped hard to protect them from damage en route and then sprayed with ethylene gas to ripen them quickly. Untreated bananas release ethylene natu- rally to ripen the fruit and turn its starches to sugar, but natural ripening takes time. Artificial ripening happens so quickly that there is no time for the starches to turn into sugar. The bananas look ripe but they may taste bland and starchy. A few days at room temperature will give the starches a chance to change into sugars. Store ripe bananas in the refrigerator. The cold air will slow (but not stop) the natural enzyme action that ripens and eventually rots the fruit if you leave it at room temperature. Cold storage will darken the banana’s skin, since the chill damages cells in the peel and releases polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that converts phenols in the banana peel to dark brown compounds, but the fruit inside will remain pale and tasty for several days. Preparing This Food Do not slice or peel bananas until you are ready to use them. When you cut into the fruit, you tear its cell walls, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that hastens the oxidation of phenols in the banana, producing brown pigments that darken the fruit. (Chilling a banana produces the same reaction because the cold damages cells in the banana peel.) You can slow the browning (but not stop it completely) by dipping raw sliced or peeled bananas into a solution of lemon juice or vinegar and water or by mixing the slices with citrus fruits in a fruit salad. Overripe, discolored bananas can be used in baking, where the color doesn’t matter and their intense sweetness is an asset. What Happens When You Cook This Food When bananas are broiled or fried, they are cooked so quickly that there is very little change in color or texture. Even so, they will probably taste sweeter and have a more intense aroma than uncooked bananas. Heat liberates the volatile molecules that make the fruit taste and smell good. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Drying. Drying removes water and concentrates the nutrients and calories in bananas. Bananas may be treated with compounds such as sulfur dioxide to inhibit polyphenoloxi- dase and keep the bananas from browning as they dry. People who are sensitive to sulfites may suffer severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, if they eat these treated bananas. Freezing. Fresh bananas freeze well but will brown if you try to thaw them at room tem- perature. To protect the creamy color, thaw frozen bananas in the refrigerator and use as quickly as possible. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of stroke. Various nutrition studies have attested to the power of adequate potassium to keep blood pressure within safe levels. For example, in the 1990s, data from the long-running Harvard School of Public Health/Health Professionals Follow-Up Study of male doctors showed that a diet rich in high-potassium foods such as bananas, oranges, and plantain may reduce the risk of stroke. In the study, the men who ate the higher number of potassium-rich foods (an average of nine servings a day) had a risk of stroke 38 percent lower than that of men who consumed fewer than four servings a day. In 2008, a similar survey at the Queen’s Medical Center (Honolulu) showed a similar protective effect among men and women using diuretic drugs (medicines that increase urination and thus the loss of potassium). Improved mood. Bananas and plantains are both rich in serotonin, dopamine, and other natural mood-elevating neurotransmitters—natural chemicals that facilitate the transmis- sion of impulses along nerve cells. Potassium benefits. Because potassium is excreted in urine, potassium-rich foods are often recommended for people taking diuretics. In addition, a diet rich in potassium (from food) is associated with a lower risk of stroke. A 1998 Harvard School of Public Health analysis of data from the long-running Health Professionals Study shows 38 percent fewer strokes among men who ate nine servings of high potassium foods a day vs. those who ate less than four servings. Among men with high blood pressure, taking a daily 1,000 mg potas- sium supplement—about the amount of potassium in one banana—reduced the incidence of stroke by 60 percent. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Digestive Problems. Unripe bananas contain proteins that inhibit the actions of amylase, an enzyme required to digest starch and other complex carbohydrates. Sulfite allergies. See How other kinds of processing affect this food. Latex-fruit syndrome. Latex is a milky fluid obtained from the rubber tree and used to make medical and surgical products such as condoms and protective latex gloves, as well as rub- ber bands, balloons, and toys; elastic used in clothing; pacifiers and baby bottle-nipples; chewing gum; and various adhesives. Some of the proteins in latex are allergenic, known to cause reactions ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some of the proteins found naturally in latex also occur naturally in foods from plants such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, and food and diet sodas sweetened with aspartame. Persons sensitive to these foods are likely to be sensitive to latex as well. NOTE : The National Insti- tute of Health Sciences, in Japan, also lists the following foods as suspect: Almonds, apples, apricots, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, buckwheat, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, cherries, chestnuts, coconut, figs, grapefruit, lettuce, loquat, mangoes, mushrooms, mustard, nectar- ines, oranges, passion fruit, papaya, peaches, peanuts, peppermint, pineapples, potatoes, soybeans, strawberries, walnuts, and watermelon. Food/Drug Interactions Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyra- mine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food containing tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. There have been some reports in the past of such reactions in people who have eaten rotten bananas or bananas stewed with the peel. False-positive test for tumors. Carcinoid tumors—which may arise from tissues of the endo- crine system, the intestines, or the lungs—secrete serotonin, a natural chemical that makes blood vessels expand or contract. Because serotonin is excreted in urine, these tumors are diagnosed by measuring the levels of serotonin by-products in the urine. Bananas contain large amounts of serotonin; eating them in the three days before a test for an endocrine tumor might produce a false-positive result, suggesting that you have the tumor when in fact you don’t. (Other foods high in serotonin are avocados, eggplant, pineapple, plums, tomatoes, and walnuts.)... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

See also Wheat Cereals. Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: High Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins, folate Major mineral contribution: Iron, potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Barley is a high-carbohydrate food, rich in starch and dietary fiber, particu- larly pectins and soluble gums, including beta-glucans, the fiber that makes cooked oatmeal sticky. The proteins in barley are incomplete, limited in the essential amino acid lysine. Barley is a good source of the B vitamin folate. One-half cup cooked barley has 4.5 grams dietary fiber and 12.5 mg folate (3 percent of the R DA for healthy adults). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With a calcium-rich food and with a food such as legumes or meat, milk, or eggs that supplies the lysine barley is missing. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Gluten-free diet Buying This Food Look for: Clean, tightly sealed boxes or plastic bags. Stains indicate that something has spilled on the box and may have seeped through to con- taminate the grain inside. * Values are for pearled barley. Storing This Food Store barley in air- and moisture-proof containers in a cool, dark, dry cabinet. Well protected, it will keep for several months with no loss of nutrients. Preparing This Food Pick over the barley and discard any damaged or darkened grains. What Happens When You Cook This Food Starch consists of molecules of the complex carbohydrates amylose and amylopectin packed into a starch granule. When you cook barley in water, its starch granules absorb water mol- ecules, swell, and soften. When the temperature of the liquid reaches approximately 140°F, the amylose and amylopectin molecules inside the granules relax and unfold, breaking some of their internal bonds (bonds between atoms on the same molecule) and forming new bonds between atoms on different molecules. The result is a network that traps and holds water molecules. The starch granules swell and the barley becomes soft and bulky. If you continue to cook the barley, the starch granules will rupture, releasing some of the amylose and amylopectin molecules inside. These molecules will attract and immobilize some of the water molecules in the liquid, which is why a little barley added to a soup or stew will make the soup or stew thicker. The B vitamins in barley are water-soluble. You can save them by serving the barley with the liquid in which it was cooked. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Pearling. Pearled barley is barley from which the outer layer has been removed. Milling, the process by which barley is turned into flour, also removes the outer coating (bran) of the grain. Since most of the B vitamins and fiber are concentrated in the bran, both pearled and milled barley are lower in nutrients and fiber than whole barley. Malting. After barley is harvested, the grain may be left to germinate, a natural chemical process during which complex carbohydrates in the grain (starches and beta-glucans) change into sugar. The grain, now called malted barley, is used as the base for several fermented and distilled alcohol beverages, including beer and whiskey. Medical Uses and/or Benefits To reduce cholesterol levels. The soluble gums and pectins in barley appear to lower the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. There are currently two theories to explain how this might work. The first theory is that the pectins form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and keeps them from being absorbed by your body. The second is that bacteria living in your gut may feed on the beta-glucans in the barley to produce short-chain fatty acids that slow the natural production of cholesterol in your liver. Barley is very rich in beta-glucans; some strains have three times as much as oats. It also has tocotrienol, another chemical that mops up cholesterol....

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: High Fat: Moderate Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: Moderate Carbohydrates: None Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Iron, phosphorus, zinc About the Nutrients in This Food Like fish, pork, poultry, milk, and eggs, beef has high-quality proteins, with sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids. Beef fat is slightly more highly saturated than pork fat, but less saturated than lamb fat. All have about the same amount of cholesterol per serving. Beef is an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, which is found only in animal foods. Lean beef pro- vides heme iron, the organic iron that is about five times more useful to the body than nonheme iron, the inorganic form of iron found in plant foods. Beef is also an excellent source of zinc. One four-ounce serving of lean broiled sirloin steak has nine grams fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 101 mg cholesterol, 34 g protein, and 3.81 mg iron (21 percent of the R DA for a woman, 46 percent of the R DA for a man). One four-ounce serving of lean roast beef has 16 g fat (6.6 g saturated fat), 92 mg cholesterol, and 2.96 mg iron (16 percent of the R DA for a woman, 37 percent of the R DA for a man). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With a food rich in vitamin C. Ascorbic acid increases the absorption of iron from meat. * These values apply to lean cooked beef. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Controlled-fat, low-cholesterol diet Low-protein diet (for some forms of kidney disease) Buying This Food Look for: Fresh, red beef. The fat should be white, not yellow. Choose lean cuts of beef with as little internal marbling (streaks of fat) as possible. The leanest cuts are flank steak and round steak; rib steaks, brisket, and chuck have the most fat. USDA grading, which is determined by the maturity of the animal and marbling in meat, is also a guide to fat content. U.S. prime has more marbling than U.S. choice, which has more marbling than U.S. good. All are equally nutritious; the difference is how tender they are, which depends on how much fat is present. Choose the cut of meat that is right for your recipe. Generally, the cuts from the cen- ter of the animal’s back—the rib, the T-Bone, the porterhouse steaks—are the most tender. They can be cooked by dry heat—broiling, roasting, pan-frying. Cuts from around the legs, the underbelly, and the neck—the shank, the brisket, the round—contain muscles used for movement. They must be tenderized by stewing or boiling, the long, moist cooking methods that break down the connective tissue that makes meat tough. Storing This Food Refrigerate raw beef immediately, carefully wrapped to prevent its drippings from contami- nating other foods. Refrigeration prolongs the freshness of beef by slowing the natural multi- plication of bacteria on the meat surface. Unchecked, these bacteria will convert proteins and other substances on the surface of the meat to a slimy film and change meat’s sulfur-contain- ing amino acids methionine and cystine into smelly chemicals called mercaptans. When the mercaptans combine with myoglobin, they produce the greenish pigment that gives spoiled meat its characteristic unpleasant appearance. Fresh ground beef, with many surfaces where bacteria can live, should be used within 24 to 48 hours. Other cuts of beef may stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days. Preparing This Food Trim the beef carefully. By judiciously cutting away all visible fat you can significantly reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in each serving. When you are done, clean all utensils thoroughly with soap and hot water. Wash your cutting board, wood or plastic, with hot water, soap, and a bleach-and-water solution. For ultimate safety in preventing the transfer of microorganisms from the raw meat to other foods, keep one cutting board exclusively for raw meats, fish, and poultry, and a second one for everything else. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands. What Happens When You Cook This Food Cooking changes the appearance and flavor of beef, alters nutritional value, makes it safer, and extends its shelf life. Browning meat after you cook it does not “seal in the juices,” but it does change the fla- vor by caramelizing sugars on the surface. Because beef’s only sugars are the small amounts of glycogen in the muscles, we add sugars in marinades or basting liquids that may also con- tain acids (vinegar, lemon juice, wine) to break down muscle fibers and tenderize the meat. (Browning has one minor nutritional drawback. It breaks amino acids on the surface of the meat into smaller compounds that are no longer useful proteins.) When beef is cooked, it loses water and shrinks. Its pigments, which combine with oxygen, are denatured (broken into fragments) by the heat and turn brown, the natural color of well-done meat. At the same time, the fats in the beef are oxidized. Oxidized fats, whether formed in cooking or when the cooked meat is stored in the refrigerator, give cooked meat a character- istic warmed-over flavor. Cooking and storing meat under a blanket of antioxidants—catsup or a gravy made of tomatoes, peppers, and other vitamin C-rich vegetables—reduces the oxidation of fats and the intensity of warmed-over flavor. Meat reheated in a microwave oven also has less warmed-over flavor. An obvious nutritional benefit of cooking is the fact that heat lowers the fat content of beef by liquif ying the fat so it can run off the meat. One concrete example of how well this works comes from a comparison of the fat content in regular and extra-lean ground beef. According to research at the University of Missouri in 1985, both kinds of beef lose mass when cooked, but the lean beef loses water and the regular beef loses fat and cholesterol. Thus, while regular raw ground beef has about three times as much fat (by weight) as raw ground extra-lean beef, their fat varies by only 5 percent after broiling. To reduce the amount of fat in ground beef, heat the beef in a pan until it browns. Then put the beef in a colander, and pour one cup of warm water over the beef. Repeat with a second cup of warm water to rinse away fat melted by heating the beef. Use the ground beef in sauce and other dishes that do not require it to hold together. Finally, cooking makes beef safer by killing Salmonella and other organisms in the meat. As a result, cooking also serves as a natural preservative. According to the USDA, large pieces of fresh beef can be refrigerated for two or three days, then cooked and held safely for another day or two because the heat of cooking has reduced the number of bacteria on the surface of the meat and temporarily interrupted the natural cycle of deterioration. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Aging. Hanging fresh meat exposed to the air, in a refrigerated room, reduces the moisture content and shrinks the meat slightly. As the meat ages enzymes break down muscle pro- teins, “tenderizing” the beef. Canning. Canned beef does not develop a warmed-over flavor because the high tempera- tures in canning food and the long cooking process alter proteins in the meat so that they act as antioxidants. Once the can is open, however, the meat should be protected from oxygen that will change the flavor of the beef. Curing. Salt-curing preserves meat through osmosis, the physical reaction in which liquids flow across a membrane, such as the wall of a cell, from a less dense to a more dense solution. The salt or sugar used in curing dissolves in the liquid on the surface of the meat to make a solution that is more dense than the liquid inside the cells of the meat. Water flows out of the meat and out of the cells of any microorganisms living on the meat, killing the microor- ganisms and protecting the meat from bacterial damage. Salt-cured meat is much higher in sodium than fresh meat. Freezing. When you freeze beef, the water inside its cells freezes into sharp ice crystals that can puncture cell membranes. When the beef thaws, moisture (and some of the B vitamins) will leak out through these torn cell walls. The loss of moisture is irreversible, but some of the vitamins can be saved by using the drippings when the meat is cooked. Freezing may also cause freezer burn—dry spots left when moisture evaporates from the surface of the meat. Waxed freezer paper is designed specifically to hold the moisture in meat; plastic wrap and aluminum foil are less effective. NOTE : Commercially prepared beef, which is frozen very quickly at very low temperatures, is less likely to show changes in texture. Irradiation. Irradiation makes meat safer by exposing it to gamma rays, the kind of high- energy ionizing radiation that kills living cells, including bacteria. Irradiation does not change the way meat looks, feels or tastes, or make the food radioactive, but it does alter the structure of some naturally occurring chemicals in beef, breaking molecules apart to form new com- pounds called radiolytic products (R P). About 90 percent of R Ps are also found in nonirradiated foods. The rest, called unique radiolytic products (UR P), are found only in irradiated foods. There is currently no evidence to suggest that UR Ps are harmful; irradiation is an approved technique in more than 37 countries around the world, including the United States. Smoking. Hanging cured or salted meat over an open fire slowly dries the meat, kills micro- organisms on its surface, and gives the meat a rich, “smoky” flavor that varies with the wood used in the fire. Meats smoked over an open fire are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke, including a-benzopyrene. Meats treated with “artificial smoke flavoring” are not, since the flavoring is commercially treated to remove tar and a-benzopyrene. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Treating and/or preventing iron deficiency. Without meat in the diet, it is virtually impossible for an adult woman to meet her iron requirement without supplements. One cooked 3.5- ounce hamburger provides about 2.9 mg iron, 16 percent of the R DA for an adult woman of childbearing age. Possible anti-diabetes activity. CLA may also prevent type 2 diabetes, also called adult-onset diabetes, a non-insulin-dependent form of the disease. At Purdue University, rats bred to develop diabetes spontaneously between eight and 10 weeks of age stayed healthy when given CLA supplements. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of heart disease. Like other foods from animals, beef contains cholesterol and saturated fats that increase the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood, raising your risk of heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the National Cholesterol Education Project recommends following the Step I and Step II diets. The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200 –239 mg/dL. The Step II diet provides 25– 35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cho- lesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions: •  Existing cardiovascular disease •  High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol) •  Obesity •  Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus) •  Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk fac- tors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) Increased risk of some cancers. According the American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet high in red meat (beef, lamb, pork) increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 15 percent for every 1.5 ounces over 18 ounces consumed per week. In 2007, the National Can- cer Institute released data from a survey of 500,000 people, ages 50 to 71, who participated in an eight-year A AR P diet and health study identif ying a higher risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, liver, lung, and pancreas among people eating large amounts of red meats and processed meats. Food-borne illness. Improperly cooked meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 has been linked to a number of fatalities in several parts of the United States. In addition, meats con- taminated with other bacteria, viruses, or parasites pose special problems for people with a weakened immune system: the very young, the very old, cancer chemotherapy patients, and people with HIV. Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 140°F should destroy Salmo- nella and Campylobacter jejuni; 165°F, the E. coli organism; and 212°F, Listeria monocytogenes. Antibiotic sensitivity. Cattle in the United States are routinely given antibiotics to protect them from infection. By law, the antibiotic treatment must stop three days to several weeks before the animal is slaughtered. Theoretically, the beef should then be free of antibiotic residues, but some people who are sensitive to penicillin or tetracycline may have an allergic reaction to the meat, although this is rare. Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Cattle treated with antibiotics may pro- duce meat contaminated with antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella, and all raw beef may harbor ordinary Salmonella as well as T. gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is particularly hazardous for pregnant women. It can be passed on to the fetus and may trigger a series of birth defects including blindness and mental retardation. Both Salmonella and the T. gondii can be eliminated by cooking meat thoroughly and washing all utensils, cutting boards, and counters as well as your hands with hot soapy water before touching any other food. Decline in kidney function. Proteins are nitrogen compounds. When metabolized, they yield ammonia, which is excreted through the kidneys. In laborator y animals, a sustained high-protein diet increases the flow of blood through the kidneys, accelerating the natural age-related decline in kidney function. Some experts suggest that this may also occur in human beings. Food/Drug Interactions Tetracycline antibiotics (demeclocycline [Declomycin], doxycycline [ Vibtamycin], methacycline [Rondomycin], minocycline [Minocin], oxytetracycline [Terramycin], tetracycline [Achromycin V, Panmycin, Sumycin]). Because meat contains iron, which binds tetracyclines into com- pounds the body cannot absorb, it is best to avoid meat for two hours before and after taking one of these antibiotics. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Meat “tenderized” with papaya or a papain powder can interact with the class of antidepressant drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibi- tors. Papain meat tenderizers work by breaking up the long chains of protein molecules. One by-product of this process is tyramine, a substance that constructs blood vessels and raises blood pressure. M AO inhibitors inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine. If you eat a food such as papain-tenderized meat, which is high in tyramine, while you are taking a M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. Theophylline. Charcoal-broiled beef appears to reduce the effectiveness of theophylline because the aromatic chemicals produced by burning fat speed up the metabolism of the- ophylline in the liver.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Ale) Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Moderate Fat: None Saturated fat: None Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Phosphorus About the Nutrients in This Food Beer and ale are fermented beverages created by yeasts that convert the sugars in malted barley and grain to ethyl alcohol (a.k.a. “alcohol,” “drink- ing alcohol”).* The USDA /Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines one drink as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.25 ounces of distilled spirits. One 12-ounce glass of beer has 140 calo- ries, 86 of them (61 percent) from alcohol. But the beverage—sometimes nicknamed “liquid bread”—is more than empty calories. Like wine, beer retains small amounts of some nutrients present in the food from which it was made. * Because yeasts cannot digest t he starches in grains, t he grains to be used in mak ing beer and ale are allowed to germinate ( “malt” ). When it is t ime to make t he beer or ale, t he malted grain is soaked in water, forming a mash in which t he starches are split into simple sugars t hat can be digested (fermented) by t he yeasts. If undisturbed, t he fermentat ion will cont inue unt il all t he sugars have been digested, but it can be halted at any t ime simply by raising or lowering t he temperature of t he liquid. Beer sold in bott les or cans is pasteurized to k ill t he yeasts and stop t he fermentat ion. Draft beer is not pasteurized and must be refrigerated unt il tapped so t hat it will not cont inue to ferment in t he container. The longer t he shipping t ime, t he more likely it is t hat draft beer will be exposed to temperature variat ions t hat may affect its qualit y—which is why draft beer almost always tastes best when consumed near t he place where it was brewed. The Nutrients in Beer (12-ounce glass)
  Nutrients   Beer   %R DA
Calcium 17 mg 1.7
Magnesium 28.51 mg 7–9*
Phosphorus 41.1 mg 6
Potassium 85.7 mg (na)
Zinc 0.06 mg 0.5– 0.8*
Thiamin 0.02 mg 1.6 –1.8*
R iboflavin 0.09 mg 7– 8*
Niacin 1.55 mg 10
Vitamin B6 0.17 mg 13
Folate 20.57 mcg 5
  * t he first figure is t he %R DA for a man; t he second, for a woman Source: USDA Nut rient Database: w w w.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin /nut _search.pl. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Bland diet Gluten-free diet Low-purine (antigout) diet Buying This Food Look for: A popular brand that sells steadily and will be fresh when you buy it. Avoid: Dusty or warm bottles and cans. Storing This Food Store beer in a cool place. Beer tastes best when consumed within two months of the day it is made. Since you cannot be certain how long it took to ship the beer to the store or how long it has been sitting on the grocery shelves, buy only as much beer as you plan to use within a week or two. Protect bottled beer and open bottles or cans of beer from direct sunlight, which can change sulfur compounds in beer into isopentyl mercaptan, the smelly chemical that gives stale beer its characteristic unpleasant odor. When You Are Ready to Serve This Food Serve beer only in absolutely clean glasses or mugs. Even the slightest bit of grease on the side of the glass will kill the foam immediately. Wash beer glasses with detergent, not soap, and let them drain dry rather than drying them with a towel that might carry grease from your hands to the glass. If you like a long-lasting head on your beer, serve the brew in tall, tapering glasses to let the foam spread out and stabilize. For full flavor, serve beer and ales cool but not ice-cold. Very low temperatures immo- bilize the molecules that give beer and ale their flavor and aroma. What Happens When You Cook This Food When beer is heated (in a stew or as a basting liquid), the alcohol evaporates but the flavor- ing agents remain intact. Alcohol, an acid, reacts with metal ions from an aluminum or iron pot to form dark compounds that discolor the pot or the dish you are cooking in. To prevent this, prepare dishes made with beer in glass or enameled pots. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Reduced risk of heart attack. Data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study 1, a 12-year survey of more than 1 million Americans in 25 states, shows that men who take one drink a day have a 21 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 22 percent lower risk of stroke than men who do not drink at all. Women who have up to one drink a day also reduce their risk of heart attack. Numerous later studies have confirmed these findings. Lower risk of stroke. In January 1999, the results of a 677-person study published by researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University showed that moder- ate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of stroke due to a blood clot in the brain among older people (average age: 70). How the alcohol prevents stroke is still unknown, but it is clear that moderate use of alcohol is a key. Heavy drinkers (those who consume more than seven drinks a day) have a higher risk of stroke. People who once drank heavily, but cut their consumption to moderate levels, can also reduce their risk of stroke. Numerous later studies have confirmed these findings. Lower cholesterol levels. Beverage alcohol decreases the body’s production and storage of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), the protein and fat particles that carr y cholesterol into your arteries. As a result, people who drink moderately tend to have lower cholesterol levels and higher levels of high density lipoproteins (HDLs), the fat and protein particles that carr y cholesterol out of the body. The USDA /Health and Human Services Dietar y Guidelines for Americans defines moderation as two drinks a day for a man, one drink a day for a woman. Stimulating the appetite. Alcoholic beverages stimulate the production of saliva and the gastric acids that cause the stomach contractions we call hunger pangs. Moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages, which may help stimulate appetite, are often prescribed for geriatric patients, convalescents, and people who do not have ulcers or other chronic gastric problems that might be exacerbated by the alcohol. Dilation of blood vessels. Alcohol dilates the capillaries (the tiny blood vessels just under the skin), and moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages produce a pleasant flush that temporar- ily warms the drinker. But drinking is not an effective way to warm up in cold weather since the warm blood that flows up to the capillaries will cool down on the surface of your skin and make you even colder when it circulates back into the center of your body. Then an alco- hol flush will make you perspire, so that you lose more heat. Excessive amounts of beverage alcohol may depress the mechanism that regulates body temperature. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of breast cancer. In 2008, scientists at the National Cancer Institute released data from a seven-year survey of more than 100,000 postmenopausal women showing that even moderate drinking (one to two drinks a day) may increase by 32 percent a woman’s risk of developing estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone-receptor positive (PR+) breast cancer, tumors whose growth is stimulated by hormones. No such link was found between consuming alcohol and the risk of developing ER-/PR- tumors (not fueled by hor- mones). The finding applies to all types of alcohol: beer, wine, and spirits. Increased risk of oral cancer (cancer of the mouth and throat). Numerous studies confirm the American Cancer Society’s warning that men and women who consume more than two drinks a day are at higher risk of oral cancer than are nondrinkers or people who drink less. Note: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes one drink as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. Increased risk of cancer of the colon and rectum. In the mid-1990s, studies at the University of Oklahoma suggested that men who drink more than five beers a day are at increased risk of rectal cancer. Later studies suggested that men and women who are heavy beer or spirits drinkers (but not those who are heavy wine drinkers) have a higher risk of colorectal cancers. Further studies are required to confirm these findings. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a specific pattern of birth defects—low birth weight, heart defects, facial malformations, and mental retardation—first recognized in a study of babies born to alcoholic women who consumed more than six drinks a day while pregnant. Subsequent research has found a consistent pattern of milder defects in babies born to women who consume three to four drinks a day or five drinks on any one occasion while pregnant. To date, there is no evidence of a consistent pattern of birth defects in babies born to women who consume less than one drink a day while pregnant, but two studies at Columbia University have suggested that as few as two drinks a week while preg- nant may raise a woman’s risk of miscarriage. (“One drink” means 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.25 ounces of distilled spirits.) Alcoholism. Alcoholism is an addiction disease, the inability to control one’s alcohol consumption. It is a potentially life-threatening condition, with a higher risk of death by accident, suicide, malnutrition, or acute alcohol poisoning, a toxic reaction that kills by para- lyzing body organs, including the heart. Malnutrition. While moderate alcohol consumption stimulates appetite, alcohol abuse depresses it. In addition, an alcoholic may drink instead of eating. When an alcoholic does eat, excess alcohol in his/her body prevents absorption of nutrients and reduces the ability to synthesize new tissue. Hangover. Alcohol is absorbed from the stomach and small intestine and carried by the bloodstream to the liver, where it is oxidized to acetaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme our bodies use to metabolize the alcohol we produce when we digest carbohydrates. The acetaldehyde is converted to acetyl coenzyme A and either eliminated from the body or used in the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and body tissues. Although individuals vary widely in their capacity to metabolize alcohol, on average, normal healthy adults can metabolize the alcohol in one quart of beer in approximately five to six hours. If they drink more than that, they will have more alcohol than the body’s natural supply of ADH can handle. The unmetabolized alcohol will pile up in the bloodstream, interfering with the liver’s metabolic functions. Since alcohol decreases the reabsorption of water from the kidneys and may inhibit the secretion of an antidiuretic hormone, they will begin to urinate copiously, losing magnesium, calcium, and zinc but retaining more irritating uric acid. The level of lactic acid in the body will increase, making them feel tired and out of sorts; their acid-base balance will be out of kilter; the blood vessels in their heads will swell and throb; and their stomachs, with linings irritated by the alcohol, will ache. The ultimate result is a “hangover” whose symptoms will disappear only when enough time has passed to allow their bodies to marshal the ADH needed to metabolize the extra alcohol in their blood. Changes in body temperature. Alcohol dilates capillaries, tiny blood vessels just under the skin, producing a “flush” that temporarily warms the drinker. But drinking is not an effective way to stay warm in cold weather. Warm blood flowing up from the body core to the surface capillaries is quickly chilled, making you even colder when it circulates back into your organs. In addition, an alcohol flush triggers perspiration, further cooling your skin. Finally, very large amounts of alcohol may actually depress the mechanism that regulates body temperature. Impotence. Excessive drinking decreases libido (sexual desire) and interferes with the ability to achieve or sustain an erection. Beer belly. Data from a 1995, 12,000 person study at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill show that people who consume at least six beers a week have more rounded abdomens than people who do not drink beer. The question left to be answered is which came first: the tummy or the drinking. Food/Drug Interactions Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.). The FDA recommends that people who regularly have three or more drinks a day consult a doctor before using acetaminophen. The alcohol/acetamino- phen combination may cause liver failure. Disulfiram (Antabuse). Taken with alcohol, disulfiram causes flushing, nausea, low blood pressure, faintness, respiratory problems, and confusion. The severity of the reaction gener- ally depends on how much alcohol you drink, how much disulfiram is in your body, and how long ago you took it. Disulfiram is used to help recovering alcoholics avoid alcohol. (If taken with alcohol, metronidazole [Flagyl], procarbazine [Matulane], quinacrine [Atabrine], chlorpropamide (Diabinase), and some species of mushrooms may produce a mild disulfi- ramlike reaction.) Anticoagulants. Alcohol slows the body’s metabolism of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin), intensif ying the effect of the drugs and increasing the risk of side effects such as spontaneous nosebleeds. Antidepressants. Alcohol may increase the sedative effects of antidepressants. Drinking alcohol while you are taking a monoamine oxidase (M AO) inhibitor is especially hazard- ous. M AO inhibitors inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food containing tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. Ordinarily, fermentation of beer and ale does not produce tyramine, but some patients have reported tyramine reactions after drinking some imported beers. Beer and ale are usually prohibited to those using M AO inhibitors. Aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Like alcohol, these analgesics irritate the lining of the stomach and may cause gastric bleeding. Combining the two intensifies the effect. Insulin and oral hypoglycemics. Alcohol lowers blood sugar and interferes with the metabo- lism of oral antidiabetics; the combination may cause severe hypoglycemia. Sedatives and other central nervous system depressants (tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepres- sants, sinus and cold remedies, analgesics, and medication for motion sickness). Alcohol inten- sifies sedation and, depending on the dose, may cause drowsiness, respiratory depression, coma, or death.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Moderate Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Beets are roots, high-carbohydrate foods that provide sugars, starch, and small amounts of dietary fiber, insoluble cellulose in the skin, and soluble pectins in the flesh. Beets are also a good source of the B vitamin folate. One-half cup cooked fresh beets has one gram of dietar y fiber and 68 mcg folate (17 percent of the R DA). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Cooked, to dissolve the stiff cell walls and make the nutrients inside available. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Anti-kidney-stone diet Low-sodium diet Buying This Food Look for: Smooth round globes with fresh, crisp green leaves on top. Avoid: Beets with soft spots or blemishes that suggest decay underneath. Storing This Food Protect the nutrients in beets by storing the vegetables in a cool place, such as the vegetable crisper in your refrigerator. When stored, the beet root converts its starch into sugars; the longer it is stored, the sweeter it becomes. Remove the green tops from beets before storing and store the beet greens like other leaf y vegetables, in plastic bags in the refrigerator to keep them from drying out and losing vitamins (also see gr eens). Use both beets and beet greens within a week. Preparing This Food Scrub the globes with a vegetable brush under cold running water. You can cook them whole or slice them. Peel before (or after) cooking. What Happens When You Cook This Food Betacyamin and betaxanthin, the red betalain pigments in beets, are water-soluble. (That’s why borscht is a scarlet soup.) Betacyanins and betaxanthins turn more intensely red when you add acids; think of scarlet sweet-and-sour beets in lemon juice or vinegar with sugar. They turn slightly blue in a basic (alkaline) solution such as baking soda and water. Like carrots, beets have such stiff cell walls that it is hard for the human digestive tract to extract the nutrients inside. Cooking will not soften the cellulose in the beet’s cell walls, but it will dissolve enough hemicellulose so that digestive juices are able to penetrate. Cook- ing also activates flavor molecules in beets, making them taste better. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning. Beets lose neither their color nor their texture in canning. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their moth- ers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The R DA for folate is 400 mcg for healthy adult men and women, 600 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for women who are nursing. Taking folate supplements before becoming pregnant and continu- ing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records of more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular diseases were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verif y whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Pigmented urine and feces. The ability to metabolize betacyanins and be taxanthins is a genetic trait. People with two recessive genes for this trait cannot break down these red pig- ments, which will be excreted, bright red, in urine. Eating beets can also turn feces red, but it will not cause a false-positive result in a test for occult blood in the stool. Nitrosamine formation. Beets, celery, eggplant, lettuce, radishes, spinach, and collard and turnip greens contain nitrates that convert naturally into nitrites in your stomach—where some of the nitrites combine with amines to form nitrosamines, some of which are known carcinogens. This natural chemical reaction presents no known problems for a healthy adult. However, when these vegetables are cooked and left standing for a while at room tempera- ture, microorganisms that convert nitrates to nitrites begin to multiply, and the amount of nitrites in the food rises. The resulting higher-nitrite foods may be dangerous for infants (see spinach).... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

The use of the natural properties of living things to remove hazards that threaten human and animal health. When a pollutant ?rst appears in a local environment, existing microorganisms such as bacteria attempt to make use of the potential source of energy and as a side-e?ect detoxify the polluting substance. This is an evolutionary process that normally would take years.

Scientists have engineered appropriate genes from other organisms into BACTERIA, or sometimes plants, to accelerate this natural evolutionary process. For e?ective ‘digestion of waste’, a micro-organism must quickly and completely digest organic waste without producing unpleasant smells or noxious gases, be non-pathogenic and be able to reproduce in hostile conditions. For example, American researchers have discovered an anaerobic bacterium that neutralises dangerous chlorinated chemical compounds such as trichlorethane, which can pollute soil, into a harmless molecule called ethens. But the bacteria do not thrive in soil. So the dechlorinating genes in this bacterium are transferred to bacteria that are acclimatised to living in toxic areas and can more e?ciently carry out the required detoxi?cation. Other research has been aimed at detoxifying the byproducts of DDT, a troublesome and resistant pollutant. Bioremediation should prove to be an environmentally friendly and cost-e?ective alternative to waste incineration or chemically based processes for washing contaminated soils.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A functional, semi-permeable membrane separating the brain and cerebrospinal ?uid from the blood. It allows small and lipid-soluble molecules to pass freely but is impermeable to large or ionised molecules and cells.... Medical Dictionary

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Huckleberries) Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Low Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Calcium About the Nutrients in This Food Blueberries have some protein and a little fat. They have no starch but do contain sugars and dietary fiber—primarily pectin, which dissolves as the fruit matures—and lignin in the seeds. (The difference between blueber- ries and huckleberries is the size of their seeds; blueberries have smaller ones than huckleberries.) One-half cup fresh blueberries has 1.5 g dietary fiber and 9.5 mg. vitamin C (13 percent of the R DA for a woman, 11 percent of the R DA for a man). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh, raw, or lightly cooked. Buying This Food Look for: Plump, firm dark-blue berries. The whitish color on the ber- ries is a natural protective coating. Avoid: Baskets of berries with juice stains or liquid leaking out of the berries. The stains and leaks are signs that there are crushed (and possibly moldy) berries inside. Storing This Food Cover berries and refrigerate them. Then use them in a day or two. Do not wash berries before storing. The moisture increases the chance that they will mold in the refrigerator. Also, handling the berries can damage them, tearing cells and releas- ing enzymes that will destroy vitamins. Do not store blueberries in metal containers. The anthocyanin pigments in the berries can combine with metal ions to form dark, unattractive pigment/metal compounds that stain the containers and the berries. Preparing This Food R inse the berries under cool running water, then drain them and pick them over carefully to remove all stems, leaves, and hard (immature) or soft (over-ripe) berries. What Happens When You Cook This Food Cooking destroys some of the vitamin C in fresh blueberries and lets water-soluble B vitamins leach out. Cooked berries are likely to be mushy because heat dissolves the pectin inside. Blueberries may also change color when cooked. The berries are colored with blue anthocyanin pigments. Ordinarily, anthocyanin-pigmented fruits and vegetables turn red- dish in acids (lemon juice, vinegar) and deeper blue in bases (baking soda). But blueberries also contain yellow pigments (anthoxanthins). In a basic (alkaline) environments, as in a batter with too much baking soda, the yellow and blue pigments will combine, turning the blueberries greenish blue. Adding lemon juice to a blueberry pie stabilizes these pigments; it is a practical way to keep the berries a deep, dark reddish blue. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning and freezing. The intense heat used in canning the fruit or in blanching it before freezing reduces the vitamin C content of blueberries by half. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Anticancer activity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wild blueberries rank first among all fruits in antioxidant content; cultivated blueberries (the ones sold in most food markets) rank second. Antioxidants are natural chemicals that inactivate free radicals, molecule fragments that can link together to form cancer-causing compounds. Several ani- mal studies attest to the ability of blueberries to inhibit the growth of specific cancers. For example, in 2005, scientists at the University of Georgia reported in the journal Food Research International that blueberry extracts inhibited the growth of liver cancer cells in laboratory settings. The following year, researchers at Rutgers University (in New Jersey) delivered data to the national meeting of the American Chemical Society from a study in which laboratory rats fed a diet supplemented with pterostilbene, another compound extracted from blueber- ries, had 57 percent fewer precancerous lesions in the colon than rats whose diet did not contain the supplement. The findings, however, have not been confirmed in humans. Enhanced memory function. In 2008, British researchers at the schools of Food Biosciences and Psychology at the University of Reading and the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at the Peninsula Medical School (England) reported that adding blueberries to one’s normal diet appears to improve both long-term and short-term memory, perhaps because anthocyanins and flavonoids (water-soluble pigments in the berries) activate signals in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that controls learning and memory. If confirmed, the data would support the role played by diet in maintaining memory and brain function. Urinary antiseptic. A 1991 study at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) suggests that blueberries, like cr anber r ies, contain a compound that inhibits the ability of Escherichia coli, a bacteria commonly linked to urinary infections, to stick to the wall of the bladder. If it cannot cling to cell walls, the bacteria will not cause an infection. This discovery lends some support to folk medicine, but how the berries work, how well they work, or in what “dos- ages” remains to be proven. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Allergic reaction. Hives and angiodemea (swelling of the face, lips, and eyes) are common allergic responses to berries, virtually all of which have been reported to trigger these reac- tions. According to the Merck Manual, berries are one of the 12 foods most likely to trigger classic food allergy symptoms. The others are chocolate, corn, eggs, fish, legumes (peas, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans), milk, nuts, peaches, pork, shellfish, and wheat (see wheat cer ea ls).... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: Moderate Fiber: Very high Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Calcium About the Nutrients in This Food Broccoli is very high-fiber food, an excellent source of vitamin A, the B vitamin folate, and vitamin C. It also has some vitamin E and vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin manufactured primarily by bacteria living in our intestinal tract. One cooked, fresh broccoli spear has five grams of dietary fiber, 2,500 IU vitamin A (108 percent of the R DA for a woman, 85 percent of the R DA for a man), 90 mcg folate (23 percent of the R DA), and 130 mg vitamin C (178 percent of the R DA for a woman, 149 percent of the R DA for a man). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Raw. Studies at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, show that raw broccoli has up to 40 percent more vitamin C than broccoli that has been cooked or frozen. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet Buying This Food Look for: Broccoli with tightly closed buds. The stalk, leaves, and florets should be fresh, firm, and brightly colored. Broccoli is usually green; some varieties are tinged with purple. Avoid: Broccoli with woody stalk or florets that are open or turning yellow. When the green chlorophyll pigments fade enough to let the yellow carotenoids underneath show through, the buds are about to bloom and the broccoli is past its prime. Storing This Food Pack broccoli in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or in the vegetable crisper to protect its vitamin C. At 32°F, fresh broccoli can hold onto its vitamin C for as long as two weeks. Keep broccoli out of the light; like heat, light destroys vitamin C. Preparing This Food First, rinse the broccoli under cool running water to wash off any dirt and debris clinging to the florets. Then put the broccoli, florets down, into a pan of salt water (1 tsp. salt to 1 qt. water) and soak for 15 to 30 minutes to drive out insects hiding in the florets. Then cut off the leaves and trim away woody section of stalks. For fast cooking, divide the broccoli up into small florets and cut the stalk into thin slices. What Happens When You Cook This Food The broccoli stem contains a lot of cellulose and will stay firm for a long time even through the most vigorous cooking, but the cell walls of the florets are not so strongly fortified and will soften, eventually turning to mush if you cook the broccoli long enough. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains mustard oils (isothiocyanates), natural chemicals that break down into a variety of smelly sulfur compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) when the broccoli is heated. The reaction is more intense in aluminum pots. The longer you cook broccoli, the more smelly compounds there will be, although broccoli will never be as odorous as cabbage or cauliflower. Keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules from floating off into the air but will also accelerate the chemical reaction that turns green broccoli olive-drab. Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green vegetables green, is sensitive to acids. When you heat broccoli, the chlorophyll in its florets and stalk reacts chemically with acids in the broccoli or in the cooking water to form pheophytin, which is brown. The pheophytin turns cooked broccoli olive-drab or (since broccoli contains some yellow carotenes) bronze. To keep broccoli green, you must reduce the interaction between the chlorophyll and the acids. One way to do this is to cook the broccoli in a large quantity of water, so the acids will be diluted, but this increases the loss of vitamin C.* Another alternative is to leave the lid off the pot so that the hydrogen atoms can float off into the air, but this allows the smelly sulfur compounds to escape, too. The best way is probably to steam the broccoli quickly with very little water, so it holds onto its vitamin C and cooks before there is time for reac- tion between chlorophyll and hydrogen atoms to occur. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Frozen broccoli usually contains less vitamin C than fresh broccoli. The vitamin is lost when the broccoli is blanched to inactivate catalase and peroxidase, enzymes that would otherwise continue to ripen the broccoli in the freezer. On the other hand, according to researchers at Cornell University, blanching broccoli in a microwave oven—two cups of broccoli in three tablespoons of water for three minutes at 600 –700 watts—nearly doubles the amount of vitamin C retained. In experiments at Cornell, frozen broccoli blanched in a microwave kept 90 percent of its vitamin C, compared to 56 percent for broccoli blanched in a pot of boiling water on top of a stove. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against some cancers. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauli- flower, and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, perhaps by preventing the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer- causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the transformation of healthy cells to malignant ones. All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inacti- vate and help eliminate carcinogens. At the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane. To get a protective amount of sulforaphane from broccoli you would have to eat about two pounds a week. But in 1997, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old sprouts contain as much sulphoraphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. * Broccoli will lose large amounts of vitamin C if you cook it in water t hat is cold when you start. As it boils, water releases ox ygen t hat would ot her wise dest roy vitamin C, so you can cut t he vitamin loss dramat ically simply by lett ing t he water boil for 60 seconds before adding t he broccoli. Vision protection. In 2004, the Johns Hopkins researchers updated their findings on sulfora- phane to suggest that it may also protect cells in the eyes from damage due to ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related vision loss. Lower risk of some birth defects. Up to two or every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman, 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking a folate supplement before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Broccoli is a good source of folate. One raw broccoli spear has 107 mcg folate, more than 50 percent of the R DA for an adult. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to ascertain whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Possible inhibition of the herpes virus. Indoles, another group of chemicals in broccoli, may inhibit the growth of some herpes viruses. In 2003, at the 43rd annual Interscience Confer- ence on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, in Chicago, researchers from Stockholm’s Huddinge University Hospital, the University of Virginia, and Northeastern Ohio University reported that indole-3-carbinol (I3C) in broccoli stops cells, including those of the herpes sim- plex virus, from reproducing. In tests on monkey and human cells, I3C was nearly 100 percent effective in blocking reproduction of the HSV-1 (oral and genital herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes), including one strain known to be resistant to the antiviral drug acyclovir (Zovirax). Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Enlarged thyroid gland. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, contain goitrin, thio- cyanate, and isothiocyanate, chemical compounds that inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to produce more. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have thyroid problems or are taking thyroid medication. False-positive test for occult blood in the stool. The guaiac slide test for hidden blood in feces relies on alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood. Broccoli contains peroxidase, a natural chemical that also turns alphaguaiaconic acid blue and may produce a positive test in people who do not actually have blood in the stool. Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin produced natu- rally by bacteria in the intestines. Consuming large quantities of this food may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin). One cup of drained, boiled broccoli contains 220 mcg vitamin K, nearly four times the R DA for a healthy adult.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: High Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium, iron About the Nutrients in This Food Brussels sprouts are high in dietary fiber, especially insoluble cellulose and lignan in the leaf ribs. They are also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. One-half cup cooked fresh brussels sprouts has three grams of dietary fiber, 1,110 IU vitamin A (48 percent of the R DA for a woman, 37 percent of the R DA for a man), 47 mcg folate (16 percent of the R DA), and 48 mg vitamin C (64 percent of the R DA for a woman, 53 percent of the R DA for a man). Brussels sprouts also contain an antinutrient, a natural chemical that splits the thiamin (vitamin B1) molecule so that it is no longer nutritionally useful. This thiamin inhibitor is inactivated by cooking. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh, lightly steamed to preserve the vitamin C and inactivate the antinutrient. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet Buying This Food Look for: Firm, compact heads with bright, dark-green leaves, sold loose so that you can choose the sprouts one at a time. Brussels sprouts are available all year round. Avoid: Puff y, soft sprouts with yellow or wilted leaves. The yellow carotenes in the leaves show through only when the leaves age and their green chlorophyll pigments fade. Wilting leaves and puff y, soft heads are also signs of aging. Avoid sprouts with tiny holes in the leaves through which insects have burrowed. Storing This Food Store the brussels sprouts in the refrigerator. While they are most nutritious if used soon after harvesting, sprouts will keep their vitamins (including their heat-sensitive vitamin C) for several weeks in the refrigerator. Store the sprouts in a plastic bag or covered bowl to protect them from moisture loss. Preparing This Food First, drop the sprouts into salted ice water to flush out any small bugs hiding inside. Next, trim them. Remove yellow leaves and leaves with dark spots or tiny holes, but keep as many of the darker, vitamin A–rich outer leaves as possible. Then, cut an X into the stem end of the sprouts to allow heat and water in so that the sprouts cook faster. What Happens When You Cook This Food Brussels sprouts contain mustard oils (isothiocyanates), natural chemicals that break down into a variety of smelly sulfur compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) when the sprouts are heated, a reaction that is intensified in aluminum pots. The longer you cook the sprouts, the more smelly compounds there will be. Adding a slice of bread to the cook- ing water may lessen the odor; keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules from floating off into the air. But keeping the pot covered will also increase the chemical reaction that turns cooked brussels sprouts drab. Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green vegetables green, is sensi- tive to acids. When you heat brussels sprouts, the chlorophyll in their green leaves reacts chemically with acids in the sprouts or in the cooking water to form pheophytin, which is brown. The pheophytin turns cooked brussels sprouts olive or, since they also contain yel- low carotenes, bronze. To keep cooked brussels sprouts green, you have to reduce the interaction between chlorophyll and acids. One way to do this is to cook the sprouts in a lot of water, so the acids will be diluted, but this increases the loss of vitamin C.* Another alternative is to leave the lid off the pot so that the hydrogen atoms can float off into the air, but this allows the smelly sulfur compounds to escape, too. The best solution is to steam the sprouts quickly in very little water, so they retain their vitamin C and cook before there is time for reaction between chlorophyll and hydrogen atoms to occur. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Frozen brussels sprouts contain virtually the same amounts of vitamins as fresh boiled sprouts. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against cancer. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, gluco- sinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some cancers, perhaps by pre- venting the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer-causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the transformation of healthy cells to malignant ones. All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inac- tivate and help eliminate carcinogens. At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane. In 1997, the Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three- day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain as much sulforaphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. The sulforaphane levels in other cruciferous vegetables have not yet been calculated. Lower risk of some birth defects. Up to two or every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. NOTE : The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman and 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends * Brussels sprouts will lose as much as 25 percent of their vitamin C if you cook them in water that is cold when you start. As it boils, water releases oxygen that would otherwise destroy vitamin C. You can cut the vitamin loss dramatically simply by letting the water boil for 60 seconds before adding the sprouts. 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking a folate supplement before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verif y whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vision protection. In 2004, the Johns Hopkins researchers updated their findings on sulfora- phane to suggest that it may also protect cells in the eyes from damage due to ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related vision loss. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Cruciferous vegetables, including brussels sprouts, contain goitrin, thiocyanate, and isothiocyanate. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to produce more. Goitrogens are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have a thyroid condi- tion or are taking thyroid medication. Intestinal gas. Bacteria that live naturally in the gut degrade the indigestible carbohydrates (food fiber) in brussels sprouts and produce gas that some people find distressing. Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin produced naturally by bacteria in the intestines. Consuming large quantities of this food may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin). One cup of drained, boiled brussels sprouts contains 219 mcg vitamin K, nearly three times the R DA for a healthy adult.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

See also Vegetable oils. Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): High Protein: Low Fat: High Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: High Carbohydrates: Low Fiber: None Sodium: Low (unsalted butter) High (salted butter) Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, vitamin D Major mineral contribution: None About the Nutrients in This Food Butterfat is 62 percent saturated fatty acids, 35 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, and 4 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. One tablespoon of butter has 11 g of fat, 7.1 g of saturated fat, and 31 mg cholesterol, and 1,070 IU vitamin A (46 percent of the R DA for a woman, 36 percent of the R DA for a man). The vitamin A is derived from carotenoids in plants eaten by the milk-cow. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-cholesterol, controlled-fat diet Sodium-restricted diet (salted butter) Buying This Food Look for: Fresh butter. Check the date on the package. Storing This Food Store butter in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped to protect it from air and prevent it from picking up the odors of other food. Even refrigerated butter will eventually turn rancid as its fat molecules combine with oxygen to produce hydroperoxides that, in turn, break down into chemicals with an unpleasant flavor and aroma. This reaction is slowed (but not stopped) by cold. Because salt retards the combination of fats with oxygen, salted butter stays fresh longer than plain butter. (Lard, which is pork fat, must also be refrigerated. Lard has a higher proportion of unsaturated fats than the butter. Since unsaturated fats combine with oxygen more easily than saturated fats, lard becomes rancid more quickly than butter.) Preparing This Food To measure a half-cup of butter. Pour four ounces of water into an eight-ounce measuring cup, then add butter until the water rises to the eight-ounce mark. Scoop out the butter, use as directed in recipe. What Happens When You Cook This Food Fats are very useful in cooking. They keep foods from sticking to the pot or pan; add fla- vor; and, as they warm, transfer heat from the pan to the food. In doughs and batters, fats separate the flour’s starch granules from each other. The more closely the fat mixes with the starch, the smoother the bread or cake will be. Heat speeds the oxidation and decomposition of fats. When fats are heated, they can catch fire spontaneously without boiling first at what is called the smoke point. Butter will burn at 250°F. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Freezing slows the oxidation of fats more effectively than plain refrigeration; frozen butter keeps for up to nine months. Whipping. When butter is whipped, air is forced in among the fat molecules to produce a foam. As a result, the whipped butter has fewer calories per serving, though not per ounce. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of heart disease. Like other foods from animals, butter contains cholesterol and saturated fats. Eating butter increases the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood and raise your risk of heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart disease, USDA /Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting the amount of cholesterol in your diet to no more than 300 mg a day. The guidelines also recommend limit- ing the amount of fat you consume to no more than 30 percent of your total calories, while holding your consumption of saturated fats to no more than 10 percent of your total calories (the calories from saturated fats are counted as part of the total calories from fat). Increased risk of acid reflux. Consuming excessive amounts of fats and fatty foods loosens the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular valve between the esophagus and the stomach. When food is swallowed, the valve opens to let food into the stomach, then closes tightly to keep acidic stomach contents from refluxing (flowing backwards) into the esopha- gus. If the LES does not close efficiently, the stomach contents reflux to cause heartburn, a burning sensation. Repeated reflux is a risk factor for esophageal cancer.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Bok choy [Chinese cabbage], green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage) See also Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Radishes, Spinach, Turnips. Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Low Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Calcium (moderate) About the Nutrients in This Food All cabbage has some dietary fiber food: insoluble cellulose and lignin in the ribs and structure of the leaves. Depending on the variety, it has a little vitamin A, moderate amounts of the B vitamin folate and vitamin C. One-half cup shredded raw bok choy has 0.1 g dietary fiber, 1,041 IU vitamin A (45 percent of the R DA for a woman, 35 percent of the R DA for a man), and 15.5 mg vitamin C (21 percent of the R DA for a woman, 17 percent of the R DA for a man). One-half cup shredded raw green cabbage has 0.5 g dietary fiber, 45 IU vitamin A (1.9 percent of the R DA for a woman, 1.5 percent of the R DA for a man), 15 mcg folate (4 percent of the R DA), and 11 mg vitamin C (15 percent of the R DA for a woman, 12 percent of the R DA for a man). One-half cup chopped raw red cabbage has 0.5 g dietary fiber, 7 mcg folate (2 percent of the R DA), and 20 mg vitamin C (27 percent of the R DA for a woman, 22 percent of the R DA for a man). One-half cup chopped raw savoy cabbage has one gram dietary fiber, 322 IU vitamin A (14 percent of the R DA for a woman, 11 percent of the R DA for a man), and 11 mg vitamin C (15 percent of the R DA for a woman, 12 percent of the R DA for a man). Raw red cabbage contains an antinutrient enzyme that splits the thiamin molecule so that the vitamin is no longer nutritionally useful. This thiamin in hibitor is inactivated by cooking. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Raw or lightly steamed to protect the vitamin C. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet Buying This Food Look for: Cabbages that feel heavy for their size. The leaves should be tightly closed and attached tightly at the stem end. The outer leaves on a savoy cabbage may curl back from the head, but the center leaves should still be relatively tightly closed. Also look for green cabbages that still have their dark-green, vitamin-rich outer leaves. Avoid: Green and savoy cabbage with yellow or wilted leaves. The yellow carotene pig- ments show through only when the cabbage has aged and its green chlorophyll pigments have faded. Wilted leaves mean a loss of moisture and vitamins. Storing This Food Handle cabbage gently; bruising tears cells and activates ascorbic acid oxidase, an enzyme in the leaves that hastens the destruction of vitamin C. Store cabbage in a cool, dark place, preferably a refrigerator. In cold storage, cabbage can retain as much as 75 percent of its vitamin C for as long as six months. Cover the cabbage to keep it from drying out and losing vitamin A. Preparing This Food Do not slice the cabbage until you are ready to use it; slicing tears cabbage cells and releases the enzyme that hastens the oxidation and destruction of vitamin C. If you plan to serve cooked green or red cabbage in wedges, don’t cut out the inner core that hold the leaves together. To separate the leaves for stuffing, immerse the entire head in boiling water for a few minutes, then lift it out and let it drain until it is cool enough to handle comfortably. The leaves should pull away easily. If not, put the cabbage back into the hot water for a few minutes. What Happens When You Cook This Food Cabbage contains mustard oils (isothiocyanates) that break down into a variet y of smelly sulfur compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammon ia) when the cabbage is heated, a reaction that occurs more strongly in aluminum pots. The longer you cook the cabbage, the more smelly the compounds will be. Adding a slice of bread to the cooking water may lessen the odor. Keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules from floating off into the air, but it will also accelerate the chemical reaction that turns cooked green cabbage drab. Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green vegetables green, is sensitive to acids. When you heat green cabbage, the chlorophyll in its leaves reacts chemically with acids in the cabbage or in the cooking water to form pheophytin, which is brown. The pheophytin gives the cooked cabbage its olive color. To keep cooked green cabbage green, you have to reduce the interaction between the chlorophyll and the acids. One way to do this is to cook the cabbage in a large quantity of water, so the acids will be diluted, but this increases the loss of vitamin C.* Another alternative is to leave the lid off the pot so that the volatile acids can float off into the air, but this allows the smelly sulfur compounds to escape too. The best way may be to steam the cabbage ver y quickly in ver y little water so that it keeps its vitamin C and cooks before there is time for the chlorophyll/acid reaction to occur. Red cabbage is colored with red anthocyanins, pigments that turn redder in acids (lemon juice, vinegar) and blue purple in bases (alkaline chemicals such as baking soda). To keep the cabbage red, make sweet-and-sour cabbage. But be careful not to make it in an iron or aluminum pot, since vinegar (which contains tannins) will react with these metals to create dark pigments that discolor both the pot and the vegetable. Glass, stainless-steel, or enameled pots do not produce this reaction. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Pickling. Sauerkraut is a fermented and pickled produce made by immersing cabbage in a salt solution strong enough to kill off pathological bacteria but allow beneficial ones to sur- vive, breaking down proteins in the cabbage and producing the acid that gives sauerkraut its distinctive flavor. Sauerkraut contains more than 37 times as much sodium as fresh cabbage (661 mg sodium/100 grams canned sauerkraut with liquid) but only one third the vitamin C and one-seventh the vitamin A. * According to USDA, if you cook t hree cups of cabbage in one cup of water you will lose only 10 percent of t he vitamin C; reverse t he rat io to four t imes as much water as cabbage and you will lose about 50 percent of t he vitamin C. Cabbage will lose as much as 25 percent of its vitamin C if you cook it in water t hat is cold when you start. As it boils, water releases ox ygen t hat would ot her wise dest roy vitamin C, so you can cut t he vitamin loss dramat ically simply by lett ing t he water boil for 60 seconds before adding t he cabbage. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against certain cancers. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauli- flower, and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some cancers, perhaps by preventing the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer-causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the trans- formation of healthy cells to malignant ones. All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inac- tivate and help eliminate carcinogens. At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane. In 1997, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain as much sulforaphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. The sulforaphane levels in other cruciferous vegetables have not yet been calculated. Vision protection. In 2004, the Johns Hopkins researchers updated their findings on sulfora- phane to suggest that it may also protect cells in the eyes from damage due to ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related vision loss. Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their moth- ers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman and 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking a folate supplement before becom- ing pregnant and through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verif y whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, contain goitrin, thiocyanate, and isothiocyanate. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to pro- duce more. Goitrogens are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have a thyroid condition or are taking thyroid medication. Intestinal gas. Bacteria that live naturally in the gut degrade the indigestible carbohydrates (food fiber) in cabbage, producing gas that some people find distressing. Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants Cabbage contains vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin produced natu- rally by bacteria in the intestines. Consuming large quantities of this food may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin). One cup of shredded common green cabbage contains 163 mcg vitamin K, nearly three times the R DA for a healthy adult; one cup of drained boiled common green cabbage contains 73 mcg vita- min K, slightly more than the R DA for a healthy adult. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyra- mine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food such as sauerkraut which is high in tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

This is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, nonirritating gas formed on incomplete combustion of organic fuels. Exposure to CO is frequently due to defective gas, oil or solid-fuel heating appliances. CO is a component of car exhaust fumes and deliberate exposure to these is a common method of suicide. Victims of ?res often su?er from CO poisoning. CO combines reversibly with oxygen-carrying sites of HAEMOGLOBIN (Hb) molecules with an a?nity 200 to 300 times greater than oxygen itself. The carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) formed becomes unavailable for oxygen transportation. In addition the partial saturation of the Hb molecule results in tighter oxygen binding, impairing delivery to the tissues. CO also binds to MYOGLOBIN and respiratory cytochrome enzymes. Exposure to CO at levels of 500 parts per million (ppm) would be expected to cause mild symptoms only and exposure to levels of 4,000 ppm would be rapidly fatal.

Each year around 50 people in the United Kingdom are reported as dying from carbon monoxide poisoning, and experts have suggested that as many as 25,000 people a year are exposed to its e?ects within the home, but most cases are unrecognised, unreported and untreated, even though victims may su?er from long-term e?ects. This is regrettable, given that Napoleon’s surgeon, Larrey, recognised in the 18th century that soldiers were being poisoned by carbon monoxide when billeted in huts heated by woodburning stoves. In the USA it is estimated that 40,000 people a year attend emergency departments su?ering from carbon monoxide poisoning. So prevention is clearly an important element in dealing with what is sometimes termed the ‘silent killer’. Safer designs of houses and heating systems, as well as wider public education on the dangers of carbon monoxide and its sources, are important.

Clinical e?ects of acute exposure resemble those of atmospheric HYPOXIA. Tissues and organs with high oxygen consumption are a?ected to a great extent. Common e?ects include headaches, weakness, fatigue, ?ushing, nausea, vomiting, irritability, dizziness, drowsiness, disorientation, incoordination, visual disturbances, TACHYCARDIA and HYPERVENTILATION. In severe cases drowsiness may progress rapidly to COMA. There may also be metabolic ACIDOSIS, HYPOKALAEMIA, CONVULSIONS, HYPOTENSION, respiratory depression, ECG changes and cardiovascular collapse. Cerebral OEDEMA is common and will lead to severe brain damage and focal neurological signs. Signi?cant abnormalities on physical examination include impaired short-term memory, abnormal Rhomberg’s test (standing unsupported with eyes closed) and unsteadiness of gait including heel-toe walking. Any one of these signs would classify the episode as severe. Victims’ skin may be coloured pink, though this is very rarely seen even in severe incidents. The venous blood may look ‘arterial’. Patients recovering from acute CO poisoning may su?er neurological sequelae including TREMOR, personality changes, memory impairment, visual loss, inability to concentrate and PARKINSONISM. Chronic low-level exposures may result in nausea, fatigue, headache, confusion, VOMITING, DIARRHOEA, abdominal pain and general malaise. They are often misdiagnosed as in?uenza or food poisoning.

First-aid treatment is to remove the victim from the source of exposure, ensure an e?ective airway and give 100-per-cent oxygen by tight-?tting mask. In hospital, management is largely suppportive, with oxygen administration. A blood sample for COHb level determination should be taken as soon as practicable and, if possible, before oxygen is given. Ideally, oxygen therapy should continue until the COHb level falls below 5 per cent. Patients with any history of unconsciousness, a COHb level greater than 20 per cent on arrival, any neurological signs, any cardiac arrhythmias or anyone who is pregnant should be referred for an expert opinion about possible treatment with hyperbaric oxygen, though this remains a controversial therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy shortens the half-life of COHb, increases plasma oxygen transport and reverses the clinical e?ects resulting from acute exposures. Carbon monoxide is also an environmental poison and a component of cigarette smoke. Normal body COHb levels due to ENDOGENOUS CO production are 0.4 to

0.7 per cent. Non-smokers in urban areas may have level of 1–2 per cent as a result of environmental exposure. Smokers may have a COHb level of 5 to 6 per cent.... Medical Dictionary

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: High Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and a moderately good source of folate, a member of the B vitamin family. One-half cup cooked fresh cauliflower florets (the top of the plant) has one gram dietary fiber, 13.5 mcg folate (3 percent of the R DA), and 35 mg vitamin C (50 percent of the R DA for a woman, 39 percent of the R DA for a man). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Raw or lightly steamed to protect the vitamin C. Cooked or frozen cauli-flower may have up to 50 percent less vitamin C than raw cauliflower. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet Buying This Food Look for: Creamy white heads with tight, compact florets and fresh green leaves. The size of the cauliflower has no bearing on its nutritional value or its taste. Avoid: Cauliflower with brown spots or patches. Storing This Food Keep cauliflower in a cool, humid place to safeguard its vitamin C content. Preparing This Food Pull off and discard any green leaves still attached to the cauliflower and slice off the woody stem and core. Then plunge the cauliflower, head down, into a bowl of salted ice water to flush out any insects hiding in the head. To keep the cauliflower crisp when cooked, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water. You can steam or bake the cauliflower head whole or break it up into florets for faster cooking. What Happens When You Cook This Food Cauliflower contains mustard oils (isothiocyanates), natural chemicals that give the vegeta- ble its taste but break down into a variety of smelly sulfur compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) when the cauliflower is heated. The longer you cook the cauliflower, the better it will taste but the worse it will smell. Adding a slice of bread to the cooking water may lessen the odor; keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules from floating off into the air. Cooking cauliflower in an aluminum pot will intensif y its odor and turn its creamy white anthoxanthin pigments yellow; iron pots will turn anthoxanthins blue green or brown. Like red and blue anthocyanin pigments (see beets, black ber r ies, blueber r ies), antho- xanthins hold their color best in acids. To keep cauliflower white, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, or milk to the cooking water. Steaming or stir-frying cauliflower preserves the vitamin C that would be lost if the vegetable were cooked for a long time or in a lot of water. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Before it is frozen, cauliflower must be blanched to inactivate catalase and per- oxidase, enzymes that would otherwise continue to ripen and eventually deteriorate the vegetable. According to researchers at Cornell University, cauliflower will lose less vitamin C if it is blanched in very little water (two cups cauliflower in two tbsp. water) in a microwave- safe plastic bag in a microwave oven for four minutes at 600 –700 watts. Leave the bag open an inch at the top so steam can escape and the bag does not explode. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against certain cancers. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cab- bage, and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some cancers, perhaps by preventing the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer-causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the trans- formation of healthy cells to malignant ones. All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inacti- vate and help eliminate carcinogens. At the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane. In 1997, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain as much sulforaphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. The sulforaphane levels in other cruciferous vegetables have not yet been calculated. Vision protection. In 2004, the Johns Hopkins researchers updated their findings on sul- foraphane to suggest that it may also protect cells in the eyes from damage due to UV (ultraviolet) light, thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related vision loss. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, contain goi- trin, thiocyanate, and isothiocyanate. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to produce more. Goitrogens are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have a thyroid condi- tion or are taking thyroid medication. Intestinal gas. Bacteria that live naturally in the gut degrade the indigestible carbohydrates (food fiber) in cauliflower, producing intestinal gas that some people find distressing. Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants (blood thinners). All cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cab- bages, cauliflower, greens, radishes, and turnips) are high in vitamin K, a nutrient that decreases the anticoagulant effect of medicine such as warfarin (Coumadin). Multiple serv- ings of this vegetable, i.e., several days a week, may interfere with the anticoagulant effect of the drug. False-positive test for occult blood in the stool. The active ingredient in the guaiac slide test for hid- den blood in feces is alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood. Cauliflower contains peroxidase, a natural chemical that also turns alphaguaiaconic acid blue and may produce a positive test in people who do not actually have blood in the stool.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate to high Protein: Moderate to high Fat: Low to high Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: Low to high Carbohydrates: Low Fiber: None Sodium: High Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Calcium About the Nutrients in This Food Cheese making begins when Lactobacilli and/or Streptococci bacteria are added to milk. The bacteria digest lactose (milk sugar) and release lactic acid, which coagulates casein (milk protein) into curds. Rennet (gastric enzymes extracted from the stomach of calves) is added, and the mixture is put aside to set. The longer the curds are left to set, the firmer the cheese will be. When the curds are properly firm, they are pressed to squeeze out the whey (liquid) and cooked. Cooking evaporates even more liquid and makes the cheese even firmer.* At this point, the product is “fresh” or “green” cheese: cottage cheese, cream cheese, farmer cheese. Making “ripe” cheese requires the addition of salt to pull out more moisture and specific organisms, such as Penicil- lium roquefort for Roquefort cheese, blue cheese, and Stilton, or Penicillium cambembert for Camembert and Brie. The nutritional value of cheese is similar to the milk from which it is made. All cheese is a good source of high quality proteins with sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids. Cheese is low to high in fat, mod- erate to high in cholesterol. * Natural cheese is cheese made direct ly from milk. Processed cheese is natural cheese melted and combined wit h emulsifiers. Pasteurized process cheese foods contain ingredients t hat allow t hem to spread smoot hly; t hey are lower in fat and higher in moisture t han processed cheese. Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Content of Selected Cheeses Mozzarella Source: USDA, Nutritive Value of Foods, Home and Garden Bullet in No. 72 (USDA, 1989). All cheeses, except cottage cheese, are good sources of vitamin A. Orange and yellow cheeses are colored with carotenoid pigments, including bixin (the carotenoid pigment in annatto) and synthetic beta-carotene. Hard cheeses are an excellent source of calcium; softer cheeses are a good source; cream cheese and cottage cheese are poor sources. The R DA for calcium is 1,000 mg for a woman, 1,200 mg for a man, and 1,500 mg for an older woman who is not on hormone- replacement therapy. All cheese, unless otherwise labeled, is high in sodium.
Calcium Content of Cheese  
  Cheese   Serving   Calcium (mg)
Blue oz. 150
Camembert wedge 147
Cheddar oz. 204
Cottage cheese    
creamed cup 135
uncreamed cup 46
Muenster oz. 203
Pasteurized processed American oz. 174
Parmesan grated tbsp. 69
Provolone oz. 214
Swiss oz. 272
  Source: Nutritive Value of Foods, Home and Gardens Bullet in No. 72 (USDA, 1989). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With grains, bread, noodles, beans, nuts, or vegetables to add the essential amino acids miss- ing from these foods, “complete” their proteins, and make them more nutritionally valuable. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Controlled-fat, low-cholesterol diet Lactose- and galactose-free diet (lactose, a disaccharide [double sugar] is composed of one unit of galactose and one unit of glucose) Low-calcium diet (for patients with kidney disease) Sucrose-free diet (processed cheese) Buying This Food Look for: Cheese stored in a refrigerated case. Check the date on the package. Avoid: Any cheese with mold that is not an integral part of the food. Storing This Food Refrigerate all cheese except unopened canned cheeses (such as Camembert in tins) or grated cheeses treated with preservatives and labeled to show that they can be kept outside the refrigerator. Some sealed packages of processed cheeses can be stored at room temperature but must be refrigerated once the package is opened. Wrap cheeses tightly to protect them from contamination by other microorganisms in the air and to keep them from drying out. Well-wrapped, refrigerated hard cheeses that have not been cut or sliced will keep for up to six months; sliced hard cheeses will keep for about two weeks. Soft cheeses (cottage cheese, ricotta, cream cheese, and Neufchatel) should be used within five to seven days. Use all packaged or processed cheeses by the date stamped on the package. Throw out moldy cheese (unless the mold is an integral part of the cheese, as with blue cheese or Stilton). Preparing This Food To grate cheese, chill the cheese so it won’t stick to the grater. The molecules that give cheese its taste and aroma are largely immobilized when the cheese is cold. When serving cheese with fruit or crackers, bring it to room temperature to activate these molecules. What Happens When You Cook This Food Heat changes the structure of proteins. The molecules are denatured, which means that they may be broken into smaller fragments or change shape or clump together. All of these changes may force moisture out of the protein tissue, which is why overcooked cheese is often stringy. Whey proteins, which do not clump or string at low temperatures, contain the sulfur atoms that give hot or burned cheese an unpleasant “cooked” odor. To avoid both strings and an unpleasant odor, add cheese to sauces at the last minute and cook just long enough to melt the cheese. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. All cheese loses moisture when frozen, so semisoft cheeses will freeze and thaw better than hard cheeses, which may be crumbly when defrosted. Drying. The less moisture cheese contains, the less able it is to support the growth of organ- isms like mold. Dried cheeses keep significantly longer than ordinary cheeses. Medical Uses and/or Benefits To strengthen bones and reduce age-related loss of bone density. High-calcium foods protect bone density. The current recommended dietary allowance (R DA) for calcium is still 800 mg for adults 25 and older, but a 1984 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Conference advisory stated that lifelong protection for bones requires an R DA of 1,000 mg for healthy men and women age 25 to 50 ; 1,000 mg for older women using hormone replacement therapy; and 1,500 mg for older women who are not using hormones, and these recommendations have been confirmed in a 1994 NIH Consensus Statement on optimal calcium intake. A diet with adequate amounts of calcium-rich foods helps protect bone density. Low-fat and no-fat cheeses provide calcium without excess fat and cholesterol. Protection against tooth decay. Studies at the University of Iowa (Iowa City) Dental School confirm that a wide variety of cheeses, including aged cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack, Muenster, mozzarella, Port Salut, Roquefort, Romano, Stilton, Swiss, and Tilsit—limit the tooth decay ordinarily expected when sugar becomes trapped in plaque, the sticky film on tooth surfaces where cavity-causing bacteria flourish. In a related experiment using only cheddar cheese, people who ate cheddar four times a day over a two-week period showed a 20 percent buildup of strengthening minerals on the surface of synthetic toothlike material attached to the root surfaces of natural teeth. Protection against periodontal disease. A report in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Periodontology suggests that consuming adequate amounts of dairy products may reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease. Examining the dental health of 942 subjects ages 40 to 79, researchers at Kyushu University, in Japan, discovered that those whose diets regularly included two ounces (55 g) of foods containing lactic acid (milk, cheese, and yogurt) were significantly less likely to have deep “pockets” (loss of attachment of tooth to gum) than those who consumed fewer dairy products. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of heart disease. Like other foods from animals, cheese is a source of choles- terol and saturated fats, which increase the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood and raise your risk of heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the USDA /Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting the amount of cholesterol in your diet to no more than 300 mg a day. The guidelines also recommend limit- ing the amount of fat you consume to no more than 30 percent of your total calories, while holding your consumption of saturated fats to more than 10 percent of your total calories (the calories from saturated fats are counted as part of the total calories from fat). Food poisoning. Cheese made from raw (unpasteurized) milk may contain hazardous microorganisms, including Salmonella and Listeria. Salmonella causes serious gastric upset; Lis- teria, a flulike infection, encephalitis, or blood infection. Both may be life-threatening to the very young, the very old, pregnant women, and those whose immune systems are weakened either by illness (such as AIDS) or drugs (such as cancer chemotherapy). In 1998, the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released data identif ying Listeria as the cause of nearly half the reported deaths from food poisoning. Allergy to milk proteins. Milk is one of the foods most frequently implicated as a cause of allergic reactions, particularly upset stomach. However, in many cases the reaction is not a true allergy but the result of lactose intolerance (see below). Lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance—the inability to digest the sugar in milk—is an inherited metabolic deficiency that affects two thirds of all adults, including 90 to 95 percent of all Orientals, 70 to 75 percent of all blacks, and 6 to 8 percent of Caucasians. These people do not have sufficient amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks the disaccharide lactose into its easily digested components, galactose and glucose. When they drink milk, the undi- gested sugar is fermented by bacteria in the gut, causing bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, and intestinal discomfort. Some milk is now sold with added lactase to digest the lactose and make the milk usable for lactase-deficient people. In making cheese, most of the lactose in milk is broken down into glucose and galactose. There is very little lactose in cheeses other than the fresh ones—cottage cheese, cream cheese, and farmer cheese. Galactosemia. Galactosemia is an inherited metabolic disorder in which the body lacks the enzymes needed to metabolize galactose, a component of lactose. Galactosemia is a reces- sive trait; you must receive the gene from both parents to develop the condition. Babies born with galactosemia will fail to thrive and may develop brain damage or cataracts if they are given milk. To prevent this, children with galactosemia are usually kept on a protective milk- free diet for several years, until their bodies have developed alternative pathways by which to metabolize galactose. Pregnant women who are known carriers of galactosemia may be advised to give up milk and milk products while pregnant lest the unmetabolized galactose in their bodies cause brain damage to the fetus (damage not detectable by amniocentesis). Genetic counseling is available to identif y galactosemia carriers and assess their chances of producing a baby with the disorder. Penicillin sensitivity. People who experience a sensitivity reaction the first time they take penicillin may have been sensitized by exposure to the Penicillium molds in the environment, including the Penicillium molds used to make brie, blue, camembert, roquefort, Stilton, and other “blue” cheeses. Food/Drug Interactions Tetracycline. The calcium ions in milk products, including cheese, bind tetracyclines into insoluble compounds. If you take tetracyclines with cheese, your body may not be able to absorb and use the drug efficiently. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyra- mine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood ves- sels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food such as aged or fermented cheese which is high in tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, your body may not be able to eliminate the tyramine. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. Tyramine Content of Cheeses High Boursault, Camembert, Cheddar, Emmenthaler, Stilton Medium to high Blue, brick, Brie, Gruyère, mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, Roquefort Low Processed American cheese Very little or none Cottage and cream cheese Sources: The Medical Letter Handbook of Adverse Drug Interactions (1985); Handbook of Clinical Dietetics ( The A merican Dietet ic Associat ion, 1981). False-positive test for pheochromocytoma. Pheochromocytomas (tumors of the adrenal glands) secrete adrenalin that is converted by the body to vanillyl-mandelic acid ( VM A) and excreted in the urine. Tests for this tumor measure the level of VM A in the urine. Since cheese contains VM A, taking the test after eating cheese may result in a false-positive result. Ordinarily, cheese is prohibited for at least 72 hours before this diagnostic test.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

Chelating agents are compounds that will render an ion (usually a metal) biologically inactive by incorporating it into an inner ring structure in the molecule. (Hence the name, from the Greek chele = claw.) When the complex formed in this way is harmless to the body and is excreted in the urine, such an agent is an e?ective way of ridding the body of toxic metals such as mercury. The main chelating agents are DIMERCAPROL, PENICILLAMINE, desferrioxamine and sodium calciumedetate, used for example, in iron poisoning.... Medical Dictionary

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Cocoa, milk chocolate, sweet chocolate) Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: Low (cocoa powder) High (chocolate) Fat: Moderate Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: Low (chocolate) High (cocoa powder) Fiber: Moderate (chocolate) High (cocoa powder) Sodium: Moderate Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Calcium, iron, copper About the Nutrients in This Food Cocoa beans are high-carbohydrate, high-protein food, with less dietary fiber and more fat than all other beans, excepting soy beans. The cocoa bean’s dietary fiber includes pectins and gums. Its proteins are limited in the essential amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Cocoa butter, the fat in cocoa beans, is the second most highly saturated vegetable fat (coconut oil is number one), but it has two redeeming nutritional qualities. First, it rarely turns rancid. Second, it melts at 95°F, the temperature of the human tongue. Cocoa butter has no cholesterol; neither does plain cocoa powder or plain dark chocolate. Cocoa beans have B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin) plus min- erals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper). All chocolate candy is made from chocolate liquor, a thick paste pro- duce by roasting and grinding cocoa beans. Dark (sweet) chocolate is made of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and sugar. Milk chocolate is made of choc- olate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, milk or milk powder, and vanilla. White * These values apply to plain cocoa powder and plain unsweetened chocolate. Add- ing other foods, such as milk or sugar, changes these values. For example, there is no cholesterol in plain bitter chocolate, but there is cholesterol in milk chocolate. chocolate is made of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk powder. Baking chocolate is unsweetened dark chocolate. The most prominent nutrient in chocolate is its fat. Fat Content in One Ounce of Chocolate
Saturated fat (g) Monounsaturated fat (g) Polyunsaturated fat (g) Cholesterol (mg)
Dark (sweet)
chocolate 5.6 3.2 0.3 0
Milk chocolate 5.9 4.5 0.4 6.6
Baking chocolate 9 5.6 0.3 0
White chocolate 5.5 2.6 0.3 0
  Source: USDA Nut rient Data Laborator y. Nat ional Nut rient Database for Standard Reference. Available online. UR L : http://w w w.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search /. Because chocolate is made from a bean, it also contains dietary fiber and measurable amounts of certain minerals. For example, one ounce of dark chocolate, the most nutritious “eating” chocolate, has 1.6 g dietary fiber, 0.78 mg iron (4 percent of the R DA for a woman, 10 percent of the R DA for a man), 32 mg magnesium (11 percent of the R DA for a woman, 8 percent of the R DA for a man), and .43 mg zinc (5 percent of the R DA for a woman, 4 percent of the R DA for a man). Cocoa beans, cocoa, and chocolate contain caffeine, the muscle stimulant theobro- mine, and the mood-altering chemicals phenylethylalanine and anandamide (see below). The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With low-fat milk to complete the proteins without adding saturated fat and cholesterol. NOTE : Both cocoa and chocolate contain oxalic acid, which binds with calcium to form cal- cium oxalate, an insoluble compound, but milk has so much calcium that the small amount bound to cocoa and chocolate hardly matters. Chocolate skim milk is a source of calcium. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-calcium and low-oxalate diet (to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones) Low-calorie diet Low-carbohydrate diet Low-fat diet Low-fat, controlled-cholesterol diet (milk chocolates) Low-fiber diet Potassium-regulated (low-potassium) diet Buying This Food Look for: Tightly sealed boxes or bars. When you open a box of chocolates or unwrap a candy bar, the chocolate should be glossy and shiny. Chocolate that looks dull may be stale, or it may be inexpensively made candy without enough cocoa butter to make it gleam and give it the rich creamy mouthfeel we associate with the best chocolate. (Fine chocolate melts evenly on the tongue.) Chocolate should also smell fresh, not dry and powdery, and when you break a bar or piece of chocolate it should break cleanly, not crumble. One exception: If you have stored a bar of chocolate in the refrigerator, it may splinter if you break it without bringing it to room temperature first. Storing This Food Store chocolate at a constant temperature, preferably below 78°F. At higher temperatures, the fat in the chocolate will rise to the surface and, when the chocolate is cooled, the fat will solidif y into a whitish powdery bloom. Bloom is unsightly but doesn’t change the chocolate’s taste or nutritional value. To get rid of bloom, melt the chocolate. The chocolate will turn dark, rich brown again when its fat recombines with the other ingredients. Chocolate with bloom makes a perfectly satisfactory chocolate sauce. Dark chocolate (bitter chocolate, semisweet chocolate) ages for at least six months after it is made, as its flavor becomes deeper and more intense. Wrapped tightly and stored in a cool, dry cabinet, it can stay fresh for a year or more. Milk chocolate ages only for about a month after it is made and holds its peak flavor for about three to six months, depending on how carefully it is stored. Plain cocoa, with no added milk powder or sugar, will stay fresh for up to a year if you keep it tightly sealed and cool. What Happens When You Cook This Food Chocolate burns easily. To melt it without mishap, stir the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of hot water or in the top of a double boiler or put the chocolate in a covered dish and melt it in the microwave (which does not get as hot as a pot on the store). Simple chemistry dictates that chocolate cakes be leavened with baking soda rather than baking powder. Chocolate is so acidic that it will upset the delicate balance of acid (cream of tartar) and base (alkali = sodium bicarbonate = baking soda) in baking powder. But it is not acidic enough to balance plain sodium bicarbonate. That’s why we add an acidic sour-milk product such as buttermilk or sour cream or yogurt to a chocolate cake. Without the sour milk, the batter would be so basic that the chocolate would look red, not brown, and taste very bitter. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Chocolate freezes and thaws well. Pack it in a moistureproof container and defrost it in the same package to let it reabsorb moisture it gave off while frozen. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Mood elevator. Chocolate’s reputation for making people feel good is based not only on its caffeine content—19 mg caffeine per ounce of dark (sweet) chocolate, which is one-third the amount of caffeine in a five-ounce cup of brewed coffee—but also on its naturally occurring mood altering chemicals phenylethylalanine and anandamide. Phenylethylalanine is found in the blood of people in love. Anandamide stimulates areas of your brain also affected by the active ingredients in marijuana. (NOTE : As noted by the researchers at the Neurosci- ences Institute in San Diego who identified anandamide in chocolate in 1996, to get even the faintest hint of marijuana-like effects from chocolate you would have to eat more than 25 pounds of the candy all at once.) Possible heart health benefits. Chocolate is rich in catechins, the antioxidant chemicals that give tea its reputation as a heart-protective anticancer beverage (see tea). In addition, a series of studies beginning with those at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Peoria, Illinois, suggest that consuming foods rich in stearic acid like chocolate may reduce rather than raise the risk of a blood clot leading to a heart attack. Possible slowing of the aging process. Chocolate is a relatively good source of copper, a mineral that may play a role in slowing the aging process by decreasing the incidence of “protein glycation,” a reaction in which sugar molecules ( gly = sugar) hook up with protein molecules in the bloodstream, twisting the protein molecules out of shape and rendering them unusable. This can lead to bone loss, rising cholesterol, cardiac abnormalities, and a slew of other unpleasantries. In people with diabetes, excess protein glycation may be one factor involved in complications such as loss of vision. Ordinarily, increased protein glyca- tion is age-related. But at the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota, agricultural research scientist Jack T. Saari has found that rats on copper-deficient diets experience more protein glycation at any age than other rats. A recent USDA survey of American eating patterns says that most of us get about 1.2 mg copper a day, considerably less than the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake (ESADDI) or 1.5 mg to 3 mg a day. Vegetarians are less likely to be copper deficient because, as Saari notes, the foods highest in copper are whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, including the cocoa bean. One ounce of dark chocolate has .25 mg copper (8 –17 percent of the ESADDI). Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Possible loss of bone density. In 2008, a team of Australian researchers at Royal Perth Hos- pital, and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital published a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggesting that women who consume chocolate daily had 3.1 percent lower bone density than women who consume chocolate no more than once a week. No explanation for the reaction was proposed; the finding remains to be confirmed. Possible increase in the risk of heart disease. Cocoa beans, cocoa powder, and plain dark chocolate are high in saturated fats. Milk chocolate is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Eating foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood and raises your risk of heart disease. NOTE : Plain cocoa powder and plain dark chocolate may be exceptions to this rule. In studies at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Peoria, Illinois, volunteers who consumed foods high in stearic acid, the saturated fat in cocoa beans, cocoa powder, and chocolate, had a lower risk of blood clots. In addition, chocolate is high in flavonoids, the antioxidant chemicals that give red wine its heart-healthy reputation. Mild jitters. There is less caffeine in chocolate than in an equal size serving of coffee: A five- ounce cup of drip-brewed coffee has 110 to 150 mg caffeine; a five-ounce cup of cocoa made with a tablespoon of plain cocoa powder ( 1/3 oz.) has about 18 mg caffeine. Nonetheless, people who are very sensitive to caffeine may find even these small amounts problematic. Allergic reaction. According to the Merck Manual, chocolate is one of the 12 foods most likely to trigger the classic food allergy symptoms: hives, swelling of the lips and eyes, and upset stomach.* The others are berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), corn, eggs, fish, legumes (green peas, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans), milk, nuts, peaches, pork, shellfish, and wheat (see wheat cer ea ls). Food/Drug Interactions Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyra- mine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. Caffeine is a substance similar to tyramine. If you consume excessive amounts of a caffeinated food, such as cocoa or chocolate, while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, the result may be a hypertensive crisis. False-positive test for pheochromocytoma. Pheochromocytoma, a tumor of the adrenal gland, secretes adrenalin, which the body converts to VM A (vanillylmandelic acid). VM A is excreted in urine, and, until recently, the test for this tumor measured the level of VM A in the urine. In the past, chocolate and cocoa, both of which contain VM A, were eliminated from the patient’s diet prior to the test lest they elevate the level of VM A in the urine and produce a false-positive result. Today, more finely drawn tests usually make this unnecessary. * The evidence link ing chocolate to allergic or migraine headaches is inconsistent. In some people, phenylet hylamine (PEA) seems to cause headaches similar to t hose induced by t yramine, anot her pressor amine. The PEA-induced headache is unusual in t hat it is a delayed react ion t hat usually occurs 12 or more hours after t he chocolate is eaten.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Trace Fat: Trace Saturated fat: None Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: Trace Fiber: Trace Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: None Major mineral contribution: None About the Nutrients in This Food Coffee beans are roasted seeds from the fruit of the evergreen coffee tree. Like other nuts and seeds, they are high in proteins (11 percent), sucrose and other sugars (8 percent), oils (10 to 15 percent), assorted organic acids (6 percent), B vitamins, iron, and the central nervous system stimulant caffeine (1 to 2 percent). With the exceptions of caffeine, none of these nutrients is found in coffee. Like spinach, rhubarb, and tea, coffee contains oxalic acid (which binds calcium ions into insoluble compounds your body cannot absorb), but this is of no nutritional consequence as long as your diet contains adequate amounts of calcium-rich foods. Coffee’s best known constituent is the methylxanthine central ner- vous system stimulant caffeine. How much caffeine you get in a cup of coffee depends on how the coffee was processed and brewed. Caffeine is Caffeine Content/Coffee Servings Brewed coffee 60 mg/five-ounce cup Brewed/decaffeinated 5 mg/five-ounce cup Espresso  64 mg/one-ounce serving Instant  47 mg/rounded teaspoon The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food In moderation, with high-calcium foods. Like spinach, rhubarb, and tea, coffee has oxalic acid, which binds calcium into insoluble compounds. This will have no important effect as long as you keep your consumption moderate (two to four cups of coffee a day) and your calcium consumption high. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Bland diet Gout diet Diet for people with heart disease (regular coffee) Buying This Food Look for: Ground coffee and coffee beans in tightly sealed, air- and moisture-proof containers. Avoid: Bulk coffees or coffee beans stored in open bins. When coffee is exposed to air, the volatile molecules that give it its distinctive flavor and richness escape, leaving the coffee flavorless and/or bitter. Storing This Food Store unopened vacuum-packed cans of ground coffee or coffee beans in a cool, dark cabinet—where they will stay fresh for six months to a year. They will lose some flavor in storage, though, because it is impossible to can coffee without trapping some flavor- destroying air inside the can. Once the can or paper sack has been opened, the coffee or beans should be sealed as tight as possible and stored in the refrigerator. Tightly wrapped, refrigerated ground coffee will hold its freshness and flavor for about a week, whole beans for about three weeks. For longer storage, freeze the coffee or beans in an air- and moistureproof container. ( You can brew coffee directly from frozen ground coffee and you can grind frozen beans without thawing them.) Preparing This Food If you make your coffee with tap water, let the water run for a while to add oxygen. Soft water makes “cleaner”-tasting coffee than mineral-rich hard water. Coffee made with chlorinated water will taste better if you refrigerate the water overnight in a glass (not plastic) bottle so that the chlorine evaporates. Never make coffee with hot tap water or water that has been boiled. Both lack oxygen, which means that your coffee will taste flat. Always brew coffee in a scrupulously clean pot. Each time you make coffee, oils are left on the inside of the pot. If you don’t scrub them off, they will turn rancid and the next pot of coffee you brew will taste bitter. To clean a coffee pot, wash it with detergent, rinse it with water in which you have dissolved a few teaspoons of baking soda, then rinse one more time with boiling water. What Happens When You Cook This Food In making coffee, your aim is to extract flavorful solids (including coffee oils and sucrose and other sugars) from the ground beans without pulling bitter, astringent tannins along with them. How long you brew the coffee determines how much solid material you extract and how the coffee tastes. The longer the brewing time, the greater the amount of solids extracted. If you brew the coffee long enough to extract more than 30 percent of its solids, you will get bitter compounds along with the flavorful ones. (These will also develop by let- ting coffee sit for a long time after brewing it.) Ordinarily, drip coffee tastes less bitter than percolator coffee because the water in a drip coffeemaker goes through the coffee only once, while the water in the percolator pot is circulated through the coffee several times. To make strong but not bitter coffee, increase the amount of coffee—not the brewing time. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Drying. Soluble coffees (freeze-dried, instant) are made by dehydrating concentrated brewed coffee. These coffees are often lower in caffeine than regular ground coffees because caffeine, which dissolves in water, is lost when the coffee is dehydrated. Decaffeinating. Decaffeinated coffee is made with beans from which the caffeine has been extracted, either with an organic solvent (methylene chloride) or with water. How the coffee is decaffeinated has no effect on its taste, but many people prefer water-processed decaf- feinated coffee because it is not a chemically treated food. (Methylene chloride is an animal carcinogen, but the amounts that remain in coffees decaffeinated with methylene chloride are so small that the FDA does not consider them hazardous. The carcinogenic organic sol- vent trichloroethylene [TCE], a chemical that causes liver cancer in laboratory animals, is no longer used to decaffeinate coffee.) Medical Uses and/or Benefits As a stimulant and mood elevator. Caffeine is a stimulant. It increases alertness and concentra- tion, intensifies muscle responses, quickens heartbeat, and elevates mood. Its effects derive from the fact that its molecular structure is similar to that of adenosine, a natural chemical by-product of normal cell activity. Adenosine is a regular chemical that keeps nerve cell activ- ity within safe limits. When caffeine molecules hook up to sites in the brain when adenosine molecules normally dock, nerve cells continue to fire indiscriminately, producing the jangly feeling sometimes associated with drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeine products. As a rule, it takes five to six hours to metabolize and excrete caffeine from the body. During that time, its effects may vary widely from person to person. Some find its stimu- lation pleasant, even relaxing; others experience restlessness, nervousness, hyperactivity, insomnia, flushing, and upset stomach after as little as one cup a day. It is possible to develop a tolerance for caffeine, so people who drink coffee every day are likely to find it less imme- diately stimulating than those who drink it only once in a while. Changes in blood vessels. Caffeine’s effects on blood vessels depend on site: It dilates coronary and gastrointestinal vessels but constricts blood vessels in your head and may relieve headache, such as migraine, which symptoms include swollen cranial blood vessels. It may also increase pain-free exercise time in patients with angina. However, because it speeds up heartbeat, doc- tors often advise patients with heart disease to avoid caffeinated beverages entirely. As a diuretic. Caffeine is a mild diuretic sometimes included in over-the-counter remedies for premenstrual tension or menstrual discomfort. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Stimulation of acid secretion in the stomach. Both regular and decaffeinated coffees increase the secretion of stomach acid, which suggests that the culprit is the oil in coffee, not its caffeine. Elevated blood levels of cholesterol and homocysteine. In the mid-1990s, several studies in the Netherlands and Norway suggested that drinking even moderate amounts of coffee (five cups a day or less) might raise blood levels of cholesterol and homocysteine (by-product of protein metabolism considered an independent risk factor for heart disease), thus increas- ing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Follow-up studies, however, showed the risk limited to drinking unfiltered coffees such as coffee made in a coffee press, or boiled coffees such as Greek, Turkish, or espresso coffee. The unfiltered coffees contain problematic amounts of cafestol and kahweol, two members of a chemical family called diterpenes, which are believed to affect cholesterol and homocysteine levels. Diterpenes are removed by filtering coffee, as in a drip-brew pot. Possible increased risk of miscarriage. Two studies released in 2008 arrived at different conclusions regarding a link between coffee consumption and an increased risk of miscar- riage. The first, at Kaiser Permanente (California), found a higher risk of miscarriage among women consuming even two eight-ounce cups of coffee a day. The second, at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (New York), found no such link. However, although the authors of the Kaiser Permanente study described it as a “prospective study” (a study in which the research- ers report results that occur after the study begins), in fact nearly two-thirds of the women who suffered a miscarriage miscarried before the study began, thus confusing the results. Increased risk of heartburn /acid reflux. The natural oils in both regular and decaffeinated coffees loosen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular valve between the esopha- gus and the stomach. When food is swallowed, the valve opens to let food into the stomach, then closes tightly to keep acidic stomach contents from refluxing (flowing backwards) into the esophagus. If the LES does not close efficiently, the stomach contents reflux and cause heartburn, a burning sensation. Repeated reflux is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. Masking of sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem associated not only with automobile accidents but also with health conditions such as depression and high blood pres- sure. People who rely on the caffeine in a morning cup of coffee to compensate for lack of sleep may put themselves at risk for these disorders. Withdrawal symptoms. Caffeine is a drug for which you develop a tolerance; the more often you use it, the more likely you are to require a larger dose to produce the same effects and the more likely you are to experience withdrawal symptoms (headache, irritation) if you stop using it. The symptoms of coffee-withdrawal can be relieved immediately by drinking a cup of coffee. Food/Drug Interactions Drugs that make it harder to metabolize caffeine. Some medical drugs slow the body’s metabolism of caffeine, thus increasing its stimulating effect. The list of such drugs includes cimetidine (Tagamet), disulfiram (Antabuse), estrogens, fluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin), fluconazole (Diflucan), fluvoxamine (Luvox), mexi- letine (Mexitil), riluzole (R ilutek), terbinafine (Lamisil), and verapamil (Calan). If you are taking one of these medicines, check with your doctor regarding your consumption of caf- feinated beverages. Drugs whose adverse effects increase due to consumption of large amounts of caffeine. This list includes such drugs as metaproterenol (Alupent), clozapine (Clozaril), ephedrine, epinephrine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, phenylpropanolamine, and theophylline. In addition, suddenly decreasing your caffeine intake may increase blood levels of lithium, a drug used to control mood swings. If you are taking one of these medicines, check with your doctor regarding your consumption of caffeinated beverages. Allopurinol. Coffee and other beverages containing methylxanthine stimulants (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine) reduce the effectiveness of the antigout drug allopurinol, which is designed to inhibit xanthines. Analgesics. Caffeine strengthens over-the-counter painkillers (acetaminophen, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories [NSAIDS] such as ibuprofen and naproxen). But it also makes it more likely that NSAIDS will irritate your stomach lining. Antibiotics. Coffee increases stomach acidity, which reduces the rate at which ampicillin, erythromycin, griseofulvin, penicillin, and tetracyclines are absorbed when they are taken by mouth. (There is no effect when the drugs are administered by injection.) Antiulcer medication. Coffee increases stomach acidity and reduces the effectiveness of nor- mal doses of cimetidine and other antiulcer medication. False-positive test for pheochromocytoma. Pheochromocytoma, a tumor of the adrenal glands, secretes adrenalin, which is converted to VM A (vanillylmandelic acid) by the body and excreted in the urine. Until recently, the test for this tumor measured the levels of VM A in the patient’s urine and coffee, which contains VM A, was eliminated from patients’ diets lest it elevate the level of VM A in the urine, producing a false-positive test result. Today, more finely drawn tests make this unnecessary. Iron supplements. Caffeine binds with iron to form insoluble compounds your body cannot absorb. Ideally, iron supplements and coffee should be taken at least two hours apart. Birth control pills. Using oral contraceptives appears to double the time it takes to eliminate caffeine from the body. Instead of five to six hours, the stimulation of one cup of coffee may last as long as 12 hours. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyra- mine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. Caffeine is a substance similar to tyramine. If you consume excessive amounts of a caffeinated beverage such as coffee while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, the result may be a hypertensive crisis. Nonprescription drugs containing caffeine. The caffeine in coffee may add to the stimulant effects of the caffeine in over-the-counter cold remedies, diuretics, pain relievers, stimulants, and weight-control products containing caffeine. Some cold pills contain 30 mg caffeine, some pain relievers 130 mg, and some weight-control products as much as 280 mg caffeine. There are 110 –150 mg caffeine in a five-ounce cup of drip-brewed coffee. Sedatives. The caffeine in coffee may counteract the drowsiness caused by sedative drugs; this may be a boon to people who get sleepy when they take antihistamines. Coffee will not, however, “sober up” people who are experiencing the inebriating effects of alcoholic beverages. Theophylline. Caffeine relaxes the smooth muscle of the bronchi and may intensif y the effects (and/or increase the risk of side effects) of this antiasthmatic drug.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

Gooey substances, usually proteins and starches, whose molecules can hold large amounts of a solvent (usually water) without dissolving. In lifeforms, virtually all fluids are held suspended in protein or starch colloids (hydrogels). (Examples: cell protoplasm, lime Jell-O.)... Medical Dictionary

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Hominy) See also Flour, Vegetable oils, Wheat cereals. Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: High Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A (in yellow corn), B vitamins, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Like other grains, corn is a high-carbohydrate, high-fiber food. Eighty-one percent of the solid material in the corn kernel consists of sugars, starch, and dietary fiber, including insoluble cellulose and noncarbohydrate lignin in the seed covering and soluble pectins and gums in the kernel.* Corn has small amounts of vitamin A, the B vitamin folate, and vitamin C. Corn is a moderately good source of plant proteins, but zein (its major protein) is deficient in the essential amino acids lysine, cystine, and tryptophan. Corn is low in fat and its oils are composed primarily of unsaturated fatty acids. Yellow corn, which gets its color from the xanthophyll pigments lutein and zeaxanthin plus the vitamin A-active pigments carotene and cryptoxanthin, contains a little vitamin A; white corn has very little. One fresh ear of yellow corn, 5.5– 6.5 inches long, has three grams dietar y fiber, one gram fat (0.1 g saturated fat, 0.3 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 mg polyunsaturated fat), 137 IU vitamin A (6 percent of the R DA for a woman, 5 percent of the R DA for a man), 34 mcg folate (9 percent of the R DA), and 5 mg vitamin C (7 percent of the R DA for a woman, 6 percent of the R DA for a man). * The most plent iful sugar in sweet corn is glucose; hydrolysis (chemical splitt ing) of corn starch is t he principal indust rial source of glucose. Since glucose is less sweet t han sucrose, sucrose and fructose are added to commercial corn syrup to make it sweeter. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With beans (which are rich in lysine) or milk (which is rich in lysine and tryptophan), to complement the proteins in corn. With meat or a food rich in vitamin C, to make the iron in corn more useful. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-fiber diet Buying This Food Look for: Cobs that feel cool or are stored in a refrigerated bin. Keeping corn cool helps retain its vitamin C and slows the natural conversion of the corn’s sugars to starch. Choose fresh corn with medium-sized kernels that yield slightly when you press them with your fingertip. Very small kernels are immature; very large ones are older and will taste starchy rather than sweet. Both yellow and white kernels may be equally tasty, but the husk of the corn should always be moist and green. A dry yellowish husk means that the corn is old enough for the chlorophyll pigments in the husk to have faded, letting the carotenes underneath show through. Storing This Food Refrigerate fresh corn. At room temperature, fresh-picked sweet corn will convert nearly half its sugar to starch within 24 hours and lose half its vitamin C in four days. In the refrigera- tor, it may keep all its vitamin C for up to a week and may retain its sweet taste for as long as ten days. Preparing This Food Strip off the husks and silk, and brush with a vegetable brush to get rid of clinging silky threads. R inse the corn briefly under running water, and plunge into boiling water for four to six minutes, depending on the size of the corn. What Happens When You Cook This Food Heat denatures (breaks apart) the long-chain protein molecules in the liquid inside the corn kernel, allowing them to form a network of protein molecules that will squeeze out moisture and turn rubbery if you cook the corn too long. Heat also allows the starch granules inside the kernel to absorb water so that they swell and eventually rupture, releasing the nutrients inside. When you cook corn, the trick is to cook it just long enough to rupture its starch granules while keeping its protein molecules from turning tough and chewy. Cooking fresh corn for several minutes in boiling water may destroy at least half of its vitamin C. At Cornell University, food scientists found that cooking fresh corn in the microwave oven (two ears/without water if very fresh/4 minutes/600 –700 watts) preserves most of the vitamin C. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning and freezing. Canned corn and frozen corn both have less vitamin C than fresh- cooked corn. The vitamin is lost when the corn is heated during canning or blanched before freezing to destroy the natural enzymes that would otherwise continue to ripen it. Blanch- ing in a microwave oven rather than in boiling water can preserve the vitamin C in frozen corn (see above). Milling. Milling removes the hull and germ from the corn kernel, leaving what is called hominy. Hominy, which is sometimes soaked in wood ash (lye) to increase its calcium con- tent, can be dried and used as a cereal (grits) or ground into corn flour. Coarsely ground corn flour is called cornmeal. Processed corn cereals. All processed, ready-to-eat corn cereals are much higher in sodium and sugar than fresh corn. Added calcium carbonate. Pellagra is a niacin-deficiency disease that occurs most com- monly among people for whom corn is the staple food in a diet lacking protein foods with the essential amino acid tryptophan, which can be converted to niacin in the human body. Pellagra is not an inevitable result of a diet high in corn, however, since the niacin in corn can be made more useful by soaking the corn in a solution of calcium carbonate (lime) and water. In Mexico, for example, the corn used to make tortillas is boiled in a dilute solution of calcium carbonate (from shells or limestone) and water, then washed, drained, and ground. The alkaline bath appears to release the bound niacin in corn so that it can be absorbed by the body. Medical Uses and/or Benefits As a wheat substitute in baking. People who are allergic to wheat or cannot tolerate the glu- ten in wheat flour or wheat cereals can often use corn flour or hominy instead. Bath powder. Corn starch, a fine powder refined from the endosperm (inner part) of the corn kernel, can be used as an inexpensive, unperfumed body or face powder. Because it absorbs oils, it is also used as an ingredient in dry shampoos. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Allergic reaction. According to the Merck Manual, corn is one of the 12 foods most likely to trigger the classic food allergy symptoms: hives, swelling of the lips and eyes, and upset stomach. The others are berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), choco- late, eggs, fish, legumes (green peas, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans), milk, nuts, peaches, pork, shellfish, and wheat (see wheat cer ea ls).... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Herbal Medical

The generic term for the group of hormones produced by the ADRENAL GLANDS, with a profound e?ect on mineral and glucose metabolism.

Many modi?cations have been devised of the basic steroid molecule in an attempt to keep useful therapeutic e?ects and minimise unwanted side-e?ects. The main corticosteroid hormones currently available are CORTISONE, HYDROCORTISONE, PREDNISONE, PREDNISOLONE, methyl prednisolone, triamcinolone, dexamethasone, betamethasone, paramethasone and de?azacort.

They are used clinically in three quite distinct circumstances. First they constitute replacement therapy where a patient is unable to produce their own steroids – for example, in adrenocortical insu?ciency or hypopituitarism. In this situation the dose is physiological – namely, the equivalent of the normal adrenal output under similar circumstances – and is not associated with any side-e?ects. Secondly, steroids are used to depress activity of the adrenal cortex in conditions where this is abnormally high or where the adrenal cortex is producing abnormal hormones, as occurs in some hirsute women.

The third application for corticosteroids is in suppressing the manifestations of disease in a wide variety of in?ammatory and allergic conditions, and in reducing antibody production in a number of AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS. The in?ammatory reaction is normally part of the body’s defence mechanism and is to be encouraged rather than inhibited. However, in the case of those diseases in which the body’s reaction is disproportionate to the o?ending agent, such that it causes unpleasant symptoms or frank illness, the steroid hormones can inhibit this undesirable response. Although the underlying condition is not cured as a result, it may resolve spontaneously. When corticosteroids are used for their anti-in?ammatory properties, the dose is pharmacological; that is, higher – often much higher – than the normal physiological requirement. Indeed, the necessary dose may exceed the normal maximum output of the healthy adrenal gland, which is about 250–300 mg cortisol per day. When doses of this order are used there are inevitable risks and side-e?ects: a drug-induced CUSHING’S SYNDROME will result.

Corticosteroid treatment of short duration, as in angioneurotic OEDEMA of the larynx or other allergic crises, may at the same time be life-saving and without signi?cant risk (see URTICARIA). Prolonged therapy of such connective-tissue disorders, such as POLYARTERITIS NODOSA with its attendant hazards, is generally accepted because there are no other agents of therapeutic value. Similarly the absence of alternative medical treatment for such conditions as autoimmune haemolytic ANAEMIA establishes steroid therapy as the treatment of choice which few would dispute. The use of steroids in such chronic conditions as RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, ASTHMA and DERMATITIS needs careful assessment and monitoring.

Although there is a risk of ill-e?ects, these should be set against the misery and danger of unrelieved chronic asthma or the incapacity, frustration and psychological trauma of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients should carry cards giving details of their dosage and possible complications.

The incidence and severity of side-e?ects are related to the dose and duration of treatment. Prolonged daily treatment with 15 mg of prednisolone, or more, will cause hypercortisonism; less than 10 mg prednisolone a day may be tolerated by most patients inde?nitely. Inhaled steroids rarely produce any ill-e?ect apart from a propensity to oral thrush (CANDIDA infection) unless given in excessive doses.

General side-e?ects may include weight gain, fat distribution of the cushingoid type, ACNE and HIRSUTISM, AMENORRHOEA, striae and increased bruising tendency. The more serious complications which can occur during long-term treatment include HYPERTENSION, oedema, DIABETES MELLITUS, psychosis, infection, DYSPEPSIA and peptic ulceration, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, adrenal suppression, osteoporosis (see BONE, DISORDERS OF), myopathy (see MUSCLES, DISORDERS OF), sodium retention and potassium depletion.... Herbal Medical

Medical Dictionary

A family of PROTEIN molecules that carry signals locally between cells. Cytokines are released by cells when activated by antigens (see ANTIGEN), behaving as enhancing mediators for immune response. These proteins include INTERLEUKINS (produced by LEUCOCYTES), lymphokines (produced by lymphocytes – see LYMPHOCYTE), INTERFERON, and tumour necrosis factor, one of whose many functions is killing tumour cells.... Medical Dictionary

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Brandy, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, vodka) Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate to high Protein: None Fat: None Saturated fat: None Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: None (except for cordials which contain added sugar) Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: None Major mineral contribution: Phosphorus About the Nutrients in This Food Spirits are the clear liquids produced by distilling the fermented sugars of grains, fruit, or vegetables. The yeasts that metabolize these sugars and convert them into alcohol stop growing when the concentration of alcohol rises above 12–15 percent. In the United States, the proof of an alcoholic beverage is defined as twice its alcohol content by volume: a beverage with 20 percent alcohol by volume is 40 proof. This is high enough for most wines, but not high enough for most whiskies, gins, vodkas, rums, brandies, and tequilas. To reach the concentra- tion of alcohol required in these beverages, the fermented sugars are heated and distilled. Ethyl alcohol (the alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits) boils at a lower temperature than water. When the fermented sugars are heated, the ethyl alcohol escapes from the distillation vat and condenses in tubes leading from the vat to a collection vessel. The clear liquid that collects in this vessel is called distilled spirits or, more technically, grain neutral spirits. Gins, whiskies, cordials, and many vodkas are made with spirits American whiskeys (which include bourbon, rye, and distilled from grains. blended whiskeys) and Canadian, Irish, and Scotch whiskies are all made from spirits aged in wood barrels. They get their flavor from the grains and their color from the barrels. (Some whiskies are also colored with caramel.) Vodka is made from spirits distilled and filtered to remove all flavor. By law, vodkas made in America must be made with spirits distilled from grains. Imported vodkas may be made with spirits distilled either from grains or potatoes and may contain additional flavoring agents such as citric acid or pepper. Aquavit, for example, is essentially vodka flavored with caraway seeds. Gin is a clear spirit flavored with an infusion of juniper berries and other herbs (botanicals). Cordials (also called liqueurs) and schnapps are flavored spirits; most are sweetened with added sugar. Some cordials contain cream. Rum is made with spirits distilled from sugar cane (molasses). Tequila is made with spirits distilled from the blue agave plant. Brandies are made with spirits distilled from fruit. (Arma- gnac and cognac are distilled from fermented grapes, calvados and applejack from fermented apples, kirsch from fermented cherries, slivovitz from fermented plums.) Unless they contain added sugar or cream, spirits have no nutrients other than alcohol. Unlike food, which has to be metabolized before your body can use it for energy, alcohol can be absorbed into the blood-stream directly from the gastrointestinal tract. Ethyl alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food The USDA /Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines one drink as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.25 ounces of distilled spirits, and “moderate drinking” as two drinks a day for a man, one drink a day for a woman. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Bland diet Lactose-free diet (cream cordials made with cream or milk) Low-purine (antigout) diet Buying This Food Look for: Tightly sealed bottles stored out of direct sunlight, whose energy might disrupt the structure of molecules in the beverage and alter its flavor. Choose spirits sold only by licensed dealers. Products sold in these stores are manufac- tured under the strict supervision of the federal government. Storing This Food Store sealed or opened bottles of spirits in a cool, dark cabinet. Preparing This Food All spirits except unflavored vodkas contain volatile molecules that give the beverage its characteristic taste and smell. Warming the liquid excites these molecules and intensifies the flavor and aroma, which is the reason we serve brandy in a round glass with a narrower top that captures the aromatic molecules as they rise toward the air when we warm the glass by holding it in our hands. Whiskies, too, though traditionally served with ice in America, will have a more intense flavor and aroma if served at room temperature. What Happens When You Cook This Food The heat of cooking evaporates the alcohol in spirits but leaves the flavoring intact. Like other alcoholic beverages, spirits should be added to a recipe near the end of the cooking time to preserve the flavor while cooking away any alcohol bite. Alcohol is an acid. If you cook it in an aluminum or iron pot, it will combine with metal ions to form dark compounds that discolor the pot and the food you are cooking. Any recipe made with spirits should be prepared in an enameled, glass, or stainless-steel pot. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Reduced risk of heart attack. Data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study 1, a 12-year survey of more than 1 million Americans in 25 states, shows that men who take one drink a day have a 21 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 22 percent lower risk of stroke than men who do not drink at all. Women who have up to one drink a day also reduce their risk of heart attack. Numerous later studies have confirmed these findings. Lower cholesterol levels. Beverage alcohol decreases the body’s production and storage of low density lipoproteins (LDLs), the protein and fat particles that carry cholesterol into your arteries. As a result, people who drink moderately tend to have lower cholesterol levels and higher levels of high density lipoproteins (HDLs), the fat and protein particles that carry cholesterol out of the body. Numerous later studies have confirmed these findings. Lower risk of stroke. In January 1999, the results of a 677-person study published by researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University showed that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of stroke due to a blood clot in the brain among older people (average age: 70). How alcohol prevents stroke is still unknown, but it is clear that moderate use is a key. Heavy drinkers (those who consume more than seven drinks a day) have a higher risk of stroke. People who once drank heavily, but cut their consumption to moderate levels, reduce their risk of stroke. Stimulating the appetite. Alcoholic beverages stimulate the production of saliva and the gastric acids that cause the stomach contractions we call hunger pangs. Moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages, which may help stimulate appetite, are often prescribed for geriatric patients, convalescents, and people who do not have ulcers or other chronic gastric problems that might be exacerbated by the alcohol. Dilation of blood vessels. Alcoholic beverages dilate the tiny blood vessels just under the skin, bringing blood up to the surface. That’s why moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages (0.2–1 gram per kilogram of body weight, or two ounces of whiskey for a 150-pound adult) temporarily warm the drinker. But the warm blood that flows up to the surface of the skin will cool down there, making you even colder when it circulates back into the center of your body. Then an alcohol flush will make you perspire, so you lose more heat. Excessive amounts of beverage alcohol may depress the mechanism that regulates body temperature. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Alcoholism. Alcoholism is an addiction disease, the inability to control one’s alcohol consumption. It is a potentially life-threatening condition, with a higher risk of death by accident, suicide, malnutrition, or acute alcohol poisoning, a toxic reaction that kills by para- lyzing body organs, including the heart. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a specific pattern of birth defects—low birth weight, heart defects, facial malformations, learning disabilities, and mental retarda- tion—first recognized in a study of babies born to alcoholic women who consumed more than six drinks a day while pregnant. Subsequent research has found a consistent pattern of milder defects in babies born to women who drink three to four drinks a day or five drinks on any one occasion while pregnant. To date there is no evidence of a consistent pattern of birth defects in babies born to women who consume less than one drink a day while preg- nant, but two studies at Columbia University have suggested that as few as two drinks a week while pregnant may raise a woman’s risk of miscarriage. (One drink is 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.25 ounces of distilled spirits.) Increased risk of breast cancer. In 2008, scientists at the National Cancer Institute released data from a seven-year survey of more than 100,000 postmenopausal women showing that even moderate drinking (one to two drinks a day) may increase by 32 percent a woman’s risk of developing estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone-receptor positive (PR+) breast cancer, tumors whose growth is stimulated by hormones. No such link was found between consuming alcohol and the risk of developing ER-/PR- tumors (not fueled by hor- mones). The finding applies to all types of alcohol: beer, wine, and distilled spirits. Increased risk of oral cancer (cancer of the mouth and throat). Numerous studies confirm the A merican Cancer Societ y’s warn ing that men and women who consume more than t wo drinks a day are at higher risk of oral cancer than are nondrinkers or people who drink less. Increased risk of cancer of the colon and rectum. In the mid-1990s, studies at the University of Oklahoma suggested that men who drink more than five beers a day are at increased risk of rectal cancer. Later studies suggested that men and women who are heavy beer or spirits drinkers (but not those who are heavy wine drinkers) have a higher risk of colorectal cancers. Further studies are required to confirm these findings. Malnutrition. While moderate alcohol consumption stimulates appetite, alcohol abuses depresses it. In addition, an alcoholic may drink instead of eating. When an alcoholic does eat, excess alcohol in his/her body prevents absorption of nutrients and reduces the ability to synthesize new tissue. Hangover. Alcohol is absorbed from the stomach and small intestine and carried by the bloodstream to the liver, where it is oxidized to acetaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme our bodies use every day to metabolize the alcohol we produce when we digest carbohydrates. The acetaldehyde is converted to acetyl coenzyme A and either eliminated from the body or used in the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and body tis- sues. Although individuals vary widely in their capacity to metabolize alcohol, an adult of average size can metabolize the alcohol in four ounces (120 ml) whiskey in approximately five to six hours. If he or she drinks more than that, the amount of alcohol in the body will exceed the available supply of ADH. The surplus, unmetabolized alcohol will pile up in the bloodstream, interfering with the liver’s metabolic functions. Since alcohol decreases the reabsorption of water from the kidneys and may inhibit the secretion of an antidiuretic hormone, the drinker will begin to urinate copiously, losing magnesium, calcium, and zinc but retaining uric acid, which is irritating. The level of lactic acid in the body will increase, making him or her feel tired and out of sorts; the acid-base balance will be out of kilter; the blood vessels in the head will swell and throb; and the stomach, its lining irritated by the alcohol, will ache. The ultimate result is a hangover whose symptoms will disappear only when enough time has passed to allow the body to marshal the ADH needed to metabolize the extra alcohol in the person’s blood. Changes in body temperature. Alcohol dilates capillaries, tiny blood vessels just under the skin, producing a “flush” that temporarily warms the drinker. But drinking is not an effective way to stay warm in cold weather. Warm blood flowing up from the body core to the surface capillaries is quickly chilled, making you even colder when it circulates back into your organs. In addition, an alcohol flush triggers perspiration, further cooling your skin. Finally, very large amounts of alcohol may actually depress the mechanism that regulates body temperature. Impotence. Excessive drinking decreases libido (sexual desire) and interferes with the ability to achieve or sustain an erection. Migraine headache. Some alcoholic beverages contain chemicals that inhibit PST, an enzyme that breaks down certain alcohols in spirits so that they can be eliminated from the body. If they are not broken down by PST, these alcohols will build up in the bloodstream and may trigger a migraine headache. Gin and vodka appear to be the distilled spirits least likely to trigger headaches, brandy the most likely. Food/Drug Interactions Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.). FDA recommends that people who regularly have three or more drinks a day consult a doctor before using acetaminophen. The alcohol/acetaminophen combination may cause liver failure. Anti-alcohol abuse drugs (disulfiram [Antabuse]). Taken concurrently with alcohol, the anti- alcoholism drug disulfiram can cause flushing, nausea, a drop in blood pressure, breathing difficulty, and confusion. The severity of the symptoms, which may var y among individu- als, generally depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the amount of disulfiram in the body. Anticoagulants. Alcohol slows the body’s metabolism of anticoagulants (blood thinners), intensif ying the effect of the drugs and increasing the risk of side effects such as spontane- ous nosebleeds. Antidepressants. Alcohol may strengthen the sedative effects of antidepressants. Aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Like alco- hol, these analgesics irritate the lining of the stomach and may cause gastric bleeding. Com- bining the two intensifies the effect. Insulin and oral hypoglycemics. Alcohol lowers blood sugar and interferes with the metabo- lism of oral antidiabetics; the combination may cause severe hypoglycemia. Sedatives and other central nervous system depressants (tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antide- pressants, sinus and cold remedies, analgesics, and medication for motion sickness). Alcohol intensifies the sedative effects of these medications and, depending on the dose, may cause drowsiness, sedation, respiratory depression, coma, or death. MAO inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase (M AO) inhibitors are drugs used as antidepressants or antihypertensives. They inhibit the action of natural enzymes that break down tyramine, a substance formed naturally when proteins are metabolized. Tyramine is a pressor amine, a chemical that constricts blood vessel and raises blood pressure. If you eat a food that contains tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, the pressor amine cannot be eliminated from your body and the result may be a hypertensive crisis (sustained elevated blood pressure). Brandy, a distilled spirit made from wine (which is fermented) contains tyramine. All other distilled spirits may be excluded from your diet when you are taking an M AO inhibitor because the spirits and the drug, which are both sedatives, may be hazard- ous in combination.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

DNA is the abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, one of the two types of NUCLEIC ACID that occur in nature. It is the fundamental genetic material of all CELLS, and is present in the nucleus of the cell where it forms part of the CHROMOSOMES and acts as the carrier of genetic information. The molecule is very large, with a molecular weight of several millions, and consists of two single chains of nucleotides (see NUCLEIC ACID) which are twisted round each other to form a double helix (or spiral). The genetic information carried by DNA is encoded along one of these strands. A gene, which represents the genetic information needed to form protein, is a stretch of DNA containing, on average, around 1,000 nucleotides paired in these two strands (see GENES).

To allow it to ful?l its vitally important function as the carrier of genetic information in living cells, DNA has the following properties. It is stable, so that successive generations of species maintain their individual characteristics, but not so stable that evolutionary changes cannot take place. It must be able to store a vast amount of information: for example, an animal cell contains genetic information for the synthesis of over a million proteins. It must be duplicated exactly before each cell division to ensure that both daughter cells contain an accurate copy of the genetic information of the parent cells (see GENETIC CODE).... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A process by which the body destroys and excretes drugs, so limiting their duration of action. Phase 1 metabolism consists of transformation by oxidation, reduction, or hydrolysis. In phase 2 this transformed product is conjugated (joined up) with another molecule to produce a water-soluble product which is easier to excrete.... Medical Dictionary

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: High Fat: High Saturated fat: Moderate Cholesterol: High Carbohydrates: Low Fiber: None Sodium: Moderate to high Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin D Major mineral contribution: Iron, calcium About the Nutrients in This Food An egg is really three separate foods, the whole egg, the white, and the yolk, each with its own distinct nutritional profile. A whole egg is a high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-quality protein food packaged in a high-calcium shell that can be ground and added to any recipe. The proteins in eggs, with sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids, are 99 percent digestible, the standard by which all other proteins are judged. The egg white is a high-protein, low-fat food with virtually no cholesterol. Its only important vitamin is riboflavin (vitamin B2), a vis- ible vitamin that gives egg white a slightly greenish cast. Raw egg whites contain avidin, an antinutrient that binds biotin a B complex vitamin for- merly known as vitamin H, into an insoluble compound. Cooking the egg inactivates avidin. An egg yolk is a high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-protein food, a good source of vitamin A derived from carotenes eaten by the laying hen, plus vitamin D, B vitamins, and heme iron, the form of iron most easily absorbed by your body. One large whole egg (50 g/1.8 ounce) has five grams fat (1.5 g satu- rated fat, 1.9 g monounsaturated fat, 0.7 g polyunsaturated fat), 212 mg cholesterol, 244 IU vitamin A (11 percent of the R DA for a woman, 9 percent * Values are for a whole egg. of the R DA for a man), 0.9 mg iron (5 percent of the R DA for a woman, 11 percent of the R DA for a man) and seven grams protein. The fat in the egg is all in the yolk. The protein is divided: four grams in the white, three grams in the yolk. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With extra whites and fewer yolks to lower the fat and cholesterol per serving. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Controlled-fat, low-cholesterol diet Low-protein diet Buying This Food Look for: Eggs stored in the refrigerated dair y case. Check the date for freshness. NOTE : In 1998, the FDA and USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed new rules that would require distributors to keep eggs refrigerated on the way to the store and require stores to keep eggs in a refrigerated case. The egg package must have a “refrigera- tion required” label plus safe-handling instructions on eggs that have not been treated to kill Salmonella. Look for: Eggs that fit your needs. Eggs are graded by the size of the yolk and the thick- ness of the white, qualities that affect appearance but not nutritional values. The higher the grade, the thicker the yolk and the thicker the white will be when you cook the egg. A Grade A A egg fried sunny side up will look much more attractive than a Grade B egg prepared the same way, but both will be equally nutritions. Egg sizes ( Jumbo, Extra large, Large, Medium, Small) are determined by how much the eggs weigh per dozen. The color of the egg’s shell depends on the breed of the hen that laid the egg and has nothing to do with the egg’s food value. Storing This Food Store fresh eggs with the small end down so that the yolk is completely submerged in the egg white (which contains antibacterial properties, nature’s protection for the yolk—or a developing chick embryo in a fertilized egg). Never wash eggs before storing them: The water will make the egg shell more porous, allowing harmful microorganisms to enter. Store separated leftover yolks and whites in small, tightly covered containers in the refrigerator, where they may stay fresh for up to a week. Raw eggs are very susceptible to Salmonella and other bacterial contamination; discard any egg that looks or smells the least bit unusual. Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs, including decorated Easter eggs. They, too, are suscep- tible to Salmonella contamination and should never be left at room temperature. Preparing This Food First, find out how fresh the eggs really are. The freshest ones are the eggs that sink and lie flat on their sides when submerged in cool water. These eggs can be used for any dish. By the time the egg is a week old, the air pocket inside, near the broad end, has expanded so that the broad end tilts up as the egg is submerged in cool water. The yolk and the white inside have begun to separate; these eggs are easier to peel when hard-cooked. A week or two later, the egg’s air pocket has expanded enough to cause the broad end of the egg to point straight up when you put the egg in water. By now the egg is runny and should be used in sauces where it doesn’t matter if it isn’t picture-perfect. After four weeks, the egg will float. Throw it away. Eggs are easily contaminated with Salmonella microorganisms that can slip through an intact shell. never eat or serve a dish or bever age containing r aw fr esh eggs. sa lmonella is destroyed by cooking eggs to an inter nal temper atur e of 145°f ; egg-milk dishes such as custar ds must be cooked to an inter nal temper atur e of 160°f. If you separate fresh eggs by hand, wash your hands thoroughly before touching other food, dishes, or cooking tools. When you have finished preparing raw eggs, wash your hands and all utensils thoroughly with soap and hot water. never stir cooked eggs with a utensil used on r aw eggs. When you whip an egg white, you change the structure of its protein molecules which unfold, breaking bonds between atoms on the same molecule and forming new bonds to atoms on adjacent molecules. The result is a network of protein molecules that hardens around air trapped in bubbles in the net. If you beat the whites too long, the foam will turn stiff enough to hold its shape even if you don’t cook it, but it will be too stiff to expand natu- rally if you heat it, as in a soufflé. When you do cook properly whipped egg white foam, the hot air inside the bubbles will expand. Ovalbumin, an elastic protein in the white, allows the bubble walls to bulge outward until they are cooked firm and the network is stabilized as a puff y soufflé. The bowl in which you whip the whites should be absolutely free of fat or grease, since the fat molecules will surround the protein molecules in the egg white and keep them from linking up together to form a puff y white foam. Eggs whites will react with metal ions from the surface of an aluminum bowl to form dark particles that discolor the egg-white foam. You can whip eggs successfully in an enamel or glass bowl, but they will do best in a copper bowl because copper ions bind to the egg and stabilize the foam. What Happens When You Cook This Food When you heat a whole egg, its protein molecules behave exactly as they do when you whip an egg white. They unfold, form new bonds, and create a protein network, this time with molecules of water caught in the net. As the egg cooks, the protein network tightens, squeez- ing out moisture, and the egg becomes opaque. The longer you cook the egg, the tighter the network will be. If you cook the egg too long, the protein network will contract strongly enough to force out all the moisture. That is why overcooked egg custards run and why overcooked eggs are rubbery. If you mix eggs with milk or water before you cook them, the molecules of liquid will surround and separate the egg’s protein molecules so that it takes more energy (higher heat) to make the protein molecules coagulate. Scrambled eggs made with milk are softer than plain scrambled eggs cooked at the same temperature. When you boil an egg in its shell, the air inside expands and begins to escape through the shell as tiny bubbles. Sometimes, however, the force of the air is enough to crack the shell. Since there’s no way for you to tell in advance whether any particular egg is strong enough to resist the pressure of the bubbling air, the best solution is to create a safety vent by sticking a pin through the broad end of the egg before you start to boil it. Or you can slow the rate at which the air inside the shell expands by starting the egg in cold water and letting it warm up naturally as the water warms rather than plunging it cold into boiling water—which makes the air expand so quickly that the shell is virtually certain to crack. As the egg heats, a little bit of the protein in its white will decompose, releasing sulfur that links up with hydrogen in the egg, forming hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives rot- ten eggs their distinctive smell. The hydrogen sulfide collects near the coolest part of the egg—the yolk. The yolk contains iron, which now displaces the hydrogen in the hydrogen sulfide to form a green iron-sulfide ring around the hard-cooked yolk. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Egg substitutes. Fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitutes are made of pasteurized egg whites, plus artificial or natural colors, flavors, and texturizers (food gums) to make the product look and taste like eggs, plus vitamins and minerals to produce the nutritional equivalent of a full egg. Pasteurized egg substitutes may be used without additional cooking, that is, in salad dressings and eggnog. Drying. Dried eggs have virtually the same nutritive value as fresh eggs. Always refrigerate dried eggs in an air- and moistureproof container. At room temperature, they will lose about a third of their vitamin A in six months. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protein source. The protein in eggs, like protein from all animal foods, is complete. That is, protein from animal foods provides all the essential amino acids required by human beings. In fact, the protein from eggs is so well absorbed and utilized by the human body that it is considered the standard by which all other dietary protein is measured. On a scale known as biological value, eggs rank 100 ; milk, 93; beef and fish, 75; and poultry, 72. Vision protection. The egg yolk is a rich source of the yellow-orange carotenoid pigments lutein and zeaxanthin. Both appear to play a role in protecting the eyes from damaging ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision of loss in one-third of all Americans older than 75. Just 1.3 egg yolks a day appear to increase blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin by up to 128 percent. Perhaps as a result, data released by the National Eye Institute’s 6,000-person Beaver Dam ( Wisconsin) Eye Study in 2003 indicated that egg consumption was inversely associated with cataract risk in study participants who were younger than 65 years of age when the study started. The relative risk of cataracts was 0.4 for people in the highest category of egg consumption, compared to a risk of 1.0 for those in the lowest category. External cosmetic effects. Beaten egg whites can be used as a facial mask to make your skin look smoother temporarily. The mask works because the egg proteins constrict as they dry on your face, pulling at the dried layer of cells on top of your skin. When you wash off the egg white, you also wash off some of these loose cells. Used in a rinse or shampoo, the pro- tein in a beaten raw egg can make your hair look smoother and shinier temporarily by filling in chinks and notches on the hair shaft. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, data from several recent studies suggest that eating eggs may not increase the risk of heart disease. In 2003, a report from a 14-year, 177,000-plus person study at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that people who eat one egg a day have exactly the same risk of heart disease as those who eat one egg or fewer per week. A similar report from the Multiple R isk Factor Intervention Trial showed an inverse relationship between egg consumption and cholesterol levels—that is, people who ate more eggs had lower cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, in 2006 the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute still recommends no more than four egg yolks a week (including the yolk in baked goods) for a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association says consumers can have one whole egg a day if they limit cholesterol from other sources to the amount suggested by the National Cholesterol Education Project following the Step I and Step II diets. (Both groups permit an unlimited number of egg whites.) The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200 –239 mg/dL. The Step II diet provides 25– 35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cho- lesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions: •  Existing cardiovascular disease •  High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol) •  Obesity •  Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus) •  Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk fac- tors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) Food poisoning. Raw eggs (see above) and egg-rich foods such as custards and cream pies are excellent media for microorganisms, including the ones that cause food poisoning. To protect yourself against egg-related poisoning, always cook eggs thoroughly: poach them five minutes over boiling water or boil at least seven minutes or fry two to three minutes on each side (no runny center) or scramble until firm. Bread with egg coating, such as French toast, should be cooked crisp. Custards should be firm and, once cooked, served very hot or refrigerated and served very cold. Allergic reaction. According to the Merck Manual, eggs are one of the 12 foods most likely to trigger the classic food allergy symptoms: hives, swelling of the lips and eyes, and upset stomach. The others are berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), choco- late, corn, fish, legumes (green peas, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans), milk, nuts, peaches, pork, shellfish, and wheat (see wheat cer ea ls). Food/Drug Interactions Sensitivity to vaccines. Live-virus measles vaccine, live-virus mumps vaccine, and the vac- cines for influenza are grown in either chick embryo or egg culture. They may all contain minute residual amounts of egg proteins that may provoke a hypersensitivity reaction in people with a history of anaphylactic reactions to eggs (hives, swelling of the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, or shock).... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Herbal Medical

Substances, for example, potassium chloride, whose molecules split into their constituent electrically charged particles, known as ions, when dissolved in ?uid. In medicine the term is customarily used to describe the ion itself. The description ‘serum electrolyte concentration’ means the amounts of separate ions – for example, sodium and chloride in the case of salt – present in the serum of the circulating blood. Various diseases alter the amounts of electrolytes in the blood, either because more than normal are lost through vomiting or diar-rhoea, or because electrolytes may be retained as the kidney fails to excrete them properly. Measurements of electrolytes are valuable clues to the type of disease, and provide a means of monitoring a course of treatment. Electrolyte imbalances can be corrected by administering appropriate substances orally or intravenously, or by DIALYSIS. (See APPENDIX 6: MEASUREMENTS IN MEDICINE.)... Herbal Medical

Dictionary of Tropical Medicine

A protein that acts as a catalyst for the body’s metabolic processes. The body contains thousands of enzymes, with each cell producing several varieties. The ?rst enzyme was obtained in a reasonably pure state in 1926. Since then, several hundred enzymes have been obtained in pure crystalline form. They are present in the digestive ?uids and in many of the tissues, and are capable of producing in small amounts the transformation on a large scale of various compounds. Examples of enzymes are found in the PTYALIN of saliva and DIASTASE of pancreatic juice which split up starch into sugar; the PEPSIN of the gastric juice and the trypsin of pancreatic juice which break proteins into simpler molecules and eventually into the constituent amino acids; and the thrombin of the blood which causes coagulation.

The diagnosis of certain disorders can be helped by measuring the concentrations of various enzymes in the blood. After a heart attack (myocardial infarction – see HEART, DISEASES OF), raised levels of heart enzymes occur as a result of damage to the cells of the heart muscle. Some inherited diseases such as GALACTOSAEMIA and PHENYLKETONURIA are the result of de?ciencies of certain enzymes.

Enzymes can be a useful part of treatment for some disorders. STREPTOKINASE, for example, is used to treat THROMBOSIS; wound-dressings containing papain from the pawpaw fruit – this contains protein-digesting enzymes – assist in the healing process; and pancreatic enzymes can be of value to patients with malabsorption caused by disorders of the PANCREAS.... Dictionary of Tropical Medicine

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate (fresh figs) High (dried figs) Protein: Low Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Very high Sodium: Low (fresh or dried fruit) High (dried fruit treated with sodium sulfur compounds) Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Iron (dried figs) About the Nutrients in This Food Figs, whether fresh or dried, are high-carbohydrate food, an extraordinarily good source of dietary fiber, natural sugars, iron, calcium, and potassium. Ninety-two percent of the carbohydrates in dried figs are sugars (42 percent glucose, 31 percent fructose, 0.1 percent sucrose). The rest is dietary fiber, insoluble cellulose in the skin, soluble pectins in fruit. The most important mineral in dried figs is iron. Gram for gram, figs have about 50 percent as much iron as beef liver (0.8 mg/gram vs. 1.9 mg/gram). One medium fresh fig has 1.4 g dietary fiber, six grams sugars, and 0.18 mg iron (1 percent of the R DA for a woman, 2 percent of the R DA for a man). A similar size dried, uncooked fig has 0.8 g fiber, four grams sugars and the same amount of iron as a fresh fig. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Dried (but see How other kinds of processing affect this food, below). Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-fiber, low-residue diets Low-sodium (dried figs treated with sulfites) Buying This Food Look for: Plump, soft fresh figs whose skin may be green, brown, or purple, depending on the variety. As figs ripen, the pectin in their cell walls dissolves and the figs grow softer to the touch. The largest, best-tasting figs are generally the ones harvested and shipped in late spring and early summer, during June and July. Choose dried figs in tightly sealed airtight packages. Avoid: Fresh figs that smell sour. The odor indicates that the sugars in the fig have fer- mented; such fruit is spoiled. Storing This Food Refrigerate fresh figs. Dried figs can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature; either way, wrap them tightly in an air- and moistureproof container to keep them from los- ing moisture and becoming hard. Dried figs may keep for several months. Preparing This Food Wash fresh figs under cool water; use dried figs right out of the package. If you want to slice the dried figs, chill them first in the refrigerator or freezer: cold figs slice clean. What Happens When You Cook This Food Fresh figs contain ficin, a proteolytic (protein-breaking) enzyme similar to papain in papayas and bromelin in fresh pineapple. Proteolytic enzymes split long-chain protein molecules into smaller units, which is why they help tenderize meat. Ficin is most effective at about 140 –160°F, the temperature at which stews simmer, and it will continue to work after you take the stew off the stove until the food cools down. Temperatures higher than 160°F inac- tivate ficin; canned figs—which have been exposed to very high heat in processing—will not tenderize meat. Both fresh and dried figs contain pectin, which dissolves when you cook the figs, mak- ing them softer. Dried figs also absorb water and swell. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Drying. Figs contain polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that hastens the oxidation of phenols in the fig, creating brownish compounds that darken its flesh. To prevent this reaction, figs may be treated with a sulfur compound such as sulfur dioxide or sodium sulfite. People who are sensitive to sulfites may suffer serious allergic reactions, including potentially fatal ana- phylactic shock, if they eat figs that have been treated with one of these compounds. Canning. Canned figs contain slightly less vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin than fresh figs, and no active ficin. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Iron supplementation. Dried figs are an excellent source of iron. As a laxative. Figs are a good source of the indigestible food fiber lignin. Cells whose walls are highly lignified retain water and, since they are impossible to digest, help bulk up the stool. In addition, ficin has some laxative effects. Together, the lignin and the ficin make figs (particularly dried figs) an efficient laxative food. Lower risk of stroke. Potassium lowers blood pressure. According to new data from the Harvard University Health Professionals Study, a long-running survey of male doctors, a diet rich in high-potassium foods such as bananas may also reduce the risk of stroke. The men who ate the most potassium-rich foods (an average nine servings a day) had 38 percent fewer strokes than men who ate the least (less than four servings a day). Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Sulfite allergies. See How other kinds of processing affect this food. Food/Drug Interactions MAO inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase (M AO) inhibitors are drugs used as antidepressants or antihypertensives. They inhibit the action of natural enzymes that break down tyramine, a nitrogen compound formed when proteins are metabolized, so it can be eliminated from the body. Tyramine is a pressor amine, a chemical that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. If you eat a food rich in one of these chemicals while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, the pressor amines cannot be eliminated from your body, and the result may be a hypertensive crisis (sustained elevated blood pressure). There has been one report of such a reaction in a patient who ate canned figs while taking an M AO inhibitor.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

See also Shellfish, Squid. Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: High Fat: Low to moderate Saturated fat: Low to moderate Cholesterol: Moderate Carbohydrates: Low Fiber: None Sodium: Low (fresh fish) High (some canned or salted fish) Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, vitamin D Major mineral contribution: Iodine, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium About the Nutrients in This Food Like meat, poultry, milk, and eggs, fish are an excellent source of high- quality proteins with sufficient amount of all the essential amino acids. While some fish have as much or more fat per serving than some meats, the fat content of fish is always lower in saturated fat and higher in unsaturated fats. For example, 100 g/3.5 ounce cooked pink salmon (a fatty fish) has 4.4 g total fat, but only 0.7 g saturated fat, 1.2 g monounsaturated fat, and 1.7 g polyunsaturated fat; 100 g/3.5 ounce lean top sirloin has four grams fat but twice as much saturated fat (1.5 g), plus 1.6 g monounsatu- rated fat and only 0.2 g polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content of Various Fish (Continued) Fish  Grams/ounce Rainbow trout  0.30 Lake whitefish  0.25 Source: “Food for t he Heart,” American Health, April 1985. Fish oils are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D. Salmon also has vita- min A derived from carotenoid pigments in the plants eaten by the fish. The soft bones in some canned salmon and sardines are an excellent source of calcium. CAUTION: do not eat the bones in r aw or cook ed fish. the only bones consider ed edible ar e those in the canned products. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Cooked, to kill parasites and potentially pathological microorganisms living in raw fish. Broiled, to liquify fat and eliminate the fat-soluble environmental contaminants found in some freshwater fish. With the soft, mashed, calcium-rich bones (in canned salmon and canned sardines). Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-purine (antigout) diet Low-sodium diet (canned, salted, or smoked fish) Buying This Food Look for: Fresh-smelling whole fish with shiny skin; reddish pink, moist gills; and clear, bulging eyes. The flesh should spring back when you press it lightly. Choose fish fillets that look moist, not dry. Choose tightly sealed, solidly frozen packages of frozen fish. In 1998, the FDA /National Center for Toxicological Research released for testing an inexpensive indicator called “Fresh Tag.” The indicator, to be packed with seafood, changes color if the product spoils. Avoid: Fresh whole fish whose eyes have sunk into the head (a clear sign of aging); fillets that look dry; and packages of frozen fish that are stained (whatever leaked on the package may have seeped through onto the fish) or are coated with ice crystals (the package may have defrosted and been refrozen). Storing This Food Remove fish from plastic wrap as soon as you get it home. Plastic keeps out air, encouraging the growth of bacteria that make the fish smell bad. If the fish smells bad when you open the package, throw it out. Refrigerate all fresh and smoked fish immediately. Fish spoils quickly because it has a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (which pick up oxygen much more easily than saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids). Refrigeration also slows the action of microorgan- isms on the surface of the fish that convert proteins and other substances to mucopolysac- charides, leaving a slimy film on the fish. Keep fish frozen until you are ready to use it. Store canned fish in a cool cabinet or in a refrigerator (but not the freezer). The cooler the temperature, the longer the shelf life. Preparing This Food Fresh fish. Rub the fish with lemon juice, then rinse it under cold running water. The lemon juice (an acid) will convert the nitrogen compounds that make fish smell “fishy” to compounds that break apart easily and can be rinsed off the fish with cool running water. R insing your hands in lemon juice and water will get rid of the fishy smell after you have been preparing fresh fish. Frozen fish. Defrost plain frozen fish in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Pre- pared frozen fish dishes should not be thawed before you cook them since defrosting will make the sauce or coating soggy. Salted dried fish. Salted dried fish should be soaked to remove the salt. How long you have to soak the fish depends on how much salt was added in processing. A reasonable average for salt cod, mackerel, haddock (finnan haddie), or herring is three to six hours, with two or three changes of water. When you are done, clean all utensils thoroughly with hot soap and hot water. Wash your cutting board, wood or plastic, with hot water, soap, and a bleach-and-water solution. For ultimate safety in preventing the transfer of microorganisms from the raw fish to other foods, keep one cutting board exclusively for raw fish, meats, and poultry, and a second one for everything else. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands. What Happens When You Cook This Food Heat changes the structure of proteins. It denatures the protein molecules so that they break apart into smaller fragments or change shape or clump together. These changes force moisture out of the tissues so that the fish turns opaque. The longer you cook fish, the more moisture it will lose. Cooked fish flakes because the connective tissue in fish “melts” at a relatively low temperature. Heating fish thoroughly destroys parasites and microorganisms that live in raw fish, making the fish safer to eat. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Marinating. Like heat, acids coagulate the proteins in fish, squeezing out moisture. Fish marinated in citrus juices and other acids such as vinegar or wine has a firm texture and looks cooked, but the acid bath may not inactivate parasites in the fish. Canning. Fish is naturally low in sodium, but can ned fish often contains enough added salt to make it a high-sodium food. A 3.5-ounce ser ving of baked, fresh red salmon, for example, has 55 mg sodium, while an equal ser ving of regular can ned salmon has 443 mg. If the fish is can ned in oil it is also much higher in calories than fresh fish. Freezing. When fish is frozen, ice cr ystals form in the flesh and tear its cells so that mois- ture leaks out when the fish is defrosted. Commercial flash-freezing offers some protec- tion by freezing the fish so fast that the ice cr ystals stay small and do less damage, but all defrosted fish tastes drier and less palatable than fresh fish. Freezing slows but does not stop the oxidation of fats that causes fish to deteriorate. Curing. Fish can be cured (preser ved) by smoking, dr ying, salting, or pickling, all of which coagulate the muscle tissue and prevent microorganisms from growing. Each method has its own particular drawbacks. Smoking adds potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Dr ying reduces the water content, concentrates the solids and nutrients, increases the calories per ounce, and raises the amount of sodium. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against cardiovascular disease. The most important fats in fish are the poly- unsaturated acids k nown as omega-3s. These fatt y acids appear to work their way into heart cells where they seem to help stabilize the heart muscle and prevent potentially fatal arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). A mong 85,000 women in the long-run n ing Nurses’ Health Study, those who ate fatt y fish at least five times a week were nearly 50 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who ate fish less frequently. Similar results appeared in men in the equally long-run n ing Physicians’ Health Study. Some studies suggest that people may get similar benefits from omega-3 capsules. Researchers at the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in Santa Maria Imbaro ( Italy) say that men given a one-gram fish oil capsule once a day have a risk of sudden death 42 percent lower than men given placebos ( “look-alike” pills with no fish oil). However, most nutrition scientists recom- mend food over supplements. Omega-3 Content of Various Food Fish Fish* (3 oz.)  Omega-3 (grams) Salmon, Atlantic  1.8 Anchovy, canned* 1.7 Mackerel, Pacific 1.6 Salmon, pink, canned* 1.4 Sardine, Pacific, canned* 1.4 Trout, rainbow  1.0 Tuna, white, canned* 0.7 Mussels  0.7 * cooked, wit hout sauce * drained Source: Nat ional Fisheries Inst itute; USDA Nut rient Data Laborator y. Nat ional Nut ri- ent Database for Standard Reference. Available online. UR L : http://w w w.nal.usda. gov/fnic/foodcomp/search /. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Allergic reaction. According to the Merck Manual, fish is one of the 12 foods most likely to trigger classic food allergy symptoms: hives, swelling of the lips and eyes, and upset stom- ach. The others are berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), chocolate, corn, eggs, legumes (green peas, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans), milk, nuts, peaches, pork, shellfish, and wheat (see wheat cer ea ls). NOTE : Canned tuna products may contain sulfites in vegetable proteins used to enhance the tuna’s flavor. People sensitive to sulfites may suf- fer serious allergic reactions, including potentially fatal anaphylactic shock, if they eat tuna containing sulfites. In 1997, tuna manufacturers agreed to put warning labels on products with sulfites. Environmental contaminants. Some fish are contaminated with methylmercury, a compound produced by bacteria that chemically alters naturally occurring mercury (a metal found in rock and soil) or mercury released into water through industrial pollution. The methylmer- cury is absorbed by small fish, which are eaten by larger fish, which are then eaten by human beings. The larger the fish and the longer it lives the more methylmercury it absorbs. The measurement used to describe the amount of methylmercury in fish is ppm (parts per mil- lion). Newly-popular tilapia, a small fish, has an average 0.01 ppm, while shark, a big fish, may have up to 4.54 ppm, 450 times as much. That is a relatively small amount of methylmercur y; it will soon make its way harmlessly out of the body. But even small amounts may be hazardous during pregnancy because methylmercur y targets the developing fetal ner vous system. Repeated studies have shown that women who eat lots of high-mercur y fish while pregnant are more likely to deliver babies with developmental problems. As a result, the FDA and the Environ men- tal Protection Agency have now warned that women who may become pregnant, who are pregnant, or who are nursing should avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, the fish most likely to contain large amounts of methylmercur y. The same prohibition applies to ver y young children; although there are no studies of newborns and babies, the young brain continues to develop after birth and the logic is that the prohibition during pregnancy should extend into early life. That does not mean no fish at all should be eaten during pregnancy. In fact, a 2003 report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health of data from an 11,585-woman study at the University of Bristol (England) shows that women who don’t eat any fish while pregnant are nearly 40 percent more likely to deliver low birth-weight infants than are women who eat about an ounce of fish a day, the equivalent of 1/3 of a small can of tuna. One theory is that omega-3 fatty acids in the fish may increase the flow of nutrient-rich blood through the placenta to the fetus. University of Southern California researchers say that omega-3s may also protect some children from asthma. Their study found that children born to asthmatic mothers who ate oily fish such as salmon at least once a month while pregnant were less likely to develop asthma before age five than children whose asthmatic pregnant mothers never ate oily fish. The following table lists the estimated levels of mercury in common food fish. For the complete list of mercury levels in fish, click onto www.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/sea-mehg.html. Mercury Levels in Common Food Fish Low levels (0.01– 0.12 ppm* average) Anchovies, butterfish, catfish, clams, cod, crab (blue, king, snow), crawfish, croaker (Atlantic), flounder, haddock, hake, herring, lobster (spiny/Atlantic) mackerel, mul- let, ocean perch, oysters, pollock, salmon (canned/fresh frozen), sardines, scallops, shad (American), shrimp, sole, squid, tilapia, trout (freshwater), tuna (canned, light), whitefish, whiting Mid levels (0.14 – 0.54 ppm* average) Bass (salt water), bluefish, carp, croaker ( Pacific), freshwater perch, grouper, halibut, lobster (Northern A merican), mackerel (Spanish), marlin, monkfish, orange roughy, skate, snapper, tilefish (Atlantic), tuna (can ned albacore, fresh/frozen), weakfish/ sea trout High levels (0.73 –1.45 ppm* average) King mackerel, shark, swordfish, tilefish * ppm = parts per million, i.e. parts of mercur y to 1,000,000 parts fish Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administ rat ion, Center for Food Safet y and Applied Nut rit ion, “Mercur y Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish.” Available online. UR L : w w w.cfsan.fda. gov/~frf/sea-mehg.ht ml. Parasitical, viral, and bacterial infections. Like raw meat, raw fish may carry various pathogens, including fish tapeworm and flukes in freshwater fish and Salmonella or other microorganisms left on the fish by infected foodhandlers. Cooking the fish destroys these organisms. Scombroid poisoning. Bacterial decomposition that occurs after fish is caught produces a his- taminelike toxin in the flesh of mackerel, tuna, bonito, and albacore. This toxin may trigger a number of symptoms, including a flushed face immediately after you eat it. The other signs of scombroid poisoning—nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and hives—show up a few minutes later. The symptoms usually last 24 hours or less. Food/Drug Interactions Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food such as pickled herring, which is high in tyramine, while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, your body may not be able to eliminate the tyramine and the result may be a hypertensive crisis.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Herbal Medical

From flavus, Latin for yellow. A 2-benzene ring, 15-carbon molecule, it is formed by many plants (in many forms) for a variety of oxidative-redox enzyme reactions. Brightly pigmented compounds that make many fruits and berries yellow, red, and purple, and that are considered in European medicine to strengthen and aid capillary and blood vessel integrity, they are sometimes (redundantly) called bioflavonoids.... Herbal Medical

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

See also Bread, Corn, Oats, Pasta, Potatoes, R ice, Soybeans, Wheat cereals. Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): High Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Low to high Sodium: Low (except self-rising flour) Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Iron About the Nutrients in This Food Flour is the primary source of the carbohydrates (starch and fiber) in bread, pasta, and baked goods. All wheat and rye flours also provide some of the food fibers, including pectins, gums, and cellulose. Flour also contains significant amounts of protein but, like other plant foods, its proteins are “incomplete” because they are deficient in the essential amino acid lysine. The fat in the wheat germ is primarily polyunsaturated; flour contains no cholesterol. Flour is a good source of iron and the B vitamins. Iodine and iodophors used to clean the equipment in grain-processing plants may add iodine to the flour. In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration ordered food manufac- turers to add folates—which protect against birth defects of the spinal cord and against heart disease—to flour, rice, and other grain products. One year later, data from the Framingham Heart Study, which has fol- lowed heart health among residents of a Boston suburb for nearly half a century, showed a dramatic increase in blood levels of folic acid. Before the fortification of foods, 22 percent of the study participants had a folic acid deficiency; after, the number fell to 2 percent. Whole grain flour, like other grain products, contains phytic acid, an antinutrient that binds calcium, iron, and zinc ions into insoluble com- pounds your body cannot absorb. This has no practical effect so long as your diet includes foods that provide these minerals. Whole wheat flours. Whole wheat flours use every part of the kernel: the fiber-rich bran with its B vitamins, the starch- and protein-rich endosperm with its iron and B vitamins, and the oily germ with its vitamin E.* Because they contain bran, whole-grain flours have much more fiber than refined white flours. However, some studies suggest that the size of the fiber particles may have some bearing on their ability to absorb moisture and “bulk up” stool and that the fiber particles found in fine-ground whole wheat flours may be too small to have a bulking effect. Finely ground whole wheat flour is called whole wheat cake flour; coarsely ground whole wheat flour is called graham flour. Cracked wheat is a whole wheat flour that has been cut rather than ground; it has all the nutrients of whole wheat flour, but its processing makes it less likely to yield its starch in cooking. When dried and parboiled, cracked wheat is known as bulgur, a grain used primarily as a cereal, although it can be mixed with other flours and baked. Gluten flour is a low-starch, high-protein product made by drying and grinding hard- wheat flour from which the starch has been removed. Refined (“white”) flours. Refined flours are paler than whole wheat flours because they do not contain the brown bran and germ. They have less fiber and fat and smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals than whole wheat flours, but enriched refined flours are fortified with B vitamins and iron. Refined flour has no phytic acid. Some refined flours are bleached with chlorine dioxide to destroy the xanthophylls (carotenoid pigments) that give white flours a natural cream color. Unlike carotene, the carotenoid pigment that is converted to vitamin A in the body, xanthophylls have no vita- min A activity; bleaching does not lower the vitamin A levels in the flour, but it does destroy vitamin E. There are several kinds of white flours. All-purpose white flour is a mixture of hard and soft wheats, high in protein and rich in gluten.t Cake flour is a finely milled soft-wheat flour; it has less protein than all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour is flour to which baking powder has been added and is very high in sodium. Instant flour is all-purpose flour that has been ground extra-fine so that it will combine quickly with water. Semolina is a pale high-protein, low- gluten flour made from durum wheat and used to make pasta. Rye flours. Rye flour has less gluten than wheat flour and is less elastic, which is why it makes a denser bread.:j Like whole wheat flour, dark rye flour (the flour used for pumpernickel bread) contains the bran and the germ of the rye grain; light rye flour (the flour used for ordinary rye bread) The bran is t he kernel’s hard, brown outer cover, an ext raordinarily rich source of cellulose and lignin. The endosperm is t he kernel’s pale interior, where t he vitamins abound. The germ, a small part icle in t he interior, is t he part of t he kernel t hat sprouts. Hard wheat has less starch and more protein t han soft wheat. It makes a heavier, denser dough. Gluten is t he st icky substance formed when k neading t he dough relaxes t he long-chain molecules in t he proteins gliadin and glutenin so t hat some of t heir intermolecular bonds (bonds bet ween atoms in t he same molecule) break and new int ramolecular bonds (bonds bet ween atoms on different mol- ecules) are formed. Triticale flour is milled from triticale grain, a rye/wheat hybrid. It has more protein and less gluten than all-purpose wheat flour. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With beans or a “complete” protein food (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese) to provide the essential amino acid lysine, in which wheat and rye flours are deficient. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-calcium diet (whole grain and self-rising flours) Low-fiber diet (whole wheat flours) Low-gluten diet (all wheat and rye flour) Sucrose-free diet Buying This Food Look for: Tightly sealed bags or boxes. Flours in torn packages or in open bins are exposed to air and to insect contamination. Avoid: Stained packages—the liquid that stained the package may have seeped through into the flour. Storing This Food Store all flours in air- and moistureproof canisters. Whole wheat flours, which contain the germ and bran of the wheat and are higher in fat than white flours, may become rancid if exposed to air; they should be used within a week after you open the package. If you plan to hold the flour for longer than that, store it in the freezer, tightly wrapped to protect it against air and moisture. You do not have to thaw the flour when you are ready to use it; just measure it out and add it directly to the other ingredients. Put a bay leaf in the flour canister to help protect against insect infections. Bay leaves are natural insect repellents. What Happens When You Cook This Food Protein reactions. The wheat kernel contains several proteins, including gliadin and glute- nin. When you mix flour with water, gliadin and glutenin clump together in a sticky mass. Kneading the dough relaxes the long gliadin and glutenin molecules, breaking internal bonds between individual atoms in each gliadin and glutenin molecule and allowing the molecules to unfold and form new bonds between atoms in different molecules. The result is a network structure made of a new gliadin-glutenin compound called gluten. Gluten is very elastic. The gluten network can stretch to accommodate the gas (carbon dioxide) formed when you add yeast to bread dough or heat a cake batter made with baking powder or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), trapping the gas and making the bread dough or cake batter rise. When you bake the dough or batter, the gluten network hardens and the bread or cake assumes its finished shape. Starch reactions. Starch consists of molecules of the complex carbohydrates amylose and amylopectin packed into a starch granule. When you heat flour in liquid, the starch gran- ules absorb water molecules, swell, and soften. When the temperature of the liquid reaches approximately 140°F the amylose and amylopectin molecules inside the granules relax and unfold, breaking some of their internal bonds (bonds between atoms on the same molecule) and forming new bonds between atoms on different molecules. The result is a network that traps and holds water molecules. The starch granules then swell, thickening the liquid. If you continue to heat the liquid (or stir it too vigorously), the network will begin to break down, the liquid will leak out of the starch granules, and the sauce will separate.* Combination reaction. Coating food with flour takes advantage of the starch reaction (absorbing liquids) and the protein reaction (baking a hard, crisp protein crust). Medical Uses and/or Benefits A lower risk of some kinds of cancer. In 1998, scientists at Wayne State University in Detroit conducted a meta-analysis of data from more than 30 well-designed animal studies mea- suring the anti-cancer effects of wheat bran, the part of grain with highest amount of the insoluble dietary fibers cellulose and lignin. They found a 32 percent reduction in the risk of colon cancer among animals fed wheat bran; now they plan to conduct a similar meta- analysis of human studies. Whole wheat flours are a good source of wheat bran. NOTE : The amount of fiber per serving listed on a food package label shows the total amount of fiber (insoluble and soluble). Early in 1999, however, new data from the long-running Nurses Health Study at Brigham Women’s Hospital/Harvard University School of Public Health showed that women who ate a high-fiber diet had a risk of colon cancer similar to that of women who ate a low-fiber diet. * A mylose is a long, unbranched, spiral molecule; amylopect in is a short, compact, branched molecule. A mylose has more room for forming bonds to water. Wheat flours, which have a higher rat io of amy- lose to amylopect in, are superior t hickeners. Because this study contradicts literally hundreds of others conducted over the past 30 years, researchers are awaiting confirming evidence before changing dietary recommendations. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Allergic reactions. According to the Merck Manual, wheat is one of the foods most commonly implicated as a cause of allergic upset stomach, hives, and angioedema (swollen lips and eyes). For more information, see under wheat cer ea ls. Gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Celiac disease is an intestinal allergic disorder that makes it impossible to digest gluten and gliadin (proteins found in wheat and some other grains). Corn flour, potato flour, rice flour, and soy flour are all gluten- and gliadin-free. Ergot poisoning. Rye and some kinds of wheat will support ergot, a parasitic fungus related to lysergic acid (LSD). Because commercial flours are routinely checked for ergot contamina- tion, there has not been a major outbreak of ergot poisoning from bread since a 1951 incident in France. Since baking does not destroy ergot toxins, the safest course is to avoid moldy flour altogether.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Bison, rabbit, venison) Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: Moderate Carbohydrates: None Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Iron, zinc About the Nutrients in This Food Like other animal foods, game meat has high-quality proteins with suf- ficient amounts of all the essential amino acids. Some game meat has less fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than beef. All game meat is an excellent source of B vitamins, plus heme iron, the form of iron most easily absorbed by your body, and zinc. For example, one four-ounce serving of roast bison has 28 g protein, 2.7 g fat (1.04 g saturated fat), 93.7 mg cholesterol, 3.88 mg iron (25.8 percent of the R DA for a woman of childbearing age), and 4.1 mg zinc (27 percent of the R DA for a man). The Nutrients in Roasted Game Meat (4-ounce serving) The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With a food rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-protein diet (for kidney disease) Buying This Food In American markets, game meats are usually sold frozen. Choose a package with no leaks or stains to suggest previous defrosting. Storing This Food Keep frozen game meat well wrapped in the freezer until you are ready to use it. The packaging protects the meat from oxygen that can change its pigments from reddish to brown. Freezing prolongs the freshness of the meat by slowing the natural multiplication of bacteria that digest proteins and other substances on the surface, converting them to a slimy film. The bacteria also change the meat’s sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine into smelly chemicals called mercaptans. When the mercaptans combine with myoglobin, they produce the greenish pigment that gives spoiled meat its characteristic unpleasant appearance. Large cuts of game meat can be safely frozen, at 0°F, for six months to a year. Preparing This Food Defrost the meat in the refrigerator to protect it from spoilage. Trim the meat to dispose of all visible fat, thus reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol in each serving. When you are done, clean all utensils thoroughly with hot soap and hot water. Wash your cutting board, wood or plastic, with hot water, soap, and a bleach-and-water solution. For ultimate safety in preventing the transfer of microorganisms from the raw meat to other foods, keep one cutting board exclusively for raw meats, fish, and poultry, and a second one for everything else. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands. What Happens When You Cook This Food Cooking changes the way meat looks and tastes, alters its nutritional value, makes it safer, and extends its shelf life. Browning meat before you cook it does not “seal in the juices,” but it does change the flavor by caramelizing proteins and sugars on the surface. Because meat’s only sugars are the Game Meat  63 small amounts of glycogen in muscle tissue, we add sugars in marinades or basting liquids that may also contain acids (vinegar, lemon juice, wine) to break down muscle fibers and tenderize the meat. (NOTE : Browning has one minor nutritional drawback. It breaks amino acids on the surface of the meat into smaller compounds that are no longer useful proteins.) When meat is heated, it loses water and shrinks. Its pigments, which combine with oxygen, are denatured (broken into fragments) by the heat. They turn brown, the natural color of well-done meat. At the same time, the fats in the meat are oxidized, a reaction that produces a characteristic warmed-over flavor when the cooked meat is refrigerated and then reheated. Cooking and storing the meat under a blanket of antioxidants—catsup or a gravy made of tomatoes, peppers and other vitamin-C rich vegetables—reduces fat oxidation and lessens the warmed-over flavor. Meat reheated in a microwave oven is also less likely to taste warmed-over. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Aging. Hanging fresh meat exposed to air in a cold room evaporates moisture and shrinks the meat slightly. At the same time, bacterial action on the surface of the meat breaks down proteins, producing an “aged” flavor. (See below, Food/drug interactions.) Curing. Salt-curing preserves meat through osmosis, the physical reaction in which liquids flow across a membrane, such as the wall of a cell, from a less dense to a more dense solu- tion. The salt or sugar used in curing dissolve in the liquid on the surface of the meat to make a solution that is more dense than the liquid inside the cells of the meat. Water flows out of the meat and out of the cells of any microorganisms living on the meat, killing the micro-organisms and protecting the meat from bacterial damage. Salt-cured meat is higher in sodium than fresh meat. Smoking. Hanging fresh meat over an open fire slowly dries the meat, kills microorgan- isms on its surface, and gives the meat a rich, smoky flavor. The flavor varies with the wood used in the fire. Meats smoked over an open fire are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke, including a-benzopyrene. Artificial smoke flavoring is commercially treated to remove tar and a-benzopyrene. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Treating and/or preventing iron deficiency. Without meat in the diet, it is virtually impossible for an adult woman to meet her iron requirement without supplements. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Like all foods from animals, game meats are a source of cholesterol. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the National Cholesterol Education Project recommends following the Step I and Step II diets. The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200 –239 mg/dL. The Step II diet provides 25– 35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cho- lesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions: •  Existing cardiovascular disease •  High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol) •  Obesity •  Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus) •  Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk fac- tors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) Food-borne illness. Improperly cooked meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 has been linked to a number of fatalities in several parts of the United States. In addition, meat con- taminated with other bacteria, viruses, or parasites poses special problems for people with a weakened immune system: the very young, the very old, cancer chemotherapy patients, and people with HIV. Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 140°F should destroy Salmo- nella and Campylobacter jejuni; to 165°F, E. coli, and to 212°F, Listeria monocytogenes. Decline in kidney function. Proteins are nitrogen compounds. When metabolized, they yield ammonia that is excreted through the kidneys. In laboratory animals, a sustained high-pro- tein diet increases the flow of blood through the kidneys, accelerating the natural age-related decline in kidney function. Some experts suggest that this may also occur in human beings. Food/Drug Interactions Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Meat “tenderized” with papaya or a papain powder can interact with the class of antidepressant drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibi- tors. Papain meat tenderizers work by breaking up the long chains of protein molecules. One by-product of this process is tyramine, a substance that constructs blood vessels and raises blood pressure. M AO inhibitors inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine. If you eat a food such as papain-tenderized meat, which is high in tyramine, while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Low Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: Low Carbohydrates: None Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: None Major mineral contribution: None About the Nutrients in This Food Although gelatin is made from the collagen (connective tissue) of cattle hides and bones or pig skin, its proteins are limited in the essential acid tryptophan, which is destroyed when the bones and skin are treated with acid, and is deficient in several others, including lysine. In fact, gelatin’s proteins are of such poor quality that, unlike other foods of animal origin (meat, milk), gelatin cannot sustain life. Laboratory rats fed a diet in which gelatin was the primary protein did not grow as they should; half died within 48 days, even though the gelatin was supplemented with some of the essential amino acids. Plain gelatin has no carbohydrates and fiber. It is low in fat. Flavored gel- atin desserts, however, are high in carbohydrates because of the added sugar. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With a protein food rich in complete proteins. Gelatin desserts whipped with milk fit the bill. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-carbohydrate diet (gelatin desserts prepared with sugar) Low-sodium diet (commercial gelatin powders) Sucrose-free diet (gelatin desserts prepared with sugar) * Values are for prepared unsweetened gelat in. Buying This Food Look for: Tightly sealed, clean boxes. Storing This Food Store gelatin boxes in a cool, dry cabinet. Preparing This Food Commercial unflavored gelatin comes in premeasured 1-tablespoon packets. One tablespoon of gelatin will thicken about two cups of water. To combine the gelatin and water, first heat ¾ cup water to boiling. While it is heating, add the gelatin to ¼ cup cold liquid and let it absorb moisture until it is translucent. Then add the boiling water. (Flavored fruit gelatins can be dissolved directly in hot water.) What Happens When You Cook This Food When you mix gelatin with hot water, its protein molecules create a network that stiffens into a stable, solid gel as it squeezes out moisture. The longer the gel sits, the more intermo- lecular bonds it forms, the more moisture it loses and the firmer it becomes. A day-old gel is much firmer than one you’ve just made. Gelatin is used as a thickener in prepared foods and can be used at home to thicken sauces. Flavored gelatin dessert powders have less stiffening power than plain gelatin because some of their protein has been replaced by sugar. To build a layered gelatin mold, let each layer harden before you add the next.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

The message set out sequentially along the human CHROMOSOMES. The human gene map is being constructed through the work of the international, collaborative HUMAN GENOME project; so far, only part of the code has been translated and this is the part that occurs in the GENES. Genes are responsible for the PROTEIN synthesis of the cell (see CELLS): they instruct the cell how to make a particular polypeptide chain for a particular protein.

Genes carry, in coded form, the detailed speci?cations for the thousands of kinds of protein molecules required by the cell for its existence, for its enzymes, for its repair work and for its reproduction. These proteins are synthesised from the 20 natural AMINO ACIDS, which are uniform throughout nature and which exist in the cell cytoplasm as part of the metabolic pool. The protein molecule consists of amino acids joined end to end to form long polypeptide chains. An average chain contains 100–300 amino acids. The sequence of bases in the nucleic acid chain of the gene corresponds in some fundamental way to the sequence of amino acids in the protein molecule, and hence it determines the structure of the particular protein. This is the genetic code. Deoxyribonucleic acid (see DNA) is the bearer of this genetic information.

DNA has a long backbone made up of repeating groups of phosphate and sugar deoxyribose. To this backbone, four bases are attached as side groups at regular intervals. These four bases are the four letters used to spell out the genetic message: they are adenine, thymine, guanine and cystosine. The molecule of the DNA is made up of two chains coiled round a common axis to form what is called a double helix. The two chains are held together by hydrogen bonds between pairs of bases. Since adenine only pairs with thymine, and guanine only with cystosine, the sequences of bases in one chain ?xes the sequence in the other. Several hundred bases would be contained in the length of DNA of a typical gene. If the message of the DNA-based sequences is a continuous succession of thymine, the RIBOSOME will link together a series of the amino acid, phenylalanine. If the base sequence is a succession of cytosine, the ribosome will link up a series of prolines. Thus, each amino acid has its own particular code of bases. In fact, each amino acid is coded by a word consisting of three adjacent bases. In addition to carrying genetic information, DNA is able to synthesise or replicate itself and so pass its information on to daughter cells.

All DNA is part of the chromosome and so remains con?ned to the nucleus of the cell (except in the mitochondrial DNA). Proteins are synthesised by the ribosomes which are in the cytoplasm. DNA achieves control over pro-tein production in the cytoplasm by directing the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (see RNA). Most of the DNA in a cell is inactive, otherwise the cell would synthesise simultaneously every protein that the individual was capable of forming. When part of the DNA structure becomes ‘active’, it acts as a template for the ribonucleic acid, which itself acts as a template for protein synthesis when it becomes attached to the ribosome.

Ribonucleic acid exists in three forms. First ‘messenger RNA’ carries the necessary ‘message’ for the synthesis of a speci?c protein, from the nucleus to the ribosome. Second, ‘transfer RNA’ collects the individual amino acids which exist in the cytoplasm as part of the metabolic pool and carries them to the ribosome. Third, there is RNA in the ribosome itself. RNA has a similar structure to DNA but the sugar is ribose instead of deoxyribose and uracil replaces the base thymine. Before the ribosome can produce the proteins, the amino acids must be lined up in the correct order on the messenger RNA template. This alignment is carried out by transfer RNA, of which there is a speci?c form for each individual amino acid. Transfer RNA can not only recognise its speci?c amino acid, but also identify the position it is required to occupy on the messenger RNA template. This is because each transfer RNA has its own sequence of bases and recognises its site on the messenger RNA by pairing bases with it. The ribosome then travels along the chain of messenger RNA and links the amino acids, which have thus been arranged in the requisite order, by peptide bonds and protein is released.

Proteins are important for two main reasons. First, all the enzymes of living cells are made of protein. One gene is responsible for one enzyme. Genes thus control all the biochemical processes of the body and are responsible for the inborn di?erence between human beings. Second, proteins also ful?l a structural role in the cell, so that genes controlling the synthesis of structural proteins are responsible for morphological di?erences between human beings.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A protein which, when it combines with haem, forms HAEMOGLOBIN – the molecule found in the red blood cell that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide.... Medical Dictionary

Herbal Medical

A plant compound containing one or more alcohols or sugars and a biologically active compound. The sugar part is called a glycone, the other stuff is called an aglycone. The important things to remember about some glycosides is that they may pass through much of the intestinal tract, with the hydrolysis of the molecule only occurring in the brush borders of the small intestine. The result is that the bioactive part, the aglycone, is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, and is often not floating around the intestinal tract contents at all. Quinones are irritating and even toxic when ingested, but when taken as glycosides, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, where they are not dangerous (in moderation), and get excreted in the urine, where they inhibit infections. Plants like Madrone, Uva Ursi, and Manzanita work in this fashion. Some plant-derived heart medicines are only safe in proper doses because they, too, are glycosides, and they can be carried safely bound to proteins in the bloodstream, whereas if the aglycone were in the free form in the gut it might be either toxic or be digested directly into an inactive form.... Herbal Medical

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

(Ugli fruit) Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Low Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Grapefruit and ugli fruit (a cross between the grapefruit and the tangerine) have moderate amounts of dietary fiber and, like all citrus fruits, are most prized for their vitamin C. Pink or red grapefruits have moderate amounts of vitamin A. One-half medium (four-inch diameter) pink grapefruit has 1.4 g dietary fiber, 1,187 IU vitamin A (51 percent of the R DA for a woman, 40 percent of the R DA for a man), and 44 mg vitamin C (59 percent of the R DA for a woman, 49 percent of the R DA for a man). One half medium (3.75-inch diameter) white grapefruit has 1.3 g dietary fiber, 39 IU vitamin A (2 percent of the R DA for a woman, 1 percent of the R DA for a man), and 39 mg vitamin C (52 percent of the R DA for a woman, 43 percent of the R DA for a man). Pink and red grapefruits also contain lycopene, a red carotenoid (plant pigment), a strong antioxidant that appears to lower the risk of cancer of the prostate. The richest source of lycopene is cooked tom atoes. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh fruit or fresh-squeezed juice. Buying This Food Look for: Firm fruit that is heavy for its size, which means that it will be juicy. The skin should be thin, smooth, and fine-grained. Most grapefruit have yellow skin that, depending on the variety, may be tinged with red or green. In fact, a slight greenish tint may mean that the grapefruit is high in sugar. Ugli fruit, which looks like misshapen, splotched grapefruit, is yellow with green patches and bumpy skin. Avoid: Grapefruit or ugli fruit with puff y skin or those that feel light for their size; the flesh inside is probably dry and juiceless. Storing This Food Store grapefruit either at room temperature (for a few days) or in the refrigerator. Refrigerate grapefruit juice in a tightly closed glass bottle with very little air space at the top. As you use up the juice, transfer it to a smaller bottle, again with very little air space at the top. The aim is to prevent the juice from coming into contact with oxygen, which destroys vitamin C. (Most plastic juice bottles are oxygen-permeable.) Properly stored and protected from oxygen, fresh grapefruit juice can hold its vitamin C for several weeks. Preparing This Food Grapefruit are most flavorful at room temperature, which liberates the aromatic molecules that give them their characteristic scent and taste. Before cutting into the grapefruit, rinse it under cool running water to flush debris off the peel. To section grapefruit, cut a slice from the top, then cut off the peel in strips—starting at the top and going down—or peel it in a spiral fashion. You can remove the bitter white membrane, but some of the vitamin C will go with it. Finally, slice the sections apart. Or you can simply cut the grapefruit in half and scoop out the sections with a curved, serrated grapefruit knife. What Happens When You Cook This Food Broiling a half grapefruit or poaching grapefruit sections reduces the fruit’s supply of vitamin C, which is heat-sensitive. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Commercially prepared juices. How well a commercially prepared juice retains its vitamin C depends on how it is prepared, stored, and packaged. Commercial flash-freezing preserves as much as 95 percent of the vitamin C in fresh grapefruit juices. Canned juice stored in the refrigerator may lose only 2 percent of its vitamin C in three months. Prepared, pasteurized “fresh” juices lose vitamin C because they are sold in plastic bottles or waxed-paper cartons that let oxygen in. Commercially prepared juices are pasteurized to stop the natural enzyme action that would otherwise turn sugars to alcohols. Pasteurization also protects juices from potentially harmful bacterial and mold contamination. Following several deaths attributed to unpas- teurized apple juices containing E. coli O157:H7, the FDA ruled that all fruit and vegetable juices must carry a warning label telling you whether the juice has been pasteurized. Around the year 2000, all juices must be processed to remove or inactivate harmful bacteria. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Antiscorbutic. All citrus fruits are superb sources of vitamin C, the vitamin that prevents or cures scurvy, the vitamin C-deficiency disease. Increased absorption of supplemental or dietary iron. If you eat foods rich in vitamin C along with iron supplements or foods rich in iron, the vitamin C will enhance your body’s ability to absorb the iron. Wound healing. Your body needs vitamin C in order to convert the amino acid proline into hydroxyproline, an essential ingredient in collagen, the protein needed to form skin, ten- dons, and bones. As a result people with scurvy do not heal quickly, a condition that can be remedied with vitamin C, which cures the scurvy and speeds healing. Whether taking extra vitamin C speeds healing in healthy people remains to be proved. Possible inhibition of virus that causes chronic hepatitis C infection. In Januar y 2008, research- ers at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (Boston) published a report in the medical journal Hepatology detailing the effect of naringenin, a compound in grapefruit, on the behavior of hepatitis viruses in liver cells. In laborator y studies, naringenin appeared to inhibit the ability of the virus to multiply and/or pass out from the liver cells. To date, there are no studies detailing the effect of naringenin in human beings with hepatitis C. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Contact dermatitis. The essential oils in the peel of citrus fruits may cause skin irritation in sensitive people. Food/Drug Interactions Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and others. Taking aspirin or NSAIDs with acidic foods such as grapefruit may intensif y the drug’s ability to irritate your stomach and cause gastric bleeding. Antihistamines, anticoagulants, benzodiazepines (tranquilizers or sleep medications), calcium channel blockers (blood pressure medication), cyclosporine (immunosuppressant drug used in organ transplants), theophylline (asthma drug). Drinking grapefruit juice with a wide variety of drugs ranging from antihistamines to blood pressure medication appears to reduce the amount of the drug your body metabolizes and eliminates. The “grapefruit effect” was first identified among people taking the antihypertensive drugs felodipine (Plendil) and nifedip- ine (Adalat, Procardia). It is not yet known for certain exactly what the active substance in the juice is. One possibility, however, is bergamottin, a naturally occurring chemical in grapefruit juice known to inactivate cytochrome P450 3A4, a digestive enzyme needed to convert many drugs to water-soluble substances you can flush out of your body. Without an effective supply of cytochrome P450 3A4, the amount of a drug circulating in your body may rise to dangerous levels. Reported side effects include lower blood pressure, increased heart rate, headache, flushing, and lightheadedness. Some Drugs Known to Interact with Grapefruit Juice* Drug Class  Generic (Brand name) Antianxiety drug  Diazepam ( Valium) Antiarrhythmics  Amiodarone (Cordarone) Blood-pressure drugs  Felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), verapamil ( Verelan) Cholesterol-lowering drugs  Atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), simvastatin/ezetimibe ( Vytorin) Immune Suppressants  Cyclosporine (Neoral), tacrolimus (Prograf ) Impotence Drug  Sildenafil ( Viagra) Pain Medication Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose) * This list may grow as new research appears.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Medical Dictionary

A technique similar to HAEMODIALYSIS. Blood is dialysed using ultra?ltration through a membrane permeable to water and small molecules (molecular weight <12,000). Physiological saline solution is simultaneously reinfused.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

The colouring compound which produces the red colour of blood. Haemoglobin is a chromoprotein, made up of a protein called globin and the iron-containing pigment, haemin. When separated from the red blood corpuscles – each of which contains about 600 million haemoglobin molecules – it is crystalline in form.

Haemoglobin exists in two forms: simple haemoglobin, found in venous blood; and oxy-haemoglobin, which is a loose compound with oxygen, found in arterial blood after the blood has come into contact with the air in the lungs. This oxyhaemoglobin is again broken down as the blood passes through the tissues, which take up the oxygen for their own use. This is the main function of haemoglobin: to act as a carrier of oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues of the body. When the haemoglobin leaves the lungs, it is 97 per cent saturated with oxygen; when it comes back to the lungs in the venous blood, it is 70 per cent saturated. The oxygen content of 100 millilitres of blood leaving the lungs is 19·5 millilitres, and that of venous blood returning to the lungs, 14·5 millilitres. Thus, each 100 millilitres of blood delivers 5 millilitres of oxygen to the tissues of the body. Human male blood contains 13–18 grams of haemoglobin per 100 millilitres; in women, there are 12–16 grams per 100 millilitres. A man weighing 70 kilograms (154 pounds) has around 770 grams of haemoglobin circulating in his red blood corpuscles.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Abnormal HAEMOGLOBIN formation occurs in the haemoglobinopathies, which are hereditary haemolytic anaemias, genetically determined and related to race. The haemoglobin may be abnormal because: (1) there is a defect in the synthesis of normal adult haemoglobin as in THALASSAEMIA, when there may be an absence of one or both of the polypeptide chains characteristic of normal adult haemoglobin; or (2) there is an abnormal form of haemoglobin such as haemoglobin S which results in sickle-cell disease (see ANAEMIA). This abnormality may involve as little as one amino acid of the 300 in the haemoglobin molecule. In sickle-cell haemoglobin, one single amino-acid molecule – that of glutamic acid – is replaced by another – that of valine; this results in such a de?cient end product that the ensuing disease is frequently severe.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A thick colourless liquid with the formula H2O2 (water is H2O, possessing only one oxygen atom in its molecule). Available in solution with water and as a cream, it is readily reduced to water – giving up oxygen in the process, which causes the characteristic frothing seen when used. H2O2 has antiseptic and deodorising properties; thus it is used as a mouthwash, to clean wounds and ulcers, and occasionally to disinfect body cavities at operation. It is also a bleach.... Medical Dictionary

Herbal Medical

The body’s defence against foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Immunity also protects against drugs, toxins and cancer cells. It is partly non-speci?c – that is, it does not depend on previous exposure to the foreign substance. For example, micro-organisms are engulfed and inactivated by polymorphonuclear LEUCOCYTES as a ?rst line of defence before speci?c immunity has developed.

Acquired immunity depends upon the immune system recognising a substance as foreign the ?rst time it is encountered, storing this information so that it can mount a reaction the next time the substance enters the body. This is the usual outcome of natural infection or prophylactic IMMUNISATION. What happens is that memory of the initiating ANTIGEN persists in selected lymphocytes (see LYMPHOCYTE). Further challenge with the same antigen stimulates an accelerated, more vigorous secondary response by both T- and B-lymphocytes (see below). Priming the immune system in this manner forms the physiological basis for immunisation programmes.

Foreign substances which can provoke an immune response are termed ‘antigens’. They are usually proteins but smaller molecules such as drugs and chemicals can also induce an immune response. Proteins are taken up and processed by specialised cells called ‘antigenpresenting cells’, strategically sited where microbial infection may enter the body. The complex protein molecules are broken down into short amino-acid chains (peptides – see PEPTIDE) and transported to the cell surface where they are presented by structures called HLA antigens (see HLA SYSTEM).

Foreign peptides presented by human leucocyte antigen (HLA) molecules are recognised by cells called T-lymphocytes. These originate in the bone marrow and migrate to the THYMUS GLAND where they are educated to distinguish between foreign peptides, which elicit a primary immune response, and self-antigens (that is, constituents of the person themselves) which do not. Non-responsiveness to self-antigens is termed ‘tolerance’ (see AUTOIMMUNITY). Each population or clone of T-cells is uniquely responsive to a single peptide sequence because it expresses a surface molecule (‘receptor’) which ?ts only that peptide. The responsive T-cell clone induces a speci?c response in other T-and B-lymphocyte populations. For example, CYTOTOXIC T-cells penetrate infected tissues and kill cells which express peptides derived from invading micro-organisms, thereby helping to eliminate the infection.

B-lymphocytes secrete ANTIBODIES which are collectively termed IMMUNOGLOBULINS (Ig)

– see also GAMMA-GLOBULIN. Each B-cell population (clone) secretes antibody uniquely speci?c for antigens encountered in the blood, extracellular space, and the LUMEN of organs such as the respiratory passages and gastrointestinal tract.

Antibodies belong to di?erent Ig classes; IgM antibodies are synthesised initially, followed by smaller and therefore more penetrative IgG molecules. IgA antibodies are adapted to cross the surfaces of mucosal tissues so that they can adhere to organisms in the gut, upper and lower respiratory passages, thereby preventing their attachment to the mucosal surface. IgE antibodies also contribute to mucosal defence but are implicated in many allergic reactions (see ALLERGY).

Antibodies are composed of constant portions, which distinguish antibodies of di?erent class; and variable portions, which confer unique antigen-binding properties on the product of each B-cell clone. In order to match the vast range of antigens that the immune system has to combat, the variable portions are synthesised under the instructions of a large number of encoding GENES whose products are assembled to make the ?nal antibody. The antibody produced by a single B-cell clone is called a monoclonal antibody; these are now synthesised and used for diagnostic tests and in treating certain diseases.

Populations of lymphocytes with di?erent functions, and other cells engaged in immune responses, carry distinctive protein markers. By convention these are classi?ed and enumerated by their ‘CD’ markers, using monoclonal antibodies speci?c for each marker.

Immune responses are in?uenced by cytokines which function as HORMONES acting over a short range to accelerate the activation and proliferation of other cell populations contributing to the immune response. Speci?c immune responses collaborate with nonspeci?c defence mechanisms. These include the COMPLEMENT SYSTEM, a protein-cascade reaction designed to eliminate antigens neutralised by antibodies and to recruit cell populations which kill micro-organisms.... Herbal Medical

Medical Dictionary

The characteristic of a substance that can provoke an immune response (see IMMUNITY). This includes how ‘foreign’ a substance entering or contacting the body is; route of entry; dose; number and period of exposure to antigen; and the genetic make-up of the host. The characteristics of molecules that determine immunogenicity are:

Foreignness: molecules recognised as ‘self’ are generally not immunogenic; the body tolerates these self-molecules. To be immunogenic, molecules must be recognised as non-self or foreign.

Molecular size: proteins with high molecular weights (over 100,000) are the most e?ective immunogens; those below 10,000 are weakly immunogenic; and small ones, for example, AMINO ACIDS, are non-immunogenic.

Chemical complexity: the greater the chemical complexity, the more immunogenic the substance.

Dosage, route and timing of antigen administration: all these are important factors.... Medical Dictionary

Herbal Manual

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Papilionaceae

San: Yashtimadhu Hin: Jathimadh Mal: Irattimadhuram Tam:Athimadhuram

Tel: Yashtimadhukam

Ben: Yashtomadhu Pun:Muleti

Importance: Liquorice or Muleti is a perennial herb or undershrub about 1m high. Its dried peeled or unpeeled underground stems and roots constitute the drug which is an important constituent of all cough and catarrh syrups, throat lozenges and pastilles. This has been used in medicine for more than 4000 years. Hippocrates (400 BC) mentioned its use as a remedy for ulcers and quenching of thirst. Dioscorides, the father of Greek medicine described this drug in detail and considered it useful for maintaining shape of arteries and in burning stomach, trouble of liver and kidney, scabies, healing of wounds and as a remedy for eye diseases. It has been used in Arab system of medicine for more than 600 years from where it has been adopted to modern medicine (Gibson, 1978).

The commercial name of the dried rhizome and root of the plant is liquorice which is used as flavouring agent and the taste coorigent in pharmaceutical and confectionery industries and its products are widely reported to be useful in ulcer therapy. Glycyrrhizin, a triterpene glucoside, is the principal constituent of G. glabra which is 50 times sweeter than sugar.

Distribution: Liquorice is native to Mediterranean region, South Europe and Middle East. It is widely distributed in Spain, Italy, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, parts of USSR and China. However its cultivation is limited to small areas in USSR, UK, and USA. In India, it grows in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Semi arid areas of Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarath states are suitable for the cultivation of Liquorice. However, its commercial cultivation has not yet been possible and the domestic requirement is largely met through imports.

Botany: Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn. belongs to the family Papilionaceae. The word Glycyrrhiza is of Greek origin meaning ‘sweet’ and glabra means ‘smooth’ which refers to smooth fruit of the species. This is a tall perennial, self pollinated herb or undershrub about 1m high with long cylindrical burrowing rootstock and horizontal creeping stolons which reach 1.5-1.8m in length. Leaves are alternate, pinnate with 9-17 leaflets. Leaflets are yellowish-green, 2.5-5cm long, ovate and obtuse. Flowers are pale blue arranged in a raceme and 1.25cm long. Calyx is glandular and pubescent. The pods are glabrous, red to brown having 3-4 seeds. Rhizome is soft, flexible and fibrous with light yellow colour and a characteristic sweet taste.

Agrotechnology: This plant thrives well in subtropical areas with very warm summers and cool winters with a rainfall not exceeding 500mm. Semi -arid and arid areas in subtropical zones are not suitable for the cultivation of this crop. It does not tolerate high humidity and waterlogged conditions. Well drained light loam soils which are rich in calcium and magnesium with slightly alkaline pH and free from stones are ideal for this crop. There are a number of varieties of this crop among which Spanish, Russian and Persian liquorice are quite common. Commercial varieties are Typica, Regel and Herd. This is propagated by seed, but usually multiplied vegetatively either through crown cuttings or stolon pieces. In the case of crown cuttings, 10-15cm long crown pieces with 2-3 buds are planted vertically at a distance of 0.6-0.7m in rows 1-1.5m apart. However, most of the liquorice is propagated through stolon pieces of the above size planted horizontally, preferably on ridges during spring at the same distance as above. Rapid clonal propagation is also possible by tissue culture technique. Murashige and Skoog’s medium supplemented with 6-benzylaminopurine and indole-3-acetic acid favoured multiple shoot production without any intervening callus phase. These regenerated plantlets can be transferred to earthen pots in the glass house and after a brief hardening phase, these are transplanted in the field with a high rate (90-95%) of survival. This plant normally does not require much fertilizers but in deficient soils, it is better to apply 10-15 tonnes FYM per hectare before planting. The field should be immediately irrigated after planting in spring and after the crop has sprouted, it requires very little irrigation. Space between the rows should be kept free from weeds. Short term vegetables like carrot or cabbage can be planted between the rows for additional income. In order to produce good rhizome, flowering shoots are clipped. No serious disease except leaf spot caused by Cercospora cavarae has been reported in this crop. Roots are ready for harvesting after 3-4 years. The root is dug when the top has dried during autumn (November- December). A trench 60cm deep is dug along the ridges and the entire root is lifted. Broken parts of the root left in the soil, sprout again and give another crop after 2-3 years. Thus liquorice once planted properly can be harvested for 10-15 years.

Postharvest technology: Harvested roots are cut into pieces of 15-20cm long and 1-2cm in diameter. They are washed and dried upto 6-8% moisture in the sun and shade alternately which reduces the weight by 50%. The average yield of dried roots varies from 1-3 tonnes per hectare depending on the variety, soil and climatic conditions.

Properties and activity: Roots gave a number of compounds the most important bieng a glucoside, glycyrrhizin which gave glycyrrhetinic acid on enzyme hydrolysis. Root also contains flavans, flavones, iso-flavanoes and coumarins including a 4-methyl coumarin, liqcoumarin, glabridin, glabrene, 4’-0-methyl and 3’-methoxyglabridin, formononetin, salicylic acid, 0-acetyl salicylic acid which has been isolated first time from nature, hispaglabridins A and B and 4’0- methylglabridin.On hydrolysis it also gave two molecules of d-glucuronic acid, each linked with 1-2 linkage to 3-hydroxyl of the sapogenin (Elgamal et al, 1969) Glycyrrhizin is antidiuretic, antiinflammatory, expectorant, antiulcerous, antihistamine. Glycyrrhizic acid is antiviral. The roots are emetic, tonic, diuretic, demulcent, mild laxative, aphrodisiac, trichogenous, expectorant, emmenagogue, alexipharmic, alterant and intellect promoting.... Herbal Manual

Medical Dictionary

An optical instrument comprising adjustable magnifying lenses that greatly enlarge a small object under study – for example, an insect, blood cells, or bacteria. Some microscopes use electron beams to magnify minute objects such as chromosomes, crystals, or even large molecules. Optical microscopes are also used for MICROSURGERY when the area being operated on is otherwise inaccessible: for example, in eye and inner ear surgery; for the removal of tumours from the brain or spinal cord; and for resuturing damaged blood vessels and nerves.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

The study of molecules (see MOLECULE) that are part of the structure of living organisms.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A sugar having six carbon atoms in the molecule, such as glucose, galactose, and laevulose.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A MALIGNANT disorder of PLASMA cells, derived from B-lymphocytes (see LYMPHOCYTE). In most patients the BONE MARROW is heavily in?ltrated with atypical, monoclonal plasma cells, which gradually replace the normal cell lines, inducing ANAEMIA, LEUCOPENIA, and THROMBOCYTOPENIA. Bone absorption occurs, producing di?use osteoporosis (see under BONE, DISORDERS OF). In some cases only part of the immunoglobulin molecule is produced by the tumour cells, appearing in the urine as Bence Jones PROTEINURIA.

The disease is rare under the age of 30, frequency increasing with age to peak between 60 and 70 years. There may be a long preclinical phase, sometimes as long as 25 years. When symptoms do occur, they tend to re?ect bone involvement, reduced immune function, renal failure, anaemia or hyperviscosity of the blood. Vertebral collapse is common, with nerve root pressure and reduced stature. The disease is eventually fatal, infection being a common cause of death. Local skeletal problems should be treated with RADIOTHERAPY, and the general disease with CHEMOTHERAPY

– chie?y the ALKYLATING AGENTS melphalan or cyclophosphamide. Red-blood-cell TRANSFUSION is usually required, together with plasmapheresis (see PLASMA EXCHANGE), and orthopaedic surgery may be necessary following fractures.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Each kidney comprises over a million of these microscopic units which regulate and control the formation of URINE. A tuft of capillaries invaginates the Bowmans capsule, which is the blind-ending tube (GLOMERULUS) of each nephron. Plasma is ?ltered out of blood and through the Bowmans capsule into the renal tubule. As the ?ltrate passes along the tubule, most of the water and electrolytes are reabsorbed. The composition is regulated with the retention or addition of certain molecules (e.g. urea, drugs, etc.). The tubules eventually empty the ?ltrate, which by now is urine, into the renal pelvis from where it ?ows down the ureters into the bladder. (See KIDNEYS.)... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

The area where a motor NERVE ends close to the MUSCLE membrane so can initiate muscle contraction. The motor-nerve ending is separated from the motor end plate by the synaptic cleft which is only 50–70 nm wide. When a nerve impulse arrives at the motor-nerve ending, molecules of ACETYLCHOLINE are released which cross the synaptic cleft and attach to receptors on the motor end plate. This initiates depolarisation of the muscle which in turn initiates the process of contraction. Acetylcholinesterase (an ENZYME) rapidly breaks down the molecules of acetylcholine, thus ending their action and freeing the receptor in preparation for the next impulse.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A chemical substance which transmits the action of a NERVE to a cell (see CELLS). It is released from nerve-endings and transmits the impulse across synapses (see SYNAPSE) to other nerves. In the central nervous system the substances acting as neurotransmitters include ACETYLCHOLINE, NORADRENALINE, DOPAMINE and SEROTONIN. The main transmitter in the peripheral system is acetylcholine, while for the sympathetic system it is noradrenaline. In recent years a new group of neurotransmitters called neuropeptides has been identi?ed, comprising large protein molecules. One of the best-known is that of endorphins, which the brain uses to control pain. (See also NEURON(E); NERVOUS SYSTEM; PAIN.)... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

An alkaloid which is the principal addictive agent in TOBACCO. The small amount of nicotine in a single cigarette is su?cient to stimulate mental and bodily activities. In larger quantities it acts as a depressant or narcotic – habitual smokers may ?nd its e?ect sedating. Nicotine works by stimulating the production of a chemical called DOPAMINE, a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger between nerve cells. Nicotine mimics the action of a neurotransmitter called ACETYLCHOLINE. Nerve cells that produce dopamine have acetylcholine-receptor molecules on their surfaces; when these ‘nicotine-like’ receptors are occupied by acetylcholine molecules, a cell is prompted to produce dopamine. So nicotine itself can arti?cially stimulate dopamine production. Dopamine is part of the neuronal circuitry that plays a part in the body’s perception of pleasure, which is why smoking is enjoyed by many people.... Medical Dictionary

Herbal Medical

A compound or molecule that contains nitrogen; in my context, a substance that is or was a part of protein metabolism.... Herbal Medical

Herbal Medical

A molecule that is formed from a structural protein that is combined with nucleic acid, and generally found in cell nuclei and other proliferative points in cells. Upon cell death, nucleoproteins, unlike others, cannot be catabolized and recycled efficiently; instead, part of the protein is degraded to purines, and thence to uric acid. Uric acid, unlike urea, is an excretory dead end.... Herbal Medical

Medical Dictionary

A rare condition in which the ligaments and cartilages of the body, and sometimes the conjunctiva (see EYE), become stained by dark brown or black pigment. This may occur in chronic carbolic poisoning, or in a congenital disorder of metabolism in which the individual is unable to break down completely the tyrosine of the protein molecule – the intermediate product, homogentisic acid, appearing in the urine, this being known as alkaptonuria.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Natural or synthetic substances that induce the changes in the UTERUS that precede OVULATION. They are also responsible for the development of the secondary sex characteristics in women: that is, the physical changes that take place in a girl at puberty, such as enlargement of the BREASTS, appearance of pubic and axillary hair, and the deposition of fat on the thighs and hips. They are used in the management of disturbances of the MENOPAUSE, and also in the treatment of cancer of the prostate (see PROSTATE GLAND, DISEASES OF) and certain cases of cancer of the breast.

The oestrogenic hormones of the ovary are OESTRADIOL and oestrone. The rapid degradation of natural oestrogens limits their use as therapeutic agents. Chemical substitution of the steroid molecule, as in ethinyl oestradiol, or the use of a non-steroidal synthetic oestrogen such as STILBOESTROL, greatly reduces the rate of degradation and enhances the therapeutic action. A further development has been the use of compounds which are not actually oestrogenic themselves, but which are slowly metabolised to oestrogenic substances, or substances such as chlorotrianisene, which are taken up in the body fat and then slowly released into the circulation. There is in fact little to choose between the various synthetic oestrogens. Ethinyl oestradiol is the most potent oral oestrogen, being 20 times more active than stilboestrol.

Other commonly used oestrogen drugs are dienoestrol and oestrol. The use of oestrogens in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is dealt with in the entry on the MENOPAUSE.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A molecule that causes biological oxidation in which OXYGEN is added to or electrons removed from a substance. Oxygen-free radicals are highly toxic atoms and chemical groups produced by intracellular activity in various disease processes and by poisons, radiation, smoking and other pollutants. Anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene can neutralise these radicals.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage (International Association for the Study of Pain, 1979). Pain is perceived in the cerebral cortex (see BRAIN) and is always subjective. Sometimes sensations that would usually be benign can be perceived as painful – for example, allodynia (extreme tenderness of the skin) or dysaesthesia (unpleasant skin sensations resulting from partial damage to sensory nerve ?bres, as in herpes zoster, or shingles).

Acute pain is caused by internal or external injury or disease. It warns the individual that harm or damage is occurring and stimulates them to take avoiding or protective action. With e?ective treatment of disease or injury and/or the natural healing process, the pain resolves – although some acute pain syndromes may develop into chronic pain (see below). Stimuli which are su?ciently intense potentially to damage tissue will cause the stimulation of speci?c receptors known as NOCICEPTORS. Damage to tissues releases substances which stimulate the nociceptors. On the surface of the body there is a high density of nociceptors, and each area of the body is supplied by nerves from a particular spinal segment or level: this allows the brain to localise the source of the pain accurately. Pain from internal structures and organs is more di?cult to localise and is often felt in some more super?cial structure. For example, irritation of the DIAPHRAGM is often felt as pain in the shoulder, as the nerves from both structures enter the SPINAL CORD at the same level (often the structures have developed from the same parts of the embryo). This is known as referred pain.

The impulses from nociceptors travel along nerves to the spinal cord. Within this there is modulation of the pain ‘messages’ by other incoming sensory modalities, as well as descending input from the brain (Melzack and Walls’ gate-control theory). This involves morphine-like molecules (the ENDORPHINS and ENKEPHALINS) amongst many other pain-transmitting and pain-modulating substances. The modi?ed input then passes up the spinal cord through the thalamus to the cerebral cortex. Thus the amount of pain ‘felt’ may be altered by the emotional state of the individual and by other incoming sensations. Once pain is perceived, then ‘action’ is taken; this involves withdrawal of the area being damaged, vocalisation, AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM response and examination of the painful area. Analysis of the event using memory will occur and appropriate action be taken to reduce pain and treat the damage.

Chronic pain may be de?ned in several ways: for example, pain resistant to one month’s treatment, or pain persisting one month beyond the usual course of an acute illness or injury. Some doctors may also arbitrarily choose the ?gure of six months. Chronic pain di?ers from acute pain: the physiological response is di?erent and pain may either be caused by stimuli which do not usually cause the perception of pain, or may arise within nerves or the central nervous system with no apparent external stimulation. It seldom has a physiological protective function in the way acute pain has. Also, chronic pain may be self-perpetuating: if individuals gain a psychological advantage from having pain, they may continue to do so (e.g. gaining attention from family or health professionals, etc.). The nervous system itself alters when pain is long-standing in such a way that it becomes more sensitive to painful inputs and tends to perpetuate the pain.

Treatment The treatment of pain depends upon its nature and cause. Acute pain is generally treated by curing the underlying complaint and prescribing ANALGESICS or using local anaesthetic techniques (see ANAESTHESIA – Local anaesthetics). Many hospitals now have acute pain teams for the management of postoperative and other types of acute pain; chronic pain is often treated in pain clinics. Those involved may include doctors (in Britain, usually anaesthetists), nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists, physiotherapists and complementary therapists. Patients are usually referred from other hospital specialists (although some may be referred by GPs). They will usually have been given a diagnosis and exhausted the medical and surgical treatment of their underlying condition.

All the usual analgesics may be employed, and opioids are often used in the terminal treatment of cancer pain.

ANTICONVULSANTS and ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS are also used because they alter the transmission of pain within the central nervous system and may actually treat the chronic pain syndrome.

Many local anaesthetic techniques are used. Myofascial pain – pain a?ecting muscles and connective tissues – is treated by the injection of local anaesthetic into tender spots, and nerves may be blocked either as a diagnostic procedure or by way of treatment. Epidural anaesthetic injections are also used in the same way, and all these treatments may be repeated at intervals over many months in an attempt to cure or at least reduce the pain. For intractable pain, nerves are sometimes destroyed using injections of alcohol or PHENOL or by applying CRYOTHERAPY or radiofrequency waves. Intractable or terminal pain may be treated by destroying nerves surgically, and, rarely, the pain pathways within the spinal cord are severed by cordotomy (though this is generally only used in terminal care).

ACUPUNCTURE and TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL NERVE STIMULATION (TENS) are used for a variety of pain syndromes, particularly myofascial or musculoskeletal pain. It is thought that they work by increasing the release of endorphins and enkephalins (see above). It is possible to implant electrodes within the epidural space to stimulate directly the nerves as they traverse this space before passing into the spinal cord.

Physiotherapy is often used, particularly in the treatment of chronic backache, where pain may be reduced by improving posture and strengthening muscles with careful exercises. Relaxation techniques and psychotherapy are also used both to treat chronic pain and to help patients cope better with their disability.

Some types of chronic pain are caused by injury to sympathetic nerves or may be relieved by interrupting conduction in sympathetic nerves. This may be done in several ways. The nerves may be blocked using local anaesthetic or permanently destroyed using alcohol, phenol or by surgery.

Many of these techniques may be used in the management of cancer pain. Opioid drugs are often used by a variety of routes and methods, and management of these patients concentrates on the control of symptoms and on providing a good quality of life.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A LIPID, the molecule of which contains a chemical derivative of PHOSPHORUS called phosphate. This type of lipid, which includes cephalins, lecithins and plasmalogens, is found in all tissues and organs, especially the BRAIN. Phospholipids are produced in the LIVER and and take part in many of the body’s metabolic activities (see METABOLISM).... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A molecule in which several AMINO ACIDS are joined together by peptide bonds. PROTEIN molecules are polypeptides.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

An arti?cial replacement of a missing or malfunctioning body part. Examples include false legs or arms ?tted after AMPUTATION (see below); arti?cial heart valves; arti?cial heart devices; COCHLEAR IMPLANTS to improve hearing; a bio-arti?cial PANCREAS (containing live pancreatic cells from pigs) now under development to treat DIABETES MELLITUS; arti?cial bone; and (under development) arti?cal lungs. Cosmetic prostheses such as arti?cal eyes, teeth, noses and breasts are in widespread use.

Development of such mechanical and biomechanical devices points the way to a much wider use of e?ective prostheses, enabling people who would previously have died or been severely handicapped to lead normal or near normal lives. The technical hazards that have already been overcome provide a sound foundation for future successes. Progress so far in producing prostheses should also ensure that organ replacement is free from the serious ethical problems that surround the use of genetic manipulation to cure or prevent serious diseases (see ETHICS).

Limbs These are best made to meet the individual’s requirements but can be obtained ‘o? the shelf’. Arti?cial joints normally comprise complex mechanisms to stimulate ?exion and rotation movements. Leg prostheses are generally more useful than those for arms, because leg movements are easier to duplicate than those of the arm. Modern electronic circuitry that enables nerve impulses to be picked up and converted into appropriate movements is greatly improving the e?ectiveness of limb prostheses.

Eyes Arti?cial eyes are worn both for appearance and for psychological reasons. They are made of glass or plastic, and are thin shells of a boat-shape, representing the front half of the eye which has been removed. The stump which is left has still the eye-muscles in it, and so the arti?cial eye still has the power of moving with the other. A glass eye has to be replaced by a new one every year. Plastic eyes have the advantage of being more comfortable to wear, being more durable, and being unbreakable. Research is taking place aimed at creating a silicon chip that stimulates the visual cortex and thus helps to restore sight to the blind.

Dental prostheses is any arti?cial replacement of a tooth. There are three main types: a crown, a bridge and a denture. A crown is the replacement of the part of a tooth which sticks through the gum. It is ?xed to the remaining part of the tooth and may be made of metal, porcelain, plastic or a combination of these. A bridge is the replacement of two or three missing teeth and is usually ?xed in place. The replacement teeth are held in position by being joined to one or more crowns on the adjacent teeth. A denture is a removable prosthesis used to replace some or all the teeth. The teeth are made of plastic or porcelain and the base may be of plastic or metal. Removable teeth may be held more ?rmly by means of implants.

Heart The surgical replacement of stenosed or malfunctioning heart-valves with metal or plastic, human or pig valves has been routinely carried out for many years. So too has been the insertion into patients with abnormal heart rhythms of battery-driven arti?cial pacemakers (see CARDIAC PACEMAKER) to restore normal function. The replacement of a faulty heart with an arti?cial one is altogether more challenging. The ?rst working attempt to create an arti?cial heart took place in the early 1980s. Called the Jarvik-7, it had serious drawbacks: patients had to be permanently connected to apparatus the size of an anaesthetic trolley; and it caused deaths from infection and clotting of the blood. As a result, arti?cial hearts have been used primarily as bridging devices to keep patients alive until a suitable donor heart for transplantation can be found. Recent work in North America, however, is developing arti?cial hearts made of titanium and dacron. One type is planted into the chest cavity next to the patient’s own heart to assist it in its vital function of pumping blood around the body. Another replaces the heart completely. Eventually, it is probable that arti?cial hearts will replace heart transplants as the treatment of choice in patients with serious heart disorders.

Liver Arti?cial livers work in a similar way to kidney dialysis machines (see DIALYSIS). Blood is removed from the body and passed through a machine where it is cleaned and treated and then returned to the patient. The core of the device comprises several thousand ?exible membrane tubules on which live liver cells (from pigs or people) have been cultured. There is an exchange of biological molecules and water with the ‘circulating’ blood, and the membrane also screens the ‘foreign’ cells from the patient’s immune system, thus preventing any antagonistic immune reaction in the recipient.

Nose The making of a new nose is the oldest known operation in plastic surgery, Hindu records of such operations dating back to 1,000 BC. Loss of a nose may be due to eroding disease, war wounds, gun-shot wounds or dog bites. In essence the operation is the same as that practised a thousand years before Christ: namely the use of a skin graft, brought down from the forehead. Alternative sources of the skin graft today are skin from the arm, chest or abdomen. As a means of support, the new nose is built round a graft of bone or of cartilage from the ear.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A digestive ENZYME – also known as a proteolytic enzyme – that breaks down PROTEIN in food as part of the digestive process. The complex protein molecules are reduced to their constituent AMINO ACIDS.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

The mechanism by which complex PROTEIN molecules are broken down by digestive enzymes (see PROTEASE) in the stomach and small intestine. The constituent AMINO ACIDS are then absorbed into the bloodstream.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Energy in the form of waves or particles. Radiation is mainly electromagnetic and is broadly classi?ed as ionising and non-ionising. The former can propel ions from an atom; these have an electrical charge and can combine chemically with each other. Ionisation occurring in molecules that have a key function in living tissue can cause biological damage which may a?ect existing tissue or cause mutations in the GENES of germ-cell nuclei (see GAMETE; CELLS). Non-ionising radiation agitates the constituent atoms of nuclei but is insu?ciently powerful to produce ions.

Ionising radiation comprises X-RAYS, GAMMA RAYS and particle radiation. X-rays are part of the continuous electromagnetic-wave spectrum: this also includes gamma rays, infra-red radiation, ultraviolet light and visible light. They have a very short wavelength and very high frequency, and their ability to penetrate matter depends upon the electrical energy generating them. X-rays that are generated by 100,000 volts can pass through body tissue and are used to produce images – popularly known as X-rays. X-rays, generated at several million volts can destroy tissue and are used in RADIOTHERAPY for killing cancer cells. Gamma rays are similar to X-rays but are produced by the decay of radioactive materials. Particle radiation, which can be produced electrically or by radioactive decay, comprises parts of atoms which have mass as well as (usually) an electrical charge.

Non-ionising radiation includes ultraviolet light, radio waves, magnetic ?elds and ULTRASOUND. Magnetic ?elds are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, which is inaudible high-frequency sound waves, and is used for both diagnoses and treatment in medicine.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

(1) Organs, which may consist of one cell or a small group of cells, that respond to di?erent forms of external or internal stimuli by conveying impulses down nerves to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, alerting it to changes in the internal or external environment.

(2) A small, discrete area on the cell membrane or within the cell with which molecules or molecular complexes (e.g. hormones, drugs, and other chemical messengers) interact. When this interaction takes place it initiates a change in the working of the cell.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Sections of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) – the principal molecule in a cell carrying genetic information – that act as enzymes (see ENZYME). The function of a ribozyme is to transform the messages encoded in DNA into proteins (see PROTEIN), using its property of catalysing chemical reactions in a cell. Most ribozymes act only on other pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA), editing the messenger type that carries instructions to the parts of the cell that makes proteins. This editing ability is being used by scientists researching ways of correcting faulty GENES which can cause inherited disorders. The aim is to persuade the ribozyme to inhibit the messenger RNA to prevent production of the faulty gene. Ribozymes might also be used to disrupt infectious agents, such as viruses, which rely on RNA to invade body cells.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

RNA is the abbreviation for ribonucleic acid, one of the two types of NUCLEIC ACID that exist in nature. It is present in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of the CELLS of the body, but principally in the former. With DNA it is an essential component of the genetic code. It exists in three categories known, respectively, as ribosomal (r), transfer (t), and messenger (m) RNA. Genetic information resides in the linear sequence of nucleotides (see NUCLEIC ACID) in DNA and is transcribed into messenger RNA before protein is synthesised. In the language of the computer, the genetic code consists of 64 three-letter code-words, or codons. The code in DNA is comparable to a tape which contains information written linearly in the form of these codons, each of which is the code for one of the 20 AMINO ACIDS from which proteins are made. The genetic information encoded in DNA is used to programme the manufacture of proteins (see PROTEIN) in two stages.

In the ?rst, the information is transcribed from DNA on to a molecule of mRNA. In the second, the messenger RNA-intermediary transports the information to the protein-manufacturing centres of the cell where the information is translated from the linear sequence of codons in the RNA into a linear sequence of amino acids which are concurrently converted into protein. (See also GENES.)... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

The administration of any ?uid into a person’s vein using a drip. This apparatus facilitates a continuous injection in which the ?uid ?ows by force of gravity from a suspended bottle, via a tube that is ?xed to a hollow needle inserted into a vein (usually in the front of the elbow). Saline solution, PLASMA and whole BLOOD (see below) are the most commonly administered ?uids. Saline is used to restore ?uid to a seriously dehydrated individual (see DEHYDRATION) and may be used as a temporary measure in SHOCK due to blood loss while the appropriate type of blood is being obtained for transfusion. Saline may also be useful as a way of administering a regular supply of a drug over a period of time. Plasma is normally used as a temporary measure in the treatment of shock until appropriately matched blood is available or if for any reason, such as for a patient with severe burns, plasma is preferable to blood.

Transfusion of blood is a technique that has been used since the 17th century – although, until the 20th century, with a subsequent high mortality rate. It was only when incompatibility of BLOOD GROUPS was considered as a potential cause of this high mortality that routine blood-testing became standard practice. Since the National Blood Transfusion Service was started in the United Kingdom (in 1946), blood for transfusion has been collected from voluntary, unpaid donors: this is screened for infections such as SYPHILIS, HIV, HEPATITIS and nvCJD (see CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE (CJD)), sorted by group, and stored in blood-banks throughout the country.

In the UK in 2004, the National Blood Authority – today’s transfusion service – announced that it would no longer accept donations from anyone who had received a blood transfusion since 1980 – because of the remote possibility that they might have been infected with the PRION which causes nvCJD.

A standard transfusion bottle has been developed, and whole blood may be stored at 2–6 °C for three weeks before use. Transfusions may then be given of whole blood, plasma, blood cells, or PLATELETS, as appropriate. Stored in the dried form at 4–21 °C, away from direct sunlight, human plasma is stable for ?ve years and is easily reconstituted by adding sterile distilled water.

The National Blood Authority prepares several components from each donated unit of blood: whole blood is rarely used in adults. This permits each product, whether plasma or various red-cell concentrates, to be stored under ideal conditions and used in appropriate clinical circumstances – say, to restore blood loss or to treat haemostatic disorders.

Transfusion of blood products can cause complications. Around 5 per cent of transfused patients su?er from a reaction; most are mild, but they can be severe and occasionally fatal. It can be di?cult to distinguish a transfusion reaction from symptoms of the condition being treated, but the safe course is to stop the transfusion and start appropriate investigation.

In the developed world, clinicians can expect to have access to high-quality blood products, with the responsibility of providing blood resting with a specially organised transfusion service. The cause of most fatal haemolytic transfusion reactions is a clerical error due to faulty labelling and/or failure to identify the recipient correctly. Hospitals should have a strict protocol to prevent such errors.

Arti?cial blood Transfusion with blood from donors is facing increasing problems. Demand is rising; suitable blood donors are becoming harder to attract; the processes of taking, storing and cross-matching donor blood are time-consuming and expensive; the shelf-life is six weeks; and the risk of adverse reactions or infection from transfused blood, although small, is always present. Arti?cial blood would largely overcome these drawbacks. Several companies in North America are now preparing this: one product uses puri?ed HAEMOGLOBIN from humans and another from cows. These provide oxygen-carrying capacity, are unlikely to be infectious and do not provoke immunological rejections. Yet another product, called Oxygene®, does not contain any animal or human blood products; it comprises salt water and a substance called per?ubron, the molecules of which store oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide more e?ectively than does haemoglobin. Within 24 hours of being transfused into a person’s bloodstream, per?ubron evaporates and is harmlessly breathed out by the recipient. Arti?cial blood is especially valuable in that it contains no unwanted proteins that can provoke adverse immunological reactions. Furthermore, it is disease-free, lasts for up to three years and is no more expensive than donor blood. It could well take the place of donor blood within a few years.

Autologous transfusion is the use of an individual’s own blood, provided in advance, for transfusion during or after a surgical operation. This is a valuable procedure for operations that may require large transfusions or where a person has a rare blood group. Its use has increased for several reasons:

fear of infection such as HIV and hepatitis.

shortages of donor blood and the rising cost of units of blood.

substantial reduction of risk of incompatible transfusions. In practice, blood transfusion in the UK is

remarkably safe, but there is always room for improvement. So, in the 1990s, a UK inquiry on the Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) was launched. It established (1998) that of 169 recently reported serious hazards following blood transfusion, 81 had involved a blood component being given to the wrong patient, while only eight were the result of viral or bacterial infections.

There are three ways to use a patient’s own blood in transfusion:

(1) predeposit autologous donation (PAD) – taking blood from a patient before operation and transfusing this blood back into the patient as required during and after operation.

(2) acute normovalaemic haemodilution (ANH) – diluting previously withdrawn blood and thus increasing the volume before transfusion.

(3) perioperative cell salvage (PCS) – the use of centrifugal cell separation on blood saved during an operation, particularly spinal surgery where blood loss may be considerable.

The government has urged NHS trusts to consider the introduction of PCS as a possible adjunct or alternative to banked-blood transfusion. In one centre (Nottingham), PCS has been used in the form of continuous autologous transfusion for several years with success.

Exchange transfusion is the method of treatment in severe cases of HAEMOLYTIC DISEASE OF THE NEWBORN. It consists of replacing the whole of the baby’s blood with Rh-negative blood of the correct blood group for the baby.... Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

A LIPID or neutral FAT comprising GLYCEROL and three fatty-acid molecules. Triglycerides are manufactured in the body from the digested products of fat in the diet. Fats are stored in the body as triglycerides.... Medical Dictionary

Indian Medicinal Plants

Linn.

Family: Valerianaceae.

Habitat: Native to Eurasia. (V officinalis auct. non Linn. is found in Kashmir at Sonamarg at 2,4002,700 m)

English: Valerian, Garden Heliotrope, Common Valerian.

Ayurvedic: Tagara, Nata. Baalaka (syn. Udichya, Jala, Barhishtha) is also equated with Valeriana sp.

Folk: Sugandhabaalaa, taggar.

Action: Tranquillizer, hypnotic, a natural relaxant to higher nerve centres. Used for nervous tension, sleeplessness, restlessness, palpitation, tension, headache, migraine, menstrual pain, intestinal cramps, bronchial spasm.

Key application: Internally for restlessness and sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions (German Commission E). (See Expanded Commission E, ESCOP and WHO monographs.)

Constituents of the root include val- trates, didrovaltrates and isovalerates. Other constituents include 0.4-1.4% monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, caf- feic, gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) and chlorogenic acids, beta-sitosterol, methyl, 2-pyrrolketone, choline, tannins, gums alkaloids and resin. (Expanded Commission E Monographs.)

The volatile oil (0.5-2%) contains bornyl acetate and bornyl isovalerate as the principal components. Other constituents include beta-caryophyllene, valeranone, valerenal, valerenic acid and other sesquiterpenoids and mono- terpenes.

The co-occurrence of three cyclo- pentane-sesquiterpenoids (valerenic acid, acetoxyvalerenic acid and valere- nal) is confined to Valeriana officinalis L. and permits its distinction from V edulis and V. Wallichii. (WHO.)

The important active compounds of valerian are the valepotriates (iridoid molecules) and valeric acid. Originally it was thought that valepotriates were responsible for the herbs sedative effect, but, later on, an aqueous extract of the root has also been shown to have a sedative effect. Since valepotriates are not soluble in water, it was concluded that valerenic acid is also the chemical factor responsible for the sedative effect of the herb. Most commercial extracts in Western herbal are water-soluble extracts standardized for valerenic acids.

Large doses ofvalepotriates from the herb decreased benzodiazepines and diazepam withdrawl symptoms in rats. At low doses valerian enhances binding of flunitrazepam, but at high doses it inhibits binding of the drug. Valerenic acid inhibits breakdown of GABA, and hydroxypinoresinol binds to benzodi- azepine receptor. (Sharon M. Herr.)

The safety of valepotriates has been questioned.

Currently valerian is an approved over-the-counter medicine in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy. (The British Herbal Compendium.)

See Valeriana dubia Bunge, syn. V. officinalis auct. non Linn., known as Common Valerian.... Indian Medicinal Plants

Medical Dictionary

Also known as Röntgen rays, these were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Their use for diagnostic imaging (radiology) and for cancer therapy (see RADIOTHERAPY) is now an integral part of medicine. Many other forms of diagnostic imaging have been developed in recent years, sometimes also loosely called ‘radiology’. Similarly the use of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer has led to the term oncology which may be applied to the treatment of cancer by both drugs and X-rays.

The rays are part of the electro-magnetic spectrum; their wavelengths are between 10?9 and 10? 13 metres; in behaviour and energy they are identical to the gamma rays emitted by radioactive isotopes. Diagnostic X-rays are generated in an evacuated tube containing an anode and cathode. Electrons striking the anode cause emission of X-rays of varying energy; the energy is largely dependent on the potential di?erence (kilovoltage) between anode and cathode. The altered tissue penetration at di?erent kilovoltages is used in radiographing di?erent regions, for example in breast radiography (25–40 kV) or chest radiography (120–150 kV). Most diagnostic examinations use kilovoltages between 60 and 120. The energy of X-rays enables them to pass through body tissues unless they make contact with the constituent atoms. Tissue attenuation varies with atomic structure, so that air-containing organs such as the lung o?er little attenuation, while material such as bone, with abundant calcium, will absorb the majority of incident X-rays. This results in an emerging X-ray pattern which corresponds to the structures in the region examined.

Radiography The recording of the resulting images is achieved in several ways, mostly depending on the use of materials which ?uoresce in response to X-rays. CONTRAST X-RAYS Many body organs are not shown by simple X-ray studies. This led to the development of contrast materials which make particular organs or structures wholly or partly opaque to X-rays. Thus, barium-sulphate preparations are largely used for examining the gastrointestinal tract: for example, barium swallow, barium meal, barium follow-through (or enteroclysis) and barium enema. Water-soluble iodine-containing contrast agents that ionise in solution have been developed for a range of other studies.

More recently a series of improved contrast molecules, chie?y non-ionising, has been developed, with fewer side-e?ects. They can, for example, safely be introduced into the spinal theca for myeloradiculography – contrast X-rays of the spinal cord. Using these agents, it is possible to show many organs and structures mostly by direct introduction, for example via a catheter (see CATHETERS). In urography, however, contrast medium injected intravenously is excreted by the kidneys which are outlined, together with ureters and bladder. A number of other more specialised contrast agents exist: for example, for cholecystography – radiological assessment of the gall-bladder. The use of contrast and the attendant techniques has greatly widened the range of radiology. IMAGE INTENSIFICATION The relative insensitivity of ?uorescent materials when used for observation of moving organs – for example, the oesophagus – has been overcome by the use of image intensi?cation. A faint ?uorographic image produced by X-rays leads to electron emission from a photo-cathode. By applying a high potential di?erence, the electrons are accelerated across an evacuated tube and are focused on to a small ?uorescent screen, giving a bright image. This is viewed by a TV camera and the image shown on a monitor and sometimes recorded on videotape or cine. TOMOGRAPHY X-ray images are two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects. Tomography (Greek tomos

– a slice) began with X-ray imaging produced by the linked movement of the X-ray tube and the cassette pivoting about a selected plane in the body: over- and underlying structures are blurred out, giving a more detailed image of a particular plane.

In 1975 Godfrey Houns?eld introduced COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT). This involves

(i) movement of an X-ray tube around the patient, with a narrow fan beam of X-rays; (ii) the corresponding use of sensitive detectors on the opposite side of the patient; (iii) computer analysis of the detector readings at each point on the rotation, with calculation of relative tissue attenuation at each point in the cross-sectional plant. This invention has enormously increased the ability to discriminate tissue composition, even without the use of contrast.

The tomographic e?ect – imaging of a particular plane – is achieved in many of the newer forms of imaging: ULTRASOUND, magnetic resonance imaging (see MRI) and some forms of nuclear medicine, in particular positron emission tomography (PET SCANNING). An alternative term for the production of images of a given plane is cross-sectional imaging.

While the production of X-ray and other images has been largely the responsibility of radiographers, the interpretation has been principally carried out by specialist doctors called radiologists. In addition they, and interested clinicians, have developed a number of procedures, such as arteriography (see ANGIOGRAPHY), which involve manipulative access for imaging – for example, selective coronary or renal arteriography.

The use of X-rays, ultrasound or computerised tomography to control the direction and position of needles has made possible guided biopsies (see BIOPSY) – for example, of pancreatic, pulmonary or bony lesions – and therapeutic procedures such as drainage of obstructed kidneys (percutaneous nephrostomy), or of abscesses. From these has grown a whole series of therapeutic procedures such as ANGIOPLASTY, STENT insertion and renal-stone track formation. This ?eld of interventional radiology has close a?nities with MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY (MIS).

Radiotherapy, or treatment by X-rays The two chief sources of the ionising radiations used in radiotherapy are the gamma rays of RADIUM and the penetrating X-rays generated by apparatus working at various voltages. For super?cial lesions, energies of around 40 kilovolts are used; but for deep-seated conditions, such as cancer of the internal organs, much higher voltages are required. X-ray machines are now in use which work at two million volts. Even higher voltages are now available through the development of the linear accelerator, which makes use of the frequency magnetron which is the basis of radar. The linear accelerator receives its name from the fact that it accelerates a beam of electrons down a straight tube, 3 metres in length, and in this process a voltage of eight million is attained. The use of these very high voltages has led to the development of a highly specialised technique which has been devised for the treatment of cancer and like diseases.

Protective measures are routinely taken to ensure that the patient’s normal tissue is not damaged during radiotherapy. The operators too have to take special precautions, including limits on the time they can work with the equipment in any one period of time.

The greatest value of radiotherapy is in the treatment of malignant disease. In many patients it can be used for the treatment of malignant growths which are not accessible to surgery, whilst in others it is used in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy.... Medical Dictionary