Scientific glossary

  • Amino acids -

    Amino acids are the basic substances that make up proteins. Each protein is characterized by a precise sequence of amino acid "bricks". Some are produced by the body by processing food, others, which the body cannot synthesize, must be taken directly with food.

  • AMPK -

    AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) stands for monophosphate-activated adenosine protein kinase. It is an enzyme that plays a critical role in cellular homeostasis and a signaller of the body's energy level: it signals whether there is enough in the body to activate cellular functions such as glucose absorption, fat oxidation, and the formation of new mitochondria. In case the energy is not enough, it stops the activity of creation of macro-molecules by pausing the production activity. The AMPK way is a "metabolic regulator".

  • ATP -

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) can be defined as the "energy currency" of the cell, the instrument through which the cell carries out processes that require energy (endoergonic) and is produced by reactions that release energy (exergonic).

  • B.A.S. -

    Acronym for Biological Age Score, a measure of biological age derived from the integration of data obtained from various specific tests.

  • Biological age -

    Different from chronological age. It is a measure of the body's ageing, based on the effectiveness of the mechanisms that keep cells young and on markers of the functionality of organs and apparatus.

  • Blue zone -

    Blue Zone is a term used to identify a demographic and/or geographical area of the world where life expectancy is significantly higher than the world average, revealing a high concentration of centenarians. There are 5 blue zones in the world: the Ogliastra area in Sardinia, along with the island of Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica and the village of Loma Linda in Southern California.

  • Cellular Autophagy -

    Cellular autophagy or autophagocytosis is a cellular mechanism for selective removal of old or damaged cell components. It allows the degradation and recycling of recovered components to build new proteins.

    Its proper functioning has substantial impacts on the reduction of low grade inflammation and the onset of chronic and tumor diseases.

  • Cytokines -

    Cytokines are small proteins produced by the immune system, which bind to specific receptors present on the cell membrane and communicate to the cell a specific set of instructions such as, for example, the stimulus to grow, or to differentiate or even the order to die. They are produced by different types of cells and, once released in the body, induce specific reactions in adjacent cells (paracrine effect), in others far away (endocrine effect) or in those that have created them (autocrine effect).

  • Epigenetics -

    Literally "above genetics." This term refers to all biochemical processes which, without modifying the DNA sequence, affect the expression of genes, both "switching them on" and "switching them off".

  • Free radicals -

    A free radical is a particularly reactive molecule or atom that contains at least one odd electron in its outermost orbital. Because of this chemical characteristic, free radicals are highly unstable and try to return to equilibrium by stealing from the nearby atom the electron needed to equalize its electromagnetic charge. This mechanism gives rise to new unstable molecules, triggering a chain reaction that, if not stopped in time, ends up damaging cellular structures and metabolic processes.

  • Genetic Mutation -

    A genetic mutation is any stable and heritable change in the nucleotide sequence of a genome or more generally genetic material (both DNA and RNA) due to external agents or chance, but not genetic recombination.

  • Genomic Instability -

    The progressive accumulation in DNA of mutations, ruptures, various damages that alter the genetic make-up of a cell.

  • Inflammaging -

    "Chronic low-grade inflammation" or inflammaging, such as a state of low intensity but constant organic inflammation (associated with an increase in some proteins, the inflammatory cytokines) that causes damage to the body.

  • Insulin -

    Hormone produced by Langerhans island cells of the pancreas. It stimulates the entry of glucose into the cells, subtracting it from the blood and thus lowering blood sugar. It induces the use of glucose both to produce energy and for the synthesis of glycogen and fats.

  • Lymphocytes -

    Lymphocytes are the cells that make up the effective portion of the adaptive immune system; they are able to generate and modify antibodies that will recognize antigens in the future.

    They are present in primary lymphoid organs, secondary lymphoid organs, peripheral blood and lymph (where they are currently named).

  • Metabolic Syndrome -

    the metabolic syndrome is characterized by the simultaneous presence of at least 3 metabolic and haemodynamic alterations that represent a high risk factor for the onset of cardiovascular diseases and tumors.

  • Metagenomics -

    A branch of science that analyzes all the genetic material present in a given environment.

  • mTOR -

    The mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is a set of enzymes (route) that react to food-nutrients, breaking them down and recombining them to build new proteins useful for the "growth of the body". They react to specific hormonal stimuli (Insulin and IGF-1) thus becoming the center of control of growth and cell proliferation in metabolism. This metabolic route is also responsible for the elimination of old and defective cells (Cellular Autophagy) with the double advantage of recycling the fundamental components to produce new cells and eliminate them to prevent them from triggering degenerative and inflammatory processes.

  • Mycobiote -

    The set of microorganisms (fungi) that populate the intestine.

  • NAD -

    NAD (Nicotinamide adenindinucleotide ) is a co-enzyme essential to the metabolism of the cell, intervening in the activity of more than 200 enzyme proteins that govern the energy process of the cell itself. With age, one becomes deficient in this co-enzyme by altering cell catabolism.

  • NR -

    It is called nicotinamide riboside, or Nr a form of vitamin B3 that promises to block the aging of internal organs, having a positive effect on the functioning of stem cells and the ability of organs to regenerate.

  • Nutraceutical -

    Nutraceutical is a syncratic neologism from "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical" coined by Stephen de Felice in 1989. Nutraceuticals are those nutrients contained in foods that have beneficial effects on health, their effectiveness has been proven by clinical trials.

  • Prebiotics -

    Substances not digestible by the human body, often plant fibers, which are nourishment for bacteria.

  • Probiotics -

    Foods containing specific bacterial strains from the intestinal environment.

  • Proprioception -

    Proprioception (from the Latin proprius, belonging to oneself) is defined as the sense of position and movement of the limbs and body that someone has independently of sight. It can be divided in the limbs’ selfperception within a static position and their perception in motion. This is a fundamental quality for motion and upright station control.

  • Resveratrol -

    Active ingredient of natural origin with recognized antioxidant capacity (stilbene polyphenol). It is found in plants such as vines and in fruits such as cocoa and blackberries.

  • Sarcopenia -

    The term sarcopenia refers to the progressive loss of muscle mass and related decrease in strength; in addition to the volume reduction in muscle mass, it also leads to a worsening of the latter because:

    • the muscle is slowly replaced by adipose tissue (fat),
    • the junctions between muscle and nerve fibres (neuromuscular junction) tend to degenerate,
    • muscle oxidative stress increases.
  • Sirt Genes -

    Family composed by 7 genes important for the regulation of the metabolic processes of the cell, in particular responsible for its survival in particular risky conditions (low temperature, physical stress and fasting). Also called Longevity Genes.

  • Sirtuins -

    Sirtuins are proteins expressed by SIRT genes that perform an enzymatic activity, which means they stimulate chemical reactions essential for the body. Their function has been ascertained by several studies, although there still seems to be a lot to know about them.

    SIRTs in short:

    • are proteins with enzymatic properties
    • regulate the metabolic processes related to insulin resistance
    • have a control over immunity
    • have a fundamental role in epigenetics
    • are involved in defences against cancer
  • Symbiotics -

    Food supplements combining probiotics and prebiotics.