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placebo-control study

a study comparing the relation cause-effect into two groups, where one receive the real treatment and the other one a placebo (a treatment with no effects). The scope is to observe medical and/ or behavioral effects in both groups, that are supposed not knowing if they are receiving the real treatment or not.

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are mainly phytochemicals found abundantly in natural plant food sources. The most important food sources are fruit and vegetables, green tea, black tea, red wine, coffee, chocolate, olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Herbs and spices, nuts and algae also supply certain polyphenols. Some polyphenols are specific to particular food (ie. flavanones in citrus fruit, isoflavones in soya, phloridzin in apples). Others, such as quercetin, are found in all plant products such as fruit, vegetables, cereals, leguminous plants, tea, and wine.

In general, red wine will be richer in phenols abundant in the skin and seeds, such as anthocyanin, proanthocyanidins and flavonols, whereas the phenols in white wine will essentially originate from the pulp, and these will be the phenolic acids together with lower amounts of catechins and stilbenes. Average total polyphenol content measured by the Folin method is 216 mg/100 ml for red wine and 32 mg/100 ml for white wine. The content of phenols in rosé wine (82 mg/100 ml) is intermediate between that in red and white wines (see flavonoids).

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Wine contains phenolic compounds (polyphenols) which give wine its characteristic colour and flavour and are produced by plants in response to fungal infection, and various chemical and physical stressors, especially during ripening. They are extracted from the seeds and skins of grapes during fermentation of winemaking, when the juice is in contact with the grape skins and seeds. The amount of polyphenols in red wine is generally greater than in white wine because the red juice has longer contact with the grape skins during fermentation enabling more phenolic substances to be extracted into the red juice.

There is evidence that certain wine-derived phenolic compounds, such as resveratrol, and flavonoids such as anthocyanins, catechins and flavanols can provide health benefits. Researchers have shown that wine-derived phenolic compounds act as antioxidants and stimulate antioxidant defense systems (Forman et al 2014).  Thereby, these antioxidants are believed to reduce the damage caused by the body's free radicals (toxic waste products) which contribute to causing degenerative diseases in the body such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and general ageing.

Many polyphenols are metabolised by gut bacteria. Recently, it has been shown that rather than the polyphenols themselves, their metabolites might be the key compounds in cardiovascular and cancer protection (Yang et al 2020).


Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phenolic compound in red wine that provides a number of anti-aging health benefits. As a natural food ingredient, numerous animal and laboratory studies have demonstrated that resveratrol shows a high antioxidant activity. Resveratrol also exhibits antitumor activity and is considered a potential candidate for prevention and treatment of several types of cancer. Other observed bioactivity includes anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, cardio-protective, vasorelaxant and neuroprotective effects. Although resveratrol can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in experimental and animal models, it is not known whether resveratrol can prevent and/or help treat cancer in humans (Carter et al 2014, Ramirez-Garza et al 2018, Salehi et al 2018).


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are usually non-digestible carbohydrates, oligosaccharides or short polysaccharides (ie.  inulin, oligofructose, galactofructose, etc.). Prebiotics work in partnership with its host’s digestive system to derive energy and carbon from complex plant polysaccharides which would otherwise be lost in faeces.

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The PREDIMED study is one of the few randomized controlled trials about the Mediterranean Diet. More than 7400 individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease were recruited and tracked in 11 study sites.

The study participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups:

  1. The participants receive advice on how to follow a Mediterranean diet as well as free extra-virgin olive oil,
  2. The participants receive advice on how to follow a Mediterranean diet as well as free nuts,
  3. The control group receives advice on how to follow a low-fat diet.

The main end-points that the researchers looked for were cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular causes.

The study was stopped early after 4.8 years of follow-up as researchers found that the participants following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to the control group.

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is defined as levels of 120--‐139, Mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and 80--‐89 mm, Hg for diastolic blood pressure.

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Prospective study

A prospective study (sometimes called a prospective cohort study) is a type of cohort study, or group study, where participants are enrolled into the study before they develop the disease or outcome in question. The opposite is a retrospective study, where researchers enroll people who already have the disease/condition. Prospective studies typically last a few years, with some lasting for decades.

Study participants typically have to meet certain criteria to be involved in the study. For example, they may have to be of a certain age, profession, or race. Once the participants are enrolled, they are followed for a period of time to see who gets the outcome in question (and who doesn’t).

Participants are followed for years and data is collected on the factors of interest, which might include:

  • When the subject develops the condition,
  • When they drop out of the study or become “lost”,
  • When their exposure status changes,
  • When they die.

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is a condition where the urine contains an abnormal amount of proteins. Albumin is the main protein in the blood. Proteins are the building blocks for all body parts, including muscles, bones, hair, and nails. Proteins in the blood also perform a number of important functions. They protect the body from infection, help blood clot, and keep the right amount of fluid circulating throughout the body.

As blood passes through healthy kidneys, the waste products are filtered out and proteins that the body needs, like albumin and other proteins, are kept. Most proteins are too big to pass through the kidneys' filters into the urine. However, proteins from the blood can leak into the urine when the filters of the kidney, called glomeruli, are damaged.

Proteinuria is a sign of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can result from diabetes, high blood pressure, and diseases that cause inflammation in the kidneys. If CKD progresses, it can lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), when the kidneys fail completely. An individual with ESRD must receive a kidney transplant or regular blood-cleansing treatments called dialysis.

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Publication bias

The term “Publication bias” in a broader sense refers to a number of factors that suppress and distort publication or dissemination of relevant empirical results, including selection biases due to language, availability, cost, familiarity, impact, timing, citation and media coverage (in particular, evidence of selective use of results and outcomes on the part of primary investigators and health policy interest groups).

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Randomised-controlled trial (RCT)

a study comparing the relation cause-effect into two groups, where one receive the real treatment and the other one a placebo or no treatment. Participants are randomly assigned to either the control or intervention group, reducing the selection bias.

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Red Blood Cells deformability

refers to the ability of red blood cells (erythrocytes, RBC) to change shape under a given level of applied stress, without rupturing. This is an important property because erythrocytes must change their shape extensively under the influence of mechanical forces in fluid flow or while passing through microcirculation

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Rheumatoid arthritis

is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic, inflammatory arthritis leading to progressive joint and organ system damage and increasing disability. The rate is three times higher in women than in men. Both genetic and environmental factors (such as smoking, hormone use) seem to play a role in the risk of developing RA.

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sick quitter

abstainers who quit drinking alcoholic beverages because of health problems resulting in a poor health profile of abstainers.


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Fatty liver is the collection of excessive amounts of triglycerides and other fats inside liver cells.

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Systematic review

an analysis comparing and summarizing the data from different studies on a certain topic.

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