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Have you ever stumbled across an unfamiliar word when reading about vitamins and supplements? Health and wellness can be a complex adventure. Maybe a new product features ingredients you've never heard of. Or maybe you just need a reminder about a certain term. When a quick reference check is needed, visit our Natural Health Glossary for a brief definition (or a link to more detailed information in our Health Encyclopedia). Be sure to keep this helpful, easy-to-search resource one click away: bookmark it!


Damiana: (dam-ee-YA-na) see damiana encyclopedia entry

Dandelion: (DAN-duh-lion) see dandelion encyclopedia entry

Demineralization: (dee-min-er-all-ih-ZAY-shun) The loss of minerals from bones.

Devil's Claw: (devil’s claw) see devil's claw encyclopedia entry

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): (doe-co-sah-heck-sah-NO-ick  Ah-sid) An omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in cold-water fish. see encyclopedia entry

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): (dee-high-drow-ep-ee-an-DROW-stare-own) A steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands, it is converted by the body into other hormones. see DHEA encyclopedia entry

Diastolic: (die-a-STALL-ick) Blood pressure during the relaxation phase of the heart beat. It is the second number given in a blood pressure reading.

Diosgenin: (die-OZ-jen-in) A compound found in Mexican wild yam root, similar to the female hormone progesterone in structure.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): (dee-OX-see-rye-bo-new-clay-ick  A-sid) The complex protein chemical that is the main carrier of genetic information in cells.

Dong Quai: (dong-kwhy) see dong quai encyclopedia entry

Double-blind study: (double-blind study) A method of protecting against experimental bias by ensuring that neither the test subjects nor the researchers know which subjects are receiving actual treatment and which are receiving placebo.

Duodenum: (do-ODD-in-um) The upper portion of the small intestine.

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Echinacea: (eck-in-AY-sha) see echinacea encyclopedia entry

Elderberry: (ELLE-der-bear-ee) see elderberry encyclopedia entry

Electrolytes: (ih-LECK-trow-lights) Minerals that dissolve in water and are capable of carrying electrical charges.

Eleuthero: (ih-LOO-thuh-row) see eleuthero encyclopedia entry

Enteric-coated: (en-TARE-ick  coated) A tablet or capsule that is coated so it is not dissolved in the stomach and arrives at the intestinal tract intact.

Enterolactone: (en-terra-LACK-tone) A mammalian lignan produced by intestinal microflora from precursors present in plant-based foods.

Enzyme: (EN-zime) A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): (eye-co-sah-PEN-tah-no-ick  A-sid) An omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in cold-water fish. see EPA encyclopedia entry

Ephedra: (ih-FED-ra) see ephedra encyclopedia entry

Epinephrine: (ep-uh-NEF-rin) see Adrenaline.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs): (essential fatty acids) Fatty acids that are required by the body but cannot be manufactured in the body. They must be obtained from the diet.

Essential oils: (essential oils) Also known as volatile oils or essences. Complex mixtures of a variety of organic compounds that evaporate when exposed to air. They often give plants their distinct aromas.

Estrogen: (ESS-trow-jen) The primary female hormone, made by the ovaries and uterus.

Evening Primrose Oil: (evening primrose oil) see evening primose oil encyclopedia entry

Extract: (EK-strakt) A solution that contains the active compounds of a plant material or other substance.

Eyebright: (eyebright) see eyebright encyclopedia entry

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Fat-soluble: (fat SOLL-yoo-ball) Describing any substance that dissolves in fat. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, E, D, and K.

Fennel: (FEN-ill) see fennel encyclopedia entry

Fenugreek: (FEN-yoo-greek) see fenugreek encyclopedia entry

Feverfew: (FEE-ver-few) see feverfew encyclopedia entry

Flavonoids: (FLAV-ah-noydz) A group of flavone-containing compounds that includes many plant pigments. These pigments may exert a variety of physiological effects in the body.

Flax/Flaxseed: (flaks) see flax/flaxseed encyclopedia entry

Folic Acid: (FOE-lick Ah-sid) see folic acid encyclopedia entry

Fo-Ti: (FOE-tee) see fo-ti encyclopedia entry

Free radicals: (free  RAD-ick-allz) Highly reactive oxygen molecules that can destroy cellular compounds, damaging tissues.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): (FROOK-toe-all-ih-go-SACK-a-ridez  ) Natural sugars that help nourish beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. see fructooligosaccharides encyclopedia entry

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