Compound with three molecules of fatty acids bound with one molecule of glycerol; the storage of fat in humans.
Increase of positive charges on an atom or the loss of negative charges; the opposite reaction is reduction.
Amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius; equal to 4184 Joules.
Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP)
Nucleotide produced in living cells; made up of adenosine and two phosphate groups, reversibly renewed to ATP for energy transfer.
Fluid produced by the liver and stored in gallbladder, ultimately secreted into the small intestine to alkalinize and emulsify foodstuffs.
Small projections (singular villus) covering the surface of the mucous membrane lining the small intestine, through which nutrients and fluids are absorbed.
Of pancreatic and salivary origin, this enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis (splitting) of starch into smaller compounds.
Lid-like cartilaginous structure suspended over the entrance of the larynx; swallowing closes the opening to the trachea by placing the larynx against the epiglottis.
Lower Esophageal Sphincter
Also known as the cardiac sphincter; a thick, muscular ring surrounding the opening between the esophagus and stomach.
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
Condition in which acidic stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus.
Thick, muscular ring of mucous membrane surrounding the opening between the stomach and the duodenum.
Measure of acidity and alkalinity; lower numbers are more acidic, higher numbers are more alkaline; 7 is neutral.
Two folds of mucous membrane that form a valve between the large intestine (cecum) and the small intestine (ileum).
Large gland behind the stomach that secretes digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon.
Circulation of substances such as bile salts between the intestine and the liver.
Short Chain Fatty Acid
Fatty acid with fewer than eight carbons that is taken up directly through the portal vein, and produced while fiber is fermenting in the colon.
Compound that is not digested but rather fermented by microflora and stimulates growth of healthy bacteria in the GI tract.
Hepatic Portal System
Veins that carry blood for the capillaries of the stomach, intestine, pancreas, and spleen to the liver.
Enteric Nervous System
The brain in the gut. A subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that controls the gastrointestinal organs.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Part of the autonomic nervous system that controls secretions and the tone of smooth muscle, along with cardiac muscle activity.
Microscopic hair structures that increase the surface area of cells; many are found in the GI tract (singular: microvillus)
Spontaneous movement of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
Transport that requires a carrier molecule; occurs when diffusion of a substance on its own is not possible.
Movement of particles from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration; requires energy and enzymes.
Found on the wall of duodenum or stomach, this ulcer results when gastric acids and H. pylori combine.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammation-based disorder of the intestinal tract, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitus
A class of proteins with hydrophobic core of triglycerides or cholesterol surrounded by hydrophilic phospholipids, apolipoproteins and cholesterol.
First Pass Metabolism
When a substance is swallowed and absorbed, it first travels through the hepatic portal system for metabolism by the liver; this first pass can reduce the availability of the structure to the body.
When blood travels from the heart to the arteries and capillaries, exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide and returning to the heart for pulmonary circulation.
Co-enzyme that plays a role in intermediary metabolism; can enter the Krebs cycle to produce energy and be used for fatty acid synthesis.
Either acetoacetic acid, acetone or beta-hydroxybutyric acid with a a carbonyl group attached to two carbon atoms.