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Medical Dictionary


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KAEMPFEROL is a flavonoid found in asparagus and many other plants. Kaempferol has been reported to increase bile secretions on laboratory animals. Kaempferol has ultraviolet-absorbing properties.

KETONE - a ketone is any of a large class of organic compounds the carbonyl group, C=0, whose carbon atom is joined to two other carbon atoms, that is, with the carbonyl group occurring within the carbon chain.

Ketone bodies are produced as intermediate products of fat metabolism. They are normally created in limited amounts when fat is oxidized. However, in drastic conditions where carbohydrate is insufficient or unavailable for energy needs such as starvation or untreated diabetes, excessive amounts of fat are oxidized and ketone bodies accumulate. This condition is known as ketosis.

KIDNEYS - The kidney is an organ whose functional unit is the nephron. There are about one million nephrons per kidney. Each nephron is normally connected to a collecting duct housed in the adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex. The nephron is composed of three important areas: the glomerulus capsule, loop of hemle, and distal tube.

The glomerulus capsule surrounds a glomerulus connected to the renal artery. Blood plasma filters through thin walls of a capillary, some of which the glomerulus capsule absorbs. The rest is drained into the renal artery. In this manner, all the blood of the body flows through the kidney about once every five minutes.

The filtrate consists of water and a nonprotein solute (sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, and urea). As the filtrate moves into the loop of hemle, a large portion of the filtrate is resorbed.

The filtrate then passes into the distal tubes and the collecting duct, which are strongly influenced by hormones. These structures concentrate the filtrate further so that only 1% of the original filtrate volume is passed to the bladder via the ureters in the form of urine.

KILOCALORIE is a unit of measurement used in metabolic studies, being the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius at a pressure of 1 atmosphere. It is 1,000 times larger than the small calorie used in chemistry and physics. The term is used in nutrition to express the fuel or energy value of food.

KISSING: A means of getting two people so close together that they can't see anything wrong with each other.

KREBS CYCLE (citric acid cycle) refers to a complicated series of reactions by which fragments from any of the energy nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) are completely broken down to carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy for the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is the final common pathway for all nutrient metabolites involved in energy production, and provides more than 90% of the body's energy.

KWASHIORKOR , malignant malnutrition, is a disease resulting from a protein deficiency particularly in infancy. Kwashiorkor can result when inadequate protein is made available to an infant after weaning. Adult kwashiorkor is usually linked with diseases such as chronic malabsorption or infection. It is also seen in lactating women. Kwashiorkor is characterized by anemia, edema, pot belly, depigmentation of the skin, loss or change in hair color, marked hypoalbuminemia, and bulky stools containing undigested food. Fatty changes in the cells of the liver, atrophy of the acinar cells of the pancreas, and hyalinization of the renal goleruli are found post mortem. The term is thought by some to mean "red boy", by others "displaced child."

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