LABOR CONTRACTIONS: Birthquakes.
LACRIMATION is the process of the
secretion of tears.
LACTASE (Beta-Galactosidase) is an
enzyme found in bacteria and many other sources. Lactase produced by bacteria
will break down lactose into glucose and galactose. Lactase in humans breaks
down gangliosides into simpler compounds which are then further broken down.
The lack or low concentrations of lactase is believed to result in
gangliosidosis, the symptoms of which are mental retardation, liver
enlargement, and skeletal deformations.
LACTIC ACID is a colorless syrupy
sour liquid which is produced by the action of bacteria upon sugar or milk.
When the term is used in reference to
anatomy/physiology, lactic acid is a chemical formed from pyruvic acid, through
a side "shuttle", during increased muscle action and is carried by the blood to
the liver, where it is reconverted to glucose and returned as blood glucose to
the muscles. It is this elevation of blood lactic acid in sustained strenuous
exercise, such as in marathon running, which results in muscle fatigue and
pain. Recovery follows when enough oxygen gets to the muscle, part of the
lactic acid being oxidized and most of it then being built up once more into
glycogen. The metabolic cooperation between contracting skeletal muscle and the
liver to support active muscle work is called the Cori cycle.
LACTOSE is a disaccharide of milk
which on hydrolysis yields glucose and galactose. Bacteria can convert it into
lactic acid and butyric acid, as in the souring of milk. It is used in infant
feeding formulas, in other foods and as an osmotic laxative and diuretic.
Lactose is not tolerated in many persons after weaning, owing to a reduce
LARGE INTESTINE - The large intestine
is a large muscular tube responsible for resorption of water and electrolytes,
the formation and expulsion of feces, and the manufacture of certain vitamins,
mainly vitamin K.
The large intestine begins at the right
side of the abdomen directly above the pelvic girdle. The initial portion,
where the appendix is attached, is called the cecum. Beyond the cecum, it is
called the ascending colon and extends upward vertically along the right side
of the abdomen. At the under face of the liver, the colon turns and crosses the
abdominal cavity from the right to left; this portion is called the transverse
colon. The descending colon, also called the sigmoid colon because of its
S-shape, begins near the spleen and then travels downward until it reaches the
pelvic cavity. The rectum is the lowest end of the intestine which leads into
LAURIC ACID is an unsaturated fatty
acid found in milk, coconut, and many other sources. Lauric acid, when joined
to a glycerol backbone with other fatty acids and compounds, may form lipids or
phospholipids. Lipids and phospholipids are used as cell membranes all over the
LAXATIVE - an agent which acts to
loosen the bowels; it is therefore used to treat constipation. Laxatives may
act by increasing peristalsis by irritating the intestinal mucosa, lubricating
the intestinal walls, softening the bowel contents by increasing the amount of
water in the intestines, and increasing the bulk of the bowel content.
LECHER: A stud with liver spots.
LECTINS are proteins found in plants
and animals. Lectins have properties which make them resemble antibodies: they
have agglutinating and precipitating effect on microorganisms. Two examples of
lectins are phytoagglutinins and concanavalin A. Concanavalin A is used in
laboratory research, and has a specificity towards certain types of simple
carbohydrate molecules which are bound to proteins as polysaccharides.
LEIOMYOMA - A tumor consisting of
smooth muscle fibers.
LICORICE is a perennial plant
indigenous to southern Europe, the Middle East and northern China; it is
cultivated in many parts of the world. The rootstock is brown, wrinkled, and
woody, producing an erect striated stem two to five feet in height. The leaves
are alternate, odd-pinnate, and have four to seven pairs of ovate, smooth, dark
green leaflets. Purplish or yellowish white flowers grow in axillary racemes
and bloom from June to August. The medicinal part is the rootstock.
Other common names for this plant are:
Italian Juice Root, Lickweed, Spanish Juice Root, Sweet Licorice, Sweet Wood.
For more information see the HERBS section
of the Nutrition Notebook.
LIGAND - An organic molecule that
donates the necessary electrons to form coordinate covalent bonds with metallic
ions. When this occurs in food particles the ligand deposits its charged
metallic ion/s at the appropriate receptor site in the gastrointestinal tract,
and then because of its charge picks up some other metal ion, usually one of
the heavy metals that are toxic. It then continues on through the
gastrointestinal tract until it is excreted.
LIGAMENTS are strong fibrous cords
composed mainly of collagen fibers which extend from one bone to another. They
reinforce joint capsules and restrict unwanted movement. Capsular ligaments are
distinct thickenings of the joint capsule. Extrinsic ligaments are found in the
joint cavity connecting articular surfaces of the bones.
LIGNIN is a polymer of conferyl
alcohol found in wood. Lignin may be oxidized to gave vanillin. Vanillin is
used as a rubber strengthener, and in laboratories to precipitate proteins.
LIMONENE is a volatile oil found in
pine needle oil, lemon oil, and other plants. Limonene has antiviral and
antibacterial properties. It is a skin irritant and sensitizer. Limonene is
used in the manufacturing of resins and as a solvent.
LINALOOL is a volatile oil found in
vois de rose, lavender, and other plants. Linalool has anticonvulsant,
spasmolytic, and weak tumor-forming properties on laboratory animals. Linalool
has also shown antimicrobial properties. Linalool has also shown antimicrobial
properties. Linalool is used in perfumery in place of lavender compound because
the odor is similar.
LINOLENIC ACID is an essential fatty
acid found in vegetables, peanut oil, and other plants. A linolenic acid
deficiency will result in hair loss, poor wound healing, and scaly dermatitis.
Linolenic acid is used in the manufacture of paints, coatings, and vitamins.
Linolenic acid is also used therapeutically as some vitamins.
LIPASE is a fat-splitting enzyme
widely distributed in the animal and vegetable worlds. It is found in the
pancreatic juice of animals and in oily seeds. Lipase causes the hydrolysis of
fats in glycerin and fatty acids.
LIPID - any of a group of organic
substances, including fatty acids, neutral fats, waxes, steroids, and
phosphatides, which are insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol, ether,
chloroform, and other fat solvents; lipids are a source of body fuel and an
important constitutent of cells.
LIPOPROTEINS - the freight trucks
which move fats and cholesterol from one part of the body to another.
Lipoproteins are called high density if they have a lot of protein, low fat,
and little capacity for cholesterol. They are called low density if they are
fatty and carry much cholesterol - can be over 60% by weight. Lipoproteins only
carry incoming fat and cholesterol from the liver into the arterial system. The
high density ones have the backhauling and garbage collection contract. They
can actually pick up the cholesterol from your arterial walls and transport it
to the liver, where it is broken down into bile acids and flushed out of the
body. Dietary strategy should be to eat foods which increase HDLs. Omega-3 can
help to accomplish this.
LIVER - The liver weighs about three
and one-third pounds, making it the heaviest gland in the body. It is located
in the upper right side of the abdominal cavity under the diaphragm.
Apart from the lungs, it is the only organ
which receives both arterial and venus blood. Arterial blood supplies nutrients
to the liver tissue; it also receives nutrient-rich but oxygen poor venus blood
from the digestive organs, spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder. The liver takes
in these nutrients and can store them in the form of glycogen or fat, use them
to synthesize proteins, or use them to alter fats.
The liver converts proteins and fats into
carbohydrates, a more usable form of energy. The liver also converts
nitrogenous wastes into less harmful substances. The spleen breaks down red
blood cells; some of the components of these cells flow, via blood vessels, to
the liver. The liver combines these components with other compounds to produce
bile, which is important in fat digestion. It also acts as a storage area for
vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D.
LYMPH is the yellowish, transparent
fluid that is collected from the tissues of the body, courses through the lymph
vessels and slowly passes (passage speeded by exercise) through the lymph nodes
before joining the venous blood circulation. It carries numerous white blood
cells (mainly lymphocytes), few red blood cells and in some vessels a milky
emulsive fat after meals.