Science Glossary+

Learn more about our thoughtfully curated ingredients that exist in our products.




Astaxanthin is a naturally-occurring carotenoid found in certain algae. Astaxanthin is responsible for the pinkish to red-orange color in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant.*


An adaptogen is an herb or other naturally derived bioactive compound that helps the body modulate or “adapt” to stress, supporting a normalizing effect on the body.*


Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a naturally occurring chemical molecule found in all living cells. ATP is the main energetic currency within cells and necessary for all cells to live and function. ATP is produced in the mitochondria of cells.


Açai (Euterpe oleracea) has gained much attention as a possible superfood, due to the high antioxidant content of its berries. The açai berry is approximately an inch in diameter and is reddish-purple in color. It comes from the açai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America. Açai is rich in anthocyanins, a polyphenol antioxidant that is responsible for giving the berries their dark red-purple color. Consumption of high anthocyanin-containing foods have been linked to increased protection against oxidation stress.*

Acerola Cherry Extract

Acerola cherry (Malpighia emarginata) is the fruit from a small shrub-like tree native to Central and South America. Acerola cherries are a well-known source of vitamin C, making it an antioxidant-rich food. Additionally, these fruits are rich in vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.

Alfalfa Grass

Alfalfa grass (Medicago sativa), also known as Lucerne, is a perennial pasture legume that is native to Asia and is rich in micronutrients. Alfalfa is a good source of vitamins (particularly B vitamins) and minerals.


An antioxidant is a compound that inhibits oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that often produces free radicals, which can lead to chain reactions that may damage the cells of organisms. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E can help combat these oxidative processes.*

Amino acid

Amino acids are the components that help make up proteins. In turn, proteins are the primary building blocks needed to ultimately grow and maintain the body and all its many functions – from building and maintaining healthy muscles, nerves, skin, teeth, bones and much more, to helping generate energy to ensure that the body functions properly. Examples of amino acids are L-glutamine and glycine. There are 21 amino acids common to all life forms, of which nine are essential to humans, meaning we cannot synthesize them and must consume them.



Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in plants. Betaine provides nutrient support for liver health, and it also promotes the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid that can be a sign of cardiovascular stress if levels are too high.* In addition, betaine provides positive support for metabolic health.*


Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a chemical compound, also known as bicyclic sesquiterpene, naturally found in many herbal essential oils, particularly rosemary, clove, black pepper, hops, black cumin, and hemp. Research has demonstrated that BCP can activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the body, known as CB2 receptors, and consequently may support neurological and immune function and promote calm and relaxation without any psychoactive side-effects.*

Bifidobacterium lactis B420

Bifidobacterium lactis B420 is a specific strain of the Bifidobacterium lactis probiotic, a beneficial bacterium living in the large intestine of most mammals.* Bifidobacteria are generally considered “friendly” bacteria, and play a key role in many bodily functions, from facilitating proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, to helping prevent overgrowth of harmful bacteria, to helping maintain a robust immune system.* In fact, studies on Bifidobacterium lactis B420 suggest that this probiotic strain may be beneficial in maintaining a healthy body weight.*

Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07

Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 is a specific strain of the Bifidobacterium lactis probiotic, a beneficial bacterium living in the large intestine of most mammals.* Bifidobacteria are generally considered “friendly” bacteria, and play a key role in many bodily functions, from facilitating proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, to helping prevent overgrowth of harmful bacteria, to helping maintain a robust immune system.* Specifically, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 has been studied regarding its potential benefits on immune function.*

Bifidobacterium lactis HN019

Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 is a specific probiotic strain of Bifidobacterium lactis, a beneficial bacterium living in the large intestine of most mammals.* Bifidobacteria are generally considered “friendly” bacteria, and play a key role in many bodily functions, from facilitating proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, to help prevent overgrowth of harmful bacteria, to helping maintain a robust immune system.* Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 has been clinically studied to establish and support healthy flora in the gut and promote gastrointestinal health.*

Black Cumin Seed

Black cumin (Nigella sativa), is a small shrub that grows in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia. Its seeds and oil have been used for generations for cooking and for medicinal purposes.* Archeologists have even found black cumin seeds in King Tut’s tomb, a testament to their perceived value. Modern research has shown black cumin seed oil to have antioxidant properties, and it may be helpful in combating oxidative stress and support healthy inflammatory responses in the body.* Among its beneficial bioactive components, black cumin seed oil contains the phytocannabinoid, beta-caryophyllene.

Beet Root

Beet root (Beta vulgaris) is a common bulbous, sweet, root vegetable rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. Studies also suggest that nitrates naturally found in beet root may support healthy cardiovascular and cognitive function and may also help increase physical stamina.* Although it is suspected that beets may be native to regions near the Mediterranean, today beets can be found pretty much worldwide, with France and the United States being among the largest producers.

Black Currant

Black currant (Ribes nigrum) is a woody shrub that produces dark, glossy, blackberries. It is native to the northern regions of Europe and Asia. The berries can be eaten raw but are usually either juiced or cooked and incorporated into various dishes, or used in jams, jellies, and syrups. The fruit and leaves of the plant have been used in traditional folk medicine for bolstering immune health.* Study of the constituents of black currant reveal that it is high in vitamin C and polyphenols, making it a rich antioxidant source.


Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and a member of the B vitamin family (vitamin B7, specifically). It is needed to convert certain nutrients into energy and plays an important role in maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails.* Biotin also supports healthy glucose metabolism by stimulating glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells and by accelerating glucose metabolism in the liver.* Similarly, biotin can enhance muscle insulin sensitivity by increasing the uptake of glucose by muscle cells.*

Bovine Collagen

Bovine collagen is collagen from a bovine (cow) source. [See collagen]



Ceramosides® is a proprietary, highly concentrated, gluten-free phytoceramide extract from wheat (Triticum vulgare) that may be consumed as a dietary supplement or applied topically for improving skin hydration.* The unique process involved in making Ceramosides® concentrates the skin-friendly lipids, eliminating the gluten-containing proteins, resulting in a gluten-free phytoceramide extract.* Ceramosides is a trademark of E.P.I. France.


Carotenoids are a class of phytonutrients found in the cells of plants, algae, and bacteria, that have a range of color from bright yellow to deep red pigments. Carotenoids help these organisms absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis. When consumed by humans, carotenoids serve as important antioxidants, helping protect the body’s cells from free radical damage.*


Cloves are the aromatic flower buds from the Syzygium aromaticum tree, native to the Maluku Islands (or Moluccas) in Indonesia. Cloves are commonly used as a culinary spice. Historically, cloves were used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and Western herbalism for their warming properties.* Clove essential oil is often used in aromatherapy. Clove essential oil also contains the phytocannabinoid, beta-caryophyllene.


Chlorella is a type of single-celled green algae, rich in nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, iron, the antioxidant vitamin C, and essential fatty acids.

Cinnamon Bark Extract

Cinnamon is a well-known spice obtained from the tree bark of the several different species varieties from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon bark has been widely used as a spice in food and drink, and in fragrances. Cinnamon bark has also been widely used in traditional herbalism for its potential benefit in digestive and immune support.* Clinical studies also indicate cinnamon can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a palm sugar from the sap of the flower bud stem of the coconut palm. A health benefit of coconut sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index (30-35) compared to regular sugar (63-68).* The glycemic index is a measure (0-100) of how quickly a food may raise an individual’s blood sugar levels. The higher the number, the greater influence the food will have on raising blood sugar.


Collagen is the primary structural protein in the extracellular space of the various connective tissues in the body, particularly tendons, ligaments, and skin or hides. The body’s ability to produce collagen can decrease with age, and the more stress placed on the body, the greater the potential for insufficient collagen to be available to meet demand. Consequently, getting collagen through a balanced diet can help the body regain what may have been lost.* Collagen is rich in amino acids, which are key in supporting healthy connective tissue, skin, hair, and nails, as well as maintaining healthy digestive function.*


Curcumin is a bright yellow bioactive compound found particularly in turmeric root. It is used in Asian and Indian cultures in foods, cosmetics, and herbal medicine preparations. Clinical studies on curcumin have revealed many potential health benefits, including the support of healthy cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune, and musculoskeletal functions.* Curcumin also serves as a potent antioxidant flavonoid that helps maintain the body's normal inflammatory response.*


Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are substances produced by the body to facilitate the digestion of food.* The enzymes are secreted by the body help to break down macronutrient food components such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.* Because of age or because of individual physiological differences or deficits, the body may not be able to produce adequate amounts of enzymes to support normal digestion.* Hence, supplementary digestive enzymes may be needed.*



Endocannabinoids (endogenous cannabinoids) are a type of neurotransmitter made by the body, and are part of a larger system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system acts like an internal balancing mechanism, constantly helping to keep a vast range of bodily functions in equilibrium.* The body produces endocannabinoids that modulate various biological processes throughout the body, from reproductive health, sleep and mood, to response to painful stimuli.*




Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major calming brain chemical or neurotransmitter. Its primary role is to reduce neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.*


You won't find gluten in our products. Gluten is a complex mixture of proteins – glutenins and gliadins – present in cereal grains, particularly varieties and derivatives of wheat (e.g., durum, spelt, semolina, rye, barley, triticale, etc.). It is the substance responsible for giving dough its elastic texture. Consumption of gluten elicits autoimmune reactions in people with celiac disease.


You won't find GMOs in our products. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. Such manipulations can include any combination of plant, animal, bacteria, and/or virus genes to produce organisms that do not occur in nature or that can be achieved through traditional crossbreeding methods.


Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome (ginger root) is widely used by many cultures as a spice and as an herbal remedy. Among its many possible health benefits, ginger has been used to promote healthy digestion and to support immune function.*

Green Tea Leaf Extract

Green tea leaf extract is a preparation of leaves from the tea plant Camelia sinensis. Green tea is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols. Consequently, many health benefits are associated with drinking green tea. Green tea extracts can increase natural energy expenditure and support fat oxidation.* The polyphenols in green tea also provide antioxidant support and liver-protective properties.*


The term “grass-fed” refers to animals--typically cattle--allowed to forage and graze for their own fresh food, as opposed to being grain-fed.



Hemp, also referred to as industrial hemp, is a cultivar of the plant Cannabis sativa and is made up of protein, fiber, and healthy fats like omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. It is also rich in natural compounds called phytocannabinoids. When ingested, these phytocannabinoids interact with a special system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and can help reduce feelings of stress and relieve occasional aches, soreness, and discomfort.* Unlike marijuana, the other common cultivar of Cannabis sativa, industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.


Hops are the green, cone-shaped flower of the female hops plant, Humulus lupulus. Hops are commonly known for use in brewing beer and as flavoring components in foods. Hops have also been used in traditional herbal medicine for their calming and sleep-supportive properties.* Hops belong to the Cannabaceae family, the same family as hemp. Like hemp, hops are a source of the phytocannabinoid, beta-caryophyllene.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide molecule, naturally present in the human body, and is one of the key components of connective tissue. High concentrations of hyaluronic acid are found in the eyes and the joints. Hyaluronic acid serves as a cushion or lubricant in the joints and other tissues.* It also helps to retain moisture in the skin.*



Inflammation, when acute, is a normal, localized physical process in which part of the body becomes temporarily reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.


Jujube Fruit

Jujube (Ziziphus jujube) is a shrub-like tree, the fruit of which has been used in Asian cuisine and in Traditional Chinese Medicine for gastrointestinal and digestive support, and for calming and sleep-supportive properties.*



Kelp is the general term for a variety of large, brown algae (also commonly referred to as a type of seaweed) that is found worldwide in shallow, nutrient-rich saltwater. Depending on the particular type of kelp there can be slight differences in color, flavor, and nutrient profile. Kelp is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium.


Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM is a probiotic strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a beneficial bacterium. Well-researched, the NCFM strain has been shown in clinical trials to support various aspects of gastrointestinal health immune function.*


You'll find no or very low lectins in our products. Lectins are proteins naturally found in plants. The role of lectins is to protect the plant as it grows. Some foods that are relatively high in lectins include beans, peanuts, lentils, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, fruits, and wheat and other grains. Lectins typically do not have much nutritional value when consumed in foods. That said, some lectins may promote inflammatory responses in sensitive or susceptible individuals. As such, it is advised that susceptible individuals avoid or greatly reduce their intake of high-lectin foods and/or dietary supplements containing high-lectin foods.


L-glutamine is the most prevalent amino acid in the bloodstream. It is also found in high concentrations in the gastrointestinal tract. This is because cells in the gut rely on L-glutamine to regenerate and keep the intestinal lining healthy and robust.* L-glutamine also supports healthy immune function and assists in healing for muscle cell repair and maintenance.*



Mitochondrion (plural: mitochondria) is an organelle, or small organ, within a living cell that is responsible for producing the energy needed to fuel the cell and its functions. Mitochondria are often referred to as the “powerhouses” of cells. Multiple mitochondria are often found in cells, particularly those in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur.

Magnesium Bisglycinate

Magnesium bisglycinate is a chelate form of magnesium that binds the mineral to the amino acid glycine. Magnesium bisglycinate has demonstrated greater absorption of magnesium than other specific forms of magnesium compounds.*

Magnesium Stearate

You won't find magnesium stearate in our products. Magnesium stearate is a white water-insoluble powder made of magnesium and the saturated fat, stearic acid. It is a common additive in processed foods, drugs, and dietary supplements. Magnesium stearate powder is very fine and slippery. Consequently, it serves as a good lubricant or “flow agent” in the manufacturing of dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals by helping the active ingredients “flow” through the machinery more easily during production. Although magnesium is part of the compound, magnesium stearate itself has minimal nutritional value.


A microbiome is the combined genetic material of the microorganisms, (e.g., bacteria, bacteriophages, fungi, protozoa and viruses) in a given environment. For example, the human microbiome refers to the collective genetic material of all microorganisms living inside and on the human body.

Marine collagen

Collagen from a marine source, typically from fish.


Nicotinamide Riboside

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a special form of vitamin B3 (niacin). Trace amounts of NR can be found naturally in cow’s milk, yeast, and beer. NR is thought to support healthy aging because it boosts the body’s ability to produce nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a naturally occurring coenzyme that fuels many key biological processes, including conversion of food into energy, repairing damaged DNA, and maintaining healthy cellular metabolism.*


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), is a naturally occurring chemical cofactor found in all living cells and is an essential component in the metabolic processes of daily life. For example, NAD+ is necessary for the conversion of the dietary nutrients to cellular energy. More specifically, NAD+ is an important transporter of hydrogen and electrons and needed for the mitochondria within each cell to continuously produce energy as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). NAD+ also plays a primary role as a helper molecule for proteins that regulate other biological activities including, but not limited to, oxidative stress and circadian rhythms. As we get older, our ability to maintain optimal NAD+ levels can decline. As such, finding ways to help maintain optimal NAD+ levels may be a way to help support health aging.*




Phytocannabinoids are plant-derived chemical compounds that share chemical similarity with cannabinoids and can interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one phytocannabinoid that has been shown to support the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and consequently may be beneficial in supporting healthy immune function, promoting healthy mood and relaxation, and helping maintain neurological functions, to name a few.* Beta-caryophyllene, also a phytocannabinoid, is a substance found in plants, such as hemp, clove, black pepper, rosemary, hops, and black cumin. It supports similar health areas as CBD.*


A prebiotic compound is a substance, often in the form of a dietary fiber, that when consumed--either in food or as a dietary supplement--promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.*


A probiotic is a substance comprised of or containing one or more types of live microorganisms, that when consumed--either in food, beverage, dietary supplement--in adequate amounts helps maintain or restore beneficial bacteria to that environment and confer health support.*


PharmaGABA® is a naturally-sourced dietary supplement form of GABA, a neurotransmitter whose primary role is to reduce neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.* PharmaGABA® is produced via a unique fermentation process that utilizes Lactobacillus hilgardii, the same bacteria that is used to ferment cabbage in the preparation of the traditional Asian dish known as kimchi. PharmaGABA® is a registered trademark of Pharma Foods International Co., Ltd.


The term “pasture-raised” refers to animals that have spent at least some time outdoors on pasture, feeding on grass or allowed to forage.

Peruvian Cocoa

Peruvian cocoa is raw cacao from Peru that has been roasted and ground to make cocoa powder.




Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), also commonly known as rose root, is a perennial flowering plant, native to the Northern and Arctic regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Rhodiola has a long history of use in traditional herbalism for helping combat stress and support a healthy, balanced mood.* Rhodiola has been extensively studied in northeastern Europe for over 35 years and is categorized as an adaptogen because of its ability to increase resistance to chemical, biological, and physical stressors.*


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a very common culinary herb. Its leaves and oil have been used as a spice in cooking and beverages for generations, and its oil has been used in soaps and perfumes due to its pleasant and distinct fragrance. Historically, rosemary oil has also been used for medicinal purposes, as a botanical strategy for digestive function and comfort, liver and gallbladder health.* Rosemary oil is also a source of the phytocannabinoid, beta-caryophyllene.


Sirtuins (SIRT)

Sirtuins (encoded by SIRT genes) are a family of proteins that play a role in aging by regulating cellular health. They are responsible for critical biological functions like DNA expression and aspects of aging. SIRT rely heavily on the presence of NAD+. Because SIRT activity is so dependent on NAD+, the two compounds are linked to cellular lifespan, metabolism, and even regulation of inflammatory processes. As NAD+ pools decline naturally during the aging process, SIRT function will decline as well. Consequently, maintaining optimal levels of NAD+ will also help maintain healthy SIRT activity and promote optimal mitochondrial function and may help support healthy aging.*


You won't find shellac in our products. Quite different from the varnish-like substance used in woodworking projects, this shellac is a resinous substance secreted by the insect, Laccifer lacca (lac), that is used in the dietary supplement and pharmaceutical industries for its clear-coating and adhesive properties. Essentially it is what gives some medicinal tablets their shiny look.

Sulforaphane Glucosinolate

Sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) is a natural substance extracted from the seeds and sprouts of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. SGS has "indirect" antioxidant properties, helping protect cells from free radical damage.* Typical antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, work "directly" to neutralize free radicals and are usually effective soon after they are consumed.* By contrast, when SGS is ingested and begins to break down in the gut, it releases sulforaphane, thereby activating the body's natural detoxification and antioxidant enzymes and providing more indirect, yet broad support against free radicals and oxidative processes.*



A member of the same plant family as ginger, turmeric (Curcuma longa), is a flowering plant whose rhizome (turmeric root) is commonly used, particularly in Indian and Asian cultures, as a culinary spice. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and other herbalist traditions for centuries for its health promoting properties. Modern research has shown curcumin to be a potent antioxidant with many potential health benefits.*



Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin and hormone, naturally produced by the skin when exposed to direct sunlight. Vitamin D is necessary for the regulation of minerals, particularly calcium, in the body. Consequently, it plays an integral role in maintaining healthy bones and muscles.* Vitamin D is also important in promoting healthy immune function and mood.* Although sunlight provides natural vitamin D, many individuals of all ages, especially the elderly, do not get enough vitamin D from sunlight and their diet. Vitamin D is one of the most common nutrient gaps, and supplementation can therefore be of great benefit in these situations.*

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, lemons, grapefruit), but also berries, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower). Unlike most animals, humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C. As such, vitamin C is an essential dietary component, meaning we must consume it daily. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant.* It is also required by the body to synthesize collagen.*






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