Wellness Glossary

At Arivale, we deploy cutting edge science to turn your data into specific, actionable recommendations to help optimize your wellness. However, this scientific path is filled with complex words and abbreviations you may not have heard before.

As you read through your coach handouts and reports, use this glossary as a guide to better understand unfamiliar terms. Keep in mind that your Arivale Coach will also be there every step of the way to explain this information in greater detail—because success is never a solo endeavor.

Note: This glossary is a continuous work in progress. If you notice a term missing from this resource, please contact Arivale Concierge at 206-981-5834 or email concierge@arivale.com.

A ratio that reflects the amount of albumin in blood compared to globulin. A normal A/G ratio is slightly over 1 and reflects liver and kidney health.

The amount of basophils in the blood calculated as the amount of total white blood cells (WBCs) multiplied by the percent of basophils.

The amount of eosinophils in the blood calculated as the amount of total white blood cells (WBCs) multiplied by the percent of eosinophils.

The amount of lymphocytes in the blood calculated as the amount of total white blood cells (WBCs) multiplied by the percent of lymphocytes.

The count of monocytes in the blood found by multiplying the total white blood cells (WBCs) by the percent of those cells that are monocytes.

The amount of neutrophils in the blood calculated as the amount of total white blood cells (WBCs) multiplied by the percent of neutrophils

The ACE gene provides instructions to make the angiotensin converting enzyme. This enzyme helps with salt and water reabsorption by the kidneys and also causes constriction of small arteries, which results in increased blood pressure.

A combination of Achilles tendon pain, swelling and stiffness that reduces your ability to participate in physical activity. The Achilles tendon attaches the muscles in the back of your lower leg to your heel. Tendons attach muscle to bone or other structures.

A hormone secreted from fat cells, involved in blood sugar regulation.

The AGT gene provides instructions for making a protein called angiotensinogen. Once converted into its active form, it controls blood pressure by regulating the balance of fluids and salts in the body as well as the constriction of arteries.

An enzyme mainly found in the liver. It is a commonly measured marker for liver health.

The most abundant protein found in the blood. One of its major jobs is to regulate the exchange of water between the blood and the spaces between the cells. It is also a transport protein for a variety of molecules in the blood as well as certain drugs.

ALP is a protein found in all body tissues. The liver, bile ducts and bone have higher amounts. ALP is used as a liver function test.

One of two or more versions of a gene. An individual inherits two alleles for each gene, one from each parent. If the two alleles are the same, the individual is considered “homozygous” for that gene. If the individual has two different alleles for a certain gene, they are considered “heterozygous.”

A substance or material determined by chemical analysis. Measured lab values are considered to be analytes.

A partial or full tear of the ACL ligament, one of the many ligaments connecting the upper and lower portions of the leg at the knee. A ligament connects bone to bone.

Substances that remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents are called free radicals. Antioxidants are found naturally in the body in the form of enzymes, but can also be consumed in a wide variety of foods. Vegetables and fruits, spices, herbs, as well as green tea and red wine are high in antioxidants.

The APOC3 gene provides the instructions to make a protein called Apolipoprotein C3. This protein is found in triglyceride- and cholesterol-containing particles in the blood. Apolipoprotein C3 prevents the breakdown of these fat-rich particles in blood.

A type of omega-6 fat. This fat is commonly found in meat, eggs, and dairy. It is not an essential fatty acid, meaning the body can produce it on its own.

Ratio of arachidonic acid (omega-6) to EPA (omega-3).

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Nutritionist (CN), or Registered Nurse (RN) who works with a client on a regular basis. The coach is responsible for translating the complex scientific information from physician-ordered laboratory tests into actionable recommendations, to help the client optimize his or her wellness and help meet their wellness objectives.

Type of fat created by industrial processing of food. Trans fats have been associated with a number of health risks, including increased LDL cholesterol, and increased diabetes risk. that. These fats are made when vegetable oils are or partially hydrogenated. Examples include fried foods, baked goods, frozen foods and margarine.

An enzyme present in tissues of high metabolic activity (heart, liver, muscle, brain, etc.). It is released into the blood after injury or damage to cells. Used as a marker of liver function.

A disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.

B vitamins provide building blocks for growing cells, and play an important role in many physiological processes. B vitamins also supply some of the chemicals necessary for protecting our genes, so that our DNA doesn’t accumulate as much damage from the wear and tear in the daily lives of our cells. These vitamins—including folate, vitamins B6 and B12—help make new DNA for cells that are constantly growing and renewing themselves.

A type of white blood cell involved in certain kinds of inflammatory or allergic reactions.

Bilirubin is the yellow-ish breakdown product of normal blood cell metabolism. It is excreted in bile and urine.

BUN stands for Blood Urea Nitrogen. It is a measurement of the amount of nitrogen in the blood that comes from the waste product urea.

Measurement based on BUN and creatinine, reflecting on kidney function. Can be altered by dehydration and congestive heart failure.

Substance formed by the liver in response to inflammation. A higher level CRP indicates that the body is in a more inflamed state. Also called “hs-CRP” or “high-sensitivity CRP,” referring to the type of lab analysis that is performed.

Measurement indicating both amounts of circulating and bound calcium in the blood. Does not reflect the levels of calcium in the bone.

Refers to the very tight regulation of calcium ions in the blood.

Gaseous waste product from metabolism. Measuring levels of bicarbonate in the blood, which is the chemical (buffer) that keeps the pH of blood balanced.

Also known as heart disease, it refers to various types of conditions that can affect heart function, including conditions that affect the coronary arteries, heart valves or the heart muscle itself.

The COMT gene provides the instruction to make a protein involved in the normal break down of brain chemicals, like dopamine, and hormones, like estrogen.

CBS provides the information to make an enzyme that requires vitamin B6 to help manage homocysteine.

The CETP gene provides the instructions to make an enzyme that plays a key role in the metabolism of HDL cholesterol.

COL1A1 provides the information to make a protein which is needed to make type I collagen. Collagens are the most abundant proteins in our body. They provide strength and support to many tissues including bone, cartilage, skin, and tendon. Type I collagen is the most abundant form of collagen and the major protein of bone.

Tissue that connects, supports or separates other tissues or organs. Examples include tendons, cartilage and ligaments.

A stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Elevations in cortisol can be an indicator of chronic stress. Consistently high cortisol has been associated with increased risk for a number of diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. The kidney filters this from the blood into the urine, making it a good marker for kidney function.

The CRP gene provides the instructions to make CRP, a protein that signals your body’s immune system response to injury and infection as part of the inflammation process. Higher blood levels of CRP are a marker of general inflammation.

The CYP1A1 gene provides the instructions to make an enzyme involved in Phase I of the body's detoxification process. This enzyme converts some environmental toxins, such as car exhaust and cigarette smoke, to substances that will be further processed by Phase II detoxification enzymes for elimination. If these converted toxins accumulate in the body, they have the potential to contribute to the development of cancer.

CYP1A2 provides instructions to make an enzyme that is involved in the metabolism of caffeine. Variants in this gene may impact your predisposition for high blood pressure depending on your caffeine consumption.

The CBS gene codes for an enzyme involved in removing homocysteine from its biochemical cycle. This can result in elevated blood levels of homocysteine if B-vitamin intake is inadequate.

Detoxification involves a number of processes in the body that remove harmful substances (toxins). Your body detoxifies both environmental toxins and those generated as a natural byproduct of your body’s metabolism.

A type of omega-3 fat, which has been associated with reduced inflammation, and improved brain and cardiovascular health. This fat is essential and cannot be synthesized by the body. It must be consumed via diet.

The parts of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, and nuts that cannot be digested by humans. There are two types of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble. Most fiber-rich foods contain both types of fiber, with one type predominating over the other.

Conjugated, or direct, travels freely through blood to the liver. Most of this bilirubin passes into the small intestine.

Plays a key role in the regulation of blood vessel tone and helps protect blood vessels.

A type of white blood cell that functions in allergic responses and to help resist infections.

A type of omega-3 fat, associated with reduced inflammation, and improved brain and cardiovascular health. This fat cannot be synthesized by the body and must be consumed via diet.

The FADS1 gene provides instructions to make an enzyme involved in the metabolism of longer chain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

The FTO gene is expressed in fat cells and insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas, as well as many other tissues in the body. Research suggests that the FTO gene is associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity, although the mechanism is unknown.

An iron-containing protein that serves to store iron in the tissue.

A B-vitamin that is involved in turning many genes on and off, and also helps repair DNA. “Folic acid” is the synthetic form of folate found in many dietary supplements and fortified foods.

Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. They can damage cellular membranes and DNA. To prevent free radical damage, the body has a defense system ofantioxidants.

A transport molecule involved in helping the liver metabolize drugs and toxins. Serves as a marker for liver function. GGT has also been associated with risk factors for diabetes.

The GC gene provides the instructions to make a protein that binds to vitamin D to transport it in the blood and protect it against degradation. Vitamin D is essential to many biological functions including normal bone health and calcium balance.

A segment of the DNA molecule that contains the instructions by which your body makes each of the many thousands of proteins required for life. Each gene is comprised of thousands of combinations of adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G), which make up your genetic code. Each gene code combines the “letters” A, T, C and G in various ways. These “letters” spell out the “words” that specify which amino acid is needed to make the proteins required for proper development and function.

Slight changes in the genetic code. For example, one genetic “letter” (A, T, C, or G) may be replaced by another. These variations can lead to different bodily processes, just as altering one letter in a word can change its meaning. Gene variations can have beneficial effects, harmful effects or, not uncommonly, no effect at all. All individuals have multiple gene variants in their DNA.

An individual’s specific gene sequence.

One of the major proteins in blood, produced by the liver and the immune system. Globulin proteins help transport iron in the blood and may be involved in fighting infections.

Measures the amount of blood passing through the glomeruli each minute and is a measure of kidney function. The result is based on the creatinine level and several other factors including age, ethnicity, gender, height, and weight.

Tiny filters in the kidneys that filter waste from the blood.

A simple sugar that is an important energy source in living organisms. Otherwise known as blood sugar.

A potent natural antioxidant that helps prevent cellular oxidative damage.

To remove harmful compounds, your body has detoxification pathways described as Phase I and Phase II. Phase I often involves adding oxygen to the compound to make it reactive, and Phase II involves neutralizing the now-reactive compound so it can be more easily excreted from the body. There are more than 15 glutathione S‐transferase (GST) enzymes involved in Phase II. Here, we present your genotypes for the three most-studied GST enzymes: GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1. Each of these GST enzymes is responsible for neutralizing carcinogens that may cause DNA damage, potentially leading to cancer.

Collectively refers to all the bacteria in your gut. There is a consensus among scientific and medical experts that the gut is very important for human health. Research on the gut microbiome is still in its infancy.

High-density lipoprotein is a well-behaved cholesterol molecule; involved in removing undesirable cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong.

A total number of particles of all the HDL particle sizes.

The organized systems analyzed by Arivale. Each Health Dimension integrates data from clinical lab results, genetics and lifestyle or traits.

Measures the percentage of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells (RBCs). This result will depend on the number and size of RBCs.

A protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues.

A measure in blood that reflects average blood sugar levels over three months. Also called “glycated hemoglobin”.

A genetic disorder in which there is an excessive accumulation of iron in the body, leading to iron overload. Many people with the genotype for hemochromatosis develop high iron levels. In some of these people, iron overload can lead to serious illness including arthritis, liver and heart disease, and diabetes. When diagnosed, hereditary hemochromatosis can be treated by giving blood which reduces the amount of iron. Talk to your coach about sharing these results with your primary care physician as they can impact your health and potentially the health of your siblings and children. In addition, discuss dietary changes including reducing iron.

See “Allele.”

The HFE gene provides instructions to make a protein involved in sensing the amount of iron in the body. This protein plays an important role in how the body regulates iron absorption and storage. The two HFE variants reported are the variants most commonly found in people with hemochromatosis associated with this gene. Hereditary hemochromatosis causes the body to absorb too much iron from food. Excess iron is stored in organs, especially the liver, heart and, pancreas. Iron overload can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems, and diabetes.

Measure of insulin resistance (the body’s ability to use insulin to reduce blood sugar). HOMA-IR is calculated from the fasting blood glucose and insulin values using an equation that has been validated against other, more invasive, measures of insulin resistance.

An amino acid and breakdown product of proteins, associated with increased heart disease risk.

See “Allele.”

See “C-reactive protein.”

A process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. The fat is then considered to be a Trans Fat.

The IL1A gene provides the instructions to make interleukin-1 alpha, a protein associated with chronic inflammation of the gums and periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and may be associated with other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

The IL6 gene provides the instructions to make interleukin-6 (IL-6), a small protein that signals your body’s immune system response to injury and infection as part of the inflammation process.

The IL6R gene provides the instructions to make IL-6 receptor, a protein involved in signaling your body’s immune system response to injury and infection as part of the inflammation process. One of the primary actions of this protein is to trigger the production of CRP, a major inflammation marker.

Insoluble form of bilirubin. It travels through the blood to the liver, where it is changed into a soluble form.

Acute inflammation is a normal immune response and an essential step in tissue healing. However, chronic inflammation is not beneficial. An increasing number of common disorders, such as obesity, heart disease, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease have been associated with chronic low-grade inflammation.

Insoluble fiber does not soak up water. This type of fiber acts like a broom that sweeps through the colon, and aids in elimination and bowel regularity.

A hormone that stimulates the uptake of glucose from the diet into the blood. Those with lowered sensitivity to insulin have a limited ability to respond to the hormone’s action.

The body’s ability to use insulin to reduce blood sugar. Insulin insensitivity or resistance may play an important role in some of the most common disorders—including, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and disrupted fat metabolism.

A pro-inflammatory chemical that plays a crucial role in inflammation and regulates expression of C-reactive protein. (Low-grade chronic inflammation is associated with obesity and visceral fat deposition, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

A protein involved in systemic inflammation.

The LCT gene provides the instructions to make an enzyme called lactase which breaks down lactose, the main carbohydrate in milk. Depending on your genotype, your lactase production may decline with age, influencing your ability to digest dairy products.

Low-Density Lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol molecule which contributes to plaque deposits that can clog arteries and make them less flexible.

Large-sized LDL are the least damaging of all the LDL sizes. A greater LDL size is favorable and decreases heart disease risk.

The number of particles of LDL. LDL particles carry both triglyceride and cholesterol, and are associated with heart disease risk.

Heavy metal toxin.

Type of vegetable that includes beans, peas, and lentils.

A hormone produced by fat cells that is involved in regulating body fatness. Leptin’s main effect in this regard is to produce feelings of fullness. Leptin levels usually drop after weight loss, which can lead to increased hunger drive.

LPL provides the instructions to make an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that removes lipids (fats) from blood.

An inflammatory marker/enzyme that accelerates the formation of plaque in the blood vessels.

A type of white blood cell that occurs in two forms: B cells to produce antibodies, and T cells to process foreign bodies for removal.

A trace mineral involved in a multitude of actions in the body. Serum magnesium is not always indicative of total magnesium, as most of the body’s magnesium is stored in the bones.

An estimate of the amount of hemoglobin in an average RBC. The MCH is elevated when RBCs are too large and is decreased when RBCs are too small.

A calculation of the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a single RBC. It is calculated by dividing hemoglobin by hematocrit.

The average volume of RBCs. A low MCV indicates a small average RBC size, whereas a high MCV indicates a large average RBC size. Immature (young) RBCs tend to be larger than more mature cells.

A heavy metal toxin. High levels of mercury can be found in some fish and in dental amalgams.

A calculated measure of the total energy expended during physical activity. To calculate, take the MET value for a specific physical activity and multiply it by the duration (in hours).

A way to measure how much energy you burn during any chosen physical activity. Every activity, from watching TV to going for a run, has a MET value. The more vigorous the activity, the higher the MET value.

A substance produced by metabolism or by a metabolic process. Metabolites have various functions, including fuel, structure, signaling, stimulatory and inhibitory effects on enzymes.

An essential amino acid required for protein synthesis.

MTR provides the information to make an enzyme that requires methylated vitamin B12 to help manage homocysteine.

The MTRR provides the information to make an enzyme that converts vitamin B12 to its methylated form. Methylated vitamin B12 is required for the function of a key enzyme involved in managing homocysteine.

A chemical process involving the addition of “methyl groups”. Methylation is critically important for a large number of functions in the body, including immune function, energy production, detoxification, mood balancing and minimizing DNA damage. Methylation is impacted by both genetics and the environment.

A key enzyme involved in the metabolism of the B vitamin folate. Folate levels influence blood levels of homocysteine, which is associated with heart disease risk and some cases of depression.

A marker of vitamin B12 status

See “Gut Microbiome”

See “SOD2.”

Large phagocytic white blood cells.

includes muscles, bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

The most abundant of all white blood cells. Formed by the stem cells in the bone marrow.

The NOS3 gene provides the instructions to make an enzyme known as eNOS. This enzyme makes nitric oxide, which plays a key role in relaxing blood vessels, controlling blood clotting, and protecting against plaque buildup. These factors are important to protect against heart disease.

The building blocks of DNA/RNA – can be A,G,T or C.

The science of the effects of individual genetic variations in response to diet, exercise and lifestyle. Each of these environmental factors can cause genes to be “expressed” in a positive or negative way. Nutrigenetic testing enables us to identify key areas to help achieve an individual’s optimal health.

Ratio of omega 3 fatty acids to total fatty acids.

Omega-3 fats include EPA and DHA, which can help raise HDL, lower LDL, and reduce inflammation. Food rich in these fats include cold-water fish like salmon or tuna, flax seeds and walnuts.

Ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids

The damage that results from free radicals that are generated during the breakdown of oxygen molecules. The key to neutralizing these free radicals is to increase antioxidant levels.

A marker of oxidative stress and an ingredient in the formation of blood vessel plaque, which can lead to an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

A mineral in the blood that helps build bones and teeth, important for nerve signaling and muscle contraction.

Platelets are cell fragments necessary for blood clotting.

The term “polygenic” simply means “many genes.” Your polygenic profile is the sum of the effects of all the common genetic variants implicated for a quantitative trait or complex disorder that are observed within you. These common variants typically have smaller effects than rare variants, but the sum of these effects can be quite significant.

An electrolyte and mineral in the blood. It helps keep the water and electrolytes balance of the body. Important in nerve, muscle and kidney function.

The PPARG gene provides the instructions to make a protein that controls the expression of many genes involved in regulating insulin sensitivity as well as the building and breaking down of fat cells.

Injury prevention strategies are also called prehabilitation. Opposite of rehabilitation which is for after an injury, prehabilitation is to prevent injury. Resistance and flexibility training are the cornerstones for prehabilitation. Examples include progressive strength training, Pilates, and yoga.

A substance that encourages oxidation in the body.

Two of the bases in nucleic acids—adenine and guanine.

Red blood cell.

This is a measure of how many RBCs a person has. Adequate RBCs are necessary for carrying oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to body tissues.

A calculation of the variation in RBC sizes. An elevation in this lab indicates a large variation in RBC size and may be the result of iron deficiency or pernicious anemia.

The reference genome is released by a research consortium in the scientific community (Genome Reference Consortium at NCBI). It is the currently accepted reference version (on version 38 now) of the human genome and is used to compare against the genome being tested. Note that the GRC is focused on many genomes, not just the human one. This means it is a source that can be used to understand other genomes through comparisons. It does not represent a single person but rather a combination of several people. It does not represent the ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ genome. It is constantly under revision as there are still regions in the human genome which are uncertain.

Refined omega-6 fats have been associated with increased inflammation and are missing the nutrients and fiber from the whole foods source that support a healthy system.

In excessive quantities saturated fat has been shown to clog and stiffen arteries, increasing the risk of developing heart disease. They also cause insulin resistance, which increases the risk for developing diabetes, and can increase inflammation. These fats are primarily found in animal products such as meat, dairy, cheese, as well as some plant products such as coconut oil and palm oil.

A new industry launched by Arivale that utilizes an individual’s unique genetic makeup, clinical lab data and lifestyle to optimize wellness.

Neutrophils that are mature and have at least two distinct lobes in the nucleus giving them a segmented appearance.

The SLC2A2 gene provides the instructions to make GLUT-2, a protein that transports glucose in the blood. Research suggests that GLUT-2 is a glucose sensor and is important to maintain blood sugar balance.

Small-sized LDL particles are the most detrimental type of LDL. When present in excess, these small particles contribute to increased heart disease risk.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms. The most common type of genetic variation among people.

SOD2 provides the instructions to make an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from free radicals formed when cells produce energy. Free radicals can damage cells if not cleared.

The SOD3 gene provides the instructions to make a key antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the spaces surrounding cells. This antioxidant is especially important for protecting blood vessels from oxidative stress.

An electrolyte and mineral in the blood. It helps keep the water and electrolytes balance of the body. Important in nerve and muscle function.

Soluble fiber has the ability to soak up water. It stimulates the muscles in your intestinesand binds to cholesterol and toxins allowing them to be eliminated from the body. Soluble fiber increases the feeling of fullness after eating a meal, and is helpful for lowering cholesterol, improving blood sugar balance, maintaining a healthy weight, and promoting the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

Ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol.

Trimethylamine-N-oxide is a metabolite found in human blood. TMA is produced by some bacteria in the gut microbiome and converted by the liver to TMAO.

This substance is found in bile and produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells.

A fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body used to make hormones, vitamin D, and materials that help you digest foods.

Measurement of the total amount of protein in the blood (including both Albumin and Globulin).

The TCF7L2 gene provides the instructions to make a protein that controls the expression of many genes involved in the function of insulin-secreting cells. Insulin is a hormone that is essential to control blood sugar.

A type of fat found in the blood that is an important indicator of heart health. It is made from excess caloric intake that can’t be processed by the body right away.

The TNF gene provides the instructions to make TNF-alpha, a small protein that signals your body’s immune system response to injury and infection as part of the inflammation process.

Heart-healthy food options that may help raise HDL and lower LDL to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Examples include olives, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.

While omega-6 fats are often considered pro-inflammatory, the whole food sources contain phytochemicals and fiber that support reduced cholesterol and reduced inflammation. Examples include nuts and seeds.

Product made when protein is broken down in the body. Made in the liver and passed out of the body in the urine.

Chemical created in the body from the breakdown of purines. Purines are found in liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas, and beer.

The VDR gene provides instructions to make vitamin D receptor (VDR). When vitamin D binds to VDR, other genes get turned on or off to help manage many important body processes, including calcium absorption.

A measure of vitamin D levels.

White blood cell.

A trace mineral involved in immune function and DNA synthesis.