Lexique

Amino acids

Amino acids are molecules that group together to form proteins. It is the variety of amino acids present and the order in which they are assembled that determines which proteins are produced and their role in the body.

Anatomical barriers

"These include the skin and mucous membranes, such as the intestinal and nasal mucosa. These barriers are the first lines of defence against attacks. Their defence mechanisms are both physical and microbiological: the intestinal flora plays a key role, for example."

Analgesic

This is the name usually given to medicines designed to eliminate pain (e.g. anaesthetics). However, in everyday language, this term is often misused to describe medicines with pain-reducing properties.

Anaemia

Anaemia is a disorder caused by low levels of haemoglobin, one of the components of blood. The most common cause is iron deficiency.

Antibody

Large proteins used by the immune system to detect and neutralise pathogenic agents.

Antioxidants

Elements used to neutralise the negative effects of oxidative stress (see below for definition). The most well-known are vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and polyphenols.

Anabolic mode

Organic matter synthesis, one of the stages of metabolism.

Bioavailability

"The ability of an ingredient to be absorbed and used by the body. Bioavailability can depend on the chemical nature of the ingredient, its molecular weight (size) and its ability to interact with the body."

Bruxism

Bruxism is the technical term used to describe teeth grinding in horses.

Bot fly

A bot fly is a parasite that lodges in the stomach of horses.

Chelate

A combination of a mineral and an organic element, so it can be more easily absorbed by the digestive tract.

Colostrum

Colostrum is secreted by the horse's udders during the last few days of gestation, just before milk production. It is very rich in antibodies and nutritional elements, which is why a foal's first feed is extremely important.

Chondroitin

Examination of droppings under the microscope, generally to determine whether a parasite is present (identification of eggs, larvae or the adult form of a parasite).

Coproscopy

Examination of droppings under the microscope, generally to determine whether a parasite is present (identification of eggs, larvae or the adult form of a parasite).

Corticosteroid

Medicines with a chemical structure similar to that of cortisone (a hormone produced from cholesterol and secreted by the adrenal cortex). They are primarily used therapeutically as anti-inflammatory agents and immunosuppressants.

Catabolic mode

Organic matter destruction, one of the stages of metabolism.

Decubitus

In medicine, decubitus describes the lying down position. Lateral decubitus describes a horse lying down on its side.

DNA

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) contains each individual's genetic information. Contained within the nucleus of each cell, DNA provides coded instructions used to produce substances the body needs to function. After duplication, part of the DNA is transmitted during reproduction and is the basis of heredity.

Digestive flora

The digestive flora comprises the bacteria and micro-organisms naturally present in the digestive tract.

Electrolyte

Electrolytes are mineral salts found in the body that are vital for maintaining essential functions such as muscle contraction. They are water-soluble and therefore easily lost during heavy sweating.

Endotoxemia

Endotoxemia describes contamination of the blood by toxins released by bacteria known as endotoxins. Endotoxemia may lead to septic shock.

Expectoration (expectorant properties)

Expectoration describes the action of getting rid of secretions from the respiratory system through the mouth by coughing. An ingredient with expectorant properties stimulates this process.

Fermentable

An element is said to be "fermentable" when it is able to begin the fermentation process.

Free radicals

Chemically unstable oxygenated forms mainly released during energy production in cells (e.g. when the muscles are being used). Also known as "pro-oxidant compounds", free radicals attack the cell walls.

GAG

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are made up of long sugar chains, rich in nitrogen and usually sulphur. They have two unique characteristics: they are highly resistant, but are also able to capture water in order to build strong shock-absorbing structures. Thousands of GAGs overlap with one another, particularly in cartilage, thus absorbing pressure during movement to protect the underlying bone. Among the most important GAGs are chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. Glucosamine is often incorrectly grouped under this term, even though it has a different chemical structure.

Gene expression

We say that a gene is “expressed” when the cell uses it to produce the protein for which it codes.

Gastric flora

The gastric flora comprises the bacteria and micro-organisms naturally present in the stomach.

Gene

An entity containing the "assembly instructions” for producing a protein

Glucosamine

"Glucosamine is a complex carbohydrate from the amino sugar family with a structure similar to that of glucose. It is often incorrectly classed as a GAG. Joint cartilage is very rich in glucosamine."

Harpagoside

Harpagoside is a natural component of Harpagophytum. This plant, native to South Africa, is also known as "devil's claw" and is traditionally used to help relieve pain and stiffness.

Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is an acidic, corrosive chemical compound (pH < 7) found in gastric acid. Its role in the stomach is to help break down food.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan found throughout the body, including in connective and nervous tissue. It is particularly present in joints, where it acts as a lubricant in the synovial fluid and makes the cartilage more elastic.

Haemoglobin

Haemoglobin is the protein that enables red blood cells to bind oxygen so it can be transported around the body in the blood flow.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Immunoglobulin G is an antibody. It is tested to assess the immune status of foals at birth.

In-vitro study

A study carried out in a laboratory on animal cells or tissue.

In-vivo study

A study carried out on animals without causing them harm. They are usually used to confirm in-vitro studies.

Intestinal flora

The intestinal flora comprises the bacteria and micro-organisms naturally present in the intestine.

Immunosuppressant

A factor that reduces immune defences.

IRAP

A complex treatment process that consists of extracting powerful, natural anti-inflammatory factors from a blood sample taken from a patient. After purification, the concentrate is injected into the affected joint or tendon, where it acts directly on the inflammation site.

Intercurrent disease

Disease occurring during another disease.

Lactic acid

"Lactic acid is a waste product resulting from the production of energy by the muscles during intense exercise when the muscle's oxygen requirements exceed intake. Excess lactic acid in the body can have a harmful effect."

Lymphocytes

Lymphocytes are white blood cells. They are part of the acquired immune system and are produced in the bone marrow.

Minerals

Inorganic elements found in numerous proteins. In ion form, they play a role in numerous complex cell function processes.

Muscle fibre

Muscle cell in which muscle contraction occurs.

Microbial flora

The microbial flora comprises all the bacteria and micro-organisms naturally present in the body. The microbial flora plays an essential role in maintaining health.

Mano-oligo-saccharide (MOS)

A prebiotic (see definition below)

Myositis

Disease caused by inflammation of the muscle cells, often called "tying up".

Myolysis

Destruction of muscle cells

Molecular weight

The size of a molecule, expressed in daltons. The more complex a molecule, the heavier it is. Generally, low-molecular-weight nutrients pass through the intestinal barrier more easily and are found in greater quantities in the blood stream.

Nebulisation

"A nebuliser transforms a liquid into very fine droplets. This method, known as ""nebulisation"", is widely used in horses to administer a liquid by inhalation through the nose. It enables effective diffusion of active substances for targeted action on the respiratory system."

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Medicines used to reduce inflammation. They also relieve pain and reduce fever.

Nutrients

Elements contained in food which, once absorbed, are used by the body to meet its physiological requirements.

Oxidative stress

"The body naturally produces metabolic waste, including ""free radicals"" (see definition above). Free radical production increases during exercise. Their oxidative effect has a destructive impact on the body and can cause irreversible cell damage."

Oedema

Oedema is swelling due to the abnormal presence of fluid outside the vessels. It has a variety of different causes.

Osteophyte

An outgrowth of bone on joints.

Peritonitis

Inflammation of the membrane surrounding the abdominal organs.

Phagocytes

Cells that can devour and destroy particles of variable size, such as microbes, cellular waste and foreign particles. They are mostly white blood cells (macrophages or lymphocytes).

Postprandial

After meals.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible sugars. They are used as a food source by good bacteria in the intestinal flora, thus stimulating their growth.

Probiotic

Probiotics are living bacteria that are able to survive when they pass through the stomach. They help stabilise and balance the intestinal flora, thus encouraging digestion and helping strengthen the immune system.

PRP

"A complex treatment process that consists of extracting blood platelets from a blood sample taken from a patient. Rich in growth factors, the platelets are used to accelerate recovery in severely damaged tissue. After concentration, they are re-injected into a damaged joint or tendon, where they promote healing."

Ptyalism

Hypersalivation.

Piroplasmosis

Equine piroplasmosis is a tick-borne disease caused by a parasite transmitted following a bite. It invades and ultimately destroys red blood cells, leading fairly quickly to the appearance of anaemia, which leaves the horse exhausted. Read related subject.

PCR test

The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is a molecular biology test that amplifies a DNA fragment.

Red blood cell line

The red blood cell line describes all the stages of red blood cell development.

RNA

RNA is a DNA copy used to produce proteins. Unlike DNA, which never leaves the nucleus, RNA is able to function in other areas of the cell.

Surgical wound care

Surgical wound care consists of surgically cleaning a wound to optimise healing.

Stem cell

Term used to describe undifferentiated cells.

SSRD (Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis)

SSRD is a skin disease caused by an allergy to bites from certain insects. It generally occurs in summer, and as the name suggests, it can be recurrent, which means it reappears year after year in affected horses. The insect bites cause severe itching on certain parts of the body, leading to rapid hair loss and changes in the appearance of the skin in affected areas. Read more on the subject.

Standardised phytotherapy

The use of recognised and approved methods for extracting active ingredients from plants. The quantity of active principles used is measured and declared.

Statistically significant results

Scientists consider results that are certain to be repeated in 99.95% of cases to be statistically significant. This is shown by “p<0.05”. These results are indicated by a small asterisk (*) in the graphs.

Synovitis

Inflammation of the joint synovial membrane.

Symbiotics

A combination of prebiotics and probiotics.

Tendinopathy

A tendon disorder, which may be caused by inflammation.

Type I collagen

"A member of the protein family, collagen comprises non-elastic, resistant fibres. It is found in abundance throughout the body, where it prevents tissue from deforming upon stretching. There are several types of collagen, each with their own specific properties. Type I collagen accounts for 90% of collagen in the body. It makes up the bone framework, providing strength and dimensional stability."

Therapeutic diagnosis

A therapeutic diagnosis is based on the body's response following administration of a specific treatment.

Trace elements

Inorganic elements required at trace levels in all stages of cell development and function.

Vitamins

Complex organic substances that the body is unable to produce in sufficient quantities, even though they are essential for it to function.


Doping contaminant tests

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