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Mikra Glossary of Key Terms

We get it – when it comes to cellular health and oxidative stress, things can get confusing quick. There’s a lot of science behind what we do. We believe you don’t need to be a science guru to learn a bit more about your body and how to take care of it.

This list of key terms and phrases are intended to help you navigate our product descriptions, blog posts and anything else you may come across when looking into cellular health. Happy learning!

Cellular Process and Science

  • Apoptosis – the death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development 

  • Autophagy – the body’s natural process of cleaning out damaged cells to regenerate new ones

  • ATP – also known as adenosine triphosphate, an organic compound that provides energy to drive processes within cells

  • Bioavailability – the proportion of a drug or substance that is able to be absorbed when introduced into the body 

  • Cellular respiration – process that occurs in the mitochondria of cells to break down sugar in the presence of oxygen to release energy in the form of ATP and waste products

  • Cytokines – any number of substances (interferon, interleukin) that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune systems and cells

  • Digestive degeneration – when the concentration of a drug, specifically when administered orally, is greatly reduced in the digestive tract before it reaches its destination

  • Eukaryote – any cell or organism that possesses a clearly defined nucleus

  • Free radicals – a molecular species with an unpaired electron, which makes them unstable and highly reactive
    • Homeostasis – the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintained by biological systems, resulting in optimal function of the body

    • Inflammation – in response to an internal or external trigger, when your immune system sends out white blood cells to fight bacteria, heal an injury or otherwise protect your body
    • In vivo vs. In vitro – in clinical studies, in vivo exists within a living organism, while in vitro exists in a glass (like a petri dish, glass beaker, etc.
    • Liposomes – spherical vesicle having at least one lipid bilayer, often used as a drug delivery vehicle by encapsulating molecules

    • Mitochondria - the source of energy within a cell, where the biochemical process of respiration occurs

    • Mitochondrial biogenesis – the growth and division of pre-existing mitochondria, activated by different signals during times of cellular stress 
    • Mitophagy – The selective degradation of mitochondria by autophagy, often occurring to defective mitochondria following damage or stress

    • Organelle – specialized structures that perform specific jobs within the cell. Read more on organelles here

    • Oxidative stress – a breakdown of healthy cells caused by an imbalance between the production and accumulation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the capacity of our biological systems to neutralize them

    • Prokaryotic – organisms whose cells lack a nucleus and other organelles

    • Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) – a subset of free radicals that contain O₂

    • Senescent (zombie) cells – damaged cells that do not die off as they should
      • Telomere  the end of a chromosome, made of repetitive sequences of non-coding DNA that protect the chromosome from damage

      Ingredients and Supplements 

      • Absorption – the movement of drug from the site of drug administration to the systemic circulation

      • Antioxidant – a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food product
      • Bioavailability – the amount of administered drug that is “available” to reach the systemic circulation within the body
      • CoQ10 – a naturally occurring nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, promoting cell growth and maintenance
      • Glutathione – a powerful antioxidant and sulfuric tripeptide comprised largely of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamine, glycine), produced by your body to combat free radicals. 
      • Lactoferrin – a protein commonly found in milk and other bodily fluids that helps regulate how well iron is absorbed into the body from the intestine
      • PQQ a naturally occurring compound found in soil, various foods and human breastmilk that influences energy-related metabolism and neurologic functions
      • Tripeptide – a specific type of protein molecule formed when three amino acids join together. 


      • Astrocyte a type of glial cell that holds nerve cells in place

      • Erythrocyte also known as red blood cells, that are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body’s tissues

      • Granulocyte – white blood cells that contain small protein granules that help the body fight bacterial infections

      • Leukocyte – a white blood cell, involved in counteracting foreign substances and disease

      • Lymphocyte (Bs + Ts) – two types of white blood cells that exist in the immune system. B cells produce antibodies that are used to attack invading bacteria, viruses, and toxins. T cells destroy the body's own cells that have themselves been taken over by viruses or cancer.

      • Monocyte –  produced in the bone marrow, it is the largest type of leukocyte. As a part of the vertebrate innate immune system, they influence the process of adaptive immunity.


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