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Nutrition 101 - Glossary - E

EchinaceaDefinition - Echinacea is a plant used in tea, juice, and as an extract that has been associated with treating the common cold. Relevance - There is no consensus on whether echinacea can be used to treat or prevent the common cold or upper respiratory tract infections.

EdemaDefinition - Edema is swelling of body tissues caused by an excess of fluid that often occurs in the lower extremities. Relevance - Edema can be cause by too much salt in the diet, pregnancy, kidney disease, and heart failure, among others; edema can also occur as a response to inflammation or injury.

EGCGDefinition - Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a polyphenol and the main catechin found in tea. Relevance - EGCG is an antioxidant that is also associated with chemopreventive properties; there are also testimonials in the media that it can decrease fat mass and manage hormone levels.

Ellagic acidDefinition - Ellagic acid is a phenolic compound that is found in berries and walnuts that is reported to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Relevance - Some studies have found ellagic acid to be effective in lowering cholesterol and treating some aspects of metabolic syndrome; it has also been reported to be an antioxidant.

EPADefinition - Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid present in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Relevance - Omega-3 fats are important to heart health and help prevent diseases and conditions that stem from inflammation. EPA is abundant in fish and shellfish, which also contribute protein, vitamins and minerals to the diet.

EpicatechinDefinition - Epicatechin is a flavanol found in cocoa, grapes, and green tea. Relevance - Epicatechin is considered an antioxidant and has been linked to the improved vascular function associated with cocoa flavanol intake.

ErgosterolDefinition - Ergosterol is a compound found in the cell membrane of yeast and some fungi. Relevance - In early studies of ergosterol in mushrooms, it has been shown that ergosterol can be converted to the D2 form of vitamin D and that it is well-absorbed.

Eugenol Definition - Eugenol is the active compound found in clove oil. Relevance - Eugenol is used for flavors and perfumes in the food industry and other industry; it is also used as an analgesic in dentistry.