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Nutrition 101 - Glossary - N

NaringinDefinition - Naringin is a flavonoid compound present in grapefruit and responsible for its characteristic bitter citrus flavor. Relevance - Naringin interferes with the breakdown of many drugs, causing significantly increased blood levels of the drugs, which can have adverse effects; However, proposed positive effects of naringin include protection against chemotherapy toxins, enhanced metabolism of fats and alcohols, decreased risk of atherosclerosis, and many more.

NeotameDefinition - Neotame is an artificial sweetener that is approved for use by the FDA. Relevance - Neotame is used to sweeten diet foods and beverages.

NiacinDefinition - Niacin, or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for nerve, skin, and digestive function and aids conversion of food to usable energy. Relevance - Niacin is found in dairy, grains, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts, and legumes and is used as a treatment option for low HDL and high LDL cholesterol levels. Food manufacturers are required to add niacin to enriched breads, cereal and grain products to prevent deficiency diseases, such as pellagra.

NixtamalizationDefinition – The traditional process of cooking then soaking field corn in an alkaline solution, then washing and grinding it into a dough called masa used to make tortillas. Relevance – Although this process increases the nutritional value of corn masa, mainly by making B vitamins more available to the body, a small amount of bran is lost during soaking.