NEC Background

Glossary

  • Activity Units

    Like IU for vitamin E, enzymes need to be labeled on the basis of their activity; each enzyme has a unique activity unit that measures its ability to break down a certain substance.
  • AGU

    AmyloGlucosidase Units—FCC activity unit used to declare Glucoamylase activity.
  • ALU

    Acid Lactase Units—FCC activity units used to declare Lactase activity.
  • Amino Acids

    The building blocks of proteins.
  • Amylase

    Enzymes which break down starch; when used for dietary supplements commonly refers to a-amylase activity.
  • Antioxidant

    A compound that neutralizes oxidative substances.
  • AP

    AminoPeptidase—FCC activity unit sometimes used to declare various protease activity.
  • Aspergillus

    Common fungal microorganisms used to produce enzymes via fermentation.
  • Bacillus

    A bacteria that is commonly used to produce enzymes via fermentation.
  • BAU

    Bacterial Amylase Unit—FCC activity unit used to declare bacterial a-Amylase activity.
  • BGU

    Beta-Glucanase Unit—FCC activity units used to declare b-Glucanase activity.
  • Bromelain

    A protease from Pineapple (Ananas comosus) latex.
  • Carbohydrase

    Any enzymes that break down sugar-based compounds known as carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrates

    Compounds made up of various sugars including simple sugars, disaccharides, trisaccharides and complex polysaccharides.
  • Catalase

    An antioxidant enzyme.
  • Catalyst

    Any substance capable of increasing the speed of chemical reactions.
  • Cellulase

    Enzyme which breaks down cellulose.
  • Cellulose

    Common form of non-soluble fiber, these chains of glucose are not digested by human beings.
  • CereCalase®

    NEC’s proprietary enzyme blend of three enzymes: Hemicellulase, beta-Glucanase and Phytase which break down various NSPs to help improve mineral release.
  • Chymotrypsin

    A pancreatic protease which functions in the small intestine to digest proteins.
  • CU

    Cellulase Units—FCC activity units used to declare cellulase activity.
  • Diastase

    A mixture of amylases that includes both a-amylase and b-amylase; use in dietary supplements commonly signifies the presence of b-amylase activity.
  • Digestion

    Process by which food is broken down and absorbed; begins in the mouth and continues throughout the digestive tract.
  • Disaccharide

    A sugar made up of two simple sugars such as sucrose and lactose.
  • DPo

    Degrees Diastatic Power—FCC activity unit for the declaration of total amylase activity of barley malt, diastase and other enzyme preparations.
  • DU

    Dextrinizing Units—FCC activity units used to declare fungal a-amylase activity.
  • α-Galactosidase

    Enzyme that breaks down complex sugars found in beans, broccoli, cabbage and other vegetables that commonly cause bloating, gas, and flatulence; helps prevent gas.
  • β-Glucanase

    Enzyme which disrupts NSPs.
  • Enzyme

    Proteins that catalyze the biochemical reactions necessary for all life.
  • Fats

    Also called lipids, they are composed of a glycerol backbone and three fatty acids making a E-shaped compound; our bodies use fats for energy and to produce important biochemicals.
  • Fatty Acids

    When freed from their backbone, fatty acids are an important source of structural components and energy the body.
  • FCC

    Food Chemicals Codex—compendial text of testing methods for food chemicals; the current standard of activity for enzyme supplement labels.
  • FIP

    FCC activity units used to declare Lipase activity; this assay was adopted from the Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique compendium and bears its name.
  • FTU

    FyTase Unit—FCC activity units used to declare Phytase activity.
  • Fungus

    This large group of organisms includes yeasts, molds and mushrooms; many supplemental enzymes are produced by fermentation by different fungi.
  • GalU

    a-Galactosidase Unit—FCC activity unit used to declare a-Galactisdase activity.
  • Gastric/Gastro

    Technical terms that refer to the stomach.
  • GDU

    Gelatin Digesting Unit—activity unit sometimes used to declare protease activity including Bromelain.
  • GERD

    Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.
  • Glucoamylase

    Also known as amyloglucosidase, this enzyme works with amylase to break down starches.
  • Glucose

    A common simple sugar and the primary energy source of human cells.
  • Gluten

    Found in grains including wheat, barley and rye, these proteins are resistant to digestion by human proteases and can cause digestive discomfort, intolerance, allergy or Celiac Disease in some individuals.
  • Glycerol

    The structural backbone of fats.
  • GRAS

    FDA designation that a substance is Generally Regarded As Safe.
  • HCl

    Hydrochloric acid, produced by our stomachs to aid in the chemical digestion of food, it also activates the stomach protease known as pepsin.
  • HCU

    HemiCellulase Unit—FCC activity unit used to declare Hemicellulase activity.
  • Hemicellulase

    A group of enzymes which disrupts NSPs.
  • HUT

    Hemoglobin Units on a Tyrosine basis—FCC activity units used to declare fungal Protease activity.
  • Hydrolysis

    Technical term that refers to the enzymatic digestion or break down of a substrate.
  • INVU

    INVertase Unit—activity unit used to declare Invertase (Sucrase) activity.
  • Isolase®

    NEC’s proprietary enzyme blend that removes the sugar from isoflavones to support improved availability of these bioactive compounds from soy and other botanicals.
  • IsoU

    Isolase Unit—activity units used to declare the activity of the proprietary enzyme blend, Isolase®.
  • Lactase

    Enzyme that breaks down milk sugar into simple sugars.
  • Lactoferrin

    Amazing immune supporting protein with antioxidant, antimicrobial and proteolytic activity.
  • Lactoperoxidase

    An antioxidant enzyme first isolated from milk.
  • Lactose

    Milk sugar, a disaccharide made up of the simple sugars glucose and galactose.
  • Lipase

    Enzyme that breaks down fats.
  • Lysozyme

    An antioxidant enzyme that also has potent antimicrobial action.
  • Maltase

    Enzyme that breaks down the disaccharide maltose to produce two free glucose molecules.
  • MCU

    Milk Clotting Unit—FCC activity unit sometimes used to declare activity of certain proteases including Papain.
  • MU

    Macerating Units—activity units used to declare CereCalase® activity.
  • Nattokinase

    Protease enzyme first isolated in the traditional fermented bean dish known as Natto; the enzyme functions systemically as a fibrinolytic to support cardiovascular health.
  • Nattozimes®

    NEC’s proprietary blend of proteases that has fibrinolytic activity similar to nattokinase.
  • NSPs

    Non-Starch Polysaccharides—compounds other than starch made up of chains of simple sugars.
  • Pancreatin

    Mammalian enzyme preparation produced by the pancreas which provides protease, lipase and amylase activity; requires enteric coating for survival through the stomach.
  • Pancrelipase

    Enzymes from mammalian pancreas that has a higher lipase content than pancreatin; requires enteric coating for survival through the stomach.
  • Papain

    A protease from papaya (Carica papaya) latex.
  • PC

    Bacterial Protease Unit—FCC activity unit used to declare proteolytic activity from bacterial sources.
  • Pectinase

    A group of enzymes that breaks down NSPs known as pectins.
  • Pepsin

    Protease produced by the stomach to begin protein digestion; requires an acid environment for activation.
  • Peptidase

    Enzyme which breaks down proteins into smaller pieces and free amino acids; while synonymous with “Protease” it is typically used in the supplement industry to identify an enzyme capable of increasing the release of free amino acids.
  • Phytase

    Enzyme that breaks down phytic acid releasing phosphorus and bound minerals.
  • Phytonutrients

    Generic term for compounds from plants that have beneficial effects on the human body.
  • Polysaccharide

    A complex carbohydrate made up of chains of sugars; example include starch and cellulose.
  • Probiotic

    Living microorganisms which when consumed, colonize our intestines and provide many benefits, supporting digestion and our immune systems.
  • Protease

    Enzyme which breaks down proteins into smaller pieces and free amino acids.
  • Protein

    Chains of amino acids, our bodies use proteins for many different things from communication to building muscle and even making more enzymes.
  • PU

    Papain Unit—FCC activity units commonly used to declare proteolytic activity from plant proteases.
  • Rhizopus

    Fungal microorganisms used to produce enzymes via fermentation.
  • Saccharomyces

    Yeast used to produce enzymes, primarily invertase, via fermentation.
  • SAP

    Spectrophotometric Acid Protease—FCC activity units used to declare fungal protease activity.
  • Serrapeptidase

    Enzyme originally isolated from a bacteria, Serratia marcescens, in the gut of silk worms; protease with systemic applications supporting immune  and cardiovascular health; synonymous with serratiopeptidase and serrapeptase.
  • Serrazimes®

    NEC’s proprietary blend of proteases that has activity similar to serrapeptidase.
  • SOD

    Super Oxide Dismutase—an antioxidant enzyme.
  • Starch

    Simple chains of glucose, easily digested by most human beings.
  • SU

    Sumner Unit—FCC activity unit used to declare Invertase (Sucrase) activity.
  • Substrate

    Technical term for whatever compound with which a given enzyme reacts; for example, protein is the substrate of protease.
  • Sucrose

    Table sugar, a disaccharide made up of the simple sugars glucose and fructose.
  • Systemic Enzymes

    Taken on an empty stomach for nutritional benefits beyond the digestive tract often composed of proteolytic enzymes.
  • Trichoderma

    Fungal microorganisms used to produce enzymes via fermentation.
  • Trypsin

    A pancreatic protease which functions in the small intestine to digest proteins.
  • USP

    United States Pharmacopeia—compendial text for pharmaceutical testing methods; also activity unit for most animal-derived digestive enzymes including Pancreatin, Pancrelipase, Pepsin, Trypsin, and Chymotrypsin.
  • Xylanase

    An enzyme which breaks down NSPs known as xylans.