Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The adjective postprandial, meaning “after eating a meal”

The adjective postprandial ist derived from the Latin noun prandium meaning “meal” or “breakfast.” Hence, postprandial means “after eating a meal” or “after having breakfast.” The adjective preprandial means the opposite—“before eating a meal.”

This adjective appears in medical terms such as postprandial hyperglycemia (high blood sugar after a meal) and postprandial hypotension (excessive decrease in blood pressure after eating) [1-3].

Your pre- and postprandial states are regulated by the two hormons ghrelin and leptin, telling your brain that you should eat and stop eating, respectively. In her review on the recent research of the bacterial network in human bodies, Jennifer Ackerman explains that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which thrives in the acidic stomach environment, is responsible for your ghrelin level: people with H. pylori experience a postprandial decrease in ghrelin, while those lacking the bacterium do not and continue to have appetite [4].  In other words: if you apply antibiotics to reduce H. pylori-induced ulcers, you are going to interfere with your postprandial hormon levels and your appetite and, hence, may gain weight. So, use your postprandial time wisely to plan your future eating and treating habits.

Keywords: Latin, terminology, nutritional planning, human body regulation, physiology, medicine.

References and more to explore
[1] Medical dictionary: postprandial []
[2]  Medscape Education: Introduction: Clinical significance of postprandial hyperglycemia [].
[3] Home Health Handbook: postprandial hypotension [].
[4] Jennifer Ackerman: The Ultimate Social Network. Scientific American June 2012, 306 (6), pp. 36-43. DOI: 10.1038/scientificamerican0612-36.

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