Critical Health News

The Wonders of Cannabinoids


As it turns out, potheads may be keeping themselves healthy and high at the same time. That’s because marijuana is loaded with active medicinal plant compounds. Generically called cannabinoids, (THC, the stuff in pot that causes cannabis’s characteristic intoxication is most well-known of these molecules) they are responsible for many of the effects associated with smoking or eating the evil weed and desired by dopers. These phytochemicals are little chunks of protein (peptides) that mimic a family of substances called endocannabinoids that are naturally found in the human nervous system and they have become the latest darlings in the world of brain biochemistry.

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The Top Fat-Burning Foods


Boost your metabolism

It’s true: Certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you literally scorch calories as you chew. Other eats contain nutrients and compounds that stoke your metabolic fire. Feed your metabolism with these.

1. Whole grains

Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods.

2. Lean meats

Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).

3. Low-fat dairy products

Rich in calcium and vitamin D, these help preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.

4. Green tea

Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.

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The Importance of Albumin


Albumin, which is derived from the Greek word for white (as in albino or even album, which was originally a book with a bunch of white pages), is a multi-functional Swiss army knife type protein, with a chemical structure that allows it to perform many different biological roles. It’s primarily produced in the liver and measuring its levels is one of the ways physicians determine hepatic health. Deficiencies can be indicative of cirrhosis or liver disease.

Albumin’s most well-recognized function involves its ability to act as a water trapping or water attracting “sponge” in the blood. Albumin has an ability to pull water. It’s technically called osmosis, but you can just think of a sponge. Dip a sponge in water and the water gets sucked up automatically. That’s called osmosis and that’s exactly how albumin works in the blood. Sponges are made of long chain sugars that trap water and while albumin is more like a magnet than a trap, the water pulling or absorbing effect is the same. One of the most obvious consequences of an albumin deficiency is swelling and edema. That’s because without albumin trapping fluid it tends to leak out of the blood and into the tissues. Albumin can also be thought of as a fluid expander for the blood, without it blood can become thick and sludgy and more prone to clot. Albumin levels can drop significantly in with burns or blood loss. This loss of albumin can be serious and if it’s severe it can even be life threatening and doctors will inject a pharmaceutical version of albumin into the blood as a replacement.

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