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Ketosis Mental Clarity

Your Brain On Ketones

Your Brain On Ketones

The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain. The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else. Then we would follow that period with a filling meal of gathered plant and animal products, preferentially selecting the fat. During the day we might have eaten a piece of fruit, or greens, or a grub we dug up, but anything filling or high in calories (such as a starchy tuber) would have to be killed, butchered, and/or carefully prepared before eating. Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what ar Continue reading >>

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are The Cognitive Effects Of Ketosis?

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are The Cognitive Effects Of Ketosis?

41 Comments Although mainstream sources still mistake “the brain needs glucose” for “the brain can only run on glucose,” regular MDA readers know the truth: given sufficient adaptation, the brain can derive up to 75% of its fuel from ketone bodies, which the liver constructs using fatty acids. If we could only use glucose, we wouldn’t make it longer than a few days without food. If our brains couldn’t utilize fat-derived ketones, we’d drop dead as soon as our liver had exhausted its capacity to churn out glucose. We’d waste away, our lean tissue dissolving into amino acids for hepatic conversion into glucose to feed our rapacious brains. You’d end up a skeletal wraith with little else but your brain and a hypertrophied liver remaining until, eventually, the latter cannibalized itself in a last ditch search for glucose precursors for the tyrant upstairs. It would get ugly. That’s adaptation. But is there an actual cognitive advantage to running on ketones? Maybe. It depends. It certainly helps people with neurodegeneration. People whose brains suffer from impaired glucose utilization see cognitive benefits from ketones. In Alzheimer’s disease, aging-related cognitive decline, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease, brain glucose uptake is depressed—even before any actual cognitive decline appears. Despite high glucose availability, the aging, epileptic, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s brain can’t utilize enough of it to handle cognition. Enter ketones. Ketones act as an alternative energy source for the glucose-starved brains. It’s no coincidence that ketogenic diets can improve symptoms (and in some cases abolish them) and cognitive function in all four conditions. Okay, but those are in unhealthy people with existing (or looming) neurological d Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Mental Health

The Ketogenic Diet And Mental Health

Inflammation is one of the most powerful factors which determines health and illness. Levels of inflammation in the body are very strongly influenced by dietary choices. In my holistic practice of psychiatry, one of the most important conversations which I have repeatedly with my patients, is the fundamental importance of following a non-inflammatory diet. This conversation must be had repeatedly, because diet is one of the very hardest things for most people to change. For optimum health, I believe that a Ketogenic Diet, one that is high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrate, exerts the most anti-inflammatory effect. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body; instead of deriving energy from carbohydrates which convert to glucose, energy is sourced from fats which convert in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, is correlated with myriad health benefits. In contrast, elevated levels of glucose leads to inflammation, insulin resistance and accelerates aging. Research on the impact of a ketogenic diet for Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Sleep Disorders, Headaches, Bipolar Disorder, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease is emerging, and I anticipate that we are going to be hearing much more about its health benefits and novel applications. The ketogenic diet was used very effectively to treat epilepsy in the 1920’s, until anti-convulsant drugs were introduced in the 1940’s, when it fell out of favor. It’s easier to take pills than to follow a restrictive diet, and the pharmaceutical industry’s lobby is very influential. Pharmaceuticals, as opposed to dietary changes, remain the standard of care Continue reading >>

Fat Burning Mode - What You Need To Know About Ketosis

Fat Burning Mode - What You Need To Know About Ketosis

I'm very grateful for this week's blog post, which comes from Paddy McCay, who is my guest blog poster for this week. Paddy is chief biohacker and coach at the Nutrition and Productivity blog. He is on a relentless mission to optimize his productivity and wellbeing through nutrition, exercise and tech. Paddy wrote a blog series on ketosis and it really builds upon my previous blog post Fasting with Bulletproof Coffee. I'm sure you will find this fascinating: What is ketosis? Imagine being in a state of high energy and high mental clarity where you’re burning fat and you don’t feel hungry. Sound like a good state to be in? This is what it’s like to be in ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body switches to burning more fat in the form of ketones rather than just burning glucose (a sugar). Ketosis is great- but hard to get into (if you don’t know how). How do you know if someone does cross-fit, is married or is in a ketotic state? They’ll make sure to tell you all about it. Ketosis kicks in either when the liver has exhausted it’s supply of carbs (glycogen). Or when stimulated from a dietary source. Fats (triglycerides) are converted to molecules called ketone bodies in the liver. Ketones are burned as fuel in place of glucose by “cellular batteries” mitochondria. Ketotic benefits Not only does ketosis burn fat, it has the following benefits: Increased healthy cholesterol levels. It can improve HDL levels (the good cholesterol) [1]. Keeping hunger at bay. Ketosis regulates the levels of the hunger and satiety hormones ghrelin and cholecystokinin (CKK) [2]. Improved brain health. It reduces brain fog by promoting healthy neurotransmitter levels (gaba) and also up regulates mitochondrial production thereby increasing thinking power [3]. Stable en Continue reading >>

I Tried The 'atkins On Steroids' Diet For 2 Months — And It Made Me Feel Invincible

I Tried The 'atkins On Steroids' Diet For 2 Months — And It Made Me Feel Invincible

I gave up carbohydrates for the ketogenic, or "keto," diet for two months — and it vastly improved my life. Courtesy of Melia Robinson It was 2 o'clock on a Tuesday, and I felt surprisingly awake. Attentive. Even productive. I love my job, but on a normal afternoon, I find myself searching for distractions in the depths of my inbox and on Facebook. That Tuesday in June was different. I knocked out one to-do list item after the next. I felt not just focused, but genuinely happy and relieved to be making so much progress. It was the moment I realized how effective the ketogenic diet could be. The "keto" diet is experiencing a surge in popularity thanks to Silicon Valley tech workers who evangelize its ability to promote weight loss, boost energy, and possibly prolong life itself. The low-carb, high-fat diet — which first became popular in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and diabetes — limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day, the rough equivalent of a plain bagel or a cup of white rice. Dietary guidelines laid out by the US Department of Agriculture recommend between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day. Adherents of the keto diet fill up on healthy fats — like cheese, nuts, avocado, eggs, and butter — as well as leafy greens and animal protein. The body switches from burning carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel source, a process known as ketosis, which gives the diet its name. Like the keto diet, the Atkins diet restricts carb consumption to 20 to 25 grams a day during an introductory phase, then ramps up to 80 to 100 grams a day. So it's less strict than the keto diet — some have called it "Atkins on steroids." For two months last spring, I tried the keto diet to see why it was so popular with techies. The first few weeks challenged me more Continue reading >>

Bulletproof Plan To Activate Untapped Brain Energy To Work Smarter And Think Faster

Bulletproof Plan To Activate Untapped Brain Energy To Work Smarter And Think Faster

Health ultimately boils down to mitochondrial function. Both weight loss and improved brain capacity are byproducts of simple lifestyle changes that optimize your mitochondria Environmental toxins such as mold and chemicals have the ability to impede mitochondrial function and stifle your body’s ability to create energy Biohacks that can improve your mental acuity include infrared exposure (such as sunlight), cyclical ketosis, cyclical mTOR activation, cold thermogenesis, high-impact exercise and more By Dr. Mercola Can you biohack your brain to get sharper, smarter and work faster? According to Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founder and CEO of bulletproof.com, and author of “The Bulletproof Diet” and “Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster — in Just Two Weeks,” the answer is a resounding yes. In addition to being early internet adopters, Dave and I share similar interests with respect to optimizing brain function — something we both discuss in our respective books. I had the opportunity to preview “Head Strong” and really enjoy Dave’s approach. It’s different from my book, “Fat for Fuel,” but the two books complement each other quite well. Dave approaches the subject of optimizing brain function from the perspective of having suffered serious health problems and seeking options for recovery, because the conventional route simply did not work. At one point, he weighed 300 pounds, couldn’t lose weight, and was suffering the effects of multiple toxic exposures, including Lyme disease. He’s an inspiring example of someone who, despite not being a trained physician, is able to sift through the medical literature to unearth important health truths. The Life Altering Impac Continue reading >>

How Long Does It Take To Feel Increased Energy And Mental Clarity After Starting The Ketogenic Diet?

How Long Does It Take To Feel Increased Energy And Mental Clarity After Starting The Ketogenic Diet?

I’m currently on the Keto Diet, so I’m speaking from my personal experience. For me it took about 2 weeks but I was kinda doing it wrong at first. I was still eating too many carbs and then I wasn’t eating enough fat. I have to tell you that it is an awesome diet! Brain fog is real! Be warned though, you need to eat enough calories or you’ll lose muscle mass as well. Also, as meat is expensive, this diet will be expensive too. Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and aim for at least that many calories. You can use BMR calculators such as this one. The length of time will likely vary depending on your age, height, gender, and weight, (or caloric requirements) as well as how often you workout and what your body fat percentage is currently like. I’d guess between 2–3 weeks. This is not the kind of energy you were expecting…? Personally, I wouldn’t exactly characterize it as increased energy, just consistent energy. Before I went keto, I would have spurts of energy and constantly grow tired shortly after eating. I had to take excessive amounts of caffeine to stay awake. This never happens anymore. It’s not a cure-all. Sometimes I don’t get enough to eat or I don’t get enough sleep so I still can get tired but it’s nothing compared to before. Nevertheless, a cup of coffee is usually plenty enough to help me during these times. I’ve been on the Keto diet for almost 3 months. I lost over 25 lbs and went down from about 28% to 17%< body fat and I don't feel sick or tired all the time, infact I feel great! Some people adjust the macros (i.e. 65% fat 30% protein 5% carbs or 60% fat 30% protein 10% carbs) and they do just fine. Find what works for you, any reduced carbs will be helpful to your long term health but it may or may not get you all the way to Continue reading >>

Ketosis: Anti-brain Fog. Neurotransmitters, Dietary Protein, And The Gut Microbiome.

Ketosis: Anti-brain Fog. Neurotransmitters, Dietary Protein, And The Gut Microbiome.

Treatment for dietary protein-induced brain fog: dark chocolate with 3% GOS and 10% MCTs. Who’s in? #IntermediaryMetabolism (bear with me here) Ketosis from liver’s perspective: increased fatty acid influx & [partial] oxidation causes acetyl-CoA levels to rise dramatically. Concomitantly, gluconeogenesis redirects oxaloacetate (OAA) away from combining with acetyl-CoA via TCA cycle citrate synthesis and toward gluconeogenesis. Since the acetyl-CoA doesn’t have much OAA with which to couple, it does itself to make acetoacetate. Ergo, ketosis, and fortunately liver lacks ketolytic apparatus. Brain is singing a different tune. Ketones provide ample acetyl-CoA and are efficiently metabolized in the TCA cycle. Ketolysis is not ketogenesis in reverse, else liver would consume ketones. Teleologically speaking (and I don’t really know what that word means), ketones are meant to spare glucose for the brain by replacing glucose as a fuel for peripheral tissues like skeletal muscle and displacing some brain glucose utilization. The former is vital as one of the few sources of “new” glucose is skeletal muscle amino acids, and they would be exhausted in a short amount of time if skeletal muscle kept burning glucose –> incompatible with survival. Getting some of that fuel from fatty acids, ie, ketones, is just way better. Thus, the “glucose sparing effect of fat-derived fuel.” And by “glucose,” I mean “muscle;” and by “fat-derived fuel,” I mean “ketones.” There are numerous intracellular signaling events and biochemical pathways pwned, but that’s the gist of it. Running brain on ketones considerably impacts amino acid metabolism, or more specifically neurotransmitters. Ketogenic diets –> neuroprotective and improve cognitive function, improve beh Continue reading >>

The Ultimate Guide To Ketones And Ketosis

The Ultimate Guide To Ketones And Ketosis

Ketones and Ketosis are one of the hottest health trends right now and are rising in popularity - so what’s all the fuss about? Many people still don’t know what ketones are or why ketosis would be a desirable lifestyle, but as more and more people experience the benefits a ketogenic lifestyle can offer, the clearer it becomes. We’re here to help you sift through the facts and fallacies so you can understand what ketones and ketosis are and whether or not a ketogenic diet is right for you. We’ll start with the basics of what it means to be ketogenic or live in ketosis. Then you’ll get a break down of the best diet tips and recipes. BONUS: Access the FREE Ketosis Cheat sheet What are Ketones? Humans naturally get energy from glucose which is the result of broken down carbohydrates. Ketones are an alternative fuel source to glucose made by breaking down fats for energy as opposed to glucose. People who suffer from epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers or even those who just have an aging brain tend to have dysfunctional glucose uptake in the brain. In fact, more and more research is providing evidence that these are diseases of lifestyle - brought on by insulin resistance and too many carbohydrates consumed over a lifetime. When the liver is in ketosis and is able to construct ketones from fatty acids for energy for the brain to function, our bodies are able to function for longer periods of time without needing to constantly be fed. Cognitive Benefits of Ketosis The benefits of following a ketogenic diet and using ketones for brain function aren’t restricted to those with an aging, epileptic, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer's brain. Even healthy people can drastically improve their brain function and overall health with ketones. The trend of high fat, low-carb diets Continue reading >>

Interview With Jimmy Moore About His New Book “keto Clarity”

Interview With Jimmy Moore About His New Book “keto Clarity”

Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet Dr L: What is Ketosis? Jimmy Moore: Put simply, ketosis is a metabolic state that happens when you consume a customized low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that causes your body to switch from using glucose as its primary source of fuel to running mostly on ketones and fatty acids. Ketones themselves are produced when the body burns fat, and they’re used as an alternative fuel source when glucose isn’t available. In other words, your body changes from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. It’s a completely normal and natural state that happens within a few days to a few weeks in most people who reduce their carbohydrate intake, moderate their protein consumption, and consume dietary fat, especially saturated fat, to satiety. Dr L: What is a ketogenic diet all about and how can ketosis be used to deal with many chronic health problems? Jimmy Moore: Traditionally people have looked at the ketogenic diet in one of two ways–a natural therapy for treating epileptic seizures or for weight loss. However, there are so many more conditions that a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat, ketogenic diet can help with. Shifting the body from relying on glucose as the major fuel source to one that uses fat and ketones for fuel has been shown in solid research over one year in length to help not just with epilepsy and weight loss, but also Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), GERD and heartburn, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). There’s good evidence of less than one year that this way of eating is beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, schizophren Continue reading >>

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>

3 Reasons You Might Want To Ditch That Ketogenic Eating Plan

3 Reasons You Might Want To Ditch That Ketogenic Eating Plan

Ketogenic eating might just be the most popular idea in the unconventional health and fitness movement right now. I get dozens of emails a week from people asking for Keto tips and tricks. I’m not convinced that most of these people should be Keto though. It’s been billed as a great way to lose weight, which has attracted a lot of attention, but it’s not all roses, unicorns, and fairy dust. Here’s three reasons why you might want to reconsider your plan to go Keto… 1. Ketogenic eating is obsessive. When I interviewed Jimmy Moore, author of Keto Clarity, this is one of the issues I brought up. Ketosis is notoriously difficult to get into, verify, and sustain without bringing back some of the old, obsessive Dieting strategies that we’ve been working hard to get away from. Tracking macros, monitoring blood glucose, and testing ketone levels are all required steps in the process for most people. This kind of protocol attracts people with disordered eating habits. It’s the perfect blend of effective, obsessive, and new. If you’re trying to get into ketosis for medical reasons, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. If you want to get into ketosis because you heard it’s great for weight loss or for some other non-medical reason, it’s too obsessive for my taste. 2. Ketogenic eating probably doesn’t fit your lifestyle. You know me—I’m not a huge fan of cardio or long workouts. I’m bearish on exercise as a modern concept, but I’m bullish on functional fitness and DWYLT. In other words, I want people to do active things they love with a little sprinting and short functional strength workouts thrown in. In order to actually enjoy those things and feel strong and healthy when doing them, you’ll need adequate glycogen. That’s something that Continue reading >>

Why I Drink Bulletproof Coffee

Why I Drink Bulletproof Coffee

I first heard about putting butter in coffee a couple years ago. Only recently, did I first try what everyone now knows as Bulletproof Coffee. I have to tell you, after the first morning, I was hooked! Many cultures have put butter fat in their coffee for centuries. Dave Asprey, learned about the practice while drinking yak butter tea in Tibet. He brought the idea back to the US and experimented until he was able to replicate the fantastic energy boost and mental focus afforded by the mixture. Bulletproof Coffee was born and has swept around the world. What got me hooked? I felt amazing! Bulletproof coffee quickly produces a mild ketosis, which can be combined with regular intermittent fasting. The result is – more daily fat burning, improved mental focus and extended satiety (not feeling hungry). Here’s how it works. What is Ketosis? Humans are kinda like hybrid cars, in that, our bodies can select from two sources of fuel. The first, and go-to, fuel is glycogen. The second is ketone bodies, also called ketones. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel. The state of burning blood glucose for fuel is called glycolysis. The state of burning ketone bodies is referred to as ketosis. Ketones are a type of fat produced by the liver. They are only present when the body is burning fat for fuel. A person burning ketones is said to be in ketosis. Our bodies enter ketosis and begin burning ketones when liver glycogen has been depleted due to a consistently low level of carbohydrates. But don’t humans require a certain amount of carbohydrates to function? Actually, we don’t. Dr. Perlmutter says, “While we definitely require protein and fat, the human requirement for dietary carbohydrate is none, none whatsoever. In glycolysis, the higher lev Continue reading >>

24 Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet

24 Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet

You may have heard the term ‘ketosis’, ‘keto’ or ‘ketogenic diet’ thrown about in various health, weight-loss and sports performance blogs. The ‘keto diet’ is growing in popularity – especially in the circles I just mentioned. If you haven’t heard of these terms, or you’re still confused as to what exactly ‘ketosis’ is then have a listen to this podcast - -and make sure you tune in to the online keto summit that is happening right now at www.ketosummit.com Otherwise in a nutshell ketosis can be defined as a “metabolic state that happens when you consume a very low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet (or fast for extended periods) that causes your body to switch from using glucose as it’s primary source of fuel, to running off ketones. Ketones themselves are produced when the body burns fat, and they’re primarily used as an alternative fuel source when glucose isn’t available.” (Keto Clarity) In other words, you switch from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner. But I should point out that simply going on a low carb diet is often not enough to reach nutritional ketosis. Why would one want to do this? Well there are a lot of reasons, and I’m going to share 24 of them below. Note: If you already understand all the benefits of ketosis and want to delve into the nitty gritty of the how, why and what be sure to check out my article 'Everything You Ought To Know About Ketosis' and be sure to download my FREE one page Ketosis Cheat Sheet guide by clicking HERE. 1. Weight Loss Low carb, high fat diets have been used for centuries by doctors when working with obese patients. William Banting published the widely popular booklet titled ‘Letter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public’ in 1863. In this booklet he explained how he had sli Continue reading >>

Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Ketosis But Were Afraid To Ask.

Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Ketosis But Were Afraid To Ask.

Do you know what the similarities are between epilepsy, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn (GERD), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, mental illness, schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, narcolepsy, and sleep disorders, treating cancer, autism, migraines, chronic pain, brain injury, stroke, and kidney disease? They can all be positively effected by a low-carb, high-fat, ketosis diet… …and my guest today, Jimmy Moore, is going to tell you all about it. Jimmy is world’s leading low-carb diet blogger and podcaster. Last year, he wrote the book Cholesterol Clarity with coauthor Dr. Eric C. Westman, a practicing internist and low-carb diet researcher, and I interviewed him about that book in the podcast episode “The Shocking Truth About Cholesterol & Why You Probably Don’t Even Need To Test For It.” Well now, Jimmy’s back with a new book that pretty much answers everything you’ve always wanted to know about ketosis but were afraid to ask. The new book is called Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet and in the book, Jimmy shows you how a low-carb diet can be much more than simply as a means to lose weight, and how ketosis produces not only a powerful therapeutic effect on a wide variety of health conditions (that most people think requires medication to control) but can also be a pretty incredible biohack for both physical and mental performance. The book includes interviews from twenty of the world’s authorities on low carb and ketosis diets, along with a step-by-step guide to help you produce more ketones and track your progress, real li Continue reading >>

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