Thursday, 31 August 2017

Higher IQ Linked To This Type of Fitness!

 Young adults who are fitter have a higher IQ and are more likely to go on to higher education, research finds.

Higher IQ is linked to a higher heart and lung capacity, not to muscular strength.
Heart and lung capacity was most strongly linked to verbal comprehension and logical thinking skills.
Professor Michael Nilsson, one of the study’s authors, said:
 “Being fit means that you also have good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen.
This may be one of the reasons why we can see a clear link with fitness, but not with muscular strength.
We are also seeing that there are growth factors that are important.”
The researchers found that the link is down to environmental factors, not genes.
In other words, it could be possible to increase your IQ by getting fitter.
Dr Maria Åberg, the study’s first author, said:
“We have also shown that those youngsters who improve their physical fitness between the ages of 15 and 18 increase their cognitive performance.
This being the case, physical education is a subject that has an important place in schools, and is an absolute must if we want to do well in maths and other theoretical subjects.”
The conclusions come from a study of 1.2 million Swedish men doing their military service, who were born between 1950 and 1976.

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Avocado is this century’s super food as it features a plethora of antioxidants.
Avocados have become so popular in the recent years. The light green meat of the avocado, which is actually a fruit, is packed with nutrients. Avocados are a good source of fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamins K, E, B6 and C, copper, folate, potassium. They have an incredibly, high-fat content of up to 77 percent, and the darker green flesh under the skin has even higher fiber content; avocados are the super-food of this decade.
Every year, five million tons of avocado are produced worldwide, and Americans consume over 1.9 billion pounds of that in favorites like guacamole. Avocados are rapidly becoming a favorite with more people who have never tried them because they assumed they were just a “health food,” but they are delicious, too.
Recently, Pennsylvania State University performed research on the benefits of the seed of the avocado, and they found that the seed is as nutrient-dense as the meat and maybe even more.
The seed is high in fiber, and more importantly, it is filled with super antioxidants called phenolic antioxidant compounds, which lowers high cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduces inflammation, diabetes and boosts the immune system. They also contain fungicidal, insecticidal and antimicrobial properties that are extremely beneficial to your entire system.
All of these amazing antioxidants and the abundance of fiber is especially beneficial for your digestive system, so it functions optimally. To consume the seed, the study recommends that the seed is first cracked and dried. The large pieces are then ground into a fine powder, and the ground seed can be added to a creamy green smoothie or boiled and made into a hot tea with honey.
So, don’t throw away any part of the avocado, if you are interested in harvesting the most nutrition possible. The seed is as beneficial in nutrients as the fruit itself. So enjoy all of it!

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Macular degeneration age-related (AMD) is the leading cause of visual disability in people older than 50 years, reminds us of the Inserm. She even touches up to 30% of the over 75 years of age, and the incidence of the disease is expected to continue to increase in the years to come.
One of the forms of the disease, known as ” wet “, benefits of treatment : inhibitors of VEGF. The treatment often slows down its evolution, but require injections at regular intervals, performed in the ophthalmologist, and they are expensive.
To improve the treatment, supplementation with antioxidants and zinc would be an effective solution, and would make substantial savings, according to a study, us-uk, published in the British Journal of ophtalmology.

To arrive at these conclusions, researchers relied on data from the study AREDS (Age-related eye disease study), and on the numbers british of expenses related to the AMD.
According to the AREDS trial, a combination of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper, or the same cocktail without beta-carotene replaced by lutein and zeaxanthin, is effective to slow the progression of the disease. It would increase the shelf life without loss of vision.
These additions are already available in the trade.

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

UK government carried out secret drug tests on young boys!

The UK government carried out a secret drug experiment on young boys in the 1960s, a BBC investigation has discovered. Government doctors gave the boys a powerful anticonvulsant—without parental consent—to see if it would improve their behaviour.

Home Office psychiatrist Dr Pamela Mason gave the go-ahead to the experiment, which involved giving boys at the Richmond Hill approved school in North Yorkshire the anticonvulsant Beclamide or a placebo. The secret experiment took place in 1968 for six months, although the results are not known.
The experiment had been requested by Dr J R Hawkings, a psychiatrist attached to the school, which was a halfway house for young offenders, who wanted to see if the drug could calm boys who were “impulsive, explosive, irritable, restless and aggressive.”
Although the drug had never been tried on young boys, he said the trial would be “a perfectly normal and legitimate therapy for certain types of disturbed adolescents.”
In giving her endorsement, Dr Mason said “I would recommend maximum support for this project”.
Similar approval was given for another secret drug experiment, this time on a group of young girls at a school near Leeds. The plan was to give all the girls at Springhead Park approved school a powerful sedative, Haloperidol, to see if it calmed their behaviour. Although the Home Office approved the experiment, it never went ahead.

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Why Your Job May Be Secretly Sabotaging Your Health!

As you sprint up the career ladder to success, you may find that your weight often goes up right along with it. But it’s not just a matter of too many doughnuts at those 9 a.m. meetings or a missed workout or two. On-the-job stress may be the simmering underneath that's secretly driving up those numbers on the scale.

“Workplace stress is one of the most common types of stress. After all, you spend most of your waking hours at your day job,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, a leading researcher on stress, aging and weight, and co-author of The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger. Several studies find that on-the-job strife is associated with risk of obesity and a widening waistline. A 2015 study in the International Journal of Obesity (London) added a new twist: Women who started out heavier were more prone to gaining weight under job duress.

Though research is inconsistent, one large meta-analysis on 160,000 adults found a “U”-shaped pattern. People under the highest strain at work were more likely to be obese — or underweight. And while work stress doesn’t have official status as an “obesogen” (a environmental factor that drives up weight overtime). Epel notes that work stress can make such an impact on your health, it can be considered to have an obesogenic effect.

Yikes. So we wanted to know: Do you really need to choose between your ambitions and your health? And, in order to reach your happy weight, does stress matter even more than diet and exercise?

Unless you work in a field where you’re up and moving all the time (say, you’re a personal trainer), research shows you spend about 10 hours on weekdays being sedentary. For women, clocking longer hours (49-plus per week) was associated with greater weight gain, in part because there’s little time left for self-care, like going to your favorite Spin class or meal prepping.

Then there are the late nights/answering emails/putting out fires that leave you sacrificing precious shut-eye, adding a piece to the stress-weight puzzle. “Nighttime is when stress has the most toxic effects because it prevents your body from recovering,” says Epel. If blood pressure and stress levels don't return to normal when you try to decompress — something super difficult when you can’t unplug anyway — you’ll make poorer dinner choices (hey, take-out) and lose sleep, something that can whack out your hunger hormones the next day and boost cravings for unhealthy stuff. via NBC News

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Finding Fitness Brought Me Back from the Brink of Suicide!

Depressed and anxious, I looked out the window of my home in New Jersey at all of the people moving happily through their lives. I wondered how I'd become a prisoner in my own house. How had I reached this dark place? How had my life gone so far off the rails? And how could I make it all end?
It's true. I had reached a point where I felt so desperate I was even contemplating suicide—more often than I'd like to admit. The thoughts crept up on me. What started as some dark thoughts slowly morphed into an overwhelming darkness that took over my entire mind. All I could think was how much I hated myself and my life. And how much I wanted it all to just end. I didn't see any other escape from the sadness and pain.
My depression started with marital problems. When my ex-husband and I first met, things were picture-perfect romance. Our wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life and I thought it was just the beginning of a long, beautiful life together. I didn't think we were perfect, of course, but I figured we'd make it through together. The cracks began to show almost immediately. It wasn't so much that we had problems—all couples have struggles, right?—it was how we dealt with them. Or, rather, how we didn'tdeal with them. Instead of talking things out and moving on, we just swept everything under the rug and pretended nothing was wrong. (Here are three conversations you must have before saying "I do.")
Eventually, the pile of issues under the rug got so huge, it became a mountain.
As the months went on and the tension rose, I started to feel off. White noise filled my mind, I couldn't focus, and I didn't want to leave my house or do things I used to enjoy. I didn't realize I was depressed. At the time, all I could think was that I was drowning and no one could see it. If my ex-husband noticed my slide into sadness, he didn't mention it (par for the course in our relationship) and he didn't help me. I felt utterly lost and alone. This was when the suicidal thoughts started.
Yet even though things felt so awful, I was determined to try and save my marriage. Divorce wasn't something I even wanted to consider. I decided, through my fog of depression, that the real problem was that I wasn't good enough for him. Perhaps, I thought, if I got fit and beautiful he'd see me in a different way, in the way he used to look at me, and the romance would come back. I'd never been much into fitness before and wasn't sure where to start. All I knew was that I didn't want to face people yet. So I started exercising and doing home workouts with an app on my phone.
It didn't work—at least not in the way I'd originally planned. I did get fitter and stronger but my husband remained distant. But while it didn't help him love me more, as I kept working out, I slowly started to realize that it was helping me to love myself. My self-esteem had been nonexistent for years. But the more I worked out, the more I began to see tiny little sparks of the old me.
Eventually, I worked up the courage to try something outside of my home—a pole dancing fitness class. It was something that had always looked fun to me and it turned out to be a blast (here's why you should try one, too). I started attending classes several times a week. But there was still one part of it I had a hard time with: the floor-to-ceiling mirrors. I hated looking in them. I hated everything about myself, outside and in. I was still firmly in the grip of my depression. But bit by bit I was making progress.
After about six months, my instructor approached me and told me I was really good at the pole and I should consider becoming a teacher. I was floored. But as I thought about it, I realized that she saw something special in me that I didn't—and that that was worth pursuing.
Michele Santiago
So I got trained in pole fitness and became a teacher, discovering that I have a true passion, not just for that one type of workout but for fitness in general. I loved teaching people and inspiring and cheering them on in their own journeys. I loved the challenge of trying new things. But most of all I loved how a good sweat turned off the noise in my brain and helped me find a moment of clarity and peace in what had become a very tumultuous life. While I was teaching, I didn't have to worry about my failing marriage or anything else. Nothing had changed at home—in fact, things had gotten even worse between my husband and me—yet at the gym I felt empowered, strong, and even happy.
Not long after, I decided to get my personal training and group fitness certifications so I could teach more classes, like kickboxing and barre. In my personal training certification class I met Maryelizabeth, a spitfire of a woman who quickly became one of my closest friends. We decided to open The Underground Trainers, a personal training studio in Rutherford, NJ, together. Around the same time, my husband and I officially separated.
Michele Santiago and Business Partner
Even though I was devastated about my marriage, my once long, dark, lonely days were filled with purpose and light. I'd found my calling and it was to help others. As someone who personally struggled with depression, I found I had a knack for recognizing sadness in others, even when they were trying to hide it behind a happy facade, like I always had. This ability to empathize made me a better trainer. I could understand how fitness was about so much more than a simple workout. It was about saving your own life. 
We even decided to make our business motto "Life is tough but so are you" to reach out to others who might be in similarly difficult circumstances.
Michele Santiago Climbing Stairs
In November 2016, my divorce was finalized, closing that unhappy chapter of my life. And while I'll never say that I'm "cured" from my depression, it is mostly abated. These days, I'm happy more often than I'm not. I've come so far, I almost can't recognize the woman who just a few years back had thoughts about killing herself. I recently decided to memorialize my journey back from the brink with a tattoo. I got the word "smile" written in script, replacing the "i" with a ";". The semicolon represents Project Semicolon, an international mental health awareness project that aims to reduce incidents of suicide and help those struggling with mental illness. I picked the word "smile" to remind myself that there is always a reason to smile every day, I just have to look for it. And these days, those reasons aren't so hard to find.

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Blood pressure drugs damage the kidneys (when they're supposed to protect them)!

Drugs for treating high blood pressure—such as the ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors—can damage the kidneys, new research has discovered. Ironically, the drugs are supposed to protect the organs.

The greatest risk is when several different types of the drugs, known as antihypertensives, are taken in combination, and, in particular, the drugs that regulate the hormone, renin, which affects blood pressure levels.
Researchers from the University of Virginia school of medicine have noticed damage to the kidneys when both drugs are taken in tests with laboratory mice. They're not sure if they would see the same problem in humans.
Renin has a dual function; it doesn't only regulate blood pressure, it also helps create blood vessels when we're developing in the womb. When the drugs block renin production, they also seem to trigger another process that damages the kidneys. "It was as though the renin cells were trying to build blood vessels, only these were defective and non-functional," said R Ariel Gomez, one of the researchers.
Their discovery makes sense: pregnant women are not permitted to take drugs that suppress renin production for that very reason.
The discovery doesn't mean that people should instantly stop taking the medication, but it does throw into question the continued use of combination drugs, and just how low—and fast—blood pressure levels need to be reduced.
Until the problem is seen in humans, doctors should be a little conservative, and not look to treat high blood pressure quite so aggressively, Gomez added.

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Nature's sweetest superfoods: 6 reasons to eat more British berries right now!

From boosting brain power to helping cut down on refined sugar, could berries be any better?
There’s something magical about the final few weeks of summer, as the light becomes softer, and we can savour just a few more al fresco meals or after-work rosés before autumn sets in.  This is also a great time to make the most of British berry season.
Sweet strawberries, plump blueberries and juicy, squidgy raspberries and blackberries are mega healthy, yet feel like such a treat to eat.
So make the most of those late-summer harvests while you can, we say. And just to make you feel even better about picking up another punnet or heading off to forage with your Tupperware this weekend, here are six things that make British berries the ultimate healthy choice…

Bowl of mixed berries (British Summer Fruits/PA)
(British Summer Fruits/PA)

1. They provide a guilt-free sweet hit

Trying to cut down on refined sugar? Berries can help satisfy those biscuit cravings. “Berries are a great way to add something sweet into your diet without adding sugar,” says Rob Hobson, leading registered nutritionist and head of nutrition at Healthspan.
“Berries are really versatile and can be used as a topping, added to smoothies, made into compotes or added to salads and sauces for savoury dishes.”
2. And they give a mega-vitamin boost
Not only do berries hit that sweet spot in the taste stakes, they are one of nature’s finest when it comes to nutrition – 100g of strawberries contains almost all your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.
“Vitamin C is required to produce collagen in the body, which helps to maintain healthy skin, blood vessels and cartilage,” says Rob. “Berries also contain phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body and may help to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer.”

Generic photo of a bowl of fruit crumble (Thinkstock/PA)

3. Puds made with berries can be pretty healthy
Tucking into a homemade blackberry crumble (especially if you went out earlier to pick the berries yourself) is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures. The good news is, you can still enjoy this treat and not veer too far from your healthy-eating goals.
“The healthiest way to eat berries is in their raw state, especially as the vitamin C content is compromised when they are cut or exposed to light and heat,” says Rob. “[But] there is still a health benefit to eating berries any way they come and even in a crumble they will be counted as one portion of your daily fruit and vegetable intake.
“There is nothing wrong with eating a full-on crumble occasionally as part of a healthy diet, but you can explore healthier ways of making the topping. Using oats, nuts and seeds can add additional nutrients such as iron, magnesium and zinc. You can substitute sugar and butter with a little honey and light olive oil. You could also just add less crumble topping.”

4.  Berries will boost your brain power

Topping up with a few berries could help you stay fresh and alert at work, too.
“Your brain and body need glucose for energy. In fact, your brain can’t store glucose, so you need to give it a fresh supply every three to four hours, otherwise you’ll find your mood and concentration dip,” explains food psychologist and nutritionist Dr Christy Fergusson, who is working with British Summer Fruits.
“By choosing low glycaemic-load fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, you can replenish the brain. Fresh berries contain fructose (fruit sugar) along with fibre, nutrients and antioxidants, making their natural sugars release slowly into your bloodstream to help keep your mood and energy levels steady throughout the day.”

5. They are brilliant for breakfasts
We’re all well aware it’s the most important meal of the day – and berries are one of the easiest ways to whip up a healthy and delicious breakfast in a few minutes flat. Simply pile them on top of oats and yogurt, or chuck them in a smoothie-maker with your other ingredients of choice and blitz.
And when you have a bit more time, there’s blueberry pancakes, muffins, compotes whizzed up and drizzled on crunchy granola…

6. They make grazing between meals OK
If you’re anything like us, and can’t get through the day without a ready supply of snacks to munch on between meals –  but you’re conscious of making healthy choices too – then berries really are the answer to your prayers.
Let’s face it, they’re far more satisfying than a dry pile of seeds and nuts!

Fitness trends break from routine to work up a sweat

A RANGE of new, unusual and sometimes crazy fitness trends is beckoning people to get out of their comfort zone and try something novel but no less effective than traditional fitness programs.
Anti-gravity yoga incorporates 10 silk hammocks that hang from the ceiling and participants are fully supported, more so than they would be in a regular yoga class.
Vibes Fitness owner Margie Cerato was one of the first instructors in Melbourne to introduce the form.
“With regular yoga you are relying entirely on your own body weight and strength to move through the poses,” Ms Cerato said.
“But because the hammock supports you, when you’re limited with flexibility, the hammock is a great help, especially for beginners or people who have limited flexibility. I even do anti-gravity classes for people who suffer disabilities.”
Bungee dancing has people jumping around with a harness attached to a cord running to the ceiling.
Ms Cerato is introducing the classes at her Fitzroy gym at the end of September.
“You get to engage every muscle in your body so it works on mobility, stability, core strength and flexibility while having a lot of fun at the same time,” Ms Cerato said.
Margie Cerato practises anti-gravity yoga at her Fitzroy gym. Picture:Tony Goug
LETTING off steam has become a lot easier with classes inspired by African dance halls. Tyga classes are the world’s first to combine hip hop, Afro dance hall and radda styles.
Melbourne instructor Megan Cordina recently started teaching Tyga at Body Flex in Gladstone Park.
“It’s a lot of fun but you also get results, burning about 600 calories per class,” she said.
“It combines dance moves with fitness concepts to improve endurance and sculpt your body. So it’s not just a cardio class, it really tones as well.”
Hairography spin cycle class at Bodhi & Ride.
THE harmonious union of exercise and spirituality is well known in yoga.
But Melbourne owner of Bodhi & Ride, Michaela Fellner, is aiming for a different level of spiritual energy in her wild spin cycle classes.
“Our spin classes encourage people to really let go. Take off your hair bands, let your hair run free,” she said.
“While yoga encourages people to lose themselves in their breath, we encourage people to lose themselves in their movement. 
Dimmed lights, candles, high-energy music and super-strong fans are signatures of this Port Melbourne class.
Ninja warrior training at The Compound on the Mornington Peninsula.
Budding ninjas are flocking to test their skills in a gruelling obstacle course similar to the one that is pulling such high ratings in the Ninja Warrior TV show. The Compound manager Clem Vertigan said weekend 90-minute sessions were often at capacity with the maximum 20 participants at his Tuerong property on the Mornington Peninsula.
“It’s like a big kids’ playground but with a serious side in that it makes you stronger and fitter. There is a range of obstacles or games on a path and you have to conquer them. It’s common to go back and repeat them over and over but it’s a great feeling when you conquer it,” Mr Vertigan said.

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Monday, 28 August 2017

This Amazing Coffee Alternative Helps You Lose Weight and Fights Aging!

Thinking of giving up coffee, but afraid your body will miss the added — okay, supercharged — boost of energy? Fear, not! There are plenty of other ways for your body to receive its morning pick-me-up. One of our favorites? Matcha. Matcha is a special type of green tea that has been around for centuries and used in Asian cultures to heal, protect, energize, and more.
Ready to make the switch from coffee to matcha? We share all the reasons why, up ahead.

1. Matcha is naturally anti-aging

Matcha and lemon laid out on a table.
Freshly brewed Matcha will energize you all day long. | Martine Dee/iStock/Getty Images Plus
If you’re looking for a way to anti-age your skin from the inside out, look no further than ceremonial grade matcha. According to Matcha Source, one cup of matcha tea equals 10 cups of regular green tea — making it one of the most antioxidant-rich foods available. When it comes to anti-aging, antioxidants are a key player in ensuring your body doesn’t age prematurely. They single handedly protect the body from aging free radicals, pollution, and more.

2. It can help you lose weight

An iced matcha beverage being enjoyed outdoors.
Best of all, Matcha tastes amazing without sugar and whip. | Klahan/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Another reason to replace your coffee with matcha? It can actually burn calories. Thanks to its catechins and amino acids, the tea can boost your metabolism and, in turn, help you burn more calories, which will ultimately help you lose weight. And unlike many other metabolism boosters, matcha won’t increase your blood pressure or make your heart race.

3. It can prevent cancer

Chinese tea matcha on a black cloth.
Brew some Matcha the next time you feel a cold coming. | Rimma Bondarenko/iStock/Getty Images
Another bonus? Matcha contains catechin known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), a type of antioxidant known for its cancer-fighting properties. And get this: Research has found that matcha contains more EGCg’s than any other type of tea in the world.

4. It can actually calm you

Green Matcha tea being mixed with a wooden brush.
Matcha powder being mixed on a table. | Sirichai Asawalapsakul/iStock/Getty Images
Another cool thing about matcha is, although its caffeine can make you more alert, it can also calm you. That’s because matcha is enriched with amino acid L-Theanine. This type of amino acid is specifically linked to promoting relaxation without the sleepiness that can occur in your “chilled out” state-of-mind.

5. It can help you focus

Woman yawning while is working on the phone at breakfast in a restaurant.
Coffee might be draining your energy. | Antonio Guillem/iStock/Getty Images
In addition to helping you stay calm, the L-Theanine found in matcha can also help increase dopamine and serotonin production. These chemicals — which the body produces naturally — can help improve things like your mood, memory, and concentration. So, unlike coffee — which can cause you to feel jittery and unfocused — matcha can give you a major energy boost while helping you keep your train of thought.

6. It is great on the immune system

A woman smiles while holding a white mug in her kitchen.
Prevent the sniffles with your morning tea. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images
Thanks to its antioxidants, match can be a great natural alternative to cold prevention. As we previously mentioned, matcha contains catechins, which can help defend the body against aggressors and may contain antibiotic properties, too. And that’s not all. In addition to catechin antioxidants, matcha also contains antioxidant-rich vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, and calcium. Needless to say, a cup of matcha a day keeps the doctor away.

7. It doesn’t give you that nausea-inducing caffeine jolt

Traditional Japanese green tea on a brown table.
Matcha will help you get energized … without the jitters. | Eugene03/iStock/Getty Images
Another benefit to drinking matcha vs. coffee is that — unlike coffee — matcha won’t give you that nausea-inducing caffeine jolt. Instead, the caffeine in matcha is more of a slow-release type of caffeine. Meaning, it will wake you up and keep you energized longer.

8. It helps fight that afternoon slump

A woman holds a Matcha latte.
The perfect mid-afternoon treat. | Pattanaphong Khuankaew/iStock/Getty Images
Speaking of caffeine … matcha can help fight that unwarranted afternoon slump, too. As we mentioned previously, the caffeine in matcha is more of a slow-release, so instead of giving you a jolt of energy first thing in the morning, it energizes your body responsibly, which helps to fight that afternoon slump.

9. It’s naturally detoxing

Matcha tea mix on a white table.
No need for a juice detox … just grab a cup of Matcha tea. | Louno M/iStock/Getty Images
Need another reason to make the switch? Matcha can detox your body naturally. A few weeks before the leaves are ready to be harvested and made into matcha powder, the plant is covered from sunlight. This helps to increase the production of chlorophyll and, in turn, give it its bright green color. But, that’s not all. In addition to brightening up the leave’s color, chlorophyll can naturally rid the body of toxins and heavy metals, too.

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