cancer

Healthy Diets and ScienceI have just discovered a really good resource for those interested in the science behind healthy nutrition, Healthy Diets and Science, by David Evans.

I’ll leave you to explore the over 1000 articles in there yourself, but I thought that people interested in the Ketogenic Diet might find these articles interesting:

See also:

Ketogenic What is a Ketogenic Diet, in a nutshell?
Ketogenic A Guide to Ketosis
Ketogenic What is the Ketogenic Diet Good For?
Ketogenic Tips for Starting and Restarting Ketosis
Ketogenic On Ketogenic Diets
Ketogenic How to Use the Keto Calculator
Ketogenic Ketone Testing
Ketogenic A one-page intro to Ketogenic Diets, to hand to medical sceptics
Ketogenic 203 Comments on Mark Maunder’s “Basic Ketogenic Diet”

Joseph Arcita, Before and After

This post is a meta-guide!

(That means it’s a guide to a guide).

This is Joseph Arcita: on the left is a “before” picture and on the right is “after”.  Click the pictures to read Joseph’s story.

Part of his story is his use of the ketogenic diet (KD) as his nutritional plan.  KD is something that interests me greatly: I am a frequent contributor to Mark Maunder’s Basic Ketogenic Diet blog and to two Facebook groups: The Ketogenic Diet Group (it’s a closed group, but you can ask to join), and Ketogenic Dieters, an open group with close to 500 members.

And I have blogged about this stuff before: On Ketogenic Diets back in December 2012, particularly looking at the reports of the effects of ketosis on cancer, and I also summarised and commented on some (203!) of the comments on Mark’s blog “203 Comments on Mark Maunder’s “Basic Ketogenic Diet” in February 2013.

See also:

Ketogenic What is a Ketogenic Diet, in a nutshell?
Ketogenic A Guide to Ketosis
Ketogenic What is the Ketogenic Diet Good For?
Ketogenic Tips for Starting and Restarting Ketosis
Ketogenic On Ketogenic Diets
Ketogenic How to Use the Keto Calculator
Ketogenic Ketone Testing
Ketogenic A one-page intro to Ketogenic Diets, to hand to medical sceptics
Ketogenic 203 Comments on Mark Maunder’s “Basic Ketogenic Diet”

On the FB groups people are often asking how to get started, and there is food advice there.  But today someone pointed me to Joseph Arcita’s “A Guide to Ketosis“.  It has to be one of the most comprehensive guides I’ve seen.  I hope he turns it into a book.

It is so comprehensive that you might like to know what’s in it: here’s the Table of Contents (copied and pasted from his site, so all of these links are clickable).  I have one or two minor points of contention (like there is no “good” and “bad” cholesterol; it’s all good, and you need it … but what he probably means is small-particle Low-Density-Lipoprotein) and I’ll discuss those at the end of this post.  But if you never get that far, don’t worry: the man is a hero!  Joseph says:

Here is the guide to ketosis. The contents of this article can be located here. If you’re currently wondering what on earth ketosis even is, then you’re in luck for I plan not only to befuddle but also to enlighten. All you have to do is read on.

I’ve personally had fantastic results on keto, and I really believe in the validity of this diet – not only in terms of fat-loss, but also in terms of health-gain. There is a lot of understandable skepticism and tons of misconceptions about keto; I want to let newcomers know, however surprising it may be, that keto (or at least a diet low in grains/sugars and high in fats) is a very healthy diet with numerous benefits.

This guide is very long so I’ve partitioned this post into subsections. The links contained within the contents are ‘clickable’ and will transport you directly to that section. You can also right click and select “copy link address” of a particular section/section title, and you can either bookmark it so that you can return to a specific section easily or you can give the link to a friend if you want them to read a particular section. If you want to return to the contents of the page simply click on the ‘upwards’ arrows that are next to each of the section titles within the main article.

I. Why You Should Care About Ketosis: The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
1A. Ketosis Increases Neuronal Stabilization and Mental Focus
1B. Ketosis Promotes the Loss of Body-Fat and LDL Cholesterol
1C. Ketosis Eliminates Various Ailments such as Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension
1D. Ketosis Treats Several Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Various Cancers
1E. Ketosis Promotes Cardiovascular Health
1F. Ketosis Preserves Lean-Body Mass
1G. One Will Lose Body-fat More Quickly on Keto Than Not
1H. Ketosis Blunts Appetite and Increases Meal Satiety

NOTE:  Unless you are of a VERY scientific frame of mind, SKIP SECTION TWO!!!

Summary: Metabolism is how your body gets energy.
Human bodies can do it a number of ways
You can “burn” glucose, or you can “burn” fat.
How this happens is pretty complicated: show it to you doctor; there’s probably an evens chance that he/she won’t understand it, either!
Quoting Joseph:

In other words, under a ketogenic metabolism, the body uses dietary and bodily fats as its primary energy source.

It is possible to induce the initiation of this metabolism thru a careful diet; this diet must contain limited amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins, and should be comprised primarily of fats.

II. Understanding Ketosis; An Overview of Metabolism 
2A. Metabolism Defined
2B. The Krebs Cycle
2C. Glycolysis
2D. Fat Lipolysis and Fatty Acid Beta-Oxidation
2E. Citrate Synthase Inhibition and Beta-ketothiolase Activation
2F. Ketogenesis and Ketosis

He refers to LBM=Lean Body Mass — what would be left if you lost all of your fat.  You never do want to lose all of your fat, but most of us could do with less fat and more lean.

He also refers to “energy deficit”.  In a nutshell: if you are big you won’t need to count calories at first, because a keto diet leaves you feeling full and you won’t eat so much.  But weight loss always does require consuming less calories than you use, so as you get close to your goal weight, or close to your goal for lean body mass, you may need to count calories.

III. The Basics of the Ketogenic Diet 
3A. Entering Ketosis: A Macro Ratio for Keto

PUFAs: summary: you will lose weight faster:

 if a majority of your fat percentage comes from things like seeds, nuts, oils, and fatty fish

It also says that there is NO science that says that butter is bad for you (you’ll see why if you get the science; otherwise skip to section 3C.)

3B. Saturated vs. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
3C. Sample Ketogenic Meal Plan
3D. The Wonders of Fiber
3E. How to Enter Ketosis Quickly, Easily, and Reliably
3F. How to Know You’re Under Ketosis
3G. The Gloom of Induction
3H. Losing Body-Fat
3I. Building Muscle-Mass

Summary: Don’t do intensive exercise once you’re in ketosis.  My own recommendation is Nordic Walking: http://www.WalkingForHappiness.co.uk

3J. Aerobic Exercise
3K. Glycogen Refeeding
3L. Reentering Glycolysis Correctly
3M. A list of Ketogenic Foods
3N. Step by Step Guide to the SKD, TKD, and CKD

IV. Keto Testimonials 
4A. ladysixstring
4B. Dominaterisk
4C. sepatown
4D. vgisverbose

V. Useful Resources and Websites for the Keto-Minded 
5A. The Cook’s Thesaurus
5B. Restaurant Nutrition Facts
5C. Keto Macro-Nutrient Calculator
5D. Keto Goods Online
5E. Keto Recipes Galore
5F. Further Information

VI. Keto FAQ 
6A. What is the ketogenic diet in simple terms?
6B. Is ketosis unhealthy?
6C. Is ketosis unnatural?
6D. How can you lose fat if you eat fat?
6E. Is it best to bulk on keto or on a normal diet?
6F. Are ketostix reliable?
6G. Please leave any questions in the comments.

From Junk Food Science

In the low-carb, paleo, keto world, we’re always banging on about the advantages of eating bacon, but some people have concerns.

One set is about eating saturated fat.  Worry not: the “science” that says that saturated fat is bad for your arteries is wrong, but I’ll deal with that elsewhere.  Another concern is is with nitrates and nitrites: don’t they cause cancer?

Well, there seems to be some conflicting evidence, but here are some references that suggest not.  To summarise: bacon is preserved pork: nitrates are naturally occurring substances that have been used for centuries to turn belly pork into bacon.  Nitrates occur in the soil, and in many vegetables; in fact bacon that is advertised as “no added nitrates” is not really telling the truth: they use celery (sounds healthy) which is a good source of nitrates.

One of the posts below opens with this eye-catching question:

Which of these sources will give you the most ingested nitrites:

467 servings of hotdogs

1 serving arugula

2 servings butterhead lettuce

4 servings celery or beets

your spit

The answer is obvious … or is it?

You’ll have to do the reading to find the answer, but I think you’ll be surprised!

It’s a longer story than that, of course, and if you want chapter and verse (some people need to track down the research, and that is important), here are some starting points.

Facts About Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite
Good or Bad? Nitrates and Nitrites in Food
The content of nitrates and nitrites in fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs
Nitrates In Vegetables Protect Against Gastric Ulcers, Study Shows
Does banning hotdogs and bacon make sense?
The “No Nitrites Added” Hoax
Toxicity of Sodium Nitrite (Wikipedia)
The Nitrate and Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon
“The fear of nitrates from bacon has no basis in reality”
NTP Technical report on the toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of Sodium Nitrite (11MB PDF)

(This list originally compiled by Roger D Enochs)

Roger posted a quote from the PDF:

Under the conditions of this 2-year drinking water study, there was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of sodium nitrite in male or female F344/N rats exposed to 750, 1,500, or 3,000 ppm. There was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of sodium nitrite in male B6C3F1 mice exposed to 750, 1,500, or 3,000 ppm. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity of sodium nitrite in female B6C3F1 mice based on the positive trend in the incidences of squamous cell papilloma or carcinoma (combined) of the forestomach.
Exposure to sodium nitrite in drinking water resulted in increased incidences of epithelial hyperplasia in the forestomach of male and female rats and in the glan- dular stomach of male mice.
Decreased incidences of mononuclear cell leukemia occurred in male and female rats.
Further, the USDA standard for for nitrate and nitrite levels in food[2] limits it to 200 ppm for nitrate and nitrite combined. We get much more dietary nitrate from vegetables than from cured meat, unless you eat a diet of primarily cured meat.
As established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Meat Inspection Regulations cited above, the use of nitrites, nitrates, or combinations of them cannot result in more than 200 parts per million (ppm), calculated as sodium nitrite, in the finished product.
It has been estimated that 10 percent of the human exposure to nitrite in the digestive tract comes from cured meats and 90 percent comes from vegetables and other sources. Nitrates can be reduced to nitrites by certain microorganisms present in foods and in the gastrointestinal tract. This has resulted in nitrite toxicity in infants fed vegetables with a high nitrate level. No evidence currently exists implicating nitrite itself as a carcinogen.
The 200 ppm level is well below the levels used in the above tests (750-5000 ppm), and even those high levels found no links to cancer (at least in rodents). Perhaps there are other health issues, but cancer is the one I always hear about, and the evidence does not appear to be there. A quick search didn’t turn up any research regarding nitrates and the liver.”

It’s been an age since I blogged.  Went through some tough and busy times this year, but am now back in Florida where it’s sunny and the sky is blue, and I decided to crack this obesity thing once and for all, even if I don’t (yet) have my Together We Can group.

So I started to “Lighten Up” the second we got back to Apopka and by the end of the first week I had lost 12lbs, but my body fat percentage had gone UP by over 10%. So whatever I was losing it wasn’t fat, and I was TIRED.  Went for a five-mile walk on the Thursday and tried to repeat it again on the Saturday and “ran into the brick wall” big time.  I couldn’t move.

And whenever I checked for ketones, there was barely a trace.

So a few days back I started Googling “ketogenic diets” and have come up with some very interesting stuff and have put myself on a ketogenic diet.  My weight loss seems to have plateaued, but the fat percentage is coming down, so presumably I am burning fat while I replace whatever it was that I lost last week.  One  of the best / simplest versions of the Ketogenic Diet I found on Mark Maunder’s blog (that’s him, looking all slim and fit over there on the right).  And it’s what inspired me, but with some changes, and those changes have been inspired by Elaine Cantin, who cured herself of aggressive breast cancer in two weeks flat, also using (her own) version of the ketogenic diet.  She has written a book describing how she used the ketogenic diet not only to cure her aggressive breast cancer, but also to cure her son’s type 1 (yes, really, type ONE) diabetes.  It’s an inspiring story.

Here’s how it works:  My friend, JP, has a car that is “dual fuel”. It runs on either LPG or petrol, and he can change between the two by the flip of a switch. LPG is cheaper, and greener, but isn’t that easily available, so he fills up on LPG when he can, but if he runs out of LPG he flips the switch and, hey presto, he’s running on petrol.

Well, the human body is the same. It is dual fuel. It can run on glucose, or it can run on “ketone bodies” – usually just called ketones. Glucose comes from carbohydrates and ketones come from fats. If you have glucose in your bloodstream then the body won’t bother to burn ketones. It is also fairly well known (well, it’s very well researched, but the news hasn’t got out to many doctors yet!) that the body runs more efficiently on ketones than it does on glucose (the brain is much sharper, for one), but it does take a little effort to get the body to switch.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="1477567593" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Ntu24N%2BjL._SL160_.jpg" width="107"]But here’s the thing that I didn’t know until a couple of nights ago, and it’s the thing that made me buy Elaine’s book (I got the Kindle version so I could start reading straight away). Every single cell in the human body runs just fine on ketones … except cancer cells. Cancer cells can’t use ketones: they must have glucose. So, if you put yourself on a “ketogenic diet” and clear the glucose out of our system, then your body will appreciate it – but the cancer cells will starve to death. There are all sorts of reports on the internet, but it looks like it takes around two weeks for them to die: maybe longer if it’s a truly massive cancer.

Elaine had an aggressive form of breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy but refused chemo and radiation, and the lump came back. By the time she saw her oncologist the lump was 2cm big and the oncologist wanted to rush her to the surgeon. She had only just started her diet and wanted to give it a chance. Two weeks later the doctors could find no sign of any cancer and wondered if the oncologist had made a mistake!  And she’s not the only one to report this effect.  Check out this video from CBN News:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLClqy5CbTQ

Elaine introduced me to a simple method to know whether a food is going to work in a ketogenic diet.

Egg IngredientsCheck out this ingredient list for a fried egg.  It’s from a brilliant website called http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition.  This is for a fried egg.  You will notice that there are 7.04 grams of fat in your egg and 6.27 grams of protein.  Add these together (we don’t need several places of decimals — let’s just call it 13).  Now compare that with the figure for carbohydrate: 0.4 grams.  If you divide both sides by 0.4 (you may need a calculator, but here it is roughly) you get a ratio of 26:1.  That makes an egg (especially a fried one) an excellent food for a ketogenic diet. We are looking for a ratio of from 3:1 to 5:1 or above.  I had been existing on almost exclusively different forms of cabbage: sauerkraut (ratio of 0:3.  Bad!), raw cabbage (0.28:1), onions (0.1:1).  No wonder I wasn’t getting into ketosis.  I was having very low levels of calories, but all my calories, few as they were and healthy as they were, were carbohydrates (I only just looked up red onions, and I was shocked!)

[simpleazon-image align="left" asin="145169914X" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AHwQW%2BtCL._SL160_.jpg" width="106"][simpleazon-image align="left" asin="1477567593" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Ntu24N%2BjL._SL160_.jpg" width="107"][simpleazon-image align="left" asin="193630323X" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BWLjR7ryL._SL160_.jpg" width="134"][simpleazon-image align="left" asin="B008WTOVOC" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Sh96N1gCL._SL160_.jpg" width="100"][simpleazon-image align="left" asin="B009LNGZ74" locale="us" height="127" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DlUcuFYnL._SL160_.jpg" width="160"]Now I am using this formula all the time.  For breakfast I had sugar free Canadian bacon (24.25 : 1 Great!!!) and scrambled eggs (14.4 : 1) with some grated Gruyere cheese (176.2 : 1 !!!).  Instead of having black coffee, I now have coffee with cream (coffee 0.5 : 1, not good, but heavy cream is 14 : 1 so that more than evens things out).  And notice that it doesn’t work with milk (1.12 : 1).  If you want to use non-dairy creamer, check the labels carefully.  Some work well, others are a disaster.

I was also inspired by two articles by Mr and Mrs JaminetKetogenic Diets, I: Ways to Make a Diet Ketogenic and Ketogenic Diets 2: Preventing Muscle and Bone Loss on Ketogenic Diets.  This inspired me to order their book, The Perfect Health Diet, but it won’t be here until after Xmas (make a Kindle version, please, Mr and Mrs Jaminet!)

It’s going to be fun applying the formula to turkey and Brussels sprouts over the next few days.  Unfortunately it looks like one of my Xmas favourites, roasted potatoes is going to be a no-no (0.35 : 1).  No amount of cheese is going to correct that imbalance!

See also:

Ketogenic What is a Ketogenic Diet, in a nutshell?
Ketogenic A Guide to Ketosis
Ketogenic What is the Ketogenic Diet Good For?
Ketogenic Tips for Starting and Restarting Ketosis
Ketogenic On Ketogenic Diets
Ketogenic How to Use the Keto Calculator
Ketogenic Ketone Testing
Ketogenic A one-page intro to Ketogenic Diets, to hand to medical sceptics
Ketogenic 203 Comments on Mark Maunder’s “Basic Ketogenic Diet”

It’s Susan’s and my eighth wedding anniversary tomorrow, and at the beginning of August it’s nine years since we met.  Happy and interesting years.  Within a very short time of meeting Susan I became aware of her fascination for nutrition and her insatiable appetite for every different nutritional theory, and I have long since got used to living in a house where both cupboard space and nutritional budget is taken up more by nutritional supplements than by nutrition.

I tried to take an interest for a while, but couldn’t get my head around the multiple apparently contradictory theories that were out there.  And it wasn’t that I didn’t need this information.  As the title of this blog will attest, obesity is my problem, and Susan’s is Chronic Fatigue, or M.E.  But I would read first this book, then that, and each would contradict the other, and I’d just throw them both in the bin and give up.

But then our very good friend, the lovely Kali Harmen introduced me to Gary Taubes and I was awakened to the world of nutritional bad science.  It totally opened my eyes, and since then I have been coming across examples everywhere, as well as a rapidly growing awareness happening across society.  And it falls out very simply at the moment, with the “low fat, high carb” people on one side, and the “low carb, high fat” people on the other.  It’s the low carb, high fat people who have the science behind them, and the low fat, high carb that has the politicians, big business, and even most of the public health and medical profession behind them, as Jaques Peretti‘s new BBC program “The men who made us fat” is explaining.

But things are changing.

I’m old enough to remember when people weren’t convinced that smoking was bad for you.  My GP, when I was first married in the very early 1970′s, used to carry around a tin (yes, a round tin) of 50 Player’s cigarettes in his pocket.  But gradually the science changed, and then the politics, and now we all know that smoking kills.  Not everyone (my Dad smoked all his adult life, and lived until he was 91), but the science is solid enough that we all know that anyone who smokes is endangering his or her health, badly.

And it’s the same with drink and driving.  When I was a teenager we thought it smart and fun to drive when very drunk.  We knew it wasn’t a good idea, but we did it anyway.  Now, my own (grown up) children won’t even have a glass of wine if they come round to dinner, and I’m amazed at how “grown up” they are.

Dr Ben Goldacre

Anyway; I digress.  I’m now delighted that, bit by bit, the nutritional quackery is being exposed, and the latest bit I came across concerns Dr Gillian McKeith, who I had always supposed was on the side of the angels.  Apparently, I’m wrong.  Apparently, for instance, she’s not a doctor.  I hadn’t given much thought to whether that “Dr” meant that she was a fully-qualified medical doctor, or whether it meant that she had a PhD in some relevant subject from an accredited university or college.  Apparently, neither.  Just a piece of paper from a correspondence course from a non-accredited American source.

If you have been a follower of “Dr” McKeith (she was recently taken to the Advertising Standards Authority for using the “Dr” title, and agreed to stop using it), you might like to read Dr Ben Goldacre‘s article in the Guardian about her.  It’s called “A Menace to Science” and is pretty hard-hitting.

I wanted to brighten up this post with a picture, and had thought of putting in a picture of “Dr” McK, but after reading a few articles about her, I discovered that she, or her staff, have been threatening people with law suits, so I chickened out, and decided that I’d put in a picture of Dr Ben (he really is a doctor: a medical doctor: studied at Oxford and UCL Medical School, and is currently an academic epidemiologist.  He’s also the son of Michael Goldacre, professor of public health at the University of Oxford.

So I guess he knows what he’s talking about.  Not that all epidemiologists do: there are a lot of them guilty of confusing correlation with causality, but I’m not aware of anyone catching Dr G at that yet.

I blog about this stuff because it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that we have to educate ourselves as best we can on this stuff, because we are being fed bad food and bad information by just about everyone around us, and it’s not clear who you can trust.  I’m not a scientist, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did have enough of a scientific education that I can recognise good science and bad science when it’s pointed out to me.

And I’m not an apologist for all scientists.  There’s a lot of science that doesn’t take into account other factors, and a lot of science that has led us down unhelpful paths over the years.  But suddenly, here in 2012, there is an upswell in good nutritional science, that may just change awareness in the same way that most of now will stop smoking if we can, and won’t drink and drive if we can help it.  Soon we will be cutting down on sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other dietary carbohydrates, and eating more protein and dietary fat.  And we’ll be better able to judge for ourselves which advice to follow, and which not.

Denise Minger

[simpleazon-image align="left" asin="0307474259" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ni96jsZzL._SL110_.jpg" width="72"] [simpleazon-image align="left" asin="0865479186" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BnNG7qPoL._SL110_.jpg" width="74"] [simpleazon-image align="left" asin="0865478007" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JxCbEPXPL._SL110_.jpg" width="75"][simpleazon-image align="left" asin="0307450724" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YTfTtR%2B%2BL._SL110_.jpg" width="71"] So, get yourself educated.  Read Taubes, Goldacre, the Drs Eades, and especially Denise Minger (yes, I know it’s an unfortunate name, but Americans don’t use the same jargon as us Brits) then decide whether you want to get obese, type II diabetic, increase your risk of cardio-vascular disease and Alzheimer’s, or whether you’d rather have bacon and eggs for breakfast and a good rare steak for dinner!

Yes!! It’s one of the worst health problems facing the western world, and the UK is up there with the worst of them.

According to a BBC health report, around a quarter of all UK adults are clinically obese.  If you go with “merely overweight” the figure jumps alarmingly to over 60%.

The report goes on to say that:

As many as 30,000 people die prematurely every year from obesity-related conditions.

Some experts believe obesity is responsible for more ill health than smoking. Being significantly overweight is linked to a wide range of health problems, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Indigestion
  • Gallstones
  • Some cancers (eg, breast and prostate cancers)
  • Snoring and sleep apnoea
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Infertility

And the cost tot he UK economy is huge.  The National Audit office reckons that obesity costs the NHS £500,000,000 a year (that’s £500 million, but you get the real feeling with all those zeroes).  But the overall cost to the UK economy is far worse: £2,300,000,000,000.  £2.3 billion.  With around 60 million people in the UK, that’s £37,000 for every man, woman, and child.

I think I’ll get slim and ask for my £37,000!

But the health-care systems of the world (and the people wanting to lose weight) pick out one or two things to look at: pills, special diets, special exercise fads, the latest book.  Live Free From Obesity aims to use specialist nutrition to speed our progress to a healthy weight, while introducing fun and easy exercise, and rewiring our brains to only want healthy food.

It has to be worth a try!

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