Do we really need foods for radiation protection?
Well consider that every day we are bombarded with various types of radiation, from cell phone towers, to CT scans, to WiFi from our cell phones and tablets, unless you live in a cave there is some serious exposure happening.
And unlike other toxins radiation is almost impossible to avoid, especially from WiFi.
So what’s a health conscious person like you to do?
Ok that was probably the least likely word to be followed by an exclamation point but hear me out, there are two phases when it comes to dealing with toxins.
Phase one is to avoid. Which is also what my entire Detox Your Life program is about, avoiding toxins in your diet, home, and beauty routine.
When you can’t avoid, then you go to phase two, mitigate the harm.
And what is the best way to mitigate the harm from radiation?
Foods and supplements!
So today I’m going to share with you the BEST foods and supplements that you can incorporate into your diet to minimize harm from a variety of radiation sources!
But first let’s look at the common sources of exposure, and it’s probably much more than you realize.
Types of radiation exposure
WiFi and Cell Phones
Think of cell towers, your cell phone, your laptop, your WiFi routers, it’s all sending frequencies into your body that are potentially damaging to your cells and DNA.
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the type of radiation emitted from cell phones as a possible human carcinogen. Recent studies have confirmed the link to tumors and cell phone use.
This one exposure source alone should have us ALL thinking about ways to prevent DNA damage and cancer.
CT scans, X-rays, barium and iodine contrast based scans, mammograms, dental x-rays, and chemotherapy are all common sources of intense radiation.
While some of these may be optional many are not, and the damage that can accumulate from a single scan is significant.
According to Consumer Reports in regards to CT scans,
“Overall, people scanned had a 24 percent increased cancer risk, and each additional scan boosted risk an additional 16 percent. Children who had one before the age of 5 faced a 35 percent spike in cancer risk, reflecting the fact that young bodies are more vulnerable to radiation.”
While no is arguing the use of truly medically necessary scans, many x-rays and scans are unnecessary. This is certainly the case with mammograms than can be traded for the more effective and less potentially harmful thermography scans.
I also believe most dental x-rays to be unnecessary, and many CT scans can be traded for less invasive procedures like ultrasounds or MRI’s which do not use radiation.
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Did you know that many herbs and spices (as well as foods) are irradiated?
Yep. It’s a process where a substance is blasted with supposedly “safe” amounts of radiation to kill potential pathogens.
I don’t know about you but I prefer my food being radiation free, thank you very much.
While you can avoid buying irradiated food by sticking to organic, what about regions that have nuclear waste exposure?
Whether from manufacturing, testing (like in parts of Nevada and some Islands), or outright malfunctions of nuclear plants there are many areas on the planet with radioactive contamination, and don’t assume you’d know if you were living in one.
Did you know that Fukushima Daichi has NOT been repaired?
Did you know that Fukushima has continued to release radioactive substances which are most likely going into the Pacific Ocean and all these years later there is still no viable plan to fix it? (source 1)
By the way this is also why I’ve stopped consuming ALL seafood, except for purified Antarctic krill oil supplements.
We are all familiar with Fukushima and Chernobyl. But what about Sylmar?
In Southern California there is a lovely little suburban community just outside of Los Angeles known as Sylmar.
Most people currently living in the area have no idea that in the 1959 it was the home of Santa Susana Field Lab, which suffered a partial nuclear meltdown. Radioactive material was released into the environment for weeks. According to investigations the incident was promptly covered up and left without the proper decontamination.
It’s also important to point out that cancer rates in the community are up to 60% higher than average. Coincidence?
This story is tragic example of how families are kept in the dark and left to suffer the consequences.
I firmly believe families today are also being bombarded with cancer inducing radiation from the sources mentioned above and others. I don’t want you to pay for your ignorance with your life, so again, your best bet is to avoid the exposure in the first place.
Simple tips to avoid extra exposure
- Eating non-irradiated food (stick to organic)
- Use text instead of calling on cell phones
- Use non-bluetooth corded ear buds when on your cell phone or at least putting it on speaker and hold it away from you
- Keep your cell phone OFF your body (ladies no phone in the bra, did you know the practice has been linked to breast tumors)
- Keep your laptop off your lap
- Turn off your WiFi at night and using a physical connection if possible
- Avoid living near or next to cell towers, like on fire stations
- Research the history of your community to make sure no nuclear manufacturing or testing (or meltdowns) occurred there
- Opt for thermography breast scans instead of carcinogenic mammograms
- Opt out of optional CT scans and X-rays (or getting MRI’s if possible)
- Opt out of unnecessary annual dental x-ray
But since we are all exposed even with these measures here is my list of the BEST science backed foods to help you avoid damage from radiation exposure.
The Best Foods to Avoid and Reduce Harm From Radiation of All Types
A 2009 in vitro study on human white blood cells “confirmed the radioprotective abilities [of propolis] comparable to the chemical radioprotector AET”. (source)
In other words propolis worked as effectively as the substance AET (aminoethylisothiourea dihydrobromide). The most promising substance in propolis were the polyphenolic components naturally occurring in the bee derived substance.
Considering that propolis has other benefits, like being antimicrobial, antiviral, and cancer protective, it seems a no brainer to consider this obscure but powerful substance in your radioprotective arsenal.
Tocotrienols are a type of vitamin E with exceptional antioxidant properties.
I first learned about tocotrienols when researching the Linus Pauling vitamin C protocol for heart disease, but have since come to appreciate this powerful substance’s ability to reduce and prevent oxidative damage including the damage from radiation.
You can buy tocotrienols in supplement form, this is the brand I use.
If there was one substance I’d have on my proverbial dessert island it would be turmeric.
This little golden spice is enjoying its moment in the spotlight, and for good reason, it is one of the most highly researched natural substances we have.
Turmeric have been shown to be of benefit for everything from Alzheimer’s, to fluoride toxicity, arthritis, and even cancer.
But for today, I’ll point out that this yellow spice has been repeatedly shown to be protective against radiation induced damage. You can check out the research on turmeric here, but needless to say, everyone could benefit from this little sunshine hued spiced.
Personally I use both the whole spice (buy organic as heavy metal contamination is an issue) and as a targeted supplement. This is the liquid whole turmeric supplement I’m taking now, it’s also tested for contaminants and heavy metals. This is the highly specialized and patented form (BCM-95) which I also take, this is also the type I recommend for my clients diagnosed with cancer.
The only caveat is turmeric can thin the blood, so avoid it if you’re scheduled for surgery, have a bleeding disorder, or are on blood thinners.
We are one of the few mammals who do not make our own vitamin C, along with hamsters and gorillas, and this means we must get it from our foods.
Unfortunately most people get far too little vitamin C and so supplementation is necessary. And considering that vitamin c (both orally and intravenously) has been shown (scientifically and anecdotally) to protect against heart disease, battle pneumonia, cure sepsis, fight bacterial infections and viruses, and even used as part of cancer protocols, it’s important that we stay on top of supplementation.
Along with all the things I just mentioned several studies also show that vitamin C (sometimes paired with other substances like tocotrienols, melatonin, and apple pectin) is indeed radioprotective. (source)
Most notably vitamin C has been shown to be protective against radioiodine-131 in mouse tissues. Radioiodne-131 is used as a treatment for thyroid cancer but as with all radioactive substances can cause harm in the body. (source)
Given that radioactive iodine is a byproduct of nuclear fallout, vitamin C may play an important role in preventing bodily harm following a nuclear attack or nuclear disaster.
I take vitamin C daily in the area of 2000 mg to 5000 mg depending on what’s going on in my life. But there are vitamin C protocols for those battling diseases, viruses, and cancer that are much higher, 15,000mg-30,000mg+.
When choosing vitamin C do make sure you are getting non-GMO vitamin C with no added substances. This is the kind I buy in bulk (it’s pure ascorbic acid and the most cost effective) and in capsule form. You can also get vitamin C from food based camu-camu powder and to a lesser extent various fruits and vegetables.
Apple pectin is a substance I usually work with when using it as part of a detox protocol. In that capacity it is effective at ushering out potentially harmful substances and preventing those toxins from causing the body harm.
One of the significant abilities of apple pectin is it’s capacity to bind radioactive cesium-137.
Cesium-137 is a radioactive by product of nuclear fallout and a highly dangerous substance with a half life of 30 years!
Apple pectin was used in the children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and was found to significantly reduce the cesium-137 in children by up to 62%. (source)
In the research food grade apple pectin powder was used, apple pectin is inexpensive and can be bought here.
Another type of pectin that is much more expensive but is also used to detox heavy metals is the patented Pectasol-C, a type of modified citrus pectin.
In today’s era of sabre rattling and trigger happy governments I’d keep a few bottles of whichever type I could afford on hand for each member of my family…just in case.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is commonly used in India and has been shown to have some significant radioprotective properties.
Tulsi is also known as an adaptogen, a class of herbs that helps the body adapt to physical and emotional stresses. I personally drink caffeine free tulsi tea as a long term strategy to help prevent radiation induced harm.
Another tea that has been shown to have radioprotective properties is my all time favorite, green tea (source 1) (source 2). Qualities likely attributed to the various antioxidants and polyphenols like EGCG.
Green tea has a host of beneficial effects including anti-carcinogenic properties, so I highly recommend adding it to your daily routine. It makes a great substitute for coffee, and if you prefer to keep your caffeine low try white tea instead.
Personally I drink 2-4 cups of green tea every single day, and have done so for about 10 years. However do make sure you are buying organic green tea from a company that does not use chemical laden tea bags. I like Rishi, Numi, and Traditional Medicinals.
Charles darwin referred to the ginkgo tree as a living fossil because the species dates back to the time of the dinosaurs, 270 million years.
If that wasn’t compelling enough consider that six ginkgo trees actually managed to survive the Hiroshima bombing. This is one resilient tree!
Ginkgo is probably best known and researched for its cognitive enhancing effects on humans. So much so that it is recommended for Alzheimer’s patients and anyone looking for a cognitive boost. This is actually the reason I take gingko daily.
Given that this ancient plant has been shown to improve or treat a variety of conditions including tinnitus, schizophrenia, vitiligo, arterial disease, migraines, ADD, and more, it seems worthy of consideration in your supplement rotation.
This is the brand of ginkgo I use and recommend, it contains bacopa for an extra cognitive boost.
Have I told you about my love affair with medicinal mushrooms? These little beauties are absolutely stunning in their medicinal capacities.
The sheer number of ailments that medicinal mushrooms can cure, prevent, or treat is truly awe inspiring. From treating cancer, to preventing diabetes, to killing viruses, and finally protecting our DNA from radiation damage.
There is no shortage of reasons to try medicinal mushrooms for yourself.
Chaga is a somewhat ugly hunk of mushroom which grows on birch trees in cold climates and is traditionally used in Russia and China for all sorts of ailments.
Chaga mushroom in particular is noted for its DNA protecting qualities. This is obviously something we want in the face of our current radioactive world.
One of the most interesting components of chaga is that is naturally contains melanin (the pigment that gives our skin color), Green Med Info wrote a compelling piece about the implications of melanin in chaga mushroom which I highly recommend you read.
But to summarize, the melanin containing mushrooms not only didn’t die from lethal radiation exposure they thrived! This seems to be in part due to melanin’s ability to apparently neutralize and turn radiation into an energy source. It case you haven’t realized it yet, this is pretty crazy cakes!
In the article it states:
Melanin is, indeed, one of the most interesting biomolecules yet identified. The first known organic semiconductor, it is capable of absorbing a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum (which is why it appears black), most notably, converting and dissipating potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation into heat. It serves a wide range of physiological roles, including free radical scavenging, toxicant chelation, DNA protection, to name but a few. It is also believed to have been one of the original ingredients essential for life on this planet. I’ve reported previously on its potential in converting sunlight into metabolic energy, but converting ionizing gamma radiation into useful energy? Beyond the realm of comic book heroes, who would have ever thought such a thing possible?
The first time (I am aware of) that this possibility surfaced in the literature was a 2001 Russian report on the discovery of a melanin-rich species of fungi colonizing and apparently thriving within the walls of the still hot Chernobyl meltdown reactor site.1 In 2004, the same observation was made for the surrounding soils of the Chernobyl site.2 We also know that, based on a 2008 report, pyomelanin-producing bacteria have been found in thriving colonies within uranium-contaminated soils.3 There is also a 1961 study that found, amazingly, melanin-rich fungi from soils of a Nevada nuclear test site survived radiation exposure doses of up to 6400 Grays (about 2,000 times a human lethal dose!).4 Clearly, something about melanin in these species not only enables them to survive radiation exposures that are normally lethal to most forms of life, but actually attracts them to it. Could the fungi actually be using melanin to ‘feast’ on the free lunch of anthropogenic radioactivity?
So how you incorporate this mushroom into your diet?
Personally I buy wild chaga powdered extract (responsibly harvested) and add it to my coffee myself. You can also buy raw dried chaga mushroom and make a tea from simmering it for hours on low (or in a slow cooker). The tea has a maple syrup flavor without the sweetness…it’s actually quite nice.
I’m NOT a fan of those mushroom coffee packets because they tend to be overpriced and don’t always list the ratio or source of each mushroom in the mix.
You also need to look out mushroom brands that use mushroom mycelium (the beginning fungus stage of the mushroom) rather than the actual whole mushroom. This is actually VERY common and even the “big” players in the medicinal mushroom game are doing this. Personally I believe this is misleading advertising and stick to companies that use whole mushroom in their products.
A 2011 study showed lemon balm given as a tea twice daily for 30 days improved oxidative stress and DNA damage in radiology staff. (source)
“Use of Lemon balm infusion in radiology unit workers resulted in a significant improvement in plasma levels of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase and a marked reduction in plasma DNA damage, myeloperoxidase, and lipid peroxidation. It is concluded that infusion of Lemon balm markedly improve oxidative stress condition and DNA damage in radiology staff when used as a dietary supplement for radiation protection.”
Considering that lemon balm tea is fairly easy to incorporate in to daily life AND that lemon balm is also found to have a number of other benefits (cholesterol lowering effects, antiviral properties, and preventing sun related skin damage) it’s a good option for easy long term protection. (source)
This is my favorite brand of lemon balm tea in non-GMO tea bags.
Quercetin is one of the the most potent cancer protective substances out there. In my opinion it ranks up there along side turmeric, boswelia, and black seed oil, and is one of the supplements I use in my regular rotation.
In addition to the research supporting quercetin’s anti-carcinogenic activity, a 2008 in vitro study paired quercetin with propolis (mentioned above) and confirmed their radioprotective abilities. (source).
Quercetin is found naturally in the skin of apples, many chili peppers, capers, and several other foods. It also has been shown to be highly anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, useful for diabetics, reduces hypertension, protects against various types of toxicity, and much more.
I also recommend quercetin to my clients battling allergies or even severe bug bites because it has natural antihistamine effects. You can check out the 307 abstracts related to quercetin here.
If you choose to supplement with quercetin like I do, this is the brand I use.
Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil is a superstar supplement. It has demonstrated benefit for a number of serious conditions and in particular is highly anti-inflammatory.
Black seed oil seemed to have come into the spotlight after this article summarizing its benefits, Black Seed – ‘The Remedy For Everything But Death.
I also use black seed oil topically in my anti-MRSA protocol because it has been shown to be effective against staph bacteria.
For today I want to point out that several studies confirm black seed oil’s radioprotective effects (source). I know several people who take this on a regular basis, personally I rotate this oil on and off throughout the year, and I used it after a recent CT scan as part of my radioprotective protocol.
Now I will warn you it tastes…awful. Some people mix it with honey, personally I buy these hexane-free, solvent free, cold pressed oil capsules.
According to Green Med Info,
In several separate experiments, the researchers fed one group of mice a diet supplemented with 10 percent flaxseed, either three weeks before a dose of X-ray radiation to the thorax or two, four, or six weeks after radiation exposure. A control group subjected to the same radiation dose was given the same diet but without the flaxseed supplement. After four months, only 40 percent of the irradiated control group survived compared to 70 to 88 percent of the irradiated flaxseed-fed animals.
Flaxseed oil is often used as a treatment for menopausal women because it contain plant estrogens called phytoestrogens than can help balance hormones. For this reason it also shows promise for women trying to prevent breast cancer. (source)
Personally I prefer to use flaxseed oil in more targeted circumstances, primarily for women (there is some debate as to whether phytoestrogens affect men and to what extent) but if you want to include flaxseed oil do make sure it’s fresh, sold in a dark bottle, and consumed quickly as it tends to oxidize fast.
I buy the Barleans brand of flax oil.
Spirulina and Chlorella
These two aquatic substances are often discussed together but each has slightly different actions and benefits.
Spirulina is an an aquatic cyanobacteria often called blue-green algae. Whereas chlorella is a single celled green algae with a tougher cell wall that must be “cracked” in order to be of supplemental benefit to people.
They both contain chlorophyll, are alkalizing, and detoxifying. Chlorella tends to be more detoxifying and chelating where spirulina tends to have a more abundant nutritional profile (though they are both nutritionally dense).
Both these foods (yes they are considered food) have radioprotective effects and have been traditionally used after radiation exposures. (source 1). Most notably, chlorella is the only substance I’m aware of that can inhibit the absorption of strontium-90, a deadly radioactive byproduct of nuclear fallout with a half life of 28 years (source).
Now strontium-90 may not be high on your list of dangerous toxins, I want to remind everyone that we live in a world of nuclear power stations (many on seismically active areas) and volatile governments with nuclear weapons. While I am an eternal optimist I’m also a realist, and sometimes the only thing between you and total catastrophe is a little planning.
But besides the latest headlines about North Korea, chlorella and spirulina are also excellent detoxifiers. Chlorella is particularly good at chelating mercury which many of us are exposed to through amalgam dental fillings and other medical procedures.
I personally cycle on and off them together as a pair throughout the year. One thing I want everyone to be aware of is that both these foods absorb toxins, so if they are grown is toxic areas they become toxic themselves.
You don’t want to buy toxic supplements. So make sure you buy indoor grown chlorella from pristine waters and both should be tested by third parties for heavy metals and preferably for radiation (after the Fukushima disaster this has become a necessary extra step). And I personally avoid Japanese products for this reason as a matter of personal preference.
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Yes, we are bombarded with radiation from all kinds of sources. From electromagnetic frequencies from our cell phones to medically necessary scans, to radiation from space.
While there are some things we can do to avoid some exposure, like keeping our cell phones off our bodies and avoiding unnecessary medical radiation exposures, there are sources that simply can’t be avoided.
Add to that the constant threat of nuclear power plant mishaps and maniacal dictators with nuclear weapons, I think it’s smart to include some of these foods and supplements in your daily life and keep some on hand in case of a true disaster.
But beyond that keep in mind that your best protection is always to eat nutrient rich foods with high levels of antioxidants. You also want to make sure you are getting plenty of calcium, iodine, and potassium as some of the worst nuclear fallout uses these channels to absorb into your system. By avoiding deficiencies you can give yourself an extra layer of protection while also making sure your body has what it need to stay in tip top shape.
If you are exposed to radiation through something more common like a CT scan, I suggest you include at least a handful (if not more) of the foods and supplements listed above for at least a month after your exposure. Personally I include many of these foods on a daily basis and don’t plant to stop as long as I can access them.
Finally keep in mind this isn’t a complete list. There are many other foods that have shown radioprotective effects including milk thistle, berberine, frankincense, royal jelly, astaxanthin, rosemary, aloe vera, ginger, peppermint, beets, pomegranate, moringa, and more. You can check the data yourself at Green Med Info’s Research Database.
You guys know everything I write and produce is to help you live your best and THRIVE! I hope this was helpful and as always stay safe out there!
Consumer Reports, Government Study Finds Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer in Rats, published May 27, 2016 – https://www.consumerreports.org/cell-phones/government-to-announce-results-of-study-on-cell-phones-and-cancer-today/
Cell Phone Use, Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer of the Pituitary Gland, published by Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director Center for Family and Community Health School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley on May 10, 2013 http://www.saferemr.com/2013/05/cell-phone-use-acoustic-neuroma-and.html
Acute low-intensity microwave exposure increases DNA single-strand breaks in rat brain cells, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7677797
Consumer Reports, The surprising dangers of CT scans and X-rays, published January 27, 2015 – https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/the-surprising-dangers-of-ct-sans-and-x-rays/index.htm
The Worst Nuclear Disaster in US History That You’ve Never Heard About http://theantimedia.org/the-worst-nuclear-disaster-in-us-history-that-youve-never-heard-about/
Radioactive waste from Fukushima power plant disaster to be dumped in sea http://www.independent.co.uk/news/tritium-nuclear-plant-tokyo-electric-power-company-nuclear-regulation-authority-japan-a7842931.html
Tracking the Fallout and Fate of Fukushima Iodine-129 in Rain and Groundwater, http://blogs.egu.eu/network/geosphere/2015/12/21/tracking-the-fallout-and-fate-of-fukushima-iodine-129-in-rain-and-groundwater/
Evaluation of radioprotective effects of propolis and its flavonoid constituents: in vitro study on human white blood cells, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19165751
Immune activation and radioprotection by propolis, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15974482
Gamma-tocotrienol, a tocol antioxidant as a potent radioprotector, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19557601
Nutritional approaches to radioprotection: vitamin E, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11873518
Gamma-Tocotrienol ameliorates intestinal radiation injury and reduces vascular oxidative stress after total-body irradiation by an HMG-CoA reductase-dependent mechanism, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19580495
23 Abstracts with Radioprotective & Curcumin Research, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/pharmacological-action/radioprotective?ed=5655
12 Abstracts with Radioprotective & Vitamin C Research, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/pharmacological-action/radioprotective?ed=438
Vitamins as radioprotectors in vivo. I. Protection by vitamin C against internal radionuclides in mouse testes: implications to the mechanism of damage caused by the Auger effect, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8146284
Reducing the 137Cs-load in the organism of “Chernobyl” children with apple-pectin, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14745664
Protective effect of Ocimum sanctum L after high-dose 131iodine exposure in mice: an in vivo study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16924835
Protective activity of different concentration of tea polyphenols and its major compound EGCG against whole body irradiation-induced injury in mice, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20707208
Radioprotective Effect of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Salivary Gland Dysfunction After Radioiodine Ablation in a Murine Model, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27136365
Anticlastogenic effect of Ginkgo biloba extract in Graves’ disease patients receiving radioiodine therapy, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17711926
Fermentation enhances Ginkgo biloba protective role on gamma-irradiation induced neuroinflammatory gene expression and stress hormones in rat brain, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26974576
Could Melanin Convert Radiation Into Harmless, Even Useful Energy? http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/could-melanin-convert-radiation-harmless-even-useful-energy
Effects of Melissa officinalis L. on oxidative status and DNA damage in subjects exposed to long-term low-dose ionizing radiation, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20858648
8 Abstracts with Lemon Balm Research via Green Med Info, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/lemon-balm
Flaxseeds Protect Against Radiation Exposure, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/flaxseeds-protect-against-radiation-exposure
Radioprotective effect of extract from Spirulina platensis in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2505406
Evaluation of Chlorella as a Decorporation Agent to Enhance the Elimination of Radioactive Strontium from Body, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26828430
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