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Why you should never drink tea near a mealtime...

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Did you know that drinking tea can severely inhibit your body's ability to absorb vitamins and minerals - especially iron?

Lets learn a little more about tea. It can be categorised into three main groups, each of which have very different properties:
1.Black tea
2.Green tea
3.Herbal tea

Black tea - high in tannins and caffeine
Consists of teas such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey etc - i.e. the common British staple tea such as PG tips, Twinings, Tetley etc.
Black tea contains the most tannins and caffeine of the tea types.
Green tea - low in tannins and caffeine
Very popular in Asian countries and increasingly so in Europe and America due to its antioxidant and fat-burning properties.

Green tea contains little or no tannins and less caffeine than black tea, but contains high amounts of a polyphenol antioxidant called EGCG.
Herbal tea - normally no tannins or caffeine

Herbal tea isn't really made from tea (which is a specific kind of plant), it is really just an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, extracted in hot water.
Varieties include ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, peppermint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea.
Herbal teas each normally have their own 'medical' reason for being drunk e.g. peppermint/ginger for digestion and bloating, chamomile for insomnia, rosehip/rooibos are high in vitamin C and antioxidants which are good for your skin and immune system.

The effects of caffeine
Caffeine inhibits Vitamin D receptors within your body, which limits the amount absorbed when you take supplemental forms such as Vitamin D3. Reduced Vitamin D levels affect the absorption and use of calcium in building strong bones. Caffeine is also diuretic which causes you to urinate more frequently, flushing out water-soluble vitamins such as the B-Complex vitamins and Vitamin C. Caffeine significantly reduces the absorption rate of Iron in your intestines - believed to be up to 80%.

Summary: Black tea and Green tea stop efficient absorption of Iron, Vitamin D and B-Complex vitamins.

The effects of tannins
Tannins are a type of polyphenol found in plants, fruits and vegetables and have a bitter taste. They are responsible for the bitter taste in black tea, red wine and unripe fruits, it is this bitterness which is believed to protect plants, fruits and vegetables from being eaten by insects and plant predators.

Tannins don't effect the absorption of vitamins, but they do bind (chelate) to iron and block its absorption into the body from your intestines.

Summary: Black tea stops efficient absorption of Iron.
The effects of EGCG

EGCG has been found to bind to iron in the intestine, preventing its absorption - instead simply being excreted out. Iron is necessary to carry oxygen from the lungs throughout the body and for other cell functions.

Summary: Green tea stops efficient absorption of Iron.

Why is Iron so important in the body?
Most of the Iron in the body is found in the haemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to cells all over the body. Once the oxygen is delivered, iron then helps red blood cells carry carbon dioxide waste back to the lungs to be exhaled. Iron also plays a role in many important chemical reactions in the body.

Low levels of Iron result in Iron deficiency anaemia. In people with Iron deficiency anaemia, the red blood cells can't carry enough oxygen to the body because they don't have enough Iron. People with this condition often feel very tired.

Taking vitamin and iron supplements with black and green teas is best avoided and you should wait at least an hour to eat or take any supplements if you are a tea or coffee drinker. Drinking tea and coffee can significantly inhibit the absorption of Iron by your body.
Some herbal teas however, such as rosehip or thyme are high in Vitamin C which actually enhances the absorption of iron.
source: JustVitamins
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Women vitamin D deficient have a 43% higher risk of developing MS

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Women with low levels of vitamin D are nearly 50% more likely to develop multiple sclerosis than those who get enough, according to a new study published in Neurology. This strengthens findings of existing research showing a link between vitamin D status and MS.

Around 100,000 people in Britain have MS which normally gets diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. It is a condition which affects the brain and spinal cord, with symptoms including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. In worst case scenarios MS can leave people wheelchair-bound by severely damaging their muscles.

It is believed the 'sunshine vitamin' may help to suppress immune cells that attack the body to cause MS

Researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston examined blood samples from a large number of women - blood samples from more than 800,000 women in Finland were used, taken originally as part of prenatal testing.

A total of 1,092 women were diagnosed with MS on average 9 years after giving blood samples. They were compared to 2,123 women who did not develop the disease.

Of the women who developed MS, 58% had deficient levels of vitamin D, compared to 52% of the women who did not develop the disease. Researchers found that with each 50 nmol/L increase in vitamin D levels in the blood, the risk of developing MS later in life decreased by 39%.

Those deficient in vitamin D had a 43% higher chance of getting MS than women with adequate levels. The risk was 27% higher for those deficient in vitamin D as compared with those with just insufficient levels.

N.B. Deficient levels of vitamin D were defined as fewer than 30 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L). Insufficient levels were 30 to 49 nmol/L and adequate levels were 50 nmol/L or higher.

Lead author of the study Kassandra Munger states:

"'Our study adds to the evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for MS and that correcting this in women of reproductive age may reduce their risk of developing it. People should discuss with their doctor whether they need a supplement."

The body needs vitamin D to help absorb different nutrients
The body needs vitamin D to help absorb different nutrients, and is most commonly absorbed through natural sunlight. It is known that MS is more common in countries further away from the equator, which adds to the thinking that the lack of sunlight and subsequent vitamin D could well be linked to the increased chance of MS.

Dr Mungar concluded: "More research is needed on the optimal dose of vitamin D for reducing risk of MS but striving to achieve vitamin D sufficiency over the course of a person's life will likely have multiple health benefits."

Dr David Schley, of the MS Society, said the study shows that vitamin D remains a crucial area of research.

It is critically importance to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D intake throughout the year
So as we enter the winter months, in the absence of the sun, it is of critical importance for us to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D intake.

Vitamin D can be obtained through diet by eating oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon, with eggs, meat and fortified products such as cereals and margarine also being great sources.

However, dietary sources alone may not provide sufficient levels of vitamin D. Last year Public Health England recommended that everyone take a 10mcg vitamin D supplement daily.

It is also vitally important to supplement vitamin D orally on a daily basis across the year if you are not spending time outdoors or in the sun. Office workers, pregnant women and the elderly are among those said to be at risk of falling dangerously low on vitamin D.
source: JustVitamins
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This new insulin pill could make diabetes treatment ‘painless’

US scientists have developed an oral method of administering insulin that can be a less painful alternative to millions of people worldwide with diabetes who have to inject themselves with the drug to manage their blood-sugar levels.

The team has successfully encapsulated insulin using Cholestosomes – a neutral, lipid-based particle – that can be administered orally with tiny vesicles that can deliver insulin where it needs to go without injecting.

The biggest obstacle to delivering insulin orally is ushering it through the stomach intact. Proteins such as insulin are no match for the harsh, highly acidic environment of the stomach. They degrade before they get a chance to move into the intestines and then the bloodstream where they’re needed, the study said.

However, the new vesicles that are made of naturally occurring lipid molecules are normal building blocks of fats, the researchers said, adding that they are unlike other lipid-based drug carriers, called liposomes.

“Most liposomes need to be packaged in a polymer coating for protection. Here, we are just using simple lipid esters to make vesicles with the drug molecules inside,” said lead researcher Mary McCourt, Professor at Niagara University in New York, US.

Computer modelling showed that once the lipids are assembled into spheres, they form neutral particles resistant to attack from stomach acids. Drugs can be loaded inside, and the tiny packages can pass through the stomach without degrading.

When cholestosomes reach the intestines, the body recognises them as something to be absorbed. The vesicles pass through the intestines, into the bloodstream, and then cells take them in and break them apart, releasing insulin.
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Protein key to preventing heart attacks, strokes identified

Increasing the levels of a newly identified protein that helps prevent arteries from clogging may reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes, according to a new study.

As men and women grow older, their chances for coronary heart disease also increases, researchers said. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries, which can lead to serious problems, including heart attacks, strokes or even death. Scientists at the University of Missouri (MU) in the US have found that the protein Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), naturally found in high levels among adolescents, can help prevent arteries from clogging.

Increasing atherosclerosis patients’ levels of the protein could reduce the amount of plaque buildup in their arteries, lowering their risk of heart disease, researchers said. “The body already works to remove plaque from arteries through certain types of white blood cells called macrophages,” said Yusuke Higashi, assistant research professor at the MU School of Medicine. “However, as we age, macrophages are not able to remove plaque from the arteries as easily,” said Higashi.

“Our findings suggest that increasing IGF-1 in macrophages could be the basis for new approaches to reduce clogged arteries and promote plaque stability in ageing populations,” he said. In a previous study, researchers had examined the arteries of mice fed a high-fat diet for eight weeks. IGF-1 was administered to one group of mice. They found that the arteries of mice with higher levels of IGF-1 had significantly less plaque than mice that did not receive the protein.

Since the macrophage is a key player in the development of atherosclerosis, the researchers decided to investigate potential anti-atherosclerosis effects of IGF-1 in macrophages. “Our current study is one of the first ever to examine a link between IGF-1 and macrophages in relation to vascular disease,” said Patrice Delafontaine, Dean of the MU School of Medicine
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Sleep and Aging

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But, older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger.

There are many reasons why older people may not get enough sleep at night. Feeling sick or being in pain can make it hard to sleep. Some medicines can keep you awake. No matter the reason, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day you may:
Be irritable
Have memory problems or be forgetful
Feel depressed
Have more falls or accidents

Get a Good Night's Sleep
Being older doesn’t mean you have to be tired all the time. You can do many things to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some ideas:

Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you are traveling.
Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening, if you can. Naps may keep you awake at night.
Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime each night. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
Try not to watch television or use your computer, cell phone, or tablet in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. And alarming or unsettling shows or movies, like horror movies, may keep you awake.
Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
Use low lighting in the evenings and as you prepare for bed.
Exercise at regular times each day but not within 3 hours of your bedtime.
Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime—they can keep you awake.
Stay away from caffeine late in the day. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate) can keep you awake.
Remember—alcohol won’t help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.
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Being Outdoors May Change the Way Your Brain Works, Study Says

Getting outside may not only change your perspective — it could actually alter the way your brain works in some unexpected ways, according to a small new study.

“Your brain seems like it has to work harder and it’s less effective when it’s outside,” explains Kyle Mathewson, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alberta in Canada and the lead author of new research published in the journal Brain Research.

For the study, Mathewson, along with graduate student Joanna Scanlon, monitored the brain activity of 12 people as they listened to a series of tones. Everyone was directed to press a button when they heard one of two sounds. This task was administered twice: first while sitting still inside a dim, quiet lab, then while riding a bike outside along a street. The goal was to see how the brain functions in the two environments, and if it’s changed by an everyday outdoor activity, like bike riding.

They found, somewhat surprisingly, that while people were outside, their brains weren’t responding as robustly to the task at hand, perhaps because their attention was taxed by competing stimuli. A type of brain wave seen when the mind is at rest or meditating, which is commonly observed in the lab, all but disappeared in fresh air, Mathewson says.

Outside, “there are traffic sounds, and the sights of traffic, and all these people around you, and trees and birds and the wind and the cold,” Mathewson says. “All these extra sensations are kind of competing with the task that you’re doing,” forcing the brain to work harder to achieve the same result.

Bike riding, however, did not seem to make much of a difference on brain activity. While the indoor group was sedentary in this study, in one of Mathewson’s prior experiments, people rode a stationary bike indoors. Brain activity while biking inside did not differ much from when people sat quietly indoors, he says. The effects aren’t simply due to fresh air, either. When the researchers conducted a follow-up experiment, during which they played a recording of traffic sounds in a lab environment, they also observed reduced brain activity.

More research is needed. It’s too soon to tell whether these brain changes are positive or negative, and Mathewson says the results may not hold true for every outdoor environment. A tranquil meadow, for example, may not stress the brain in the same way as a busy urban street. Past research, in fact, has shown a host of mental health benefits associated with spending time in nature. “Going outside in this case might have appeared bad because we went outside beside busy traffic,” he says, “but if we went outside into nature, we might have found different effects.”

Since people in the study were still able to complete the test outdoors, despite their diminished cognitive response, the researchers are also repeating the experiment using progressively more difficult tasks, Mathewson says. “We think this task was too easy and that we weren’t able to tap into the effect,” he says. “Now we’re going to try to push a little bit harder and get more and more difficult tasks to see where the brain breaks down.”

The good news is that recent breakthroughs in technology — the creation of small, portable brain monitoring equipment that can be brought outside and on the go — not only made this study possible, but will continue to improve follow-up studies, Mathewson says. “This is going to open up a whole new field of studying people in their natural habitat,” he says.
source: TIME
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Keep your heart healthy

Be smoke-free
Being smoke free is one of the best things you can do to protect your heart.

Manage your blood cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to be healthy, but an imbalance of cholesterol in your blood can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Manage your blood pressure
Blood pressure isn’t usually something you can feel. If it’s too high, it needs to be treated.

Manage diabetes
It’s important to manage your diabetes to help prevent a heart attack or stroke. For information on managing diabetes.

Be physically active
Regular, moderate physical activity is great for your heart health. It’s never too late to start and get the benefits. It’s also important to sit less during your day and break up your sitting time.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems. It can help to know your body mass index and waist measurements and what these mean.

Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods
*Eat less salt: Reducing your salt intake is good for your blood pressure.
*Replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats: Replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats can reduce your risk of heart disease.
*Limit alcohol

Look after your mental health
We know that there can be a greater risk of heart disease for people who have depression, are socially isolated or do not have good social support. Having a good social life with family and friends can help.
Depression is more than feeling sad or low. If you feel depressed for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor, a family member or someone you know well.
source: HeartFoundation
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Scientists, led by a person of Indian origin, have made advances in efforts to make stem cell-derived retinal cells used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — a leading cause of blindness.

The findings showed that tiny tube-like protrusions called primary cilia on cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) — a layer of cells in the back of the eye — are essential for the survival of the retina’s light-sensing photoreceptors.

The discovery may help scientists to use induced-pluripotent stem cells to create adult RPE for transplants to treat patients with geographic atrophy, otherwise known as dry AMD.

“We now have a better idea about how to generate and replace RPE cells, which appear to be among the first type of cells to stop working properly in AMD,” said lead researcher Kapil Bharti, Stadtman Investigator at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

In geographic atrophy, RPE cells die, which causes photoreceptors to degenerate, leading to vision loss.

The team hopes to halt the degeneration and reverse the progression of geographic atrophy, by replacing diseased the RPE with lab-made RPE.

However, these RPE cells have a tendency to get developmentally stuck, Bharti said.

“The cells frequently fail to mature into functional RPE capable of supporting photoreceptors. In cases where they do mature, however, RPE maturation coincides with the emergence of primary cilia on the induced-pluripotent stem cells-RPE cells,” Bharti noted.

In the study, appearing in the journal Cell Reports, the team tested three drugs known to modulate the growth of primary cilia on stem cells-derived RPE.

They found that the two drugs known to enhance cilia growth significantly improved the structural and functional maturation of the RPE stem cells, while the cells exposed to the third drug, demonstrated severely disrupted structure and functionality.

The results have been incorporated into the group’s protocol for making clinical-grade RPE stem cells, Bharti said.
source: Indian Express
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लाफ्टर इज द बैस्ट मेडिसन

जब एक छोटी सी मुस्कराहट आपकी फोटो में चार चांद लगा देती है, तो जरा सोचिए कि खुल कर हंसने से आपको कितने फायदे होते होंगे। वो कहते हैं ना, 'लाफ्टर इज द बैस्ट मेडिसन'। ये बात सोलह आने सच है कि हंसी लाख मर्जों की एक दवा होती है। हंसने से न सिर्फ हमारी सेहत, बल्कि सूरत भी बेहतर होते हैं। लाफ्टर हमारे शरीर की मांसपेशियों, आंखों, जबड़े और हृदय की मांसपेशियोंको आराम देता है। लेकिन फिर भी न जाने हम जिंदगी की आपाधापी में हंसना क्यों भूल जाते हैं। तो आइये आपको बता दें कि हंसने से आपको कितने फायदे होते हैं, ताकी आप थोड़ा और खुल कर हंस सकें।

रक्त संचार को बनाए बेहतर
युनिवर्सिटी ऑफ मेरीलैंड के एक शोध के अनुसार हंसने का संबंध शरीर के रक्त संचार से है। इस अध्ययन में प्रतिभागियों को दो समूहों में रखा गया था। पहले समूह को कॉमेडी कार्यक्रम दिखाया गया और दूसरे को ड्रामा। शोध में पाया गया कि कॉमेडी कार्यक्रम देखकर जो प्रतिभागी खुलकर हंस रहे थे उनका रक्त संचार अन्य प्रतिभागियों की तुलना में काफी बेहतर था।

तनाव हो जाए उड़न-छू
हंसी में तनाव, दर्द और झगड़े आदि को खत्म करने की कमाल की शक्ति होती है। आपके दिमाग और शरीर पर प्रभावी रूप से जो काम हंसी कर सकती है, वह दुनिया की कोई दवा नहीं कर सकती। विशेषज्ञ बताते हैं कि हंसना इसलिए भी जरूरी है, क्योंकि इससे आप ज्यादा सामाजिक बनते हैं और लोगों के साथ बेहतर सरीके से जुड़े रहने पर आपको तनाव या अवसाद जैसी समस्या कम होती हैं। साछ ही खुलकर हंसने से सारा तनाव बाहर निकल जाता है और आप बिल्कुल तनावमुक्त रहते हैं। ऐसे में तनाम से होने वाली मानसिक व शारीरिक समस्याओं से बचाव होता है।

प्रतिरक्षातंत्र को करे मजबूत
एक रिसर्च के मुताबिक ऑक्सीजन की उपस्थिती में कैंसर वाली कोशिकाएं और कई अन्य प्रकार के हानिकारक बैक्टीरिया एवं वायरस नष्ट हो जाते हैं। और हमें हंसने से ऑक्सीजन अधिक मात्रा में मिलती है और इससे शरीर का प्रतिरक्षातंत्र मजबूत होता है। यही नहीं लॉयड नामक पत्रिका में प्रकाशित एक शोध के अनुसार हंसने के दौरान हम गहरी सांस लेने और छोड़ने की एक्सरसाइज करते हैं, जिससे शरीर में ऑक्सीजन का संचार बेहतर तरीके से होता है। और इसकी वजह से हम लंबे समय तक तरोताजा व ऊर्जावान रह सकते हैं।

दर्द में दिलाए आराम
अनेक शोधों में पाया गया कि स्पोंडलाइटिस या कमर दर्द आदि पीड़ादायक समस्याओं में आराम के लिए हंसना एक प्रभावी विकल्प होता है। डॉक्टर लाफिंग थेरेपी की मदद से इन रोगों में रोगियों को आराम पहुंचाने का प्रयास भी करते हैं। यही नहीं, 10 मिनट तक ठहाके लगाकर हंसने से आपको दो घंटे तक दर्द से राहत मिल सकती है, और इससे चेन की नींद भी आती है।

हंस कर पाएं सकारात्मक ऊर्जा
हंसी मजाक से आप अपने दिल व दिमाग के बोझ को तो कम कर पाते ही हैं, साथ ही खुश रहने से आपके अंदर सकारात्मक ऊर्जा का संचार भी होता है। सकारात्मक रह कर आप जो काम करते हैं, उस पर बेहतर से फोकस कर पाते हैं। हंसने से आपकी बॉडी रिलेक्स होती है। कुछ देर खुलकर हंसने से मांसपेशियां कम से कम 45 मिनट तक रिलेक्स हो जाती हैं। इसके अलावा हंसनेसे आपकी रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता भी बढ़ती है। कहते हैं कि एक सकारात्मक व्यक्ति अपने इर्द-गिर्द भी खुशी और आंदद फैलाता है। तो खूब हंसिये और इर्द-गिर्द भी खुशियों फैलाइये।

दिल को बनाए मजबूत
हंसने से हृदय की एक्सरसाइज भी हो जाती है। रक्त का संचार बेहतर होता है। हंसने पर शरीर से एंडोर्फिन नामक रसायन निकलता है, जोकि ह्रदय को मजबूत बनाता है। कुछ शोध बताते हैं कि हंसने से हार्ट-अटैक की संभावना कम हो जाती है।

रोगों से बचाए
यदि सुबह के समय हास्य ध्यान योग किया जाए तो दिन भर प्रसन्नता और स्फूर्ती बनी रहती है। वहीं रात में ये योग किया जाये तो नींद अच्छी आती है। हास्य योग से हमारे शरीर में कुछ हारमोंस का स्राव होता है, जिससे मधुमेह, पीठ-दर्द एवं तनाव से पीड़ित व्यक्तियों को फायदा होता है।

खूबसूरती की हंसी
जैसा की हम बात कर चुके हैं कि हंसने से टेंशन और डिप्रेशन कम होता है और शरीर की रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता में बढ़ोतरी होती है। यही नहीं जोरदार हंसी कसरत का भी काम करती है। हंसने से चेहरे की मांसपेशियों की एक्सरसाइज होती है जिससे चेहरे पर जल्दी झुर्रियां नहीं पड़तीं। इसी लिए इसे नेचरल कॉस्मेटिक भी कह सकते हैं क्योंकि इससे चेहरा खूबसूरत बनता है। विशेषज्ञ बताते हैं कि जो लोग अधिक हंसते हैं वे लंबे समय तक युवा दिखते हैं।

फिटनेस बढ़ाए
खुश रहने से आप ज्यादा फिट और हैल्दी रहते हैं। ऐ सा देखा गया है कि जो लोग जिंदगी को खुलकर जीते हैं, वे बुढ़ापे में तेजी से चलते हैं और ज्यादा सक्रीय रह पाते हैं। साथ ही खुश रहने वाले बुजुर्ग लोगों को बिस्तर से उठने में, कपड़े पहनने में या नहाने आदि रोजमर्रा के कामों में कोई दिक्कत नहीं होती। रोज एक घंटा हँसने से 400 कैलोरी ऊर्जा की खपत होती है, जिससे मोटापा भी काबू में रहता है। आज कल कई हास्य क्लब भी तनाव भरी जिंदगी को हंसी के माध्यम से दूर करने का काम कर रहे हैं।
source: OnlyMyHealth
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