The science supporting Mega-dose Vitamin C

Vitamin C Pros

  1. Shown to help prevent colds & flu when the body is stressed
  2. Very safe
  3. A lot of people find high dose vitamin C very good for immunodeficiency, chronic toxin or infectious problems
  4. Good anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory
  5. Good for mood
  6. Good for skin & bone health
  7. Good for a wide array of conditions
  8. Good for histamine intolerance
  9. High dose vitamin C has anti-cancer effects

Vitamin C Cons

  1. Can cause a bit of nausea or stomach upset
  2. Can cause loose stools


Vitamin C May Combat Cancer & Ease Cancer Treatment

Noteworthy scientists have stated for decades how beneficial Vitamin C is. What does the science say?

I’ll start with a scientist who inspired me beyond measure, Dr. Linus Pauling. Dr. Pauling was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He published more than 1,200 papers and books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. (1) New Scientist called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, (2) and as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history. (3) He is the ONLY person to ever be awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes.

Dr. Pauling was a staunch advocate of Vitamin C for the treatment of a multitude of illnesses.

“This communication reports the clinical response of fifty consecutive advanced cancer patients to the continuous administration of large doses of ascorbic acid. It concludes that this simple and safe form of medication is of definite value.” (4) Linus Pauling from 1974


“Ascorbic acid metabolism is associated with a number of mechanisms known to be involved in host resistance to malignant disease…The results clearly indicate that this simple and safe form of medication is of definite value in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer.” (5) Linus Pauling from 1976. Dr. Pauling and Dr. Cameron gave 10 g (10,000 mg) of vitamin C per day to 100 terminally ill cancer patients and compared their outcome with 1,000 cancer patients who were given conventional therapy. It was observed that 10.3 % of the cancer patients receiving vitamin C survived while all patients on conventional therapy without vitamin C died.


“There is little doubt, in our opinion, that treatment with ascorbate in amounts of 10 g/day or more is of real value in extending the life of patients with advanced cancer.” (6) Linus Pauling from 1978


“It is our conclusion that this simple and safe treatment, the ingestion of large amounts of vitamin C, is of definite value in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer…” (7) Linus Pauling from 1979


VIDEO of Linus Pauling:


Dr. Pauling’s Co-Author and fellow researcher, the famed Scottish clinician Dr. Ewan Cameron, was also a fervent promoter of Vitamin C based upon significant clinical experience results.

“If what I’ve been saying is correct–and I’m pretty sure now that I’m correct–if you can alter even a little the very, very advanced cancer patients, then all logic suggests that you should be able to alter the very early stages of the illness. And of course, the earliest stage of the illness is before the person has cancer at all. I’m pretty convinced that if people maintained a reasonable–I don’t mean astronomic–intake [of vitamin C], that we would see a diminished incidence of cancer.” (8) Vitamin C and Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Ewan Cameron. Prevention, July 1979.


“I remain convinced that the value of supplemental ascorbate has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that in time supplemental ascorbate will come to form a part of all comprehensive cancer treatment regimens.” (9) Dr. Ewan Cameron from 1984


Their clinical studies were validated decades ago…


In addition to the increase in survival times, the administration of large doses of ascorbate seemed to improve the quality of life of all patients.” (10) Murata and Morishige reported in this study of Japanese patients with uterus cancer receiving 5–30 g of vitamin C that these patients survived six times longer than those on vitamin C <4 g per day. When comparison was made between those supplemented with or without vitamin C, survival rate was 15 % higher in those supplemented with vitamin C.


Further validation for Dr. Pauling and Dr. Cameron appears to come from recent reports showing that vitamin C in high doses kills BRAF and KRAS mutants of Colorectal Cancer, which are resistant to the standard chemotherapeutic regimens, which, substantially disprove the biased results of the Mayo Clinic “investigations” designed to discredit Dr. Pauling & Dr. Cameron (11, 12, 13).


Recent studies performed in vitro, in vivo, and in live population samples, suggest an effectiveness of Vitamin C in inhibiting the growth of cancerous tumors and protecting the body’s own cells (14, 15, 16, 17, 18).


Numerous reports suggest that high-dose Vitamin C has anticancer effects (18).

High-dose Vitamin C is reportedly more toxic to cancer than it is to normal cells and induces death of various types of cancer cells including mesothelioma, pancreatic, and leukemia cells (18).

High-dose Vitamin C has allegedly been shown to suppresses tumor growth in animal models and tissue culture studies (18).


“High-dose vitamin C administration has been shown to modulate cytokine levels in patients with cancer.” (19)


Among vitamin C’s multiple alleged functions relevant to critical illness are its reported immune-enhancing effects, anti-oxidant properties, and potential anti-mutagenic effects (20, 21). Vitamin C has reportedly been shown to enhance neutrophil chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and thus microbial clearance (22, 23). In addition, vitamin C apparently promotes T cell and natural killer cell proliferation and modulates their functions (22, 24).


“Vitamin C enhances Natural Killer (NK) cell proliferation and modulates their function.” (25)


Do you know as much as your doctor about nutrition? Link to that article


Is oral vitamin C or IV Vitamin C preferred?

“…Many doctors and patients have come to believe that only intravenous vitamin C administration is an effective treatment for cancer. We suggest that this view is misguided and oral intakes are preferable.” (26)


“The anticancer properties of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are known since at least four decades, However, being a cheap and “natural” product, Vitamin C is not patentable and therefore has never been developed as an anticancer molecule.” (27)


High dietary Vitamin C has been reported to reduce gastric cancer risk (28).


“While vitamin C alone may not be enough of an intervention in the treatment of most active cancers, since it appears to improve quality of life and extend survival time, it should be considered as part of a treatment protocol for all patients with cancer, whether they have chosen a primarily orthodox, alternative medical, or complementary approach.” (29)


Higher dietary Vitamin C intake before breast cancer diagnosis increased the chances of survival. This association was strongest among women aged over 65 in this study (30).


Men with low Vitamin C levels have been reported to have a 62% higher risk of dying from cancer (31).

Vitamin C has been shown to lower pain and reduce the toxicity of some anticancer agents by reducing oxidative stress (32).


Vitamin C has been reported to alleviate a number of cancer and chemotherapy-related symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, and pain (33).

Vitamin C is reported to improve the quality of life for cancer patients, including reduced pain and the need for painkillers, both in the presence and absence of chemo- and radiotherapy (33).


Vitamin C was reported to reduce pain by 55% in radiotherapy patients with bone cancer (34).


Studies report reductions in inflammatory markers and suggest improvement in symptoms with use of Vitamin C (35).


Research published in August 2008 by the National Institutes of Health reported that “vitamin C, also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid, reduced tumor weight and growth rate by about 50 percent in mouse models of brain, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers.” It continued with “These preclinical data provide a firm basis for advancing pharmacologic ascorbate in cancer treatment to humans.” (36)


How Much Vitamin C Do We Need?

Most animals can synthesize their own requirements of Vitamin C, but since we humans cannot, we’re completely dependent upon dietary intake (37, 38).

We humans do not produce Vitamin C due to a mutation in the GULO (gulonolactone oxidase) gene, which results in the inability to synthesize the protein. Normal GULO is an enzyme that catalyses the reaction of D-glucuronolactone with oxygen to L-xylo-hex-3-gulonolactone. This then spontaneously forms Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). However, without the GULO enzyme (Which we humans don’t have), no vitamin C is produced (39).

Not only do the vast majority of animals produce their own requirement of Vitamin C (38), their internal synthesis of Vitamin C is also greatly enhanced during stress (40).

For example, control rats metabolize, each day, 1.8 mg of Vitamin C per 100 mg body weight, while pentobarbital, 3-methylcholanthrene, and chloretone-treated rats, produce about 10 mg/100 mg of body weight (41).

A 70 kg goat (the average weight used in calculations for adult males) will produce Vitamin C at 33 mg/kg/day or 2.31 g/day. Under stress or disease, the goat can produce 190 mg/kg/day or 13.3 g of vitamin C a day (42, 43). By extension, shouldn’t humans who cannot produce Vitamin C, be supplemented with grams of the vitamin even though the US and European dietary references recommend daily amounts in the order of milligrams? (44, 45, 46)

This is an indication that RDAs are designed to prevent deficiency disease, with very little nutrients to spare, but do not guarantee an optimal health condition, right?


Reports of Vitamin C Boosting Immunity

Many infections were reported to lead to reduced Vitamin C levels (47).

Vitamin C allegedly increases the functioning of various white blood cell types and decreases the replication of viruses (47, 48).

Vitamin C reportedly reduces the duration and severity of the common cold (48, 49, 50).

Vitamin C reportedly reduces the incidence of colds at times of extreme physical stress (51, 52).

Vitamin C potentially reduces the incidence of pneumonia (52).

Vitamin C reportedly decreased the duration and severity of respiratory infections in male swimmers (53).

Vitamin C reportedly eradicates H. pylori infection in 30% of patients treated, which is a precursor for ulcers (54).


Vitamin C Has Been Reported To Help Reduce Inflammation

Vitamin C reportedly reduces inflammation by lowering inflammatory cytokines (55, 56, 57).

Vitamin C can reportedly alleviate inflammation in patients with obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure (58).


Vitamin C reportedly reduced oxidative stress and inflammatory response to artificially induced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (reduced inflammatory cytokines, (MPO) and malonaldehyde (MDA) activities) (59).


Vitamin C Reportedly Protects the Gut

Vitamin C was shown to improve gut tolerability to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in this study (NSAIDs) (60).


Vitamin C appears to save mice from irradiation-induced gut damage that is usually lethal (61).


Vitamin C Appears To Be Beneficial For Mitochondria

Vitamin C supposedly stimulates mitochondrial function, by decreasing ROS generation, stimulating the activity of manganese superoxide dismutase/SOD2 and glutathione peroxidase, and by modifying the activity of the electron transport chain (62).


Vitamin C is reported to protect the mitochondrial membrane and DNA against oxidative damage (63).


Vitamin C Is Purportedly Vital for Brain Health

As evidence pointing to the importance of Vitamin C for brain health, the brain allegedly retains Vitamin C at the expense of other tissues during chronic states of deficiency and can uphold concentrations 100-fold higher than other organs, e.g. liver and kidney (64, 65).

Vitamin C is reported to play a role in many important functions in the brain, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) (64).


Vitamin C allegedly modulates neurotransmitter systems of the brain (cholinergic, catecholaminergic, and glutamatergic) (64).


Vitamin C reportedly helps the general development of neurons through maturation, differentiation and myelin formation (64).


Vitamin C helps maintain the integrity and function of several processes in the vascular system, which helps brain function (64).

Vitamin C is professed to participate in neuronal maturation and myelin formation (the electrically insulating layer around nerves) and is also allegedly involved in transmitting signals through the nervous system via neurotransmitters (64).

Vitamin C also supposedly prevents neuronal damage (64).

Vitamin C has been implicated in inducing the expression of brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF) (66), contributing to the defense mechanisms of the brain (64).


Does Vitamin C Improve Mood?

Long-term Vitamin C deprivation has been linked to nervousness and emotional instability in this study (67).

Vitamin C reportedly increases oxytocin release according to these studies (68, 69).

There was allegedly a 35% reduction in mood disturbance in hospitalized patients following treatment with Vitamin C (70).

A study found that Vitamin C supplementation does not have large effects on psychological performance, personality or current mental state, in young men (17–29 years) except in cases where supplementation corrects an existing deficiency (67).


Does Vitamin C Lower Anxiety?

Vitamin C reduced anxiety in high school students in this report (71).

Short-term supplementation of Vitamin C was safe and beneficial for reducing anxiety levels in diabetic patients according to these study authors (72).


Vitamin C Helps to Combat Depression In Studies

Many studies have found that Vitamin C can reduce the severity of depressive disorders in both children and adults, as well as improve the mood of healthy individuals (68, 69).

In a trial including depressed shift workers, Vitamin C significantly decreased depression severity (69).

Vitamin C deficient mice are less active (73)

Poor Vitamin C status is associated with increased symptoms of depression following an acute illness in older people (74).

Studies have shown that adequate Vitamin C levels are necessary for the conversion of the neurotransmitter dopamine to norepinephrine (75), an important hormone in depression and mood swings (51), explaining why patients with Vitamin C depletion have significantly increased symptoms of depression (74).

Vitamin C has been shown to increases the effectiveness of antidepressants (69). Patients treated for six months with fluoxetine and Vitamin C showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms compared to the fluoxetine plus placebo group according to studies (70).


Vitamin C Reduces Fatigue In Studies

Administration of high dose Vitamin C reduced fatigue in office workers in this study (76).

Vitamin C delays fatigue in rats (77).


Vitamin C May Slow Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Chronic low Vitamin C status in humans is allegedly associated with neurodegenerative disorders (64).

Higher Vitamin C intake has been associated with a better cognitive function in the elderly (64, 67).

Vitamin C levels were significantly lower in elderly people suffering from different kinds of dementia as per this study (64).

Vitamin C injected for 3 consecutive days improved learning and memory of aged mice (78).

In rodents, Vitamin C treatments countered the impaired memory caused by chronic sleep deprivation (79).

In animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, Vitamin C improved cognitive function (64).

Supplementation with Vitamin C reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in humans according to this study (64).

In the aging brain, Vitamin C deficiency may impair cognitive function through reduced signal transduction, as well as amyloid β deposition resulting in a generation of reactive oxygen species and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (64).


Vitamin C May Improve Blood Pressure

Vitamin C significantly lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild-to-moderately high blood pressure according to the authors of this study (80).


Vitamin C May Be Beneficial for Blood Flow

According to some studies, high-dose Vitamin C can prevent or restore impaired blood flow (81) caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), preserve the integrity of the blood vessel barrier, and strengthen antibacterial defenses (82).

Vitamin C helps to prevent blood vessel dysfunction, stimulate collagen synthesis, and enhances cell proliferation of blood vessel cells (48).

Vitamin C plays a positive role in reversing the earliest stages of hardening of the arteries (48).

Vitamin C deficiency may result in decreased blood vessel integrity, e.g. through decreased NOS generation and impaired synthesis of mature collagen. This might lead to increased plaque formation and incidence of stroke (64).


Vitamin C Appears To Lower Histamine Levels

When Vitamin C levels decrease, blood histamine levels increase (83).

Oral and intravenous administration of vitamin C results in a reduction of blood histamine levels. (83, 84).  


Vitamin C Allegedly Protects the Lungs From Oxidative Stress

Levels of vitamin C in the lungs are reported to be up to 30 times higher than in the blood. Vitamin C gets consumed while it protects against oxidants, indicating that even a single dose of vitamin C can be effective in protecting against acute increases in oxidative stress in the lungs according to this study (85).


Vitamin C Is Reported To Be Beneficial for Exercise & Recovery

Vitamin C increases physical performance and decreases oxidative stress – but only in those with an already low Vitamin C status (86).


Vitamin C decreases the levels of free radicals generated during exercise and attenuates oxidative stress (85).

Vitamin C prevents exercise-induced muscle damage, immune dysfunction, and fatigue (87, 88). 

However, it is important to note that reactive oxygen species may actually control beneficial training adaptations that high doses of Vitamin C prevent from occurring (88, 89).


Vitamin C Combats Weight Gain?

People with adequate levels of Vitamin C were reported to burn 30% more fat during moderate exercise compared to subjects with low Vitamin C levels (90).

Vitamin C supplementation has been associated with body weight reduction and a massive reduction in the number of fat cells in rats and guinea pigs (90).

Eight weeks of Vitamin C supplementation in a cafeteria model of obesity protected rats against diet-induced fat storage and excess leptin (90).

Low Vitamin C levels are related to a high waist-to-hip ratio in this study (90).

This study further demonstrated that Vitamin C has been associated with a lower prevalence of obesity and with the prevention of weight gain in a 3-year follow-up study in adults (90).


Vitamin C is Beneficial for Diabetics

Vitamin C administration improved whole-body glucose disposal and non-oxidative glucose metabolism in this study (90).

Reductions in glucose and insulin levels were much better in rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with Vitamin C for 2 weeks, compared to those fed high fat alone (90).

Vitamin C protects against diabetic blindness, improves high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), and improves blood vessel function (80)

Vitamin C may benefit patients with type 2 diabetes by decreasing blood glucose and lipids (91).

Vitamin C has been shown to inhibit production of cortisol/glucocorticoids which raise blood sugar (90).


Vitamin C Facilitates Collagen Production

Stabilization of collagen by Vitamin C is critical to forming the connective tissue framework of the entire body; including skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels (48).

The final steps of collagen production depend on Vitamin C (Vitamin C acts as an electron donor in the hydroxylation of procollagen prolyl and lysyl residues) (64).

Vitamin C deficiency disrupts collagen maturation, leading to an impaired integrity of the blood vessel wall, hemorrhage, and cerebral bleedings in mice (64).


Vitamin C is Good for Bones

Vitamin C is essential for normal bone development (92).

In humans, there is a positive relationship between Vitamin C levels and bone health, indicated by bone mineral density, fracture probability, and bone turnover markers (93).

Vitamin C-deficient animals show impaired bone health and decreased bone formation. Vitamin C supplementation was able to prevent bone loss in several animal models (93).

In addition to stabilizing collagen in bone matrix (93), Vitamin C also scavenges free radicals detrimental to bone health (93).

Vitamin C deficiency plays an important role in spontaneous bone fracture by inhibiting bone cell differentiation and promoting transition of bone cells into fat cells in mice (94).

Daily use of Vitamin C supplements, along with estrogen replacement therapy and calcium supplements, can help increase bone mass in postmenopausal women (95, 96).

Higher Vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis in Korean adults aged over 50 with low levels of physical activity (97).


Vitamin C is Great for Your Skin

Vitamin C contributes to the maintenance of healthy skin (98).

Applied to the skin, topical Vitamin C is highly efficient as a rejuvenation therapy, inducing significant collagen synthesis with minimal side effects (99).

Topical Vitamin C can partially correct structural changes associated with the aging process (100).

Vitamin C is an effective short-term treatment for melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (101).


Vitamin C May Protect From Stroke

Brain Vitamin C concentrations increase during ischemia (inadequate blood supply) (64).

In rodents and primates, Vitamin C reduced the area of brain deprived of blood supply during a stroke (64).

In humans, higher Vitamin C levels are associated with a lower likelihood of stroke (64).


Vitamin C is Beneficial for Smokers

People who smoke have lower levels of blood and cellular Vitamin C (and vitamin E) (48).

Vitamin C supplements of 500 mg twice daily for two weeks were sufficient to normalize the disappearance rate of vitamin E in smokers (48).


Vitamin C Increases Frequency Of Sex

In one study, high-dose Vitamin C improved mood and increased the intercourse frequency of 42 healthy adults (102).


Vitamin C Combats Motion Sickness

Motion sickness, also called seasickness, is a common disturbance of the inner ear. This is the area of the body that affects your sense of balance and equilibrium. Motion sickness happens when your brain receives conflicting messages about motion and your body’s position in space.

Histamine is a potential causative agent of seasickness. People exposed to waves show increases in histamine levels.

Vitamin C is effective in suppressing symptoms of seasickness, particularly in younger individuals (103).


Vitamin C Reduces Toxin Burden

Vitamin C reduces the amount of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the human body according to this study (104).


Vitamin C Improves Sperm Quality

Vitamin C improved sperm motility and structure in men in this study (105).


Vitamin C is Reportedly Beneficial During Pregnancy

Studies found that babies weighed more when they and their mothers had higher blood Vitamin C levels (106, 107).

In the developing brain of a baby, neuronal density and maturation are compromised by Vitamin C deficiency, giving rise to decreased brain volume (64).

An absence of Vitamin C is detrimental to survival in newborn mice. Furthermore, deficiency around birth reduced hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs (64).


Vitamin C is Allegedly Beneficial After Surgery

Blood Vitamin C concentrations fall after surgery, and further decrease in patients under surgical intensive care, due to an increased demand caused by increased oxidative stress (108).

In gastrointestinal surgery, continuous administration of Vitamin C reduced post-operative oxidative stress (108).

Post-operative atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) was prevented after cardiac surgery by vitamin C supplementation (108).


Vitamin C and Hormones

Vitamin C is associated with higher levels of progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormone in healthy premenopausal women (109)


Vitamin C Reportedly Increases Nutrient Availability

Vitamin C enhances the bioavailability of other nutrients, such as vitamin E and non-heme iron, which may enhance the health effects of Vitamin C-containing foods (110).


Vitamin C Shown To Lower Cortisol

Vitamin C inhibits production of cortisol/glucocorticoids (90), which signifies that it lowers people’s stress response.



Vitamin C is extremely important as an antioxidant owing to its ability to neutralize oxygen and nitrogen-based radicals, and because it also recycles both vitamin E and BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin), which have key antioxidant and enzyme cofactor functions (67).

Vitamin C contributes to many important enzyme reactions, including those leading to the synthesis of norepinephrine, carnitine, cholesterol, amino acids, and several peptide hormones (48).

Because of its structural similarity to glucose, Vitamin C can replace glucose in many chemical reactions, and it can prevent the non-enzymatic glycosylation of proteins (58).

Countless sailors were lost at sea over the centuries because of scurvy sickness (severe Vitamin C deficiency) (67) Dr. James Lind’s sailors recovered from scurvy in a matter of days when they were given citrus fruits containing small amounts of vitamin C (111).

Regarding AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), “Ascorbate does ameliorate the AID syndrome to a significant degree. I want to emphasize, however, the absolute necessity of massive doses.” (112) [Ameliorate means to make improvements to or better the situation of.]


Organs With The Highest Vitamin C Need

Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in the pituitary, adrenals, and the ovaries, but muscles, the brain, and liver contain the largest stores of this vitamin (111).


Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

Early indications of Vitamin C deficiency are fatigue, malaise, depression, and they may manifest as a reduced desire to be physically active (51).

Scurvy (pathological Vitamin C deficiency) leads to blood vessel fragility resulting in hemorrhage, as well as connective tissue damage due to failure in collagen production, often leading to loss of teeth and tendon rupture. At worse, scurvy can lead to death (55, 48).

Clinical scurvy can be avoided with intake of as little as 10 mg of Vitamin C per day (67). However, mild Vitamin C depletion has been observed in 10-30 % of the presumed healthy population (64, 67).


Factors That Cause Low Vitamin C

Non-supplementing men aged 20–49 are particularly at risk of poor Vitamin C status (51).

Vitamin C concentrations decrease with age (57).

Patients receiving kidney dialysis are prone to deficiency of Vitamin C (113).

Schizophrenic patients tend to have significantly lower levels of blood Vitamin C (114).

Subgroups at particular risk of Vitamin C deficiency are communities of low socio-economic status, smokers, elderly, pregnant women, and children with poor nutritional status (64).

Blood Vitamin C levels differ according to polymorphisms of SVCT2 and SVCT1 (67).

Natural sources of Vitamin C

As shown in the picture above, you can find variable amounts of Vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables. Personally, to get a truly therapeutic dose and to be able to measure exactly how much Vitamin C I am getting daily (food levels vary), I choose to supplement.

Most comparative bioavailability studies in humans have shown no differences between synthetic and natural Vitamin C, regardless of the subject population, study design or intervention used (110).


“I have not heard of ascorbic acid killing anyone, if it had, it would be headlined in the New York Times.” (115)



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