Is Espresso Bad for You: Revealing the Truth about Your Daily Dose

Is espresso bad for you? This is a question that many coffee drinkers ask themselves when considering their daily caffeine fix. On the surface, it might seem like espresso contains more caffeine and can be bad for your health than other forms of coffee. However, research shows that espresso can have numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation.

Studies have found that moderate amounts of espresso may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, improve heart health, and even help with weight loss efforts. In addition to its potential health benefits, espresso offers a unique flavor profile and texture, making it appealing to many java lovers. This article will explore the potential benefits and risks associated with drinking espresso to help you decide if this popular beverage is right for you.

About Espresso

What Is Espresso?

Espresso coffee is my go-to beverage when I need a quick pick-me-up, and Espresso is one of the most beloved coffee drinks in the world. From its origins in Italy to its widespread popularity today, espresso has become a staple in coffee culture.

First off, let’s talk about what espresso is. Espresso is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. This results in a rich, velvety shot of coffee often enjoyed on its own or used as the base for other coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

So, why do people love espresso so much? Well, for one, it’s the perfect solution for when you need a quick caffeine boost. Since it’s a concentrated shot of coffee, espresso has more caffeine per ounce than regular brewed coffee. Its rich, bold flavor is a real treat for coffee enthusiasts.

As someone in the coffee industry for years, I’ve had the chance to taste many different espresso blends worldwide. From Italian roasts to Colombian beans, I’ve tried them all. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like a perfectly pulled shot of espresso.

One of the most important factors in making a great espresso is the quality of the beans. You want to choose a high-quality, freshly roasted bean that will give you a rich, flavorful shot. But it’s not just about the beans – the brewing process is just as important. The water temperature, the pressure, and the grind size all play a role in creating the perfect shot.

As an espresso enthusiast, I’ve also had the chance to try many different espresso machines. Each machine has unique features and capabilities, from manual lever machines to fully automatic models. But no matter what type of machine you use, the key is to find one that produces consistent, high-quality shots every time.

Espresso Nutrition Facts

Espresso Nutrition Facts

As a coffee lover and nutrition expert, I often get asked about the nutritional value of espresso. And let me tell you; there’s a lot to uncover.

  • Espresso contains only 2.7 calories per 1 fl oz serving.
  • A 2 fl oz espresso cup contains 60 g of coffee.
  • There is 0.1 g of fat, 0 g of protein, and 0.5 g of carbohydrate in a 30 g serving of espresso.
  • Complex carbohydrates make up the majority of the carbohydrate content in espresso.
  • Espresso contains 0 g of saturated fat and 0 mg of cholesterol per serving.
  • Espresso contains small amounts of iron, calcium, and potassium.
  • The Carbohydrate Quality Score of espresso is 0.0/100, making it a low-carbohydrate food.
  • Espresso has a low protein-energy ratio of 0.0.
  • The energy density of espresso is 0.1, making it a low-calorie food.
  • Espresso is a poor source of fiber, with 0.00g of fiber per 100 grams.

But what about the caffeine content? A standard shot of espresso contains around 63 milligrams of caffeine. For comparison, a regular coffee typically contains anywhere from 95-200 milligrams of caffeine. So, espresso might be your go-to drink if you’re looking for a quick caffeine boost without the added calories.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While espresso is low in calories and sugar, many espresso-based drinks (think lattes and cappuccinos) can be loaded with added sugars and syrups, significantly increasing calorie count.

Note: All information is based on USDA National Nutrient Database data and is subject to change based on individual variation and serving size. It is essential to consult with a doctor before making significant dietary changes.

Is Espresso Bad for You?

According to recent studies, drinking espresso may negatively affect heart health and gastrointestinal issues. Unfiltered coffee, like espresso, contains diterpenes that can lead to increased cholesterol levels, which are linked to a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.

The high caffeine content in espresso may also negatively affect blood pressure and cause symptoms such as nervousness and insomnia. Additionally, caffeine stimulates the GI tract, which can cause gastrointestinal distress and exacerbate symptoms of GERD or IBS.

However, moderate espresso consumption (approximately 300 milligrams or the equivalent of 4.5 ounces) has increased alertness, improved memory, and positively affected mood. Gradually increasing coffee intake over a long period may reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Overall, while excess consumption of espresso may have negative consequences, moderate daily consumption can have health benefits.

Is Espresso Good for Diabetics?

Is Espresso Good For Diabetics

Espresso, like coffee, contains caffeine which may impair insulin sensitivity in the short term. However, it also contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, as well as minerals like magnesium and chromium that can improve insulin sensitivity.

Research has shown that coffee, including espresso, may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and that decaffeinated coffee may be the best option for people with diabetes. It is important to approach coffee varieties cautiously, particularly those with syrup or added sugar, as they can raise blood glucose levels.

People with diabetes should consult their healthcare provider about safe amounts of coffee and opt for drinks without added sugar to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

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Is It Safe To Consume Espresso On An Empty Stomach?

According to experts, consuming espresso on an empty stomach is safe. Drinking coffee without food used to be thought of as harmful, but this was disproven, and coffee consumption has not been linked to ulcers. However, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can result in the caffeine being absorbed more quickly, potentially leading to feelings of alertness and jitteriness.

The effects of caffeine vary depending on personal tolerance, but up to 400 milligrams a day has been deemed safe for healthy adults. Paying attention to how your body responds to coffee on an empty stomach is essential, as some people may experience heartburn or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Customizing your coffee drinking habits based on your schedule, lifestyle, and sensitivity to coffee is important. Listening to your body’s reactions would be best to determine what is best for you.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Cholesterol?

According to a study published in the Open Heart Journal, different types of coffee have varied effects on cholesterol levels in men and women. The study showed that filtered coffee increased cholesterol levels in women but not men. Espresso drinks showed the widest difference between genders in cholesterol levels.

The study involved 13,889 participants responding to a survey on coffee consumption, and blood samples were collected to measure cholesterol levels. The naturally occurring chemicals in coffee, such as diterpenes cafestol and kahweol, raise cholesterol levels. Ingesting three to five cups of espresso daily was significantly associated with increased serum total cholesterol, especially among men. However, the increase was relatively small and may not be significant in clinical practice.

Therefore, while the brewing method matters, the small differences in cholesterol levels in those who drank more coffee than others are not important enough to generate any meaningful concern.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Kidneys?

Is Espresso Bad For Your Kidneys

Espresso, like coffee, contains caffeine, a stimulant that can significantly affect blood pressure in some individuals. However, caffeine, in moderation, is not inherently bad for the kidneys. Espresso is not likely to damage the kidneys if consumed in small doses. However, caffeine intake should be limited for people with kidney disease, and espresso consumption should be considered in moderation. Since potassium plays a role in keeping the heart healthy, a significant imbalance in potassium levels can lead to complications with the heart, such as an irregular heartbeat or heart attack.

Espresso contains about 212 milligrams of potassium in 100 grams, and three and a half ounces of espresso is considered high in potassium. Therefore, people with kidney disease should be mindful of how much espresso they consume to ensure their potassium levels are balanced. As with most things, moderation is key, and it is recommended that individuals consume less than three cups of espresso (approximately 18 to 24 ounces) per day to avoid health complications.

Additionally, individuals with kidney disease should factor espresso into their fluid allowance, as their kidneys may not be able to filter as much excess fluid from their bodies. Thus, they may need to limit or avoid drinking espresso if it causes excess fluid buildup.

Does Espresso Cause Teeth Staining?

Espresso is a delicious and energizing beverage that many people enjoy. However, there is a concern that it may cause staining on teeth. This is because espresso contains tannins, naturally occurring compounds that can cause discoloration. Tannins are also found in beverages like wine, tea, and soda. When consumed regularly, these compounds can build up on the enamel of teeth and lead to yellowing or brown spots.

However, there are several ways to prevent or minimize staining from espresso. Using a straw to drink espresso or rinsing the mouth with water immediately after consuming it can help reduce the number of tannins that come into contact with the teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly can also help prevent staining.

Ultimately, while espresso may cause staining, there are many ways to mitigate this risk and enjoy the delicious beverage without worrying about the appearance of one’s teeth.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Liver?

There is evidence that coffee can have a positive effect on liver health. Research has shown that regular consumption of coffee can lower the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can cause scarring or even liver failure. Coffee may also benefit people with a virus that infects the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

However, it is important to note that decaf coffee does not provide the same benefits as regular coffee. Drinking at least three cups of regular coffee daily is recommended to help prevent liver problems, even more, if one has hepatitis or fatty liver disease. But, excessive coffee consumption can have negative side effects, such as headaches and anxiety.

Black coffee is the healthiest option, as adding cream and sugar to coffee can increase fat and sugar intake, which can be problematic for people with fatty liver disease. Drinking coffee is just one way to keep one’s liver healthy. Still, it is important also to maintain a healthy diet and get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B viruses to protect the liver.

Is Espresso Bad For Anxiety?

Is Espresso Bad For Anxiety

Espresso is popular among coffee lovers, but it can have a negative effect on anxiety. Studies show that caffeine indirectly increases norepinephrine and causes nervousness, irritability, trembling, palpitations, flushing, and irregular heartbeat. The more caffeine consumed in a day, the more likely these symptoms appear, not only in adults but also in children.

  • A study conducted by Gareth Richards and Andrew Smith at Cardiff University found that coffee was the major contributor to the caffeine intake of 3071 secondary school pupils, and there were significant positive correlations between total weekly caffeine intake and measures of anxiety.
  • The US National Library of Medicine recommends that people with anxiety avoid caffeine as more than 250 mg of caffeine per day can cause jitteriness, nervousness, and increased heart rate, among other symptoms.
  • Caffeine reduces levels of essential neurotransmitters, decreases blood flow to the brain, and conflicts with female hormones, all contributing to anxiety. While some people can develop a panic attack, and it may seem like caffeine is the culprit, it also happens as a self-protection mechanism where the brain associates circumstances and environments with anxiety and panic. The relationship to caffeine consumption is lost.

Considering all of these data, it is clear that espresso can be bad for those with anxiety, and reducing or avoiding it altogether may be beneficial.

Can Caffeine Improve Memory?

Caffeine is a widely used stimulant consumed by 80% of the world’s population. It is known to improve alertness, sustained attention, and reaction times. However, the effects of caffeine on memory are mixed. While some studies have shown that caffeine can improve memory, particularly global aspects of memory, more in-depth research shows that the benefit of caffeine on memory is state-dependent.

Caffeine only improves memory if it is used when information is taken in and recalled later. On the other hand, caffeine can also lead to poorer performance on tasks of free recall and false memories. Moreover, caffeine consumption may interfere with sleep and cause withdrawal symptoms, resulting in memory problems. While some research suggests that caffeine may reduce the afternoon decline in memory associated with aging adults, habitual caffeine use does not counter age-related memory declines.

Therefore, it is best to talk to a healthcare provider before consuming caffeine and explore other ways to improve memory.

Is Espresso Good for Alzheimer’s?

One study conducted in Finland found that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee per day in midlife was associated with a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by about 65% at late-life.

However, findings from other studies are somewhat inconsistent. One observational study found that people who did not develop dementia had twice as much caffeine in their blood as those who did.

Still, these studies cannot confirm the link between caffeine and dementia as they cannot distinguish between cause and effect. It is challenging to determine if caffeine levels affect dementia or if it is the other way around. Nevertheless, researchers have suggested that caffeine might counter dementia by blocking the cells’ ability to recognize adenosine and reducing inflammation.

Intriguingly, it has also been shown that caffeinated coffee increases granulocyte-colony stimulating factors, which help the brain in several ways. Nonetheless, a randomized controlled trial is the gold standard for this type of research, and there is still much to investigate.

Therefore, it is currently unclear if espresso is good for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Can Parkinson’s Patients Drink Coffee?

Can Parkinson'S Patients Drink Coffee

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration, motor impairment, and non-motor symptoms.

Epidemiological and experimental investigations into potential risk factors have firmly established that dietary factor caffeine, the most widely consumed psychoactive substance, may exert both neuroprotective and motor and non-motor (cognitive) benefits in PD.

At least six prospective epidemiological studies have firmly established a relationship between increased caffeine consumption and decreased risk of developing PD. In addition, animal studies have also demonstrated that caffeine confers neuroprotection against dopaminergic neurodegeneration using PD models of mitochondrial toxins (MPTP, 6-OHDA, and rotenone) and expression of α-synuclein (α-Syn).

While caffeine has complex pharmacological profiles, studies with genetic knockout mice have revealed that caffeine’s action is largely mediated by the brain adenosine A R) and confer neuroprotection by modulating neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, and mitochondrial function.

Interestingly, recent studies have highlighted emerging new mechanisms, including caffeine modulation of α-Syn degradation with enhanced autophagy and caffeine modulation of gut microbiota and gut-brain axis in PD models.

Caffeine’s multi-benefits in PD and emerging mechanisms offer hope for personalized medicine in PD clinical trials.

Is Caffeine In Espresso Harmful To Children Or Pregnant Women?

Caffeine is one of the most loved stimulants in America; it can have harmful effects on pregnant women. Caffeine can raise blood pressure and heart rate, causing dehydration and affecting the baby’s sleep and normal movement patterns in the later stages of pregnancy. Caffeine also crosses the placenta to the baby, who does not have the enzymes to metabolize it.

Studies on animals have shown that caffeine can cause birth defects, premature labor, preterm delivery, and other reproductive problems. There have not been any conclusive studies done on humans, but it is still better to play it safe when it comes to inconclusive studies.

Pregnant women are recommended to limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day, equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee. Therefore, avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest action.

Does Espresso Contribute To Dehydration?

Recent discussions have debated whether or not espresso contributes to dehydration. Caffeine, the active ingredient in espresso, is known to be a diuretic, which may lead to dehydration. However, studies have shown that moderate amounts of coffee, including espresso, do not significantly affect hydration levels.

In fact, one study found that coffee can provide similar hydrating qualities to water. It is important to note that drinking excessive amounts of coffee, especially when paired with intense physical activity, can increase the risk of dehydration. Therefore, consuming coffee in moderation and monitoring one’s daily water intake is recommended. Personal experiences may vary, and it is advised to consult a doctor regarding any concerns or symptoms.

What Are The Potential Health Risks Associated With Consuming Too Much Espresso?

What Are The Potential Health Risks Associated With Consuming Too Much Espresso?

Consuming too much espresso can have unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. One of the primary risks associated with excessive caffeine intake is anxiety and nervousness, particularly in individuals who are caffeine-sensitive or consume high doses. High daily intakes of over 1000 mg have been reported to cause jitteriness and other symptoms.

Additionally, caffeine can interfere with sleep, decreasing total sleeping time and increasing the time it takes to fall asleep. While low or moderate amounts of caffeine don’t appear to affect sleep significantly, high doses of caffeine can cause serious health problems and possibly death.

Therefore, monitoring caffeine intake is important, especially from energy drinks containing up to 500 mg per can. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200 mg daily, and adolescents and young adults should be cautioned about excessive caffeine intake.

Finally, it’s crucial to note that some medications, supplements, and herbal products can interact with caffeine, increasing the likelihood of unpleasant side effects.

Does Drinking Decaffeinated Espresso Have The Same Negative Effects As Regular Espresso?

Drinking decaffeinated espresso typically does not have the same negative effects as regular espresso.

Decaf coffee usually contains similar amounts of antioxidants as regular coffee, although they may be up to 15% lower. Decaf coffee beans are washed in solvents to remove 97% of the caffeine content before they are roasted and ground. The nutritional value of decaf coffee should be almost identical to regular coffee apart from the caffeine content. It contains varying amounts of caffeine, usually about 3 mg per cup. However, this is much less than the amount found in regular coffee. Despite the caffeine, decaf coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the Western diet.

Additionally, drinking decaf coffee has been linked with a small but significant reduction in the risk of premature death. However, decaf coffee has potential negative effects, such as an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis and interference with iron absorption.

It is worth noting that most studies assess coffee intake without distinguishing between regular and decaf coffee, and some do not even include decaf coffee. Nonetheless, drinking decaf coffee in moderation is considered safe and may have health benefits.

What Are Some Healthier Alternatives To Espresso For A Quick Caffeine Boost?

These options are if you want a quick caffeine boost but a healthier alternative to espresso.

  1. Matcha: Made by grinding green tea leaves, matcha provides a concentrated source of caffeine and antioxidants. It can be prepared by sifting 1-2 teaspoons of powder into a bowl, adding hot water, and whisking until froth forms.
  2. Golden Milk: Combining turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper with milk or non-dairy alternatives, golden milk is a caffeine-free beverage with anti-inflammatory properties that may help promote natural energy.
  3. Chicory Root Coffee: Roasted and ground chicory root has a similar aroma and flavor to coffee but is caffeine-free and contains beneficial fiber for digestion. It can be brewed like regular coffee using a filter, French press, or espresso machine.
  4. B-Vitamins: Incorporating foods high in B vitamins, like lean meats, nuts, seeds, and fortified grains, into a diet can help boost energy levels. B-vitamin supplements, such as nicotinamide riboside, can also support energy metabolism at a cellular level.
  5. Carob: A caffeine-free alternative to chocolate, carob is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and contains pinitol, which may help insulin sensitivity. It can be used to sweeten smoothies and hot chocolate without added sugar.
  6. Peppermint Tea: Peppermint leaves steeped in hot water provide a refreshing and caffeine-free alternative to espresso. Peppermint essential oil may also help with fatigue and mental clarity.
  7. Water: Staying hydrated with water can help combat fatigue and promote alertness. Adding lemon or berries for flavor can also provide a natural boost.
  8. Maca: A popular adaptogen, maca may support energy levels and mood. It can be added to smoothies or hot milk for a caffeine-free boost.
  9. Rhodiola Rosea: An herb traditionally used in Chinese and Scandinavian medicine, Rhodiola rosea has been studied for its potential to improve energy and mental clarity. It can be found as a supplement or added to smoothies or tea.
  10. Ginseng: Another traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng is a well-known adaptogen with the potential to boost energy, reduce stress, and improve focus and mental performance. It can be consumed as a supplement or added to tea or smoothies.
  11. Cordyceps: A medicinal mushroom traditionally used in Chinese medicine, cordyceps may help improve physical endurance and reduce fatigue. It can be consumed as a supplement or added to smoothies or tea.

How to Make An Espresso at Home?

How To Make An Espresso

With the right ingredients and equipment, anyone can make a delicious espresso in the comfort of their home. Today, I will share my experience and expertise on how to make espresso at home, step by step.

First things first, let’s talk about the ingredients.

  1. Quality water is essential when making espresso. I highly recommend using filtered water to ensure the best possible taste if you have hard water.
  2. Coffee is the other crucial ingredient. While any coffee will technically work, I recommend using coffee beans specifically meant for espresso. These beans are roasted and blended to bring out the best flavor for making espresso.

Now onto the equipment. You will need an espresso machine, a portafilter, a tamper, a scale, and a grinder.

Once you have all of these items, it’s time to start brewing.

  • Step 1: Turn on your espresso machine and wait for it to heat up. Once ready, place your portafilter on the scale and take out the weight.
  • Step 2: Grind your coffee beans until you reach your desired weight. For a double shot of espresso, you’ll want to use 18 to 20g of coffee.
  • Step 3: Evenly distribute the coffee in the portafilter. You can use a distribution tool or index finger to ensure the coffee is level and evenly distributed across the whole basket.
  • Step 4: Use your tamper to compress the coffee with a fair amount of pressure. It’s important to tamp straight down to achieve an even puck. Tamping at an angle can compromise the extraction of your coffee.
  • Step 5: Finally, it’s time to pull your shot and enjoy! Place your portafilter into the machine and start the brewing process. The time it takes to pull a shot will vary depending on your machine, but typically it takes around 25-30 seconds for a double shot.

And there you have it, a perfectly brewed shot of espresso made right in your home. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out exactly how you want them to.

Is Espresso Bad For You – FAQs

Is Espresso Healthier Than Coffee?

When comparing espresso and coffee, both contain caffeine, the main ingredient that boosts energy levels. However, espresso has a more concentrated caffeine content per ounce, whereas coffee has a milder flavor due to its lower concentration of coffee beans. A typical serving of espresso is about 1-2 ounces, with each shot containing approximately 40-75mg of caffeine, whereas coffee is typically served in 8-ounce cups, with each serving containing around 85-185mg of caffeine.

Research suggests that coffee has higher levels of antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. On the other hand, espresso contains micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, niacin, folate, and choline in small amounts.

Therefore, whether espresso is healthier than coffee depends on personal preferences and dietary needs.

Is It Ok To Drink Espresso Every Day?

Drinking espresso every day can have both positive and negative impacts on an individual’s health. The caffeine content in espresso, with 63 milligrams per ounce, is significantly higher than the 12 to 16 milligrams found in a standard cup of drip coffee.

While there is no safe limit for daily cups of espresso, the recommended daily caffeine intake for the average adult is approximately 400 milligrams per day. This equates to just over six ounces of espresso per day. Drinking too much espresso can lead to attenuation, where the body becomes desensitized to the caffeine, resulting in a less acute response.

On the other hand, consuming a moderate amount of caffeine can improve mental sharpness and concentration. Drinking espresso could also lead to sleep disturbances, keeping individuals up at night and causing restlessness and insomnia.

However, increased coffee intake has been linked to a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, with those gradually increasing their intake of coffee by 11 percent being less likely to develop the disease.

Overall, drinking espresso daily should be done in moderation and should take into consideration an individual’s caffeine tolerance, the time of day, and any possible health risks.

How Many Shots Of Espresso Is Too Much?

It is recommended that adults not exceed 400mg of caffeine daily from all sources. Regarding espresso, the recommended limit is no more than six shots a day, as each shot contains around 63mg of caffeine. Exceeding this limit can lead to health issues such as anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

While it is possible to overdose on caffeine, it is difficult to do so by drinking espresso alone due to its relatively low levels of caffeine in each serving. However, regular excessive consumption of caffeine can pose serious long-term health risks, including chronic insomnia and potential strain on the heart.

Is It Possible To Become Addicted To Espresso

Individuals can become addicted to espresso due to its caffeine content. Caffeine is a stimulant drug that can lead to physical dependence when consumed regularly and in high amounts.

Withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, irritability, and flu-like symptoms, can occur within 12 to 24 hours after the last caffeine intake. It is not just heavy drinkers who are at risk, as even one small cup of coffee can cause withdrawal symptoms.

However, experts believe that people who consume a lot of caffeine tend to require higher doses to achieve its effects. Overreliances on caffeine, such as coffee or energy drinks, can negatively impact mood, behavior, and cognitive performance.

While caffeine use is generally not harmful, problematic caffeine use can disrupt an individual’s daily life and cause physical and psychological problems that may require intervention or assistance. Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to below 200 milligrams daily to avoid adverse effects.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, espresso is not bad for you when consumed in moderation. It can provide a boost of energy and antioxidants and even aid in weight loss. However, it’s essential to be mindful of your caffeine intake and avoid adding excess sugar or cream to your espresso. So, enjoy that morning espresso – your health might even thank you!

Do you have any questions on whether is espresso bad for you? Let us know in the comments below.


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