1. DeeDee Shaw
    May 25, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    I love to find articles that speak the same language I do! FATS are GOOD for you… at least the right kinds are…. There is no way to source a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals from the foods in the grocery store. And most supplements on the market are only minimally absorbable.

  2. reidy72@googlemail.com' Cristina
    June 17, 2015 @ 4:45 am

    I’ve been taking Amazing Grass supergreen organic capsules for two years. In 15 weeks pregnant now and still take them. ( I’ve been off food for 10 weeks now with nausea). However, even though they’re reported as safe by the makers, I’ve recently become worried about the beta caratene in them ( naturally sourced from vegetables) . It contains 2,225iui beta caratene : 45%RDA. I know that vitamin A in the form of retinoids causes birth defects, but I didn’t think natural occurring beta caratene could…..??? Can it??? I’m feeling really worried now. Any advice much appreciated. Thanks.

  3. 11 nutrientes esenciales para mantenerse saludable
    October 22, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

    […] productos cárnicos, como hígado, pescado, carnes de aves y res, mantequilla, etc. Y a forma de beta- Caroteno  en alimentos de origen vegetal, la zanahoria es una excelente fuente de este tipo de vitamina […]

  4. iseenikki@gmail.com' nikki
    February 23, 2016 @ 9:04 pm

    What brand of CLO do you recommend? Were currently taking Carlsons, but I cannot get a clear description of how it is made, thus wondering if the vitamins are compromised as a result. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  5. andreadannyavery@gmail.com' Andrea
    April 1, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

    Yes, I think we’re all on the edge of our seats to learn what cod liver oil you would recommend. From what I have researched, the large majority of what is being manufactured has synthetic vitamin A that has been added back in rather than what’s naturally occurring in cod liver oil. I know there is Fermented cod liver oil, but I have heard some bad things about that oil, such as rancidity or that it caused some people heartburn. Being that I already have severe GERD so i’m nervous to go that rout. It’s also disheartening to know there’s pretty much only one choice out there and it’s very expensive. Do you know of any good cod liver oil that is safe? What do you use??

  6. Dr. Michelle Kmiec
    April 2, 2016 @ 3:37 pm

    Hello Andrea, Sadly you are very correct. Many companies do use synthetic vitamin A, or have reduced or even removed vitamin A from their product. For this reason I prefer extra-virgin cod liver oil from corganic, though this can be a bit pricey, I feel it is worth it.

  7. chriswes1@yahoo.co.uk' christine taylor
    April 23, 2016 @ 9:59 am

    Hi Michelle,
    about 18 months ago I read something on the computer about vitamin A it said that people with chest complaints ie bronchitis were usually deficient in vitamin A and they recommended unsulphered dried apricots 10 a day for an adult male as my husband suffers from COPD we thought we would give it a try as it was a natural remedy. Well now 18 months later and only eating 4 every other day he has not used an inhaler since he started eating them the difference he was able to walk down the road carrying a bag in each hand without getting out of breath and this happened in a short space of time within a couple of weeks. I am not saying this works for every body but it certainly has worked and is still working for him .

  8. dombang12@gmail.com' Amitava Chatterjee
    May 30, 2016 @ 10:28 am

    can you please site a reference where the conversion factor of Beta Carotene to Retinol is available? (eg. 6:1)

  9. Dr. Michelle Kmiec
    May 31, 2016 @ 8:32 am

    Hello Amitava! Here is a reference (of many) that you asked for. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854912/

  10. backbox2@outlook.com' Henry Smith
    August 27, 2016 @ 6:23 pm

    I would refer you to the Wikipedia article on Hypervitaminosis A, and the dangers of toxicity from preformed Vitamin A from animal sources. The advice you give, leads the reader to assume that this form of Vitamin A is virtually free of risk, even at high doses, and over extended time periods. This is particularly dangerous for children, and for adults who have a low tolerance for the vitamin. The literature of early polar exploration is rife with stories about illness and death, from eating seal liver, polar bear liver, moose liver, etc., which are rich in preformed Vitamin A. Your point of view rests on the flawed assumption that all physicians and researchers serve the God of profit, the AMA, and the pharmaceutical industry, and are therefore untrustworthy. Conspiracy theories, no matter how colorful, are not a substitute for critical thinking.

  11. Dr. Michelle Kmiec
    August 29, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    Hi Henry! Perhaps you should find better sources than Wiki! Regarding early polar exploration, I think you may find the following article of interest! https://www.onlineholistichealth.com/warning-polar-bear-livers/
    And sorry to disagree yet again… the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry are indeed untrustworthy! If I had trusted them, I’d be very sick today with their diagnosis of MS and treatment of drugs. Instead, I am healthier than I ever have been and I did this 100% naturally! You say, “Conspiracy theories, no matter how colorful, are not a substitute for critical thinking”…hmmmm..yep I have to disagree again 🙂 Critical thinking is what separates people who fall in line like sheep believing everything they are told, from those who can think for themselves. If that makes me a conspiracy theorist in your opinion, then so be it! Thanks so much for your comments!

  12. jy7055@gmail.com' Jason A.
    September 15, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    Respectfully Dr. Kmiec, you are missing Mr. Smith’s point. You yourself are trying to lead “sheep” towards your extreme end of the spectrum. I suffered from SEVER depression and anxiety for years until the Medical Doctors found the right combination of medications to bring me from Acute to Managed. At first, I was lead to believe by people such as yourselves that I could be cured from going to the Health Food Store. I suffered for years to the point of psychosis until I finally went to a psychyitrist. However, I also try to eat healthy and do supplement my diet. I thank God for both the medicines AND the natural remedies. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”

  13. Dr. Michelle Kmiec
    September 17, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

    Hi Jason! Thanks for your comment. Actually, you have to be careful about what you purchase in health food stores. So on that I agree with you. However, I cured myself 100% naturally from MS and paralyzing anxiety. That was my path and one I have made my life purpose to share with all who are interested. Side note…I do think drugs are needed in some cases however they are way over prescribed and that is where I have an issue. Furthermore, people as a whole have lost touch on how food should be consumed – minus all the chemicals! I am happy you have found the right treatment that works for you…but please do not criticize me on finding one that works for me. I am only here to share options 🙂

    Wishing you the best of health!

  14. mozein15@gmail.com' Mozein
    September 27, 2016 @ 12:56 pm

    I am not going to tackle your completely unfounded points of eggs not raising cholesterol and butter fat being good. Instead, I’d like to tell yo that a vitamin A deficiency is extremely rare on vegan diets, and considering all vegans consume is plant-foods, their odds of getting the rda pf vitamin A, even with an extremely poor convertion ratio, are pretty high. I’d also like to ask you for proof of your claim that children an’t convert cartenoids into vitamin A.

  15. Dr. Michelle Kmiec
    September 28, 2016 @ 10:27 am

    Hi Mozein!

    I invite you to update your research and point-a-view a bit regarding eggs and cholesterol. Current research now shows that blood cholesterol raises minimally at best, unless of course you have the rare condition of hypercholesterolemia. Per new research, a high cholesterol diet does not mean a high risk of cardiovascular disease and has been proven to be a myth. Regarding butter fat… You can find recent research supporting that this saturated fat is very healthy, and you can still find out-dated research finding the opposite to be true. I am assuming that you are a vegan based on your comment, so debated this point would certainly take a bit more than a brief comment here as this would be a debate of not only research, but also of lifestyle and an issue of accepted morality and dogma. I am not here to sway you away from a lifestyle that works for you.

    Being that I was diagnosed with MS some years ago, I have done much research as to how to reclaim my health and life 100% naturally. And for me it was a paleo based diet high in fats. I have never been healthier since on all levels…and this is my lifestyle. 🙂

    As far as the conversion rate of beta-beta-carotene with small children, the reference was linked twice.

    Thanks for your comments and wishing you the best of health!

  16. randiljeffries@gmail.com' Randi Jeffries
    October 19, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

    I really love this article and all the info included! Very informational! To get to my point I’ve been doing research on ways to cure cervical dysplasia naturally (avoiding the invasive procedures ie: leep) Lots of women have done it naturally because it was a lack of nutrients and terrible immune system along with high levels of estrogen that got us into this mess in the first place. I’ve done some extensive research and put together a long list of vitamins, minerals and fats I need to accomplish this and I’ve also made changes to my diet. One that has me a little confused is the vitamin A situation. I do know the best form and way to receive vitamin A is though cod liver oil. I’ve got that, I’m using the Arctic Cod Liver oil. I got it because it was like the only one that was non-GMO. What I don’t understand is how to get the suggested amount of IU’s! On the Artic one it has a little under 1,000IU’s (1 tsp) and I even looked up the Extra Virgin Cod Liver oil from Corganic and that one contains at little under 3,000 IU’s. According to my research I need to be consuming about 10,000-25,000 IU’s. Can I consume 3 times the amount with out taking to much Omega 3s? Can you even have to many Omega 3s? With the research I’ve done (I could be wrong) your limit of Omega 3s should be no more that 3 grams. So obviously doing the math I could have 3 times the amount of the Corganic and be fine. In your article you had said that Cod Liver oil contains 100,000IU’s, how in the world is that possible? How can I intake my required amount of IU’s!!

  17. 6 Common Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies | We Seek the Truth!
    November 17, 2016 @ 9:49 am

    […] 33 Online Holistic Health March 10, 2014 […]

  18. subhash.91286@gmail.com' Subhash Gahlawat
    November 25, 2016 @ 2:21 am

    Madam doctor seems to be in a joking mode or need serious information before spiting nonsense to world. When a vegetarian or your so called interest group say that without non-vegetarian food you can have the dietary requirements then why you limit it to fruits and vegetables. Why you are ignoring the divinely milk and numerous milk products from mother cow which will give you enough Retinol. 1 glass of cow milk= 500IU of Retinol with little fat.
    Body needs to do more work in digesting non-vegetarian foods than to convert beta-carotene into Retinol. Also a child get the enzymes of vitamin conversion first, before getting to digest non-vegetarian food.
    You may believe the pathetic western world argument that milk is also non-vegetarian, because of which you limit vegetarian food sources to fruits and vegetables. But do remember that all herbivorous animals drink milk, but still known as vegetarian. Your limited information isn’t the end of world knowledge madam, grow up and don’t spread wasteful knowledge. Their is only one liver in cow which may fulfill your need of a day or two, but if you let her live she will fulfill your Vitamin A requirement for an year.

  19. Dr. Michelle Kmiec
    November 25, 2016 @ 7:06 pm

    Hello Subhash, Respectively I am not sure where you are coming from.

    You say “Body needs to do more work in digesting non-vegetarian foods than to convert beta-carotene into Retinol. Also a child get the enzymes of vitamin conversion first, before getting to digest non-vegetarian food.”

    In the article I am talk about the biochemistry and the conversion of vitamin A in the different forms – plant and animal. Your conclusion simply does not match what actually happens. However…

    Thanks for bringing milk into the conversation since milk is from an animal source and thus not vegetarian… you actually you proved my point! Thanks! However…

    You say “you may believe the pathetic western world argument that milk is also non-vegetarian, because of which you limit vegetarian food sources to fruits and vegetables. But do remember that all herbivorous animals drink milk, but still known as vegetarian.”

    Sorry…but just because the animal is a vegetarian does not mean that if you consume it’s milk it is a vegetarian product. In fact you may be surprised to learn that you are also consuming it’s DNA, mucus, small amounts of blood and in some cases pus. All of which is definitely not vegetarian.

    Love your passion and comment!! Thanks!

  20. hsssam@msn.com' Samuel Barbary
    December 6, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

    I took my mother to a Functional Medicine Doctor last year. After performing numerous tests based on her health history and symptoms, one test result stood out. She was really copper deficient and her total cholesterol was 324. After being on a copper supplement her total cholesterol dropped to 220 in six months.The doctor explained that in many cases, a copper deficiency ( which is rarely checked) can elevate total cholesterol. Copper is critical for a healthy liver. That’s where cholesterol is produced. Also, copper deficiency can mimic an iron deficiency or anemia. Why ? Because hemoglobin production relies on proper copper levels and not just proper iron levels. It is critical that doctors identify whether it is a copper or iron deficiency causing anemia. If a doctor recommends an iron supplement, when it’s a copper deficiency, nasty things can happen especially in type 2 diabetics

  21. Mthfr@nym.hush.com' Irene
    January 30, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

    You forgot the LIVER!!! I have liver illness due to toxic medications (Tylenol, watch out people, steroids for adrenals ruined me!) and I CANNOT FIND A FOOD BASED vitamin A that is NOT beta carotene! that turns my face orange, aka carrotoderma! 🙁 I cannot afford $50+ ship for a tiny fish oil bottle. Sorry for strong wording but… Oh! Come on now! Is this website catering to the 1% only??? I am disabled, bedridden with no help! My vision has severely declined, my face is parched dry, (among hundreds of symptoms cause by several major illnesses including pyroluria which i manage). I take retinol drops and omega 3s by natrol, but it doesn’t help. I eat kerrygold butter, pastured raw eggs and chicken liver when I can but it never helped. Is there anything for someone like me? I doubt eating that daily would make a difference (and I have improved my liver tremendously with lemon detox, dandelion and milk thistle.)

  22. Online Holistic Health
    January 30, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

    Hello Irene! Thanks for your passionate comment. This website caters to holistic concepts and living. This particle post does not address liver disease due to toxic medicines…of which I am sincerely sorry to hear. I would suggest that you also look into two other supplements: NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) and Glutathione, that aid in detoxing your liver.

    I can understand your frustration. When I was trying everything naturally to reverse my health condition (MS), it was difficult to know exactly what to do, for how long, and if something I was trying didn’t work, then what next? And finding help is either too expensive or often doesn’t really help. If you like, please feel free to contact me from the “contact us” page.

    I wish you all the best!

  23. Mthfr@nym.hush.com' Irene
    January 30, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

    Thank you for your kind and compassionate reply! 🙂 I hope i used the correct contact form when I sent my message. That you healed yourself of MS gives me hope and inspiration. keep up your great work!

  24. lynxxnet@gmail.com' Lynxx
    February 2, 2017 @ 7:03 am

    I’m on the bench on trying out beta-carotene supplement until I read this post. Thanks for convincing me to balance out retinol and beta-carotene (from food sources). I have skin problems and I am taking at least 4000 IU of vitamin D because as a programmer, I don’t get that much sun.

  25. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    April 23, 2017 @ 7:33 pm

    This article is very misleading and seems to be anti-vegan and pro-animal-agriculture, all about selling animal products, regardless of the serious ethical and other problems involved. You make it appear that so many people, especially infants, are unable to convert the beta-carotene found in carrots and other orange-colored vegetables to retinol, the active form of vitamin A. But that’s not the case; worst case scenario is that a certain type of people have their ability to convert reduced by 69%. But it’s still easy to get enough vitamin A from carrots and such because you’re getting hundreds of times more than you need of A as beta-carotene from those plant foods. 31% of, say, 1000 times more than you need is still plenty. And all the vegan babies growing up just fine helps to show that they somehow managed to absorb and use the beta-carotene as A. Then there’s the fact that too much “real” vitamin A from high-retinol foods (animal products) increases fracture risk in women, so it’s actually better to get A from vegetable sources. All of that can be read here, from human studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854912/

  26. Online Holistic Health
    April 24, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

    Hello Laura, thanks for your comment! I assure you that I do not support any specific diet whether vegan, paleo, or anything in between as this is up to the individual and what works for you. What I do support however, is chemical and GMO free organic food. That said, let me respond to a few things…

    “You make it appear that so many people, especially infants, are unable to convert the beta-carotene found in carrots and other orange-colored vegetables to retinol, the active form of vitamin A.”

    A large percentage of the population have issues with their digestion system or as mentioned, have diabetes making the conversion difficult at best. The issue with infants is simply human physiology.

    The study you posted is actually misleading. The real issue of bone loss and higher risk of fracture is not high amounts of retinol as it appears, but rather low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has long been known to be epidemic and is the cause for many health conditions including: depression, autoimmune, cancer, bone loss, etc.

    Much like how calcium and magnesium need to be in a specific ratio, vitamins A and D also need to be in a ratio. To better explain, I invite you to take a look at the following article: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/update-on-vitamins-a-and-d/

  27. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    April 24, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

    Thank you for your fairness and reply, but I still disagree and do not give today’s meat-industry-beholden WAPF any credibility on dietary issues, but only on vaccines which I agree with them about.

    With the infants and the vitamin A, you say it’s because of human physiology that they need animal retinol? That would likely be data from animal studies, since strictly carnivorous animals like cats and their young must get retinol, they cannot convert any A from beta-carotene. Humans are omnivores who thrive well as vegans, and like I said, in the worst case a person might have 69% reduction in ability to convert beta-carotene to A… but that still enough. One sweet potato and you’re far over your need, and 31% of that is still enough, fully used and doing its good things for you. And there’s no overdosing on beta-carotene like there is with retinol.

    I don’t consider that study I linked misleading at all, it’s entirely based in human studies and quite thorough, even advising that beta-carotene might not be a good source for the low-conversion people, which I don’t agree with, but they probably figure that people can’t be relied upon to simply eat a sweet potato or equivalent every day.

    Vitamin D can be abused too, too much causes kidney and other problems, so it’s best to get D from the sun and/or a modest dose of D3 from lichen (vegan). K2 is also important for calcium distribution, and vegans can get plenty from kale, other greens, and fermented foods.

    Not trying to be a smarty-pants and disrespect anyone here…just wanting to straighten out what I see as a pro-animal-ag, veganism-is-scary message. The slaughterhouse and all leading up to it should be fought against, not fought for.

    Thank you for the freedom to state this here.

  28. Online Holistic Health
    April 26, 2017 @ 10:53 am

    Hi Laura,

    It seems we disagree on a few points (including vaccines)…that is totally fair and I respect that.

    The study you posted is misleading because it does not take in account the nutritional status, overall health and lifestyle of the people in the study or the likelihood of vitamin D deficiencies. There has been no conclusive evidence to date of vitamin D3 toxicity. I have taken 10,000 IU for over 15 years and have experienced only health benefits: no autoimmune and no pain to name a few. In fact they are raising the so-called max dose to 5000 IU. There is always more to reading studies than what they presume to be their conclusion.

    I appreciate your passionate stance regarding veganism, and it obviously is a lifestyle that agrees with you on many levels. I have explored many different types of diets/lifestyles both before and after I was diagnosed with MS over 15 years ago…and there are a few major things that I learned: we are all individuals with different body types, metabolism and genes… and that we all come from different climates and environments. All of which determine what is necessary for optimal health. Because of this is why I do not advocate for any one type of diet – only clean organic whole foods and LOCAL. IE…what is needed for optimal health if you live in Alaska is very different than what you need if you lived in Florida.

    For me and my body type (and metabolism), vegetarianism or veganism (sadly) simply made me sicker. After suffering an autoimmune condition as already mentioned, the only diet /lifestyle that regained my health was one of high protein and high fat. In other words, a paleo diet. I ultimately did cure myself on this type of organic diet along with added nutrition – because nutritional deficiencies are always present in any disease condition.

    Since then, I have again experimented with plant based diets and like before, I would feel my health begin to slip in the wrong direction.

    I feel the tug on my heart regarding animal products, and is why I have taken the belief of the native people – respect and thank the animal and only take what is needed. Further, I am extremely careful to only purchase organic and humanely raised animals, which is very different than conventional raised (cruel and appalling).

    I appreciate all comments from different viewpoints and your (and everyone’s) comments are always welcome! Just because I may not agree does not in anyway suggest that your comment is not valid.

    Wishing you the best of health!

  29. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    April 26, 2017 @ 3:19 pm

    OHH: Interesting, you disagree with my being opposed to vaccines, as is WAPF, and you’re in holistic medicine? Wow.

    As for “paleo” living, well, that whole concept was invented and propagated by animal agriculture and is approved of by much of the allopathic medical/pharmaceutical industry for “good” reason. “Good” for their financial health anyways.

    There are a wide variety of vegan ways of eating that can be adapted to anyone’s needs, including low-carb, high-fat, gluten-free, whatever. But the strong will and compassion for animals has to be there or one falls in to trendy animal-based diets so expertly touted by the industries and a beholden media.

    The sensitive animal who was born to be treated as produce and died by the knife doesn’t know or care about anyone’s proclaimed respect or illusions about being humane.

    No one’s health will be compromised by a properly planned/adapted vegan diet and it’s not hard to do. No need to compare ourselves with Eskimos or others who are very uncommon and live wholly different lives, suffer serious health problems like osteoporosis and die young. I did an article on that: https://blameitonlove.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/admirable-hunter-cultures-vs-self-righteous-deluded-hated-vegans/

    As for the vitamin D, I prefer getting it from a bit of sun and a minimum of D3 from lichen…see no point in mega-dosing on something when I have no deficiency and no health problems. I keep supplements to an absolute minimum, since my diet is pretty complete and healthy.

    I still find the study I linked to be quite valid and well done.

    You’ll probably again cast doubt on my info and sources, but I stand by them. I have no “vegan industry” backing or agenda, just honest compassion for animals and caring for my own health.

    But you’re by far the most civil “paleo” type I’ve dealt with, even though we will never agree that animal agriculture is a necessary or healthy aspect of human civilization. Quite the extreme opposite.

  30. Online Holistic Health
    April 26, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

    Hi Laura, sorry I misread your comment about vaccines. I thought you approved of them. So it seems on this issue we agree! Yay! As I also oppose. So my holistic viewpoint is intact. Phew!

    Yes of course getting vitamin D via the sun is ideal. Though in many places like in Vermont…the sun is not as plentiful. And likely why many who live in northern areas are more prone to health conditions such as MS (not to mention poisonous sunscreens which block the sun and vitamin D along with it). So again, it all boils down to climate, environment as well as body type and metabolism etc…of which your comment is quoting from a vegan bias article. I could disagree more.

    Perhaps you would prefer that I would still be sick rather than healthier since the vegan lifestyle was of no benefit to me? On the contrary, it made me sicker, weak and my neurological symptoms were much worse.

    “But you’re by far the most civil “paleo” type I’ve dealt with, even though we will never agree that animal agriculture is a necessary or healthy aspect of human civilization.” Thank you for the kind words (I think 🙂 ), but as I said…conventional animal slaughter houses are appalling, cruel and NOT necessary. There are other options that involved the animal living a happy full life and when the end comes it is done quickly and humanely.

    well, it seems we are indeed at an impasse, but nonetheless thanks for the debate and exchange of viewpoints!

    With all my heart Laura…I wish you the best and as always, optimal health!

  31. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    April 26, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

    But there is no singular “the vegan lifestyle”…anything “paleo” can be done vegan, if you want it; there are avocados, nuts/seeds, so forth, and you’re not averse to supplements it seems, so any supplements “needed” to be paleo vegan shouldn’t be a problem. And there is no humane animal growing or slaughter. I’ve seen undercover footage from several “free-range” “humane” animal farms. No thanks! Nightmarish. Too bad it’s reality for those gentle animals. Growing and killing sensitive beings for use/consumption is never kind. Impasse, indeed, but the most polite and fairest one I’ve ever been in, really. Hoping you’ll rethink and eat more plant food and less animals, preferably none. Or at least encourage veganism for the majority of people who can thrive on it with adjustments to suit individual needs…instead of making it sound risky and one-size-fits-all…to assure that all animal farms can get smaller and “more humane” as you see it. Nice exchanging with you…goodbye.

  32. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    April 26, 2017 @ 4:39 pm

    PS: Forgot to mention that I’m glad you’re on the right side on vaccines! It’s getting worse and worse, more aggressive talk about “compulsory” and all that. This needs to stop, seriously.

  33. Online Holistic Health
    April 27, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

    Though we do disagree on a few points, I think we do agree on eating clean organic whole foods and preferably local. I have mentioned quite a few times that nothing is a “one size fits all” and that we are all individuals with different body types, metabolism as well as that we all come from different climates, etc. I appreciate your passion and I also feel that the unnecessary slaughter (injection of drugs) and mistreatment of animals of the conventional model is terrible. I also had shared how I felt it should be.

    I love avocados and nuts, but as I also already mentioned…they were not enough to maintain optimal health for my body chemistry. Furthermore, the reason I am so passionate about eating local is because avocados, coconuts (for example) do not grow naturally in Vermont. Of course they are transported in but what if…(I always love to ask this question)…what if we lost power (and battery) let’s say due to an extreme solar flare, so there is no transportation of non-local produce for many years, how would you survive…how would you survive the winter? In Florida very easily…but Vermont? Also, I feel there is a reason for certain foods we should eat that are native to it native environment – very synergistic and certainly holistic.

    Anyway… After all the years that I suffered and the fear that I endured, I overcame what has been deemed by the medical professional as “not curable”. Today however I am healthier than I ever have been and have also since adapted a far more humane attitude than I had in the past. Today I am very Grateful!

    Nice exchanging with you too! Peace 🙂

  34. Casper.Gomez@yahoo.com' Casper
    May 18, 2017 @ 1:13 am

    Complete rubbish!! More meat-eating scare tactics.

    It’s VERY easy to SAFELY get more than enough Vitamin A following a vegan diet.

    At a 6:1 conversion ratio, here’s how:

    1 Sweet Potato: 4000IU (28,000 before)
    1 Cup Carrot Juice: 4000IU (21,000 before)
    1 cup Swiss Chard: 1000IU (6,000 before)
    1 cup Turnip Greens: 1000IU (6,000 before)
    TOTAL 10,000IU Vitamin A

    These are all SAFE Plant food sources, whereas LIVER is not!!!! Just use common sense people… think about what the liver actually does in the bodies of animals and humans. And you want to eat this just for Vitamin A? SMH

    PLANT-based carotenoids ARE Antioxidants
    ANIMAL-based preformed Vitamin A is NOT

    FAT-soluble Vitamins ADEK are easily dealt with on a vegan diet by including Avocados, Nuts, and Seeds… all of which have way more than enough fat to assist in the absorption of these Vitamins.

    The human GUT is ONLY healthy on a PLANT-based diet rich in FIBER and Resistant Starch. So naturally Vegans have healthy microbiota/eco-system to do the needed conversion.

    Regarding my example above:
    10:1 conversion yields 6000IU
    15:1 conversion yields 4000IU
    20:1 conversion yields 3000IU
    30:1 conversion yields 2000IU

    See? Even at a terrible 30:1 conversion rate, vegans can still easily get 2000IU per day.

    ANIMAL foods are killing millions of people a year, NOT Plant foods. So think twice before you get sucked into following the advice of meat-eaters.

  35. Online Holistic Health
    May 18, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

    Hello Casper! Thanks for your passionate and somewhat angry comment! Respectfully however, I disagree with you on a few points.

    1. Nothing written in this article is either pro or con paleo, vegetarian, or vegan lifestyle choices…of which I have stated many times in the comments sections. So, this is far from “meat-eating scare tactics” but rather based on basic human biochemistry.

    2. I understand you are deeply morally and ethically bound to saving animals from the plight of human consumption, and I applaud on your efforts. However though I understand your stance and respect it, there are also many people who feel quite the opposite and yet still hold high value on the lives of animals.

    Personally speaking, after many years on a diverse plant based diet did not yield a positive health outcome for my body type and metabolism. After a diagnosis of MS, the only thing that turned my health around was a diet high in fat and protein – yes a paleo diet. Organically and humanely raised.

    Now I will repeat this one more time…I do not advocate for any specific diet but rather a diet that is organic, local and allows for optimal health which is dependent on each individual’s body type and environment.

    It is your choice to allow yourself to see more than one point of view, however either way please know that I respect your choices and I am extremely appreciative of your comments and opinions.

    Wishing you optimal health and peace

  36. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    May 20, 2017 @ 4:24 pm

    Dear Casper: 100% correct and thank you so much for that detailed info. I’ll be doing a blog piece on vitamin A soon. It’s really terrible when unknowing people are frightened when they read these types of articles when its so easy to get enough REAL vitamin A eating only plant foods. Four cups of raw spinach, a small tomato, a mango and a cup of vegetable juice, for example, and you’re getting about 2,700 IU of retinol after the 6:1 conversion. Nothing hard at all, and if you add one carrot to the mix you’re well over what’s needed and beta-carotene is not toxic in large doses like “real” vitamin A is…especially toxic is that from animals’ “liver”…ugh. The animals deserve so much better from us.

  37. Online Holistic Health
    May 20, 2017 @ 5:08 pm

    Hello Laura! I am so pleased that you have so much passion! However I am quite disappointed in the lack of civil debate and conversation and instead, distasteful and false terms such as: “frightened when they read these types of articles” and ” like “real” vitamin A is…especially toxic is that from animals’ “liver”…ugh”

    I have stated multiple times now that this article and none on this website advocate for any time of diet or lifestyle except for organic clean whole foods. I would love (and tried) to have calm and intelligent discussions with a few vegetarians and vegans in this comment section alone and am saddened at how unproductive they all are. Instead of debate, there is merely strong uncalled for language and in some cases attack on my character without even knowing my health story and struggles…of which is why I started this blog in the first place.

    You state: “Four cups of raw spinach, a small tomato, a mango and a cup of vegetable juice, for example, and you’re getting about 2,700 IU of retinol after the 6:1 conversion. Nothing hard at all”

    If you read the article, the issue with this statement are the following:

    1. Most people will not eat/drink (juicing) what you suggest. My goodness, if only people would! I totally agree that their health would greatly improve.
    2. The conversion will not take place if there is any issue with digestion. And this is a major problem with too many people.
    3. If you are diabetic, you have a major disadvantage at any conversion at all.
    4. Infants do not make the conversion at all. This is simple biochemistry.
    5. When consumed holistically (meaning the entire thing as a whole and not broken down as with reductionism), liver is extremely healthy and NOT toxic. I know where you get this from and that myth has long been debunked. As with Vitamin D being toxic. Now consuming or not consuming liver is purely your right and choice due to the values and morals you uphold and cherish. Interesting that many vegetarians do eat fish however, and guess what? Vitamin A retinol. No liver need be consumed 🙂

    You know, we are lucky to live in a world that has mass transportation of produce so that people can enjoy the health benefits of produce that is not native to where they live. I hope this continues into the far future. Just for the sake of “what if?” What would you do if we lost power do to a major solar flare as is predicted? Easy if you live in Florida, not so much if you live in Vermont. Would love your thoughts…

    For me, I personally feel that we are each individuals with different body types, metabolism, health history and morals. That said, I am an extreme animal lover and feel that they should never be mistreated, abused, or hunted for sport (for example).

    If you wish to have a debate via a podcast…Id be happy to do so. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if both of us would leave that conversion with a better understanding of different perspectives and with a different means of coming together? If you are interesting, please contact me at drmichelle@www.onlineholistichealth.com

    Wishing you peace and optimal health…always!

  38. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    May 20, 2017 @ 7:15 pm

    OHH: Most people say “ugh” regarding eating liver, why would that offend you?

    And that’s not quite true about infants. When born at normal term and breastfed by healthy moms, their vitamin a levels are proper. They have stores of it in their livers from their moms. If there is doubt, baby formulas contain vitamin A supplement. Aside from that, baby nutrition sources regularly recommend sweet potatoes, carrots, etc., for babies’ vitamin A needs while breastfeeding and after weaning.

    According the the NIH: “In developed countries, clinical vitamin A deficiency is rare in infants and occurs only in those with malabsorption disorders. However, preterm infants do not have adequate liver stores of vitamin A at birth and their plasma concentrations of retinol often remain low throughout the first year of life. Preterm infants with vitamin A deficiency have an increased risk of eye, chronic lung, and gastrointestinal diseases. …In developed countries, the amounts of vitamin A in breast milk are sufficient to meet infants’ needs for the first 6 months of life. But in women with vitamin A deficiency, breast milk volume and vitamin A content are suboptimal and not sufficient to maintain adequate vitamin A stores in infants who are exclusively breastfed. The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in developing countries begins to increase in young children just after they stop breastfeeding. …Pregnant women need extra vitamin A for fetal growth and tissue maintenance and for supporting their own metabolism. The World Health Organization estimates that 9.8 million pregnant women around the world have xerophthalmia as a result of vitamin A deficiency. Other effects of vitamin A deficiency in pregnant and lactating women include increased maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, increased anemia risk, and slower infant growth and development.”

    The equivalent of one sweet potato and a big healthy green salad per day is all most women need to maintain very healthy vitamin A levels throughout pregnancy and beyond and to pass along plenty of A to their babies through 6 months old. If born prematurely, most everyone already knows they need supplements, notably vitamin A. After 6 months of age though, all babies need are plant sources of A. Aside from all that, most pregnant women also take multiple supplements including vitamin A.

    So you’re creating fear where there really is none, where there really isn’t even an issue, unless someone eats primarily junk and knows nothing about nutrition, whether vegan or not.

    “Oh my god, my baby will go blind if I don’t feed him/her beef liver or cod liver oil!”…seems to be the message you want to convey. And that’s not right.

    I’m not tech savvy (podcast) and am a writer not a talker, so you’d do better to invite Casper to a debate, and I would love to see/hear that, so if you do please email me?

  39. Online Holistic Health
    May 20, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

    Hello Laura,

    Well it seemed you miss my point completely. Nothing you said “offended” me and not sure why you thought as such. On the contrary…I was only making a point from a different perspective. I am so sorry that you cannot imagine a different perspective other than yours! I was so hoping for a productive debate on something that I think..that in the end..we could both agree on.

    You say:

    “I’m not tech savvy (podcast) and am a writer not a talker, so you’d do better to invite Casper to a debate, and I would love to see/hear that, so if you do please email me?”

    Okay let me explain…a podcast is today’s version of a radio show…I’d be happy to invite Casper or anyone interested in an intellectual, professional and respectful debate. Yet, you certainly do seem like a “talker” at least from a writers/readers point of view. Sorry that you are not up for the debate…especially since you are so passionate about your point of view with or out with hearing the point of view of others whom you so readily criticize.

    You say:

    “Oh my god, my baby will go blind if I don’t feed him/her beef liver or cod liver oil!”…seems to be the message you want to convey. And that’s not right.”

    Apparently due to statistics…babies were much healthier under this ideology you condemn. Again..from FISH and not “animal organs” such as liver…as you earlier stated with vigor….IE “UGH”

    I understand now that you are not open minded to an actual debate, and I am truly saddened by that. As I cannot keep repeated that same thing over and over and having it fall on deaf ears only to have the rhetoric repeated over and over.

    Laura, you have a open invitation anytime to appear on any of my podcasts (aka. radio show shows) to voice your opinion without bias. I cannot do more than that other than wish you well and as always …wish you optimal health!

    From a point of view from love and respect…you may have the final word 🙂


  40. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    May 21, 2017 @ 2:51 pm

    Some people have the gift of gab, are good public speakers (& bee ess artists lol), others are not, prefer writing instead and are always told, “you’re so quiet.” Well, that’s me, I’ve always preferred writing over speaking…no one should gaslight and try to convince me that’s somehow wrong or proving that I don’t have what it takes to “debate” you on this issue. There’s no debate: You’re a passionate proponent of animal farming & slaughter, I am a passionate opponent of it. What’s to discuss on that, after we’ve all had our say about the vitamin A? I have an article in my blog about “open mindedness” too, btw. I move on now, unless Casper or someone should come in and say more which I might want to throw in my 2 cents worth on, but I doubt that’ll be needed. Thanks for agreeing on vaccines, but not for the other stuff.

  41. Online Holistic Health
    May 22, 2017 @ 11:04 am

    Hello Laura, I apologize that I am going back on my word about you having the last word. I just can’t allow you to leave things with such close-mindedness about a few issues that you seem to just want to ignore. And I am very sorry that is your perspective.

    After curing myself 100% naturally from MS and paralyzing anxiety, I have become a sensitive student of nature and the “energies” of people. As I have said now ad nauseum (but falling on deaf ears), I am always willing to not just “debate” but have an open dialog with respect in order to truly understand why we feel the way we do…as there is always more to the story than what comes from assumptions and worse…judgments.

    Asking for a “debate” was not to prove one side or another…but rather to learn.There was no intent of “convincing” of anything. Simply to reaching an understanding. Because with an open mind, you never know what amazing outcome could result. I am sorry that you feel that it may have been some kind of trick or something…and that is a shame.

    You say…”There’s no debate: You’re a passionate proponent of animal farming & slaughter, I am a passionate opponent of it.”

    Wow…then you really didn’t read anything I wrote, and frankly I found it extremely offense and uncalled for based on our previous exchanges. As that is such a black and white distortion of reality. And I am deeply sorry that is your version of what you assume is my reality. (Especially with regards to Vitamin A when I was talking about fish throughout these last few exchanges)

    Laura, I wish you well…I truly do. Good luck with your writing and your blog!

    In the end, I believe only by respectful dialog can a true understanding of all perspectives be reached…and I feel that is the only way our world can be healed… And obviously…just my opinion.

  42. mercyanimals@gmail.com' Laura
    May 22, 2017 @ 3:10 pm

    OHH: Jeez, will this ever end? I kid. But I sped-read through what you wrote, am in quite the rush online, so much to read and deal with. I disagree about needing fish, too, of course, as fish are needlessly killed, with people unwisely depleting the ocean of them, and they’re also “farmed,” in horrible tanks utilizing antibiotic abuse and such, and they do suffer greatly when pulled out of the water, especially by hooks, but also by merely suffocating in nets. As far as your quoting me and being offended? Okay I’ll admit it, I’m evil, twisted, a regular vegan scourge and an idjit to boot (you know, the old DHA-starved brain bit), lol. Bye.

  43. Online Holistic Health
    May 23, 2017 @ 9:25 am

    I don’t think any of those adjectives and never did, and honestly only wish you love, peace, and joy…and most of all optimal health!

  44. guarding@protonmail.ch' Tomi
    May 28, 2017 @ 10:39 am

    Animal vitamin A, retinol is needed to make ceruloplasmin. Without ceruloplasmin copper cannot be made bioavailable. Unbound copper in the body is not a good thing.

    So retinol is very important for copper, and I think copper Dysregulation is a big problem Worldwide today. To make ceruloplasmin body also needs copper, good bio-copper not toxic.

  45. runner2dave@yahoo.com' David Sander
    June 20, 2017 @ 1:26 am

    My experience with vitamins A and D is the following. About twelve years ago I started tripping and falling while doing marathon training. There didn’t seem to be a specific cause of the falls, but three years ago when I went on first 2000 IU and then 5000 IU of vitamin D3, I realized that after 18 months of running, I had not fallen! So my vitamin D was low even though I made an effort to train around noon to get 30 minutes of sun.
    When my skinned knee from falling was still pink after my not falling for a year, I looked over the possible causes of slow healing and one was low vitamin A. I eat carrots and vegetables regularly but that didn’t seem to be enough. I started taking 4000 IU of vitamin A in cod liver oil and in about six weeks my sore back muscles from running started to be less sore. Understanding this was an improvement, I went to taking 8000 IU of retinol vitamin A and had a further improvement in the strength of my lower back muscles. Now I can run and walk for thirty minutes or go Salsa dancing and not have a sore lower back the following day! My skin looks better and I feel better as well. I am currently trying out an even higher dose for further improvements.
    In addition, I had a very unusual injury for me, a hamstring pull that kept me from running for three months. After a year of trying to get it to heal up and not be sensitive, I found that I was low in copper and started on a copper supplement that was 1/8th of the total zinc in my pills and diet. This resulted in my tendon injury becoming solidly improved, no longer sensitive, and I came out of a copper based anemia where I watched my running times for the mile dip by 45 seconds.
    So I am happy to still be active!
    Thank you for all the good information you share about nutrition and how to avoid the much bad science and scare stories that abound about supplements.

  46. Online Holistic Health
    June 21, 2017 @ 7:35 am

    Hi David! Thanks so much for sharing your story!! And thank you for your kind words 🙂

    Wishing you optimal health!

  47. calouie2@aol.com' Janet Cooper
    August 9, 2017 @ 1:52 am

    It’s retinol that’s needed to make ceruloplasmin and most people convert beta-carotene from plants to retinol. Those who don’t convert have symptoms and can use vitamin A supplement and remain vegan. As far as vegans and copper toxicity, I’ve been strict vegan many years and have NONE of the symptoms listed here, http://nutritionalbalancing.org/center/htma/science/articles/copper-toxicity.php. And I don’t know any vegans who have those symptoms, and I’ve known several personally for decades. I get enough zinc and take a bit of zinc supplement just to be sure. And here’s the lowdown on the copper thing from Dr. Greger, who also states that organ meats & shellfish are the richest sources of copper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S9tcC4Xuhs

  48. Daniel.88702@gmail.com' Daniel
    October 10, 2017 @ 3:03 am

    This is ridiculous. As a vegan, all what you have to do to really guarantee that you get enough Vitamin A is to eat sweet potatoes. 5 pounds of sweet potatoes a week will easily give enough for even the poorest converters. I could easily eat that amount one day a week if not 2 or 3 days a week, and one day would be enough. That sounds more tasty than eating liver and butter.

  49. Daniel.88702@gmail.com' Daniel
    October 13, 2017 @ 1:48 pm

    I just tested my Vitamin A levels for the first time in my life and I eat zero animal products. The reference interval is 24-85 mcg/dL. My level is 58, so I’m clearly not deficient. Doesn’t that debunk this entire article? I would appreciate a response.

  50. Online Holistic Health
    October 13, 2017 @ 2:24 pm

    Hello Daniel! I can clearly see that you are very passionate about being a vegan and I honestly respect and applaud your choice. And congrats on your vitamin A level!

    However, no your numbers do not debunk the article because respectfully you have missed the point of the article. First, the article is not anti-vegan and pro-animal products (Paleo, etc). As I have already stated many times, I believe that we are all individuals with different metabolisms, different cultures, and most importantly I believe fresh and local matters as to the region you live in. I have also said that I respect any lifestyle that enriches anyone to achieve optimal health. However, this is also not what the article was about.

    The article is about converting beta-carotene into retinol. If your gut is not healthy, the conversion does not take place (or is very limited), if you are diabetic, the conversion does not take place, and if you are an infant…the conversion does not take place.

    In your last comment you stated:

    ” 5 pounds of sweet potatoes a week will easily give enough for even the poorest converters. I could easily eat that amount one day a week if not 2 or 3 days a week, and one day would be enough. That sounds more tasty than eating liver and butter.”

    I am very pleased that you can easily eat that much! In fact, I may come very close to eating to that myself!

    However in the article, I state how most people’s diet is not healthy (thus a weak digestive system) and to get many to eat what you suggest simply is a difficult task. Let alone greens, carrots, etc. (especially at the quantity needed) And that is the point. Oh, and I didn’t even mention alcohol consumption and how that significantly lowers vitamin A within the body. In order for these people to get enough vitamin A, the best way is to consume retinol or by supplementation.

    Now again, I respect any healthy lifestyle…but there are many options to this type of lifestyle. After my diagnosis of MS, despite a nearly vegetarian diet for years, it was the animal fat and protein that was pivotal in my recovery. What worked for me may not work for someone else…why? Because we are all individuals with different metabolisms and body types. This is why I support ANY organic and holistic lifestyle choice that works for the individual. Furthermore, it is in my opinion that organic, fresh and local is by far the least cruel to any lifeform – animal or plant – as well as the lives of the surrounding ecosystem.

    So again, I am very happy that you are enjoying a healthy lifestyle! And thank you for sharing your thoughts as they are always welcome on this blog!

    Respectfully (and hoping that it can mutual) 🙂

  51. NotMyE@noshit.com' Sessh
    February 12, 2018 @ 8:26 pm

    It really is a shame to see that vegans’vegetarians haven’t changed at all. The problem with vegans and vegetarians is that their beliefs about food and animals have become entangled with their self identity and any criticism of that is taken as a personal attack resulting in lashing out in anger and “uncivil” discussions, personal attacks and most importantly no real discussion can take place because they allow their egos to obstruct them. They have convinced themselves that what’s good for them must be good for everyone else and that there can be no other valid viewpoints on the subject. Then, when someone says that diet doesn’t work for them, they come back with the whole “well you’re not doing it right” nonsense. It’s no wonder vegans and vegetarians alienate so many people. No one likes to be talked to like that.

    ON the conversion issue, some 55% of people cannot convert beta-carotine to Vitamin A and on top of all the things you mentioned, it was also discovered that for 55% of people, the reason the conversion doesn’t happen is GENETIC and linked to the Bcmo1 gene which is a pretty big piece of evidence that humans are NOT herbivores, but in fact omnivores. I don’t think you’ll find any herbivores that cannot, for any reason, make this conversion since they would go extinct if they couldn’t. Over half the humans on this planet CAN NOT perform this conversion because of a genetic inability to do so. The remaining 45% of people who can may not be able to due to things already mentioned.

    I agree completely that the main thing in any diet is organic foods and factory farming should be done away with which is the real problem with animal foods. Also, a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as animal products seems ideal. For me, it’s 80%/20% as any lower than that and I start to feel terrible. This is what’s best for me. People should do what’s best for them and keep all this elitist nonsense to themselves. This is why vegans and vegetarians are so often alienated by the people they are trying to reach and IMO, they deserve it. People need to figure things out for themselves and bludgeoning them over the head with the self-appointed superiority that vegans and vegetarians so often wear on their sleeves and use to shame those that are different than them has to stop. It’s only hurting your cause and it’s amazing you guys still haven’t figured this out yet. Oh well. 🙂


  52. NotMyE@noshit.com' Sessh
    February 12, 2018 @ 8:42 pm

    To add, I also find it extremely hypocritical to get so angry about the killing of animals for food, but turn a blind eye to the hundreds of billions of plant pests that must be “murdered” every year in order for them to have their leafy greens. Why no outrage over that? Aphids alone are in the hundreds of billions killed. Even organic solutions like insecticidal soap kills them by drying them out alive which must be an incredibly horrible way to die. The ones that get knocked off the plants die when they hit the ground due to their bodies being so soft. Where’s the outrage over that?

    The hypocrisy of being okay with hundreds of billions of insects being killed every year and objecting to a significantly smaller amount of animals being killed every year is astounding. Are insects not highly intelligent beings as well? Of course they are. There is an ever growing field of science that is producing some compelling evidence that even plants are sentient beings that are aware of their surroundings, have a complex communication network with other plants VIA roots, vibrations and scents as well as being able to remember things and react differently in the future. I can certainly see peer-reviewed papers being written on this subject in the next 10-15 years and when that happens, I am sure vegans and vegetarians will suddenly become “science deniers” and have full blown identity crisis which I don’t wish on anyone, but I’ve seen it happen with vegans who were forced to face the reality that their diet was literally killing them and they had to eat animal foods. The number of people like that is a pretty high one.

    he bottom line is no matter what diet you have, there will always be death on your plate. Life must consume other life in order to live unless you’re a plant. That is just a fact of life and there’s no getting around it.


  53. alitanicholas@gmail.com' Ali
    June 22, 2018 @ 10:00 am

    After nearly a year of consistently sunbathing to get my vitamin D levels up, I was astonished to find that I was still severely deficient – around 20, when it should have been 80 or higher. It turned out I was chronically vitamin A deficient. My skin, hair and gut lining were dry and I had digestive issues for years and keratinised toe flesh under the nails, also night blindness and dry eyes. Doctor didn’t pick it up. I started eating carrots again after a 5- year absence, as well as lamb’s liver and cod liver oil now, daily. My skin feels better and my hair is oilier and has stopped falling out like crazy. I’m hoping my bone pains and weakness will go away too, after some more sunbathing, now with adequate retinol blood levels and, as I read here, more bioavailable copper. Thank you for the article.

  54. steve.waltner@gmail.com' Steve
    July 4, 2018 @ 10:35 pm

    Dr. Michelle,
    Can you tell by looking at the label on a bottle of Cod Liver oil whether or not it has been stripped of the natural Vitamin A? Do you know whether or not Carlson Labs still has the natural Vitamin A in their Cod Liver Oil or if it’s been stripped and fortified? Thanks

  55. sld633@uowmail.edu.au' snickers
    June 2, 2020 @ 4:09 am

    hey vegans,
    you wouldn’t exist if your ancestors didn’t hunt and eat meat.
    hope you don’t have a pet cat either. that would be ironic.
    lets chill and respect each others choices
    we need more love in this world

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