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Current Supplements

supplements vitamins health optimal longevity

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#1 Lewis Carroll

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:37 PM


Hi everyone,

 

I was looking for some help regarding my current supplements. I am 21 years old. I'm extremely active; workout - 3x a week, swim - 4x a week, jiu-jitsu - 4-5x a week. I also am a very habitual reader and chess player. I'm also a full time student and work part-time. So, my supplements are obviously a way to help with being as optimal and healthy as possible (mentally, physically, and spiritually). I am looking to maximize physical well being, mental performance, and overall longevity.

 

Here is a list of my current supplements (in no particular order) as well as a few notes (for myself) outlining my reasoning for taking...

(The notes were quickly written and not reviewed)

 

Supplements

 

Iodine: A critical nutrient; lack of leads to mental retardation. Promotes thyroid gland health. Thyroid controls thyroxin and triiodothyronine (these hormones are needed to regulate cellular metabolism and energy production).  Iodine is also important for detoxing the body of things like Mercury, Fluoride, and Boride.

 

B1 (Thiamine): It helps rebuild neurons in the brain. Maintaining a positive mental attitude; enhancing learning abilities; increasing energy; fighting stress; and preventing memory loss, include Alzheimer's disease.

 

Piracetam: A memory enhancer. Enhances learning and memory, increases the resistance of learned behaviors/memories to conditions which tend to disrupt them, protects the brain against physical and chemical injuries, and is non-toxic and lacks the usual side effects of other psychotropic drugs.

 

Alpha GPC (Choline): A natural memory enhancer. It can be used to support the use of Racetams. Enhancing brain function and memory in healthy adults. Improving learning ability and thinking skills.

 

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Alcar): A cognitive enhancer and antioxidant. It can benefit cognitive ability, memory and mood.

 

Creatine Monohydrate: Can help with mental fatigue and awareness. Can help with muscle growth.

 

Glutamine:  It serves a variety of functions in supporting the immune, digestive and nervous system and helps remove excess ammonia from the body. Helps with workout recovery.

 

Krill Oil:  Krill oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA. EPA and DHA are important structural components of the brain, nerves and retina and they are precursors of anti-inflammatory hormone-like substances. Protects heart and helps reduce bad cholesterol. Can help with wrinkles and skin.

 

Multi Vitamin (no iron or copper): Lots of necessary vitamins.

 

C-Complex: Vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

 

Alpha-Lipoic Acid:  Part of the natural energy-producing components of a cell. When taken in the form of a supplement, alpha lipoic acid can boost the efficiency of other vitamins.

 

Green Tea Extract: A natural energy booster. Prevents inflammation. Fights infection and can help with the aging process. Controls blood sugar levels.

 

Probiotic: Adds good bacteria to the gut. Support the immune system.

 

D3: Vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell to cell communication throughout the body. It helps boosts your immune system. Helps with insulin secretion and blood pressure regulation.

 

K-Complex: Aids the absorption of Vitamin D.

 

Melatonin: Helps with sleep and mood. It is a powerful antioxidant. Melatonin can effectively shield the brain from harmful neurodegenerative diseases. 

 

Chlorella: It can help with detox and strengthening the immune system. It can aid with digestion and digestive track health.

 

5-Htp: It can help boost serotonin. It helps with neuron and brain function.

 

Gingko Bilboa: May improve cognition and thinking. Helps protect against nerve damage. Helps fight anxiety.

 

Modafinil: Supplies energy, focus, and clarity. Helps avoid unnecessary sleepiness.

 

Magnesium: Magnesium is an essential mineral required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium plays an important role in the maintenance of muscle, nerve function and heart rhythm, and helps support the immune system. It can also help with energy.

 

B12: It helps keep your nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes. It also helps with energy (It is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body). Vitamin B 12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

 

B-Complex: Helps with energy production, healthy nervous system, digestion, and skin/hair. A deficiency of one B vitamin can negatively affect other b vitamins even if there is not a deficit.

 

DMG: DMG helps to improve mental activity, produce high energy levels, and maintain immune system health. It also enhances oxygenation and organic function. Helps fight cancer, diabetes, and autism. Assists with the immune system and athletic performance.

 

Turmeric: Ant inflammatory

 

Lithiumeel (Homeopathic): Helps with inflammation and immune system.

 

 

 

The list also contains my "Brain Stack" (Piracetam, Modafinil, etc). Those supplements can be disregarded since this is the "Health and Nutrition: Supplement" forum.

 

Any suggestions, comments, and criticism is welcomed and appreciated!

 

Thanks!


Edited by MajinBrian, 04 May 2014 - 09:42 PM.


#2 Gerrans

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:47 PM

I think you have chosen some good supplements there, but whether you need them all or not is another question. A supplement should supplement our nutritional status, but if we are getting enough of some of these nutrients in our diet, is the supplement useful? Could it even be counterproductive?

 

Another thought always strikes me when I read of young people on here taking lots of supplements for their health and/or longevity. Can you keep this up for your whole lifetime? It would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children. My guess is that most young people will not be able to keep up such stacks throughout their lives, whether through periods of less disposable income or through changes in interests. Or maybe they will keep on taking a large stack of supplements but different ones as time goes by, as they go in and out of fashion. So, in my opinion, it might be better to focus on taking the least number of supplements possible. I am getting old now, and the inconsistency of my supplementation through my life makes me think none of it could have done much lasting good. My approach now is to supplement only things which might be relevant to my health issues, such as arthritis. Perhaps if I had taken those things all the time I would never have got arthritis, but I did not always have the money to do so.



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#3 gt35r

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 02:53 AM

I think you have chosen some good supplements there, but whether you need them all or not is another question. A supplement should supplement our nutritional status, but if we are getting enough of some of these nutrients in our diet, is the supplement useful? Could it even be counterproductive?

 

Another thought always strikes me when I read of young people on here taking lots of supplements for their health and/or longevity. Can you keep this up for your whole lifetime? It would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children. My guess is that most young people will not be able to keep up such stacks throughout their lives, whether through periods of less disposable income or through changes in interests. Or maybe they will keep on taking a large stack of supplements but different ones as time goes by, as they go in and out of fashion. So, in my opinion, it might be better to focus on taking the least number of supplements possible. I am getting old now, and the inconsistency of my supplementation through my life makes me think none of it could have done much lasting good. My approach now is to supplement only things which might be relevant to my health issues, such as arthritis. Perhaps if I had taken those things all the time I would never have got arthritis, but I did not always have the money to do so.

Just out of curiosity how has your stack changed over your life time? What supplements did you persist in taking?

 

For me I feel like Lipoic Acid, Fish Oil, Reseveratrol, Low dose Aspirin, and Benfotiamine are things I am likely to persist with; other things are more discretionary. 



#4 Lewis Carroll

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:15 AM

I think you have chosen some good supplements there, but whether you need them all or not is another question. A supplement should supplement our nutritional status, but if we are getting enough of some of these nutrients in our diet, is the supplement useful? Could it even be counterproductive?

 

Another thought always strikes me when I read of young people on here taking lots of supplements for their health and/or longevity. Can you keep this up for your whole lifetime? It would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children. My guess is that most young people will not be able to keep up such stacks throughout their lives, whether through periods of less disposable income or through changes in interests. Or maybe they will keep on taking a large stack of supplements but different ones as time goes by, as they go in and out of fashion. So, in my opinion, it might be better to focus on taking the least number of supplements possible. I am getting old now, and the inconsistency of my supplementation through my life makes me think none of it could have done much lasting good. My approach now is to supplement only things which might be relevant to my health issues, such as arthritis. Perhaps if I had taken those things all the time I would never have got arthritis, but I did not always have the money to do so.

 

Thanks for the response, Gerrans.

 

Yes, over-supplementation is definitely something I am aware of. I visit with multiple doctors every few months. I also have blood and urine analyzed ever 3 or 4 months. This is in hopes of reaching my peak optimization. It is also to reassure that I am not taking anything that I shouldn't be as well as not overdoing anything.

 

In regards to your second paragraph, I am fortunate to have parents that are also "health-nuts". So, strict dieting and supplementation has always been an important part of my life. Since my interest in optimization and longevity came about, my interest/dedication to dieting and supplementation has only increased. So, yes, I no doubt believe I will be keeping this up my entire life (it's luckily quite easy since it's all I know). It's funny you mentioned that "it would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children". My mind set is quite the opposite... It would be hard for me to justify getting married and having kids if it prevented me from continuing with my supplementation, dieting, lifestyle, etc ;)  

 

No doubt that the supplements I take will change as new research and supplements are developed.


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#5 Gerrans

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:21 PM

 

I think you have chosen some good supplements there, but whether you need them all or not is another question. A supplement should supplement our nutritional status, but if we are getting enough of some of these nutrients in our diet, is the supplement useful? Could it even be counterproductive?

 

Another thought always strikes me when I read of young people on here taking lots of supplements for their health and/or longevity. Can you keep this up for your whole lifetime? It would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children. My guess is that most young people will not be able to keep up such stacks throughout their lives, whether through periods of less disposable income or through changes in interests. Or maybe they will keep on taking a large stack of supplements but different ones as time goes by, as they go in and out of fashion. So, in my opinion, it might be better to focus on taking the least number of supplements possible. I am getting old now, and the inconsistency of my supplementation through my life makes me think none of it could have done much lasting good. My approach now is to supplement only things which might be relevant to my health issues, such as arthritis. Perhaps if I had taken those things all the time I would never have got arthritis, but I did not always have the money to do so.

 

Thanks for the response, Gerrans.

 

Yes, over-supplementation is definitely something I am aware of. I visit with multiple doctors every few months. I also have blood and urine analyzed ever 3 or 4 months. This is in hopes of reaching my peak optimization. It is also to reassure that I am not taking anything that I shouldn't be as well as not overdoing anything.

 

In regards to your second paragraph, I am fortunate to have parents that are also "health-nuts". So, strict dieting and supplementation has always been an important part of my life. Since my interest in optimization and longevity came about, my interest/dedication to dieting and supplementation has only increased. So, yes, I no doubt believe I will be keeping this up my entire life (it's luckily quite easy since it's all I know). It's funny you mentioned that "it would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children". My mind set is quite the opposite... It would be hard for me to justify getting married and having kids if it prevented me from continuing with my supplementation, dieting, lifestyle, etc ;)  

 

No doubt that the supplements I take will change as new research and supplements are developed.

 

I should explain what I meant by focusing on taking the least number of supplements possible. I do take supplements, and I am always experimenting with new ones. But I am also trying to eat well, and I think that cuts my supplementary needs. I have drawn various charts of "superfoods", such as liver, eggs, nuts, etc., ticking their nutrients off against a list of possible supplements I should not have to eat separately.

 

I have several reasons for this subtractive approach to supplements. One is expense; one is avoiding overkill and redundancy; one is a belief that food nutrients have untold and undiscovered synergies that extracts and synthetic supplements lack; and one is concern about studies suggesting supplements shorten lifespan.

 

On this last point, I do not really believe supplements compromise mortality, but, as in many things, I try to err on the side of caution, despite having read many convincing criticisms of the studies in question. If supplements do have a negative effect, it could just be down to one or two problem items. Iron was first thought to be a culprit, then copper, so both of those are often absent from multivitamins now. (But what about someone who took them faithfully for thirty years?) More recent suspects are Vitamin E or Vitamin A. The more supplements we take, perhaps the more likely we are to be taking an as yet undenounced rogue.

 

The case of Vitamin E illustrates my approach. Not only do some studies report a negative effect from supplements of it, but others suggest the wrong sort is being put in the supplements, or the wrong mix of tocopherols, tocotrienols, or whatever. There is even research suggesting certain factors in Vitamin E agitate against each other if the proportions are wrong. So what is a bloke to do, given there are many positive reports on Vitamin E too?

 

What I do is to eat mixed nuts. Mixed nuts contain most types of Vitamin E, and insofar as these are synergistic with each other (or inhibitory of each other), I trust nature knows best, given we evolved eating nuts. Nuts for me are a form of vitamin pill, but one with its own inbuilt checks and balances For example, the Vitamin E in them might abolish any negative effect of polyunsaturates in them, making them (walnuts) a good way to take Omega-3s. (I am disinclined to worry about O-5: O-6 ratios in nuts, on the assumption that nature knows what she is doing.)

 

 

This way of looking at things reduces the number of supplements I feel I need to take.

 


Edited by Gerrans, 07 May 2014 - 09:55 PM.


#6 Gerrans

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:39 PM

 

I think you have chosen some good supplements there, but whether you need them all or not is another question. A supplement should supplement our nutritional status, but if we are getting enough of some of these nutrients in our diet, is the supplement useful? Could it even be counterproductive?

 

Another thought always strikes me when I read of young people on here taking lots of supplements for their health and/or longevity. Can you keep this up for your whole lifetime? It would be hard to justify this many vitamins once married and with children. My guess is that most young people will not be able to keep up such stacks throughout their lives, whether through periods of less disposable income or through changes in interests. Or maybe they will keep on taking a large stack of supplements but different ones as time goes by, as they go in and out of fashion. So, in my opinion, it might be better to focus on taking the least number of supplements possible. I am getting old now, and the inconsistency of my supplementation through my life makes me think none of it could have done much lasting good. My approach now is to supplement only things which might be relevant to my health issues, such as arthritis. Perhaps if I had taken those things all the time I would never have got arthritis, but I did not always have the money to do so.

Just out of curiosity how has your stack changed over your life time? What supplements did you persist in taking?

 

For me I feel like Lipoic Acid, Fish Oil, Reseveratrol, Low dose Aspirin, and Benfotiamine are things I am likely to persist with; other things are more discretionary. 

 

 

The supplement I have taken for ever is CoEnzyme Q10--which is odd because I have no proof that it does me any good at all. I think it has held out just because I have never read anything negative about it. (Please do not quote some research now to shatter my assumption that it is harmless. If it works as a placebo, at least let me cling to that! ;))

 

I was part of the big Vitamin C craze in the eighties. Then I stopped taking C supplements, and now I am taking them again. Who knows?

 

I have tended to blow with the wind. For a long time I supplemented Brewer's Yeast, then packed it in when I read it might cause baldness. I now think that was nonsense. But that eating it was probably pointless anyway. At university, for some reason I have long forgotten, I was taking calcium pills. Thank goodness I did not keep that up.

 

Sometimes I worry I missed out on a lot of supplements that would have increased my life expectancy. But then I wonder if the fact I never stuck at anything consistently could be a blessing in disguise. On an old-style multivitamin, for example, I would have been supplementing iron for decades--and I am now glad that was not the case.

 


Edited by Gerrans, 07 May 2014 - 09:47 PM.


#7 Lewis Carroll

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 01:09 AM

I should explain what I meant by focusing on taking the least number of supplements possible. I do take supplements, and I am always experimenting with new ones. But I am also trying to eat well, and I think that cuts my supplementary needs. I have drawn various charts of "superfoods", such as liver, eggs, nuts, etc., ticking their nutrients off against a list of possible supplements I should not have to eat separately.

 

 

 

 

 

I have several reasons for this subtractive approach to supplements. One is expense; one is avoiding overkill and redundancy; one is a belief that food nutrients have untold and undiscovered synergies that extracts and synthetic supplements lack; and one is concern about studies suggesting supplements shorten lifespan.

 

On this last point, I do not really believe supplements compromise mortality, but, as in many things, I try to err on the side of caution, despite having read many convincing criticisms of the studies in question. If supplements do have a negative effect, it could just be down to one or two problem items. Iron was first thought to be a culprit, then copper, so both of those are often absent from multivitamins now. (But what about someone who took them faithfully for thirty years?) More recent suspects are Vitamin E or Vitamin A. The more supplements we take, perhaps the more likely we are to be taking an as yet undenounced rogue.

 

The case of Vitamin E illustrates my approach. Not only do some studies report a negative effect from supplements of it, but others suggest the wrong sort is being put in the supplements, or the wrong mix of tocopherols, tocotrienols, or whatever. There is even research suggesting certain factors in Vitamin E agitate against each other if the proportions are wrong. So what is a bloke to do, given there are many positive reports on Vitamin E too?

 

What I do is to eat mixed nuts. Mixed nuts contain most types of Vitamin E, and insofar as these are synergistic with each other (or inhibitory of each other), I trust nature knows best, given we evolved eating nuts. Nuts for me are a form of vitamin pill, but one with its own inbuilt checks and balances For example, the Vitamin E in them might abolish any negative effect of polyunsaturates in them, making them (walnuts) a good way to take Omega-3s. (I am disinclined to worry about O-5: O-6 ratios in nuts, on the assumption that nature knows what she is doing.)

 

 

This way of looking at things reduces the number of supplements I feel I need to take.

 

 

 

I definitely see where you're coming from with your "subtractive approach" when it comes to supplementation. I have just always been a huge fan of supplementation, and I have found tremendous benefit from doing so. Like I mentioned, I am quite healthy in regards to my diet... lots of veggies, lots of "super foods", no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no processed food, limited carbs, etc. However, I still find it necessary to supplement quite a few different vitamins to reach the levels I want (which is not simply "healthy" levels - I am reaching for the absolute optimal levels).

 

I no doubt realize expense can be a problem for some and, therefore, a good reason to take your approach. Over supplementation shouldn't be a problem because of my consistent work with multiple doctors. They are aware of all my supplements, doses, physical/ mental activity, etc. This allows me to avoid problems such as the "iron and copper" example you mentioned. My sister, for example, has low iron and copper levels, so she has both in her multivitamin. I on the other hand do not need to supplement with either, so I take a multivitamin that doesn't contain either. I actually just heard back from my doctor regarding my recent blood test, and I need to add both potassium and zinc (as well as increase my salt).



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#8 Gerrans

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:57 AM

 

I should explain what I meant by focusing on taking the least number of supplements possible. I do take supplements, and I am always experimenting with new ones. But I am also trying to eat well, and I think that cuts my supplementary needs. I have drawn various charts of "superfoods", such as liver, eggs, nuts, etc., ticking their nutrients off against a list of possible supplements I should not have to eat separately.

 

 

 

 

 

I have several reasons for this subtractive approach to supplements. One is expense; one is avoiding overkill and redundancy; one is a belief that food nutrients have untold and undiscovered synergies that extracts and synthetic supplements lack; and one is concern about studies suggesting supplements shorten lifespan.

 

On this last point, I do not really believe supplements compromise mortality, but, as in many things, I try to err on the side of caution, despite having read many convincing criticisms of the studies in question. If supplements do have a negative effect, it could just be down to one or two problem items. Iron was first thought to be a culprit, then copper, so both of those are often absent from multivitamins now. (But what about someone who took them faithfully for thirty years?) More recent suspects are Vitamin E or Vitamin A. The more supplements we take, perhaps the more likely we are to be taking an as yet undenounced rogue.

 

The case of Vitamin E illustrates my approach. Not only do some studies report a negative effect from supplements of it, but others suggest the wrong sort is being put in the supplements, or the wrong mix of tocopherols, tocotrienols, or whatever. There is even research suggesting certain factors in Vitamin E agitate against each other if the proportions are wrong. So what is a bloke to do, given there are many positive reports on Vitamin E too?

 

What I do is to eat mixed nuts. Mixed nuts contain most types of Vitamin E, and insofar as these are synergistic with each other (or inhibitory of each other), I trust nature knows best, given we evolved eating nuts. Nuts for me are a form of vitamin pill, but one with its own inbuilt checks and balances For example, the Vitamin E in them might abolish any negative effect of polyunsaturates in them, making them (walnuts) a good way to take Omega-3s. (I am disinclined to worry about O-5: O-6 ratios in nuts, on the assumption that nature knows what she is doing.)

 

 

This way of looking at things reduces the number of supplements I feel I need to take.

 

 

 

I definitely see where you're coming from with your "subtractive approach" when it comes to supplementation. I have just always been a huge fan of supplementation, and I have found tremendous benefit from doing so. Like I mentioned, I am quite healthy in regards to my diet... lots of veggies, lots of "super foods", no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no processed food, limited carbs, etc. However, I still find it necessary to supplement quite a few different vitamins to reach the levels I want (which is not simply "healthy" levels - I am reaching for the absolute optimal levels).

 

I no doubt realize expense can be a problem for some and, therefore, a good reason to take your approach. Over supplementation shouldn't be a problem because of my consistent work with multiple doctors. They are aware of all my supplements, doses, physical/ mental activity, etc. This allows me to avoid problems such as the "iron and copper" example you mentioned. My sister, for example, has low iron and copper levels, so she has both in her multivitamin. I on the other hand do not need to supplement with either, so I take a multivitamin that doesn't contain either. I actually just heard back from my doctor regarding my recent blood test, and I need to add both potassium and zinc (as well as increase my salt).

 

 

I think you are being very careful and that, on current knowledge, you have chosen your supplements well. Please don't think I am criticising you--I am just interested in the various angles of all this. When you get to my age--nearly 60--you have seen so many supplements come and go that you start to wonder how we can be sure what we take now will be valid for the future.

 

For example, your doctors may be very well informed, but they can only draw on knowledge as it stands now. The advice in 30 years time may be very different. In the meantime, it is likely that at least one thing you regularly take now will have been proved to be damaging.

 

*

 

It is a matter of opinion, but I am not sure that I believe in optimal health. For me, the state of health is an absolute--one cannot be more healthy than healthy. My theory these days is that the body uses what nutrients it needs and discards the surplus. The state of healthiness is then a state of sufficiency (and bad health results from deficiency). So though I may get a smaller dose of nutrients from a piece of liver or from an egg than I would of those same nutrients in supplements, I believe the dose will be sufficient--because our bodies evolved to use the amounts of those nutrients it habitually got in food. If taking larger doses of essential nutrients made people healthier still, surely there would be more evidence of it.

 

The orthomecular movement proposed superdoses of vitamins such as Vitamin C and niacin, for example, but I am not sure the case was ever proved. What worries me is that, in certain cases, overprovision of a nutrient might lead to accumulation in cells rather than simple excretion. This has been shown occasionally with such things as calcium and iodine, but who knows how many other nutrients might be shown to act like this in future? I believe nutrients work their beneficial effects by synergies so complex and multifarious that most of the mechanisms are probably not yet discovered. In comparison, a personal supplement stack is an attempt by a non-expert to mix and match homespun nutrient combinations on the basis of current science, and so it is likely a very crude--and possibly inaccurate (hopefully, not dangerously so)--attempt to second guess the body. Whereas a balanced diet of good foods should bring us health, without our knowing a fraction of the reasons why.

 

On this basis, I supplement largely where I think I may be deficient--for example, several supplements aimed at supporting damaged cartilage in my knees.


Edited by Gerrans, 08 May 2014 - 11:10 AM.






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