Archive for February, 2010

All About Soy

All About Soy
by Ryan Andrews, March 23rd, 2009.

What is soy?
The soybean plant originated in China and made its way to North America in 1765. Soy production in North America started as a means to feed animals, only becoming a food crop for humans in the early 1900s. Genetic modification of soybeans was introduced in 1995; today, about 90% of the soybeans grown are genetically modified.

Soybeans may contain up to 48% protein with a PDCAA score (a measure of protein quality) just below 1.0, with soy protein isolate at 1.0. 1.0 is the highest score a protein can get, and soy ranks up there with milk, beef, and egg proteins. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fat in soybeans is about 1:7, which is sensible, especially when compared to oils like sunflower and peanut which are 1:100+.

Soybeans contain a mix of slow-digesting carbohydrates, including fibre and other starches that may be good for promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Thus, for people who do not have an intolerance to soy, soy could be considered GI-friendly.

What you should know about soy
Cultural observation tells us that most traditional cuisines in Asia don’t incorporate soy as a staple food. The average soy intake in East Asian populations is between 40 – 90 grams per day (1.5 to 3 ounces). That’s total soy intake (not soy protein grams). This amount of soy provides 10 – 20 grams of soy protein. Soy foods are typically used as a condiment to the main dish and used in a “whole food” form such as edamame, or fermented, as in miso, tofu, natto and soy sauce. The FDA recommends 25 grams of soy protein per day as part of a balanced diet.

In North America, refined soy products such as soy concentrates, textured soy, and soy lecithin are finding their way into more processed foods. Between 2000 and 2007, U.S. food manufacturers introduced over 2,700 new foods with soy as an ingredient. These forms of processed soy are what most people equate with soy consumption (rather than the whole food and fermented forms in traditional Asian cuisines).

Sales of soy products have drastically increased, perhaps due to health claims made about soy

Why is eating soy so important?
Hundreds of foods, including soy, contain phytoestrogens (PEs), also known as isoflavones (a type of flavonoid — the same flavonoids that make tomatoes, green tea and red wine “healthy”). In the plants, they serve as a defense mechanism and fungicide. In humans, PEs, which include genistein, daidzein and glycytein, act as natural estrogen receptor modulators. PEs are similar in structure to estradiol, a form of human estrogen. They have both weak estrogen-stimulating and estrogen-inhibiting effects, depending on the circumstance. The UK Committee on Toxicity (2003) noted that PEs bind weakly to the sex-hormone binding proteins and are unlikely to prevent estrogen or androgen binding (at normal blood levels).

PEs provide the basis for much of the current soy controversy. When soy protein isolates and concentrates are created from soybeans, PE (and phytonutrient) content is diminished due to the alcohol used in extraction. However, some remain.

Phytoestrogen content of selected foods
Food Serving Total PEs (mg)
Soy protein concentrate, water wash 3.5 oz 102
Soy protein concentrate, alcohol wash 3.5 oz 12
Miso ½ cup 59
Soybeans, cooked ½ cup 47
Tempeh 3 ounces 37
Soybeans, dry roasted 1 ounce 37
Soy milk 1 cup 30
Tofu based yogurt ½ cup 21
Tofu 3 ounces 20
Soybeans, green, cooked (Edamame) ½ cup 12
Soy hot dog 1 hot dog 11
Soy sausage 3 links 3
Soy cheese, mozzarella 1 oz 2

A traditional daily intake of soy for someone may include 6 ounces of tofu, a half-cup or soy milk, and a ½ cup of edamame. That would provide roughly 75 mg of PEs. This is well below the amount necessary for having an unfavorable influence on hormone levels. However, as the chart above shows, a high intake from some processed soy products could easily provide much more.

We still can’t predict exactly how PEs will function after we swallow them. The actual effects depend on total amount of PEs in the body, receptor binding affinities, and possibly a host of genetic factors. Despite these mixed results and a lack of consensus, there is a common theme: extremely high levels of PEs have an unfavorable influence on hormone levels for both men and women, and may inhibit muscle gain and fat loss to some degree.

Soy and cancer
Prostate cancer is low in countries that regularly consume soy and rodent studies have also found that PEs inhibit the development of prostate cancer and prostate tumor metastasis.

Soy and PE consumption does not seem to affect the endometrium in premenopausal women, although there have been weak estrogenic effects reported in breast tissue. Thus, studies in women have mostly shown beneficial effects (in cancer prevention), although the magnitude of the effects is small and of vague significance. If someone has existing cancer, it’s critical to know if the cancer is estrogen receptor positive. If it is, then it may be wise to avoid foods with a higher PE content.

Soy and pregnancy
Although there are still questions regarding in utero or early postnatal exposure, the low potencies and concentrations of PEs in the diet compared with the hormones manufactured in the body make it unlikely that adverse effects occur at common exposure. PEs in mom’s diet will appear in breast milk, but PE intake of breastfed infants is negligible. The American Association of Pediatrics cautiously recommends giving soy-based formula to infants, but only in cases where other options are insufficient.

Soy and sperm
There is a body of research in which controlled amounts of soy were fed to humans or primates and no negative effects on quantity, quality, or sperm motility were noticed. Could eating a lot more soy potentially lower sperm count? Sure. Is it something you should be concerned with? Probably not, unless you’re trying to make those sperm earn their rent.

Soy and bones
A meta-analysis (done on women) showed a significant benefit of PEs on spine bone density, especially when PEs were given in higher doses and for longer periods. A second meta-analysis showed that PEs significantly increased bone formation and decreased bone breakdown. Translation = soy PEs could be helpful for bones.

Soy and body composition
A review found that individuals lost equivalent amounts of weight (and inches in some cases), using soy protein, dairy milk meal replacements, and beef or pork at equal calorie levels. When soy protein supplements are used as part of a sensible training program and varied, calorie-sufficient diet, they act much in the same way that other protein supplements might act: increases in lean body mass, decreases in stress hormone responses to training, and improvements in performance. (See, for example, this study.)

Soy and anti-nutrients
Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors and phytic acid, substances that can inhibit nutrient absorption. These substances are deactivated by cooking and fermentation. Thus, consuming cooked and fermented soy foods is unlikely to inhibit protein and mineral absorption. Also, phytic acid may have anti-cancer properties. Goitrogens found in soy (and other vegetables) only seem to cause thyroid problems when iodine intake is low and soy intake is high. Iodine can be obtained naturally from foods such as sea salt and sea vegetables (aka seaweed, e.g. kelp, dulse, etc.)

Soy and the heart
Heart health is influenced by the sum of one’s diet and lifestyle, not an ounce of miso. Small amounts of whole soy foods may help to control cholesterol levels.

Soy and the kidneys
Soy protein, despite being of high quality, doesn’t appear to have the same effect on kidney function that occurs in response to animal proteins. So, if your doc, or your mom, still gets worried about the high protein meals, mix in some soy for good measure.

Other interesting information about soy
The World Health Organization has identified soy as a high quality protein that can meet all of the essential amino acid requirements of humans.

Soy sauce and soy oil do not contain PEs.

Tamoxifen has long been an effective treatment for women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. In a study conducted in mice, researchers found that when genistein (a PE) is consumed as part of the daily diet, it can stop the ability of tamoxifen to halt breast cancer growth.

Summary and recommendations
In general, it’s hard to go wrong with whole, unprocessed foods. Problems typically occur with processed food, in all forms including soy. Manufacturing processes remove the dietary fibre, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and hundreds of other helpful plant chemicals — leaving behind almost pure soy protein. The whole is healthier than the parts.

Although some studies show limited or conflicting results, when viewed in its entirety, the current literature supports the safety of PEs as typically consumed in diets that include small amounts of whole soy foods.

It seems best to avoid consuming isolated and highly refined forms of soy (such as soy isolates, soy concentrates, textured soy protein, etc.) on a regular basis. Whole soybeans, soy milks, tofu, tempeh, and miso, on the other hand, are better options. In terms of total intake, we’d say 1-2 servings (a serving is 1 cup of soy milk and 4 ounces of tofu/tempeh/soybeans) of soy per day seems to be a safe and potentially healthy intake, but exceeding 3 servings per day on a regular basis may not be a good idea.

We don’t think soy is anything special in terms of disease prevention. Nor do we think it’s extremely harmful in your quest for optimal health, body comp, or performance. With that said, we do caution against excessive soy intake.

Further resources
Iowa State University Database On The Isoflavone Content Of Foods

References
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Brown EC et al. Soy versus whey protein bars: effects on exercise training impact on lean body mass and antioxidant status. Nutr J 2004;3:22-27.

Anthony TG, et al. Feeding meals containing soy or whey protein after exercise stimulates protein synthesis and translation initiation in the skeletal muscle of male rats. J Nutr 2007;137:357-362.

Stroescu V, et al. Hormonal and metabolic response in elite female gymnasts undergoing strenuous training supplementation with SUPRO brand isolated soy protein. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2001;41:89-94.

Calorie Restriction, the Traditional Okinawan Diet, and Healthy Aging: The Diet of the World’s Longest-Lived People and Its Potential Impact on Morbidity and Life Span. Ann NY Acad Sci 2007;1114:434-455.

Tuohy PG. Soy infant formula and phytoestrogens. J Paediatr Child Health 2003;39:401-405.

Munro IC, et al. Soy isoflavones: a safety review. Nutrition Reviews 2003;61:1-33.

Greim HA. The endocrine and reproductive system: adverse effects of hormonally active substances? Pediatrics 2004;113:1070-1075.

Patisaul HB. Phytoestrogen action in the adult and developing brain. J of Neuroendocrinology 2005;17:57-64.

Chen A & Rogan WJ. Isoflavones in soy infant formula: a review of evidence for endocrine and other activity in infants. Annu Rev Nutr 2004;24:33-54.

Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations’: Soya beans and products food balance sheets for periods 1979-1988. Rome: FAO/UNU, 1984-1990.

Kurzer MS. Hormonal effects of soy in premenopausal women and men. J Nutr 2002;132:570S-573S.

Candow DG, et al. Effect of whey and soy protein supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2006;16:233-44.

Sanderson M, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-I, soy protein intake, and breast cancer risk. Nutr Cancer 2004;50:8-15.

Goldin BR, et al. Hormonal response to diets high in soy or animal protein without and with isoflavones in moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects. Nutr Cancer 2005;51:1-6.

Teede HJ, et al. Dietary soy containing phytoestrogens does not have detectable estrogenic effects on hepatic protein synthesis in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:396-401.

Nagata C, et al. Decreased serum total cholesterol concentration is associated with high intake of soy products in Japanese men and women. J Nutr 1998;128:209-213.

Cassileth BR & Vickers AJ. Soy: an anticancer agent in wide use despite some troubling data. Cancer Invest 2003;21:817-818.

Adlercreutz H. Phyto-oestrogens and cancer. Lancet Oncol 2002;3:364-373.

Horn-Ross PL, et al. Phytoestrogens and thyroid cancer risk: the San Francisco Bay Area thyroid cancer study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002;11:43-49.

Yellayi S. The phytoestrogen genistein induces thymic and immune changes: a human health concern? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002;99:7616-7621.

Jenkins DJ, et al. Effects of high- and low isoflavone (phytoestrogen) soy foods on inflammatory biomarkers and proinflammatory cytokines in middle-aged men and women. Metabolism 2002;51:919-924.

Spence LA, et al. The effect of soy protein and soy isoflavones on calcium metabolism in postmenopausal women: a randomized crossover study. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:916-922.

Roughead ZK, et al. Controlled substitution of soy protein for meat protein: effects on calcium retention, bone, and cardiovascular health indices in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005;90:181-189.

Jenkins DJ, et al. Effect of high vegetable protein diets on urinary calcium loss in middle-aged men and women. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57:376-382.

Velasquez MT & Bhathena SJ. Role of dietary soy protein in obesity. Int J Med 2004;4:72-82.

Odum J, et al. Effect of rodent diets on the sexual development of the rat. Toxicol Sci 2001;61:115-127.

Casanova M, et al. Developmental effects of dietary phytoestrogens in Sprague-Dawley rats and interactions of genistein and daidzein with rat estrogen receptors alpha and beta in vitro. Toxicol Sci 1999;51:236-244.

Doerge DR & Change HC. Inactivation of thyroid peroxidase by soy isoflavones, in vitro and in vivo. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2002;777:249-260.

Roberts D, et al. Effects of chronic dietary exposure to genistein, a phytoestrogen, during various stages of development on reproductive hormones and spermatogenesis in rats. Endocrine J 2000;13:281-286.

Kumar NB, et al. A phase II randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of purified isoflavones in modulating steroid hormones in men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Nutr Cancer 2007;59:163-168.

Fischer L, et al. Clinical characteristics and pharmacokinetics of purified soy isoflavones: multiple-dose administration to men with prostate neoplasia. Nutr Cancer 2004;48:160-170.

Busby MG, et al. Clinical characteristics and pharmacokinetics of purified soy isoflavones: single-dose administration to healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:126-136.

Chen Z, et al. Usual dietary consumption of soy foods and its correlation with the excretion rate of isoflavonoids in overnight urine samples among Chinese women in Shanghai. Nutr Cancer 1999;33:82-87.

Arai Y, et al. Comparison of isoflavones among dietary intake, plasma concentration and urinary excretion for accurate estimation of phytoestrogen intake. J Epidemiol 2000 10:127-135.

Ososki AL & Kennelly EJ. Phytoestrogens: a review of the present state of research. Phytother Res 2003;17:845-869.

Maneesh M, et al. Alcohol abuse-duration dependent decrease in plasma testosterone and antioxidants in males. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2006;50:291-296.

Subst Alcohol Actions Misuse 1983;50:291-296.

Ellingboe J. Acute effects of ethanol on sex hormones in non-alcoholic men and women. Alcohol Alcoholism 1987;(suppl 1):109-116.

Sierksma A, et al. Effect of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Plasma Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Testosterone, and Estradiol Levels in Middle-Aged Men and Postmenopausal Women: A Diet-Controlled Intervention Study. Alcoholism Clinical and Exp Res 2004;5:780-785.

Ganmaa D, et al. Is milk responsible for male reproductive disorders? Med Hypotheses 2001;57:510-514.

Qin LQ, et al. Estrogen: one of the risk factors in milk for prostate cancer. Med Hypotheses 2004;62:133-142.

McCarty MF. Isoflavones made simple – Genistein’s agonist activity for the beta-type estrogen receptor mediates their benefits. Med Hypotheses 2006;66:1093-1114.

Swan SH, et al. Semen quality of fertile US males in relation to their mothers’ beef consumption during pregnancy. Hum Reprod 2007;22:1497-1502.

Evans EM, et al. Effects of soy protein isolate and moderate exercise on bone turnover and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Menopause 2007;14:481-488.

Ma DF, et al. Soy isoflavone intake increases bone mineral density in the spine of menopausal women: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr 2008;27:57-64.

Ma DF, et al. Soy isoflavone intake inhibits bone resorption and stimulates bone formation in menopausal women: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr 2008;62:155-161.

Sebastian A. Isoflavones, protein, and bone. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:733-735.
Weaver CM & Cheong JMK. Soy isoflavones and bone health: the relationship is still unclear. J Nutr 2005;135:1243-1247.

Anderson JW, et al. Soy compared to casein meal replacement shakes with energy-restricted diets for obese women: randomized controlled trial. Metabolism 1=2007;56:280-288.

Xiao CW. Health effects of soy protein and isoflavones in humans. J Nutr 2008;138:1244S-1249S.

Rosell MS, et al. Soy intake and blood cholesterol concentrations: a cross-sectional study of 1033 pre- and postmenopausal women in the Oxford arm of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:1391-1396.

Vucenik I & Shamsuddin AM. Cancer inhibition by inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) and inositol: from laboratory to clinic. J Nutr 2003;133(11 Suppl 1):3778S – 3784S.

Doerge DR & Sheehan DM. Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones. Environ Health Perspect 2002;110 (Suppl 3):349-353.

Horn-Ross PL, et al. Phytoestrogens and thyroid cancer risk: the San Francisco Bay Are thyroid cancer study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002;11:43-49.

Munro IC, et al. Soy isoflavones: a safety review. Nutr Rev 2003;61:1-33.

February 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

How do you prove it?

As certified RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) instructors at Tennessee Kettlebell Boot Camp and Nashville Kettlebell Boot Camp we see many clients that have tried many types of fitness instruction from various types of instructors. Our clients find a refreshing change to our style of teaching and actually taking an interest in how they feel, not just trying to pump their vanity. I wanted to share with you a recent blog post from Dave Whitley, Sr. RKC, CK-FMS on how we are different and how we actually take an interest in working with our clients to measure their success, track their progress and teach them how to reach thier fitness and nutrition goals.

How do you prove it?
How do you measure success?

How do you track progress?

Is it by how sore your workout made you? Is it by how much you got your ass kicked during your workout? I am all for hard training, but pushing yourself just to be pushing yourself is not the most productive way to go. It may feel really good, but eventually you have to measure some results to see if it is doing any good.

It takes ZERO teaching talent to make someone exhausted, nauseous or sore. A monkey with a pair of dice can get you there in about 8 minutes, just do 10 burpees for whatever number comes up when he rolls.


Do you trust this guy to teach you how to swing a kettlebell?
If you just want to be sore, let me just hit you with a stick a couple of times and we’ll call it a day.

At the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp and at Tennessee Kettlebell Bootcamp we have several ways that we track progress, depending on the goals of the individual. My students literally span the gap from be interested in a smaller waistline to professional athletes and everything in between. The great thing about the RKC system is that we use the same principles to address all these seemingly very different goals.

One unique thing we offer as part of our program is the use of Gray Cook’s Functional Movement Screen and the Kettlebell Corrective Movement strategies of the Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist (CK-FMS).
I never want to put fitness on top of a dysfunctional movement pattern and without a standardized, repeatable method of screening movement patterns, how do I know if you have dysfunction and where it originates? Right, I wouldn’t, I’d just be guessing.

The FMS allows me to see things in your movement that are predictors of potential injury and the CKFMS drills allow me to correct any underlying problems and head them off at the pass, keeping you healthy and making you more resilient as we travel the road of strength and fitness. If (when) your FMS score goes up over the course of 2 or 3 months, then you are improving and I can prove it.

Move Better. Feel Better. Look Better. We will teach you how.
Tennessee Kettlebell
Nashville Kettlebell

February 15, 2010 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Mark’s Daily Apple”

Below is an excerpt from a great blog “Mark’s Daily Apple”. This blog that was sent to me by my husband as one to follow. We are always talking about this topic below and struggle wth reaching out to the people who mean the most in our lives. We wonder why they don’t understand our reasons and practices of “primal” eating. I could not have summed it up better than the blog below. I guess some things we just need to let go and and let people see the differences such practices can make in ones life. This blog was an emotional read for me and any other primal eaters out there I am sure you will feel the same way!

Enjoy ~HD

Monday’s “Dear Mark” sparked a great discussion about raising healthy kids, but the conversation really got going (in the comment board and forum) when readers lamented the hard-headedness of their parents.

Yes, we too often paint younger folks as the impulsive, devil-may-care madcaps or hapless Pied Piper targets. Truth is, there are plenty of those qualities in every age demographic. Kids aren’t the only ones who can dig in their heels after all. So, to take on the flipside of Monday’s question, what’s a Primal child (of any age) to do when Mom and Dad are the ones whose health needs a major overhaul?

I venture to say that many more people find themselves in the role of concerned progeny than those who commented Monday. Far too many of us, I imagine, have been grudging witnesses over the years to our parents’ destructive health habits – whether it be crummy diet, complete lack of physical activity, smoking, workaholic lifestyle, chronic stress, or – who knows – compulsive use of household insecticides. Sometimes it’s ignorance on their part. Other times it’s denial. In some cases, it’s flat out apathy.

We drop hints at dinner. We drop pamphlets, articles or whole books on their coffee tables. At turns, we find ourselves lecturing. We argue. We offer to help – to make dinner, suggest some relaxation techniques or pay for a gym membership. In the midst of the back and forth, some of us deal with the frustration better than others. Perhaps those of us who recently moved out or are in the process of doing so are just glad to be on our own, away from the influence for a while. However, for many of us it’s an ongoing source of disappointment and even an emotional roadblock in the relationship.

The questions nag at the back of our brains and maybe tug at the heart strings a little. Why won’t they listen to reason? Why don’t they value their own health? Don’t they want to live to be there for their grandchildren – for me? How can it not bother them to be giving up decades of their lives or at least the hope of some additional active and independent years? What am I supposed to do here? Will anything I do or say make any difference whatsoever?

Step Back
As difficult as it is, maybe the first step in dealing with the quandary is this: we should all take a step back. (A big breath helps too.) There’s a certain freedom in accepting that you aren’t responsible for another person’s choices. Although you certainly have a big stake in their health, in their independence, in their well-being, in their being in this world period, the fact is and will always remain that you don’t run their lives. If you genuinely worry for them, it’s a painful realization, but at least it can stop you from beating your head against the wall. It’s not your fault. It’s not under your control. It’s sad and horribly unfortunate that they stand a big chance of missing out on some of their good years as well as your life and your kids’, but there it is. Ultimately, it’s out of your hands. Que Sera isn’t a comforting concept, but it can be a liberating one.

Don’t Apologize for Your Lifestyle
Just as they are going to live their lives the way they want, make no bones about doing the same for yourself. Stop feeling guilty for refusing your mother’s pie at Thanksgiving if you don’t want it. Stop apologizing for bringing your own food to their house or turning down Sunday night get-togethers if that’s a good workout night for you. Stop caving to their pushing treats on the grandkids. Maybe the more you stand by your lifestyle, the more seriously they’ll take it. If not, you’ll at least feel more in control of your own life and less swept up by their choices.

Appreciate Small Changes
Just because you accept that you don’t control the ultimate outcome doesn’t mean you can’t leave the door open for them to change or that you can’t make the adjoining room all the more inviting. I’d never say give up encouraging your parents to get healthy. Nonetheless, it’s all about perspective. When you take yourself out of the role of health director or even rescuer, you’re in a much better mindset to encourage, see and appreciate smaller changes. You’re not caught up in the vision of deep and desperate change for them. Once you take the pressure off, they might soften up a bit and surprise you.

Offer Some Healthy Bonding Opportunities
So, your dad probably isn’t going to ever accompany you to a PrimalCon event, but maybe you can convince him to go for a walk on a nice spring day. Though your mother will never give up her carbs, she’ll love spending Sunday brunch at your house (with your food) when she can have fun with the grandkids. Invite your parents to participate in your life – and the lifestyle that goes along with it. Find things that both of you can enjoy and get something out of.

Finally, however frustrating or unchanging your parents’ choices are, enjoy your time with them. Live life to the fullest with them as much as you can. Show them you care and that you enjoy their company. Let them know they’re an important part of your life. In the best or worst circumstances, you’ll be glad you did. There’s an old fable in which the sun and wind compete to see who can get the coat off a man passing by. In the harshness of the wind, the man simply clutches his coat more tightly. In the sun’s warmth, he happily casts it aside. In the best circumstances, perhaps warmth and love provide the best inspiration for healthy change.

Have your own stories and strategies for prodding your parents or other family members toward a healthier lifestyle? Thanks for reading.

February 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment


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