Reishi Mushroom
Published: November 27, 2020

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Are you looking for a natural remedy to boost your defenses? Do you have fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, or diabetes? Are you looking for a supplement to alleviate your allergies? In that case, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) may be the ideal addition to your diet. Originating from Japan and China, this fungus has been used for medicinal purposes since time immemorial.

Reishi can be found in the form of powder extract, capsules, and tablets. The Ganoderma lucidum mushroom is known for its immunostimulant, antiviral, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Throughout our guide, you will learn about the benefits, recommendations of use, and consumption modes of Reishi mushrooms.

Key Facts

  • Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum is a fungus from Asia, whose primary active compounds are triterpenoids and polysaccharides.
  • It offers numerous pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, immunostimulant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and antihistaminic effects.
  • In order to purchase the quality Reishi supplement you deserve, you will have to consider various critical factors. These include the dosage form of the product, as well as the presence of additional ingredients and potential allergens, among others.

Our Selection: The Best Reishi Mushroom Products on the Canadian Market

As we mentioned earlier, Reishi supplements are available in powder, capsule, and tablet form. Contamination with another type of fungus can lead to poisoning, which is why it is fundamental that you purchase a product from a reliable manufacturer. To help you in your search, we have selected the best Reishi supplements currently available on the Canadian market:

Best Mushroom Blend Supplement

This product by The Genius Brand is a best-selling supplement that combines different mushrooms to bring you all their goodness. In addition to Ganoderma lucidum, each capsule contains Cordyceps and lion’s mane to increase your heart function and boost your cognitive capacities. Thousands of people have praised the benefits of this supplement, so what are you waiting for?

Elevate immune support to another level with Reishi mushroom extract. Having been used for centuries, this immune booster is what you need daily to stay healthy and avoid the common cold.

Best Reishi Drink to Help You Sleep

Because of its bitter taste, the Reishi mushroom is often added to drinks. Four Sigmatic Foods has made it easier for you, creating a powerful-yet-tasty blend that will dissolve in hot water in no time. It contains Reishi powder, rose hips, tulsi, and mint to give flavor to the beverage. This is a fantastic drink to naturally support your sleep cycles and help you relax at the end of the day.

Including licorice root, star anise, mint and stevia. If you’re looking to positively impact your mood or reduce stress, pick up Reishi Drink Mix today and see how quick it can be to start feeling better.

Best Reishi Mushroom Powder

This Amazon’s Choice organic Reishi powder by Terrasoul Superfoods is a fantastic option if you’re looking to reap all the benefits of this ancient mushroom. It is certified organic by the USDA, gluten-free, and compatible with vegan diets. To boost your immune system, you are recommended to take one-third of a teaspoon a day. It has an intense bitter taste, so make sure you add it to a drink for easier consumption.

Red Reishi mushroom is known for being a powerful immune system booster and one of natures most healing mushrooms. This brand carefully chooses and lab-tests their mushrooms to ensure they are free of toxins or fillers.

Best Reishi Mushroom Capsules

Made right here in Canada, these Reishi capsules will promote your heart health while contributing to a good balance in your blood pressure. Each bottle comes with 180 veggie caps, with a recommended daily intake of two units for 2,000 mg of Ganoderma lucidum. This gluten-free, non-GMO supplement is produced in an FDA-approved and GMP-compliant facility for the best possible quality.

They also help to increase overall energy and lower stress levels in the body to help balance the impacts of fatigue and debility. A great source of antioxidants for the maintenance of overall good health; less oxidative damage to skin and muscle tissue.

Best Reishi Hot Chocolate

To get rid of the bitter taste, this brand has added Reishi mooshroom extract to this hot chocolate drink. It’s a modern take on a traditional favourite and an easy way to get Reishi mushroom into your day. It is best enjoyed when you need a relaxing way to press pause. Containing 1500 mg of this mushroom per serving. Made also with organic ingredients including cocoa, dates, and vanilla.

This product is made in small batches and free from any fillers and artificial ingredients. It is easy and convenient to make. Just whisk 1.5 teaspoons (7 g) into one cup (250 mL) warm coconut or almond milk, and sip slowly. Best enjoyed with five deep, slow breaths.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi is an age-old mushroom used for its therapeutic properties. Responsible consumption is the key to obtaining positive results. What part of the fungus is used to produce the supplements? What are its benefits and contraindications? We have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding Reishi in the following section.

Because of its bitter taste, you may want to mix it with a liquid before consumption.
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What is the Reishi mushroom exactly?

Shiny looking, with a woody texture and reddish color, the Reishi is a mushroom native to Japan, China, and other Asian countries. Its scientific name is Ganoderma lucidum, and it has been used in Oriental medicine for millennia to treat various conditions, from hepatitis and leukopenia (low white blood cell count) to respiratory problems (1, 2).

Called the fruiting body, the above-ground part of the fungus is the most commonly used to make supplements. However, the mycelium – the part beneath the ground – also has medicinal properties. Reishi supplements are marketed in the form of powdered extract and capsules. In China, this mushroom is known as Ling Zhi (1).

What are the primary active compounds of Reishi mushrooms?

Triterpenoids and polysaccharides are the active compounds responsible for the therapeutic properties of this fungus. The main triterpenoids are ganoderic and lucidenic acids, while the most important polysaccharides are the beta-glucans. We have summed up the properties of these active ingredients in the following table (1, 3):

Properties of triterpenoids Properties of polysaccharides
Antiallergic.
Hepatoprotective.
Anti-inflammatory.
Cholesterol-lowering.
Anti-tumor.
Antioxidant.
Antihypertensive.
Antithrombotic.
Antiviral.
Immunostimulant.
Anti-inflammatory.
Anti-tumor.
Prebiotic.
Antioxidant.
Glucose-lowering.

What are the health benefits of Reishi mushrooms?

In the section below, we will explain how their therapeutic properties can help improve your health, prevent illnesses, and contribute to the treatment of various pathologies. The most notable benefits of Ganoderma lucidum are:

  • They strengthen your immunity (immunostimulant): Reishi polysaccharides promote the proliferation of macrophages, natural killer cells, and B and T lymphocytes, among other immune cells. This helps your body defend itself against various pathogens (1, 4).
  • They inhibit tumor development (anti-tumor): Both triterpenoids and polysaccharides contribute to preventing tumor development by inducing apoptosis (death) of mutated cells and by preventing the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors (1, 3, 5).
  • They can be used to complement cancer treatment: In addition to boosting immunity, Reishi supplements may prevent the migration of cancer cells and angiogenesis (new blood vessels that allow a tumor to grow). As a result, the growth and invasiveness of a tumor could be reduced (6).
  • They are rich in antioxidants: Polysaccharides and triterpenoids exhibit antioxidant activity and help block free radicals, oxidant molecules that cause diseases (cardiac, metabolic, neurodegenerative, cancer) and aging (1, 7, 8).
  • They have anti-inflammatory properties: Decreasing inflammation is beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), gout, and arthritis. Their anti-inflammatory properties also contribute to preventing other pathologies, such as type II diabetes and atherosclerosis (9, 10).
  • They mitigate allergy symptoms (antihistamine): Reishi triterpenoids help relieve histamine-mediated allergic reactions. You can also use these supplements to combat allergic asthma (11, 12).
  • They act as hepatoprotectors: Ganoderma lucidum extract protects the liver from toxins such as carbon tetrachloride and ethanol (alcohol). In traditional Oriental medicine, Reishi is used to treat hepatitis and cirrhosis (1, 13).
  • They are natural prebiotics: Reishi’s beta-glucans are prebiotics that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Thanks to these prebiotic properties, Ganoderma lucidum helps regulate intestinal function and improves immunity (14).
  • They help limit viral activity: Reishi is a natural supplement that can inhibit the replication of certain viruses – including the herpes simplex virus (1 and 2), hepatitis B virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Triterpenoids are responsible for the antiviral properties of this fungus (1, 15).
  • Reishi mushrooms reduce blood cholesterol (hypocholesterolemic): The Ganoderma lucidum extract decreases total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood (14, 16).
  • They contribute to maintaining blood pressure within the standard range (antihypertensive): Reishi mushrooms can lower blood pressure thanks to the triterpenoids and peptides they contain (17).
  • They prevent the formation of blood clots (antithrombotic): A blood clot can lead to a heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, or stroke. Reishi prevents platelets from clumping together and forming these thrombi (18).
  • They decrease blood glucose levels (hypoglycemic): The polysaccharides in the Reishi fruiting body reduce blood glucose and may benefit individuals with diabetes (1).

Thanks to its prebiotic properties, Ganoderma lucidum helps regulate intestinal function and improves immunity.
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What types of Reishi supplements are there?

Because of its woody texture and powerful bitter taste, the Ganoderma lucidum isn’t consumed as food. Some people like to purchase dried Reishi slices to prepare infusions, but the active ingredients aren’t as concentrated. You can find supplements in the form of:

  • Powder: Triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptides of the fungus are concentrated to obtain a powdered extract. Sometimes, the Reishi mushroom is dried and ground to a very fine powder. It has a bitter taste and must be mixed with a liquid before consumption.
  • Capsules: Made of animal gelatin or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (plant cellulose), they contain powdered Reishi extract. Each capsule can provide between 300 and 500 milligrams of Ganoderma lucidum. Their taste is neutral.
 Reishi powder Reishi capsules
Consumption form You can mix it with a cold or hot beverage (water, juice, coffee, soup). You should swallow them with water.
Taste Bitter, intense Neutral
Recommended length of use 1 month 3 months
Recommended daily dosage 1 to 5 grams 1 to 3 units
Price per serving Between 0.30 and 0.70 CDN$ Between 0.25 and 0.65 CDN$

When are Reishi supplements helpful?

Healthy people can take these dietary products to boost their immunity. However, Reishi supplements can also complement the treatment of various conditions, provided that your physician allows you. They are helpful in case of:

  • Weakened immune system as a result of prolonged severe stress or illness;
  • Allergies;
  • Allergic asthma;
  • Metabolic syndrome – the co-occurrence of type II diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and dyslipidemias (high cholesterol, high triglycerides);
  • Herpes simplex virus, type 1 and 2;
  • Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis);
  • Inflammatory diseases: ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gout;
  • Chronic hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus.

Are Reishi mushrooms used to treat cancer?

The Ganoderma lucidum – or any other supplement, for that matter – cannot cure cancer. Reishi products can be a natural complement to the allopathic treatment of cancer because they boost immunity and, according to various studies, inhibit the growth and spread of tumors. In any case, your medical oncologist must prescribe Reishi for you to consume it (1, 5, 6).

What can Ganoderma lucidum offer to fight fibromyalgia?

The benefits of Reishi mushrooms for fibromyalgia have been investigated for years now. Many people who suffer from this condition and take Ganoderma lucidum have experienced reduced pain, improved sleep quality, and increased overall well-being. Experts believe that these effects may be the result of the adaptogenic properties of the fungus (10, 19).

Reishi mushrooms have numerous pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, immunostimulant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and antihistaminic effects.
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What are the side effects of Reishi?

Reishi capsules are safe for healthy adults, provided that they are consumed responsibly. This fungus can cause stomach discomfort, but it is a mild adverse effect that usually disappears once the body gets used to it. Cases of severe liver toxicity linked to the intake of Reishi powder extract were reported (20, 21).

Do Reishi mushrooms have contraindications?

Like most supplements, Reishi products have certain contraindications. Taking Ganoderma lucidum during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and childhood it is not recommended as no studies have confirmed its safety in these life stages. In addition, Reishi mushrooms are contraindicated in the following situations:

  • Consumption of immunosuppressant drugs. Reishi compounds may decrease the effectiveness of these treatments.
  • Intake of blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin. Ganoderma lucidum could increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Individuals who are about to undergo surgery, as Reishi can increase bleeding.
  • Consumption of antihypertensive drugs. The combination of Ganoderma lucidum with antihypertensive drugs could lower blood pressure below normal values.
  • Diabetic individuals who take oral glucose-lowering medication or insulin. The effect of the drug added to the hypoglycemic activity of Reishi mushrooms could lead to hypoglycemia (blood glucose levels below normal).

How can I consume Reishi responsibly?

You should never exceed the recommended daily dosage of Reishi (1 to 5 grams of powder and 1 to 3 capsules) or extend the consumption for a period of time longer than indicated by your physician or the manufacturer. This is particularly important in the case of Ganoderma lucidum powder supplements, as they can produce severe liver toxicity.

Ground Reishi and the powdered extract should not be taken for more than one month consecutively, while the capsules can be taken for up to three months. Reishi mushrooms are a short-term supplement used to improve a specific aspect of health or to help treat a condition.

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of TasmaniaIn Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for Cancer Treatment
“It remains uncertain whether G. lucidum helps prolong long-term cancer survival. However, G. lucidum could be administered as an alternative adjunct to conventional treatment in consideration of its potential of enhancing tumour response and stimulating host immunity.”

Buyer’s Guide

You now have all the information you need to consume Ganoderma lucidum supplements responsibly. In the final section of our article, we want to delve deeper into the key shopping criteria to take into account when you’re looking for the right Reishi product. They are your best tools to make a successful purchase.

Form of Presentation

Most people should opt for Reishi capsules rather than powder supplements for three main reasons. First of all, the capsules are generally safer for your health; in addition, their taste is almost neutral, and they are easy to ingest. The mushroom powder has a peculiar and bitter taste, is associated with more side effects, and must be mixed with a liquid before being consumed.

You should never exceed the recommended daily dosage of Reishi (1 to 5 grams of powder and 1 to 3 capsules).
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Added Ingredients

You may have noticed that many Reishi supplements are enriched with vitamin C and zinc, both of which are vital micronutrients for immune function. You can also find products with Ganoderma lucidum and acerola, the latter being an excellent natural source of vitamin C. In addition, Reishi mushrooms are often combined with shiitake and maitake mushrooms, creating a powerful prebiotic blend.

Allergens

While Reishi is recommended for treating allergies, this doesn’t mean that its supplements are always allergen-free. Any allergy-prone individual should make sure that the product is suitable for them by reading the ingredient list. Although Ganoderma lucidum is gluten-free, celiac individuals should look for the seal of approval that guarantees that the supplement doesn’t contain this allergen.

Organic Origin

It is essential that you purchase organic Reishi mushrooms to avoid jeopardizing your health. Ganoderma lucidum must be grown under strict conditions that guarantee that it is free of agrochemicals and, most importantly, that it isn’t contaminated with other fungi that can grow on its surface and be harmful to human health.

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Suitability for Vegan Diets

Vegan individuals can consume Reishi powder without any problem. However, the capsules are sometimes made from animal gelatin, in which case they are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (plant cellulose) is the material used to produce capsules suitable for vegans. Make sure the packaging clearly states that the product is vegan-friendly.

Summary

Reishi, or Ling Zhi, is a fungus that has been used for millennia in traditional Oriental medicine. Its taste is bitter and intense, which is why it is rarely used as a food. However, you can still take advantage of its medicinal properties thanks to the Reishi supplements available on the Canadian market.

The most important active elements of Reishi – triterpenoids and polysaccharides – are mostly found in the fruiting body (mushroom) of the fungus. Ganoderma lucidum helps to boost immunity, prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, mitigate allergic symptoms, lower blood pressure, and attenuate certain viral infections.

We hope that you found our shopping guide on Reishi mushrooms helpful and informative. We’d love to hear about the supplements you have chosen, so feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article with your friends and family on your social media!

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References (21)

1. Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell J, Benzie I. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), a Medicinal Mushroom [Internet]. En: Benzie I, Wachtel-Galor S. Herbal Medicine, Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2011.
Source

2. Ma et al. Triterpenoids from the spores of Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. North American Journal of Medical Sciences. 2011.
Source

3. Boh B, Berovic M, Zhang J, Zhi-Bin L. Ganoderma lucidum and its pharmaceutically active compounds [Internet]. 2007.
Source

4. Ye et al. Purification, NMR Study and Immunostimulating Property of a Fucogalactan from the Fruiting Bodies of Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. 2008.
Source

5. Sohretoglu D, Huang S. Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides as an anti-cancer agent [Internet]. 2018.
Source

6. Sliva D. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) in cancer treatment [Internet]. 2003.
Source

7. Zhu et al. Triterpene antioxidants from Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. 1999.
Source

8. Shi M, Zhang Z, Yang Y. Antioxidant and immunoregulatory activity of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) [Internet]. 2013.
Source

9. Wu Y et al. Triterpenoids from Ganoderma lucidum and Their Potential Anti-inflammatory Effects [Internet]. 2019.
Source

10. Pazzi F. Efectos del reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) en pacientes con fibromialgia [Internet]. 2016.
Source

11. Bhardwaj N, Katyal P, Sharma A. Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. 2014.
Source

12. Kang K, Youn H. Study on Anti-Allergic Effecst of Ganoderma lucidum Herbal Acupuncture and Ganoderma lucidum Extract [Internet]. 2007.
Source

13. Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes) on α-Amanitin-Induced Liver Injury in Mice [Internet].2016.
Source

14. Meneses M et al. Hypocholesterolemic Properties and Prebiotic Effects of Mexican Ganoderma lucidum in C57BL/6 Mice [Internet]. 2016.
Source

15. Gao Y et al. Antimicrobial Activity of the Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma [Internet]. 2007.
Source

16. Rahman M, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Evaluation of the Antioxidative and Hypo-cholesterolemic Effects of Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), in Ameliorating Cardiovascular Disease [Internet]. 2018.
Source

17. Ansor N, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Anti-angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) proteins from mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) [Internet]. 2013.
Source

18. Tao J, Feng K. Experimental and clinical studies on inhibitory effect of ganoderma lucidum on platelet aggregation [Internet]. 1990.
Source

19. Pazzi F, Fraile R. Effects of Ganoderma Lucidum on Pain in Women with Fibromyalgia [Internet]. 2017.
Source

20. Wicks S et al. Safety and Tolerability of Ganoderma lucidum in Healthy Subjects: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial [Internet]. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2007.
Source

21. Wanmuang H et al. Fatal Fulminant Hepatitis Associated with Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) Mushroom Powder [Internet]. 2007.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Scientific article
Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell J, Benzie I. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), a Medicinal Mushroom [Internet]. En: Benzie I, Wachtel-Galor S. Herbal Medicine, Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2011.
Go to source
Scientific article
Ma et al. Triterpenoids from the spores of Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. North American Journal of Medical Sciences. 2011.
Go to source
Scientific article
Boh B, Berovic M, Zhang J, Zhi-Bin L. Ganoderma lucidum and its pharmaceutically active compounds [Internet]. 2007.
Go to source
Informative article
Ye et al. Purification, NMR Study and Immunostimulating Property of a Fucogalactan from the Fruiting Bodies of Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. 2008.
Go to source
Scientific article
Sohretoglu D, Huang S. Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides as an anti-cancer agent [Internet]. 2018.
Go to source
Scientific article
Sliva D. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) in cancer treatment [Internet]. 2003.
Go to source
Informative article
Zhu et al. Triterpene antioxidants from Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. 1999.
Go to source
Scientific article
Shi M, Zhang Z, Yang Y. Antioxidant and immunoregulatory activity of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) [Internet]. 2013.
Go to source
Scientific article
Wu Y et al. Triterpenoids from Ganoderma lucidum and Their Potential Anti-inflammatory Effects [Internet]. 2019.
Go to source
Scientific article
Pazzi F. Efectos del reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) en pacientes con fibromialgia [Internet]. 2016.
Go to source
Scientific article
Bhardwaj N, Katyal P, Sharma A. Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum [Internet]. 2014.
Go to source
Scientific article
Kang K, Youn H. Study on Anti-Allergic Effecst of Ganoderma lucidum Herbal Acupuncture and Ganoderma lucidum Extract [Internet]. 2007.
Go to source
Scientific article
Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes) on α-Amanitin-Induced Liver Injury in Mice [Internet].2016.
Go to source
Scientific article
Meneses M et al. Hypocholesterolemic Properties and Prebiotic Effects of Mexican Ganoderma lucidum in C57BL/6 Mice [Internet]. 2016.
Go to source
Artículo informativo
Gao Y et al. Antimicrobial Activity of the Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma [Internet]. 2007.
Go to source
Scientific article
Rahman M, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Evaluation of the Antioxidative and Hypo-cholesterolemic Effects of Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), in Ameliorating Cardiovascular Disease [Internet]. 2018.
Go to source
Artículo informativo
Ansor N, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Anti-angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) proteins from mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) [Internet]. 2013.
Go to source
Scientific article
Tao J, Feng K. Experimental and clinical studies on inhibitory effect of ganoderma lucidum on platelet aggregation [Internet]. 1990.
Go to source
Scientific article
Pazzi F, Fraile R. Effects of Ganoderma Lucidum on Pain in Women with Fibromyalgia [Internet]. 2017.
Go to source
Scientific article
Wicks S et al. Safety and Tolerability of Ganoderma lucidum in Healthy Subjects: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial [Internet]. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2007.
Go to source
Scientific article
Wanmuang H et al. Fatal Fulminant Hepatitis Associated with Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) Mushroom Powder [Internet]. 2007.
Go to source
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