Supplements: Friend's Recommendation Proved to be a Disaster

ritaweeda

I've had problems sleeping for years. When I mentioned this to a friend she was so concerned about how it might be affecting my overall health and suggested taking magnesium supplements. She's big on taking all types of supplements for different things and some have proven to be a God-send for me and others not so much. I looked online before getting some to see if she was right about lack of sleep being due to a possible magnesium deficiency and it is listed on several sights. Anyway, I had a pretty volatile reaction to the magnesium the next day - maybe TMI but I was house-bound to be polite. So I cut the dose in half to see if that would work - no, same thing the next day. I stopped taking it. So what I am wondering is, am I one of the few or does everyone who takes it have the same problem and if so, why would they want to continue? I know there are some who would say that a person is stupid for not checking with the Doctor first on taking supplements and maybe they are right. Then there are others like my friend who think the medical profession is too rigid and critical of taking supplements rather than being prescribed dangerous drugs. Being housebound might not be dangerous, but it sure is inconvenient in my opinion. I realize that I may be just one of the worse-case scenarios concerning bad effects, I've had rare bad side effects from prescribed drugs in the past and when I mentioned them to the Doctor it was ignored and I was told I was imagining it and that infuriates me when that happens.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

I thought I remembered diarrhea and vomiting as symptoms of overdose. They are. Is that what you're talking about?


https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/magnesium-overdose-whats-the-likelihood#risk-factors

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aok27502

I've done some reading on a magnesium recently, to see if it might help my husband with his sleep. There are different formulations magnesium, I believe magnesium oxide is the one that causes intestinal distress. It is also the most commonly available. I don't remember the technical names of the other varieties but you might want to look at a different formula.

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arkansas girl

Magnesium is used to stay "regular" by some. You have to take the right kind of magnesium. I'm not an expert on which magnesium you need but magnesium oxide or citrate will make you have to use the bathroom. You know those little bottles of magnesium they sell that are a laxative?

There is a magnesium that is not supposed to cause this but I can't remember which type, I'd have to research it.
the laxative bottled kind

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ratherbesewing

How much magnesium did you take?

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arkansas girl

This is what one article said: "Magnesium glycinate for sleep,Magnesium glycinate is one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium
capsules you can take. It's a good choice if you want to raise your
levels quickly, and it's especially a good choice if you get disaster
pants
with other forms."

"Disaster pants"? That's one way to put it...LMAO!

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arcy_gw

DD#2 is a Research Scientist. My new daughter in law are often comparing notes on the latest trend supplement. DD gave us both this book: Do You Believe in Magic? vitamins, supplements, and all things natural: A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN. by Paul A. Offit

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Michele

Hi Rita. I hope you feel better soon. Since my early twenties I’ve always tried to heal using traditional remedies. I’ve found it works best for me and my family. It’s not for everyone.

I find that vitamins and supplements are a bit more complicated.

Your body chemistry may not have needed additional magnesium and your body let you know it!

I never advise people on what to do without being asked to. I only know myself and my family and sometimes we seek help.

Sleep issues are caused by so many different things. Allergies, diet, light, anxiety (that’s a biggie). Etc. I think you need to figure that out first.

Good luck with it.

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Bluebell66

I take 425mg magnesium glycinate before bed and it helps me sleep. I have not experienced disaster pants. ;)

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Annie Deighnaugh

The old adage is true: one man's cure is another man's poison.

Just because it's OTC doesn't mean it won't have side effects. If you're doing supplements, you have to be willing to experiment to see what works and what doesn't work for you.

Mom suffered with insomnia (as do I) and things that were supposed to be helpful but benign like melatonin caused her issues. So it all depends on what your body needs and how it reacts.

I will take a benadryl if I'm really desperate, but after the warnings about increasing risks of dementia, I try to avoid it.

I have tried eyeshades at night and they do seem to help as darkness is really key for good sleep...and the good news with them is no side effects.

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georgysmom2

My doctor recommended magnesium and I watched a video from the leading authority on the subject, Dr. Carolyn Dean. She has done large studies and claims that most people are lacking in magnesium. She, herself has the same reaction you had......and Rob is right If you are having a reaction, you're taking too much. You can get a magnesium oil that you rub on your arms, but I find the supplements easier to remember. I had the same reaction with recommended dose of two a day but am fine taking one a day.

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sushipup1

With no knowledge of this supplement, I'll point out two things to consider. One, a single day's use may or may not be the cause of your reaction. Perhaps something else caused your problem. And two, many things require a tolerance build-up in most people.

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nicole___

We also tried magnesium glycinate. It doesn't do "anything" that we've experienced. It's not helpful for sleep, that either of us has experienced.

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graywings123

Don't give up on the magnesium. Do some more research and try another version of it.

This kind of thing happens. I have been trying to find a good source of turmeric to take, and my sister sent me research that showed that the combination of turmeric and the herb fenugreek was shown to be more bioavailable to the brain as compared to other versions of turmeric. Unfortunately my body didn't react well to the fenugreek and I had disaster pants - I love that term. But more unfortunately, I didn't connect the supplement with the disaster pants for over a month! (Great weight lose starter if anyone is interested.)

As for checking with the doctor, in all the time doctors have recommended taking calcium for bone health, they never gone beyond that casual recommendation. I had to research it myself to find out the best type of calcium (hydroxyapatite) and to also take other supplements like magnesium and K2. My experience is that you cannot rely solely on doctors for medical advice.

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Feathers11

I use the spray magnesium oil and keep it by my bedside. My problem isn't falling asleep... it's staying asleep. I keep lavender essential oil on my nightstand to help me fall back asleep.

Graywings, I took tumeric for chronic pain a few years ago and it worked better than prescription pain meds. I no longer have the chronic pain (fortunately), but I still take tumeric for other issues. I just buy the regular spice and add it to my food (eggs, soup, etc.) every day. Taking it with black pepper is supposed to make it more bioavailable. But I don't take a lot of it--just a "culinary dose" in my food. It's cheaper than capsules and seems to work just as well.

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Lukki Irish

The reason a lot of the medical professionals are so against supplements is because they aren’t regulated. When you buy something from the internet or even from the shelf, how do you know you are purchasing the exact one that you need, that the ingredients are pure and not contaminated in someway or that the dose and ingredients described are accurate? Also as many have pointed out, there can be several variations of the same supplement. Even something at simple as Calcium has several different compounds and each one can influence the way it will be absorbed into the body. Those differences can make a huge difference in how much one would need for it to be effective, this I know from personal experience. At the very least, before you take a supplement, you should have bloodwork done to confirm you actually need a supplement or that the symptoms you’re experiencing aren’t for something else. Before you purchase a specific brand of supplement, you should try to research the manufacturer so you know who you are buying from and the ways that supplement can be compounded.

My DH’s physician is an Internal Medicine doctor who also promotes holistic care for his patients via nutrition and supplements. He’s studied them for years and both he and his wife, who is also an physician use the supplement brands they recommend. His recommendations have helped my husband through the years, so supplements aren’t a bad idea, you just need the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing to ensure you’re choosing wisely.

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maifleur01

This is what I meant when I mentioned digestive upsets in the other threads that have mentioned taking magnesium for sleep or leg cramps. I am so sorry that anyone goes through this but at least now you are aware of it. It may or may not be an overdose or simply your body does not tolerate it. The overdose may happen if you are already taking supplements or multiple vitamins. Not something I would wish metaphorically on anyone although I have wondered if the people who say they have food poisoning from eating out may have eaten food high in magnesium.

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Elmer J Fudd

lukki, I agree with most of what you said. When a physician suggests taking a particular "supplement", it's usually one vitamin or mineral because of a detected issue or, as you say, something shown in blood tests. Rarely or never will a physician prescribe the kinds of cockamamie herbs, extracts, or other things so many people self-diagnose themselves to take and often take in excess amounts. In ignorance, without knowing what they're doing.

Not only are supplements not regulated, they're also not tested to the same standard as mainstream medicines. When analyses are done, the findings are often that not only is the promoted substance not in the pill or capsule as represented, but other things not listed on the label may be found. The prevailing knowledge for most of the garbage people take is "beneficial outcomes have not been demonstrated". But, people taking such stuff think they know better.

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DawnInCal

I was taking magnesium supplements for a while to boost bone health, but it gave me horrible hot flashes. I was hot all the time. Hubby takes it and has absolutely no side affects. Neither of us suffered intestinal upsets from magnesium; everyone is different in how they react to things.

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Raye Smith

You could also have a relaxing soak in Epson Salts to raise your Mag levels and help you sleep.

Lukki - unfortunately your first paragraph about poor quality meds applies to prescription meds also. For several years I was prescribed a well know and widely prescribed hormone. Every bottle was different in strength (and didn't help with symptoms) and the FDA was well aware of the problem, there have published letters stating this problem. Fortunately I found a natural, safe and reliable OTC supplement that works to replace the prescribed med that wasn't treating the issue. It's wonderful that you have a good holistic physician but unfortunately many of us don't have that option.

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patriciae_gw

Supplements are completely unregulated so of course companies are going to take advantage of that. It is typical for the supplement to not actually contain the desired supplement. That is a sad state of affairs here and why don't we insist that things we put in our bodies are real and safe?

DH thought magnesium would have a positive effect on my neuropathy. We asked my Dr what he thought of course and he said give it a try but don't expect much. My much was DP's so I passed it on to DH who it usefully loosens up. I don't know which version it was. He did the research but is thorough. I will pass this info on though.

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Feathers11

Yes, unfortunately, I've become skeptical of the medical community, too. Herbs and supplements aren't regulated and come with their own detriments, of course. But I believe the pharmaceutical industry and the physicians who prescribe them to be every bit, if not more, suspect. We too often blindly believe what we are told just because our doctors said so, and because "research" has been conducted.

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always1stepbehind

Last few days "magnesium" has been popping up, internet, tv. But now that I've read about "disaster pants" LOL I better be cautious...

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Elmer J Fudd

"We too often blindly believe what we are told just because our doctors said so, and because "research" has been conducted."

It takes years of governmentally supervised testing to prove the safety and efficacy of new medicines. It's the system used worldwide and the best approach the experts can suggest be followed. If there were a better way, don't you think something else would be done? Nothing's perfect, but if you have the choice between something tested and approved with its manufacturing supervised, or something off the wall and unregulated (and proven to be unreliable) that some huckster is promoting for financial purposes, which do you think is the better choice?

Paul Offit, the author of the book cited by arcy, is a world class researcher and practitioner. He is a leading voice against the vaccine deniers and their nonsense. Take a look at his book, he doesn't personally profit from his opinions. See what you think after that.


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Michele

My views on the subject developed because of the life I have lived and my experiences. Just like everybody else. That is why I don’t play expert and advise anyone unless they specifically ask.

This has worked well for me and my family. That doesn’t mean we don’t get sick. We just try other, less drastic remedies first. If you can manage in these hectic times to eat right, exercise and get a decent amount of sleep that’s a good start.



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chessey35

My doctor recommended melatonin for sleep issues - seems to work fairly well.

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graywings123

Those cockamamie herbs, extracts, or other things are very often the source of the world's best medicines.

History of aspirin: The word "aspirin" wasn't a coincidence. It comes from Spiraea, a biological genus of shrubs that includes natural sources of the drug's key ingredient: salicylic acid. This acid, resembling what's in modern-day aspirin, can be found in jasmine, beans, peas, clover and certain grasses and trees.



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Elmer J Fudd

"Those cockamamie herbs, extracts, or other things are very often the source of the world's best medicines."

Not the ones sold as supplements or in "health food" stores. Those are too often not even what the label says.

There's been a lot of research and testing FOR DECADES concerning traditional and ancient medicinal uses of various plants. If someone has overlooked something, are you seriously suggesting those undiscovered wonder drugs are sitting in bottles on the shelves at CVS, Costco, or are available from Amazon?

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Lukki Irish

Raye, Instead of looking for a just a holistic doctor, try doing a search for doctors who practice Integrative or Functional Medicine. There’s also Naturopathy, but people who practice this are usually not licensed physicians where as those who practice Integrative and Functional medicine are. I found this little article on a clinic site that can help anyone who’s interested have a better understanding.

http://southwestfunctionalmedicine.com/functional-integrative-holistic-naturopathy/

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Lukki Irish

Graywings, according to our physician, you are correct. My favorite examples of natural medicines are garlic as a natural antibiotic and Triphala which is a natural laxitive my DH was advised to use (which is in some OTC medicines too) . The medications he takes are strong and can really mess up one’s system; the doctor suggested Triphala as a more natural way to help keep it in check. We buy the brand our doctor recommended directly from the manufacturer website and it’s worked perfectly for him for years.

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daisychain01

I found this chart very helpful. Magnesium has helped me with both migraines and sleeping.


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Raye Smith

Thanks Lukki, unfortunately there's a combination of my insurance only carrying physicians from a few practices and that very few physicians under the plan (and even outside) accept new patients. I had the experience of needing a specialist and none of the ones on the plan took new patients. This is a major multi-state well-known insurance company through a mid-sized employer.

It would be nice to see more holistic doctors come in to replace the older physicians here since this is a growing town but I won't hold my breath : )

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graywings123

daiseychain,that's a handy chart - I can never remember the differences in magnesium when shopping.


Do you have a chart like that for iron? I have a friend whose doctor told her to take iron supplements, but she is having a hard time finding one that works for her.

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Elmer J Fudd

"There’s also Naturopathy, but people who practice this are usually not licensed physicians where as those who practice Integrative and Functional medicine are. I found this little article on a clinic site that can help anyone who’s interested have a better understanding."

Naturopaths are quacks in my opinion. In the limited number of states where they're permitted to work, there are strict restrictions on what they can say and do. Including, no telling patients to discontinue taking prescriptions from a medical doctor and telling every patient they should have a physician and that they themselves are not licensed to practice medicine.

I followed your link to the doc in Las Vegas. His website was curious because most docs who have them (and most don't other than those in a group who may have a one page bio) usually list their educational background. This guy's site is extensive but his background is missing.

I don't know what others like to do, but I try to pick docs whose backgrounds show top drawer credentials - the better medical schools, better residencies, etc. Well, with just a bit of looking on other site, I found that this Las Vegas guy went to a Caribbean medical school. There are a half dozen of them, it's where US students go whose grades and test scores are too low to get in to US medical or osteopathic schools. The main entrance requirement is mostly "are you able to pay tuition?" This guy is bottom drawer all the way, choose whose advice you like best.



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Elmer J Fudd

"I found this chart very helpful."

Medical advice from one woman's cooking site? Really?

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joyfulguy

Some folks (even cooks)'re dizzier'n others, maybe.

o j

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Lukki Irish

The only thing I was interested in was that he explained those types of practices in a way that was easy to follow... I could care less about the doctor or his clinic.


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Lukki Irish

You’re welcome Raye, at least you have the information for future reference. It wouldn’t surprise me if at some point the insurance companies network will be able to offer it because the demand for holistic oriented care is growing and I think that’s a good thing.

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Elmer J Fudd

What I was pointing out was that those pursuing this type of practice, flashy marketing material with generic, unproven claims (bordering on unprofessional and trying to appeal to people's emotions rather than their brains) are not the medical profession's best and brightest. It's not objective, tested medicine. Wouldn't you love some objective detail about how he treats his son's autism from what he learned not in a research institution but in a clinical practice in Las Vegas? The red flags are all over to see.

There are plenty of other sources of faith-based bogus "medicine", including orgs that provide religious services under the same roof.

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Feathers11

I've experienced more quacks and cockamamie advice from conventional physicians, than I have from those trained in naturopath and complementary medicine. We forget that what we now deem as "alternative" medicine stems from thousands of years of experience (Ayurvedic, traditional Chinese, etc.) vs. our Western medicine that's recent, subjective, and tainted by corporate intervention. Talk about "unprofessional"... Keep drinking that pharmaceutical kool-aid.

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Debby

Magnesium Glycinate (sp?) is best for tummies. I work in a drugstore, yet we only carry one brand of this magnesium. It's very expensive. You can also drink a glass of Calm before bed. I take the pills, one a day when I need it. I know I need it when my legs charlie horse like a ****** ******. ;)

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Elmer J Fudd

"I've experienced more quacks and cockamamie advice from conventional physicians, than I have from those trained in naturopath and complementary medicine. "

That's unfortunate. If true, you've been most unlucky and need to find better physicians to deal with.

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kgc6058

A better option may be to work with a Registered Dietitian on which supplements to take. Dietitians are in a very specialized field of study and understand how to recommend reputable, effective, and safer supplements. In addition, for the PP who mentioned turmeric, this is one that there are challenges with abosption. Forms that are hydro-soluble absorb better.

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graywings123

I didn't know turmeric was water soluble.

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ci_lantro

I take magnesium glycinate. No 'disaster pants', LOL!


I started taking it because I was having cramps in my feet. The magnesium fixed that. I take 300 mg daily just before bed. Tried cutting back to 200 mg but the cramping returned. Went back to 300 mg and no more foot cramps.

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maifleur01

Turmeric is not water soluble. It is a root that when dried can form a powder but unless it is processed in some manner which would remove the soluble portion from the root there would still be powdered root. The soluble portion can be sold but it should be labeled differently. I have seen turmeric extract listed which is fine at least that is honest.

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Sooz

I tried Doctor's Best Chelated high absorption Magnesium--yup, couldn't leave the house. Then I tried half a pill, then I tried half a pill with food, before food, after food, etc, ... same results.

Now I use Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray -- 6 squirts a day and I rub it into my skin. It's transdermal and bypasses the gut completely.

If you want to know your magnesium levels, you may have to go to a special lab and ask for the Exatest (most MDs are unfamiliar with this and use the generic Mg level test that their labs do, the Exatest is more accurate and specific).

You might also want to try Waller Water and make a dilute form, which is something you can make at home and if you drink it over a day, it's not likely to cause you issues and it will be better absorbed. You can Google this. HTH.



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whatsayyou18

I second the oil spray as another option. It caused a minor skin reaction for me so I switched to the capsules. If for any reason the capsules didn't work, I'd return to the spray as magnesium does wonders for my quality of sleep.

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kgc6058

Turmeric is not naturally water-soluble, but supplement forms can be made to improve this absorption. Here is some research: https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2018/04/06/Better-bioavailability-Novel-curcumin-formulation-could-overcome-absorption-issues

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maifleur01

While some doctors may not be familiar with tests for Magnesium levels most labs are. All the doctor needs to do is request your blood to be tested for it. No need for you to find a "special" lab. For those who ask for and keep lab results you may find that you are already being tested for it. It should be listed in the area where Sodium and Calcium are shown.

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ci_lantro

Sooz, I take that exact same magnesium--the Doctor's Best. No problems. I take 3 tablets at bedtime. I ordered some of the Ancient Minerals Magnesium spray for DH to try for sciatic pain. Just got it today so don't know if it will help him.

I was taking magnesium glycinate from Piping Rock before I got the Doctor's Best and didn't have any problems with it either.

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RNmomof2 zone 5

I am currently being treated for Breast Cancer and have had bad "disaster pants" since starting chemo. That in itself has caused my potassium and magnesium to be low. I have been able to raise my potassium by diet alone. Thankfully it was cantaloupe season and I like baked potatoes, both better sources than bananas of potassium.

My oncologist had me on 6 Mag Oxide tabs per day. It was hard to ge this number down without stomach issues. I saw this, did some other research, and started mag glycinate last Thursday.

Today I had labs done before my treatment. For the first time since I started all of this, my mag was normal. Okay just barely at 1.6 but I did not require an infusion of Mag and my stomach has been happier.

My Oncologist was pleased to hear what I was doing and even happier at my lab value.

Magnesium levels are not part of a normal lab panel. Most people have heard of a BMP or CMP (basic or complete metabolic panel), Magnesium is not included in these. The lab does not need to be a "send out" or go anywhere special it just needs to be ordered.

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