• Here's why Vitamin D is important for women

    Here's why Vitamin D is important for women
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    The only vitamin produced by the human body through exposure to sunlight, vitamin D, is widely accepted as not only essential for general bone health but also overall immunity.

    Researchers have reported its benefit in managing most lifestyle ailments and avoiding acute illnesses. The "sunshine vitamin" has, in the last few years seen a high degree of focus in terms of its mention in numerous articles and research publications.

    Women especially are at a greater risk of being exposed to bone health related issues, which could be well tackled by ensuring healthy levels of vitamin D. Also importantly a mother's healthy level of vitamin D during and post pregnancy ensures that the child gets a healthy start in life.

    Vitamin D, not just plays a pivotal role in managing bone health but also offers a plethora of benefits in managing women health. The immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. According to a recent study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women with adequate levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to combat depression. Normal levels of this vitamin helps lose excess weight faster and maintain body weight more easily. Vitamin D is found in cells throughout the body. Vitamin D in effect activates your body cells to function better and optimally. It also helps prevent cancer, stabilizes fertility issues and helps combat stress-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart ailments more easily.

    Although regular exposure to sunlight is supposed to take care of one's vitamin D requirements, numerous studies have established that most countries, irrespective of geographical locations and climatic conditions, have a high % of their population being vitamin D deficient. More specifically in India, though being a country having ample amount of sunlight, a recently published study has found that 7 out of 10 women are vitamin D deficient. The general belief among health experts is that this pandemic deficiency is one of the most under - diagnosed and under-treated nutritional deficiency and needs to be addressed. In-fact a few countries have it as a national policy to fortify the entire milk manufactured in the country with vitamin D.


    Most experts advise that everybody should take out some time to step out into the sunlight for their regular dose of vitamin D. Many believe that maintaining healthy eating habits is enough, but only few foods naturally contain significant levels of vitamin D. In order to get adequate levels of vitamin D through diet alone, some academicians suggest two servings of fatty fish like salmon or mackerel would have to be consumed every day. Sociocultural taboos, many a times dictate lifestyle patterns such as clothing—that may limit sun exposure and vegetarianism—which certainly limits vitamin D rich dietary options. Nowadays a number of other options like dietary and Nutraceutical supplements are available in the market to help one get their required Vitamin D. It is strongly advised that one should consult their doctor to get their vitamin D levels regularly checked and follow the prescribed course of action. Read more here:princess prom dresses

  • First person: My battle with cancer

    First person: My battle with cancer
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    Dilshad Master isn't comfortable talking on cell phones. She requests we switch our conversation to her office landline. It's one of several precautions the 48-year-old incorporated into her lifestyle after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2012.

    "I had felt a lump eight months before the diagnosis. I ignored it. It's what makes me want to talk about it now," says Master, who was surprised at her own complacency, given a family history of breast cancer. Both, her maternal and paternal aunts, and her paternal grandmother were diagnosed with it.

    Master was pushed to get a checkup by a friend. She underwent a mammography followed by an ultrasound, before she was asked to go in for an FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology), a common diagnostic procedure used to investigate lumps under the skin. The report suggested that the lumps could be malignant. A surgery at a Delhi hospital in March 2012 and biopsy reports confirmed it. It was hardly the end. When a doctor relative wondered why the sentinel lymph node -the first node in a group of nodes where cancer cells may move to after they have left the original cancer site and started to spread -hasn't been removed, she went back to her oncologist. "He said he couldn't find it," says Master.

    That same month, a second surgery under Dr Rajan Badwe of Parel's Tata Memorial Hospital targeted the lymph nodes that are considered a crucial part of the immune system, helping the body recognise germs, infections and any foreign substance. "I was lucky the tumour was a grade I. At the time, I was caring for my nine-month-old daughter," she recalls. Master, who had stopped breast feeding her daughter by then, says, "In retrospect, it was better she was little; nine months instead of say, a three-year-old child. There weren't any questions."

    But there were other challenges."I couldn't lift anything heavier than five kilos. Don't lift your baby, they said. But I didn't care," she adds.

    Although she was spared chemotherapy, Master underwent 31 sessions of radiotherapy. "After about three weeks, my skin had burnt. All I could wear was mul. Hugging or kissing the baby wasn't an option," she remembers.In addition to loss of appetite and weight loss, the radiotherapy also began telling on her mental health."I was in a hell-hole of my own," says Master, who, has since quit her job as COO of a top production studio and heads operations and business development at her husband's adventure travel firm.

    To get a grip back on nutrition after losing eight kilos, Master consulted dietician Anju Venkat whose raw food no-dairy menu, she says she owes her radiating complexion and strength to. "Very simply, it gave me the energy to get back to work."

    Her biggest takeaway -besides not ignoring symptoms and family history -is to research well. Both, the disease and doctor.

    "Understand what the treatment entails. And look up your doctor. I blindly consulted my first, who did a bad job." Asking relatives and friends for recommendations is always a good idea.

    Master also took the tricky decision to undergo a hysterectomy. One of the medicines she was prescribed for the cancer came with a two per cent chance of causing ovarian can cer. "I have a family and a young daughter. It wasn't a chance I was willing to take," she says. The surgery was a laproscopic one, and within two weeks of the procedure, she was trekking to Everest Base Camp.

    Follow ups are indispensable, Master stresses, and suggests that patients with kids share information about their condition judiciously.

    1 IN 22 WILL GET IT

    Dr C Koppiker, consultant oncoplasty surgeon at Khar's Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, says one lakh Indian women are diagnosed with breast cancer eve ry year. In urban pockets, 1 in every 22 women is likely to suffer the disease.


    Lifestyle choices -childbirth after 30, weight 40 per cent in excess to ideal weight, use of oral contraceptives and hormonal therapy -are all important factors that make urban women vulnerable to breast cancer. He advises all women to undergo an annual mammography after 35. "If you have a family history, do your first mammo gram 10 years before the age at which your relative was diagnosed. Early diagnosis can help save the breast," he suggests. Read more here:long prom dresses

  • Shabana Azmi walks to Javed Akhtar's couplets

    Shabana Azmi walks to Javed Akhtar's couplets
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    The ever-so-graceful Shabana Azmi glided down the ramp to an audio of her husband Javed Akhtar reciting couplets from a poem at the Lakme Fashion Week summer-resort 2015 on Sunday.

    The veteran actress took to the ramp looking elegant in a glittering red sari with a turquoise blue blouse -- a creation by actress-designer Mandira Bedi, who added her distinct sartorial touches to India's traditional six-yard wonder.

    Zeroing on the Banaras sari, woven in Varanasi, Mandira fused the ancient weaves with modern designs.

    She opened the show with a white and pink border, silk sari with a giant flower applique on the pallu. What followed were saris with luxurious gold, yellow, pink, magenta, orange assorted silk and brocade borders that appeared horizontally on the sari.

    Two-toned versions with solid and brocade mix were another alternative. Multi-borders appeared on net, while the tulle segment looked glamorous with varying applique options.

    Apart from Mandira, the opening show also witnessed Aartivijay Gupta's line that took its inspiration from the art of mosaic glass.

    Her story of mosaic art revolved around nature, with images of parrots, fish, birds, houses, trees and peacocks prancing on her basic silhouettes. The designer showcased five key looks that were utterly feminine with stylish mass appeal. The sheath dress emblazoned with a parrot mosaic, skirt and tee, cape tops with pencil skirts, A-line dresses and the glass organza maxi with gold nakshi work, turned out to be winners.

    Another designer Kunal Anil Tanna's line was inspired by Japanese culture. Based on traditional Japanese festivals when the plum and cherry blossoms come to life, Tanna used the techniques from that country for the tie and dye effects for airy summer voiles and textured cottons.


    Actor Rajkummar Rao turned up as showstopper for Tanna, and he flaunted a suit in varying shades and textures of maroon. Read more here:prom dresses 2015