Hot in Market: What are BB Creams, Are They Any Good?

Hot in Market: What are BB Creams, Are They Any Good?

Gone are those days when looking good relied heavily on eating right and following a healthy lifestyle. Today, it is all about accentuating your beauty with the help of makeup. Dab a bit of concealer, even it out with face powder, apply some mascara, kohl, liner and a bright lipstick, and you’re good to go – flawless and bound to impress. As much as we know that there’s nothing like natural beauty, for many of us, wearing makeup everyday has become almost like a ritual. Blame it on the times we live in with growing pollution levels and stress that they take a toll on our skin, making cosmetic and dermatological care imperative. Even if you are blessed with a good skin that is well hydrated, sometimes it is not enough. When it comes to attending important events or your best friend’s wedding, most of us like to resort to makeup artists to look our best by all means possible.

The basic make-up kit of most women contains multiple cosmetic products like primer, foundation, concealer, eye liner, eye shadow, blush, lipsticks, lip gloss, etc. Aren’t these our best friends? And let’s not forget the moisturizer and sun-protection cream, which are must-haves and recommended by dermatologists too. But, what if there was a magic product that was enough, and we didn’t have to source multiple beauty products? Doesn’t it sound like every woman’s dream come true? Well, introducing BB cream. This beauty product is deemed to be that magic potion by cosmetic companies.

bb cream skin

What is a BB cream?


Also known as Beauty Balm and Blemish Balm, BB cream was first formulated in 1960s by a dermatologist named Dr. Christine Schrammek in Germany. It aims at providing your skin with a one-time absolute beauty-cum-cosmetic treatment. It is a multipurpose beauty product that has properties of a moisturizer, sunblock and can also cover up for foundation, primer and concealer. Many variants also claim to reduce acne-spots and blemishes on a temporary basis as well as having anti-pigmentation and anti-ageing properties.


“The idea of a well-formulated BB cream is that it’s the only product you’ll need after you wash your face,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist at Englewood Lab in New Jersey, as quoted in an article on WebMD


The Efficacy: Expert Speak


According to Roopali Agarwal, a Delhi-based makeup artist, BB creams can be a viable, casual everyday option for most women. However one should always be watchful of how one uses it. “If you are in hurry and rushing to work or a small get-together, BB cream can be your rescuer. Always keep in mind that you must let the cream settle down. Apply and wait for at least 20 minutes before you go out.”

clean and clear skin

According to Jessica Wu, MD, a California-based dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face: Younger, Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days, “The average woman in Asia goes through seven different steps taking care of her skin. When I was in Hong Kong, every woman I spoke to was using a BB cream to shorten that regimen,” she was quoted on WebMD.


“BB creams are a higher version of tinted moisturizer, of course these can be used on a daily basis but can’t replace the efficacy of the regime of moisturizing, sun-blocking or a complete makeup,” adds Roopali.


When I tried one of the most popular BB creams in the market, I instantly felt an artificial coating on my face. I could smell a mix of foundation and sunscreen and also noticed my skin tone turning a bit darker. “What do you expect when you mix so many products in one? A moisturizer is supposed to nourish your skin, hydrate it, and seep deep into your skin. A sunscreen is supposed to be a protective coating on your skin. In the case of BB creams, you have multiple products seeping in to your skin, when most of them shouldn’t,” explains Roopali.

concealer creams

What Else to Keep in Mind?


– BB cream is a “convenient product” and excellent “time savers”.


– It contains multiple ingredients that can often react with your skin, in hot environment or when exposed to sun or strong light, making your skin look grey and dull.


– You should always give your cosmetics time to rest. Always remember that you are applying your product in a cooler environment and just before you head out of the home, make sure the product has set-in properly.


– United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) doesn’t allow cosmetic products to combine certain ingredients in a single product, for example mixing anti-acne ingredient with sunblock.


“BB creams can be used, after all these were especially and primarily formulated for the Asian market but in my opinion nothing can replace a well-rounded beauty regime. Moisturize your skin right after taking shower, wait for 15 minutes and apply sunblock after which you can dab a bit of foundation, some blush and a basic lipstick. I feel a good foundation and a nice lipstick is all you need along with proper skin care and sun protection. For those who don’t have the time and patience of the same, BB cream is certainly a viable option,” concludes Roopali.


However, “If you have skin care issues that you’re addressing with a targeted treatment product, you can’t expect to get the same results by replacing that with a BB cream,” noted Ni’Kita Wilson.

Eating Disorder in Women: Why the Husband's Good Looks Could be a Problem

Eating disorders are not uncommon in the modern world today. They could stem from a lot of issues without us even realising it. According to a new study done by Florida State University, eating disorder in women could result from dissatisfaction with life or inferiority complex, where they think that their husbands are more attractive than them.

The research showed that wives who crash-diet to slim down are often driven to do so because they felt that their husbands are better looking than them. The finding indicated that women’s risk of developing more extreme weight loss behaviours is linked to other forms of psychological distress – depression, anxiety, substance abuse and dissatisfaction with life.They also found that men were rarely motivated to do the same, regardless of how attractive they considered their wives to be.


Lead author Tania Reynolds said that if they understand how women’s relationships affect their decision to diet and the social predictors for developing unhealthy eating behaviours, then they will be better able to help them.”One way to help these women is for partners to be very reaffirming, reminding them that they are beautiful and loved at any weight or body type,” Reynolds added.

Eating Disorder in Women: Why the Husband's Good Looks Could be a Problem

The researchers explained that understanding the predictors that increase a woman’s risk of developing eating disorders and other health problems could lead to earlier assistance.


The team examined 113 newlywed couples – married less than four months with average age of late 20s and living in the Dallas area – who agreed to be rated on their attractiveness. Each participant completed a lengthy questionnaire focusing in part on their desire to diet or have a thin body.

Running on sand is good for your heart and legs. Here’s how to do it right

As a seasonal alternative to pounding pavements or gym treadmills, running on sandy seashores is a good way to train while on vacation while also boosting motivation with a change of scenery. Here’s a look at some of the advantages of running on the beach and how to get ready to hit the sand.

What are the benefits?
Running on sand is an excellent way of diversifying your running experience or workout regime while keeping injury risk and impact to a minimum. Unlike concrete and hard surfaces, sand cushions the foot’s impact on the ground, creating fewer shockwaves that can damage the body’s musculoskeletal structure. It’s therefore easier on joints in the knee and foot, as well as tendons, making them less vulnerable to injury or tendonitis.

Wet or dry sand also creates an unstable surface, which helps to naturally strengthen the muscles that support and stabilise ankles. The muscles will have to work harder to help you gain speed, using more energy.

For beginners, it is better to run on wet sand, which is more compact and requires less intense effort than running on soft, dry sand. (Shutterstock)

Running barefoot on the beach or in the sea – up to mid-calf depth – also helps improve the flow of blood back to the heart, as well as blood circulation, and reduces feelings of heavy legs.

Running up dunes or hills is an excellent way of making muscles and ligaments work harder while also increasing cardiovascular intensity. Just be careful not to strain knees and ankles.

How to prepare

Stick to the same warm-up you use all year round when running in the park, in town or the woods, for example. Build up progressively, starting with gentle sessions on flat terrain and increasing the intensity and the distance little by little.

Running barefoot is perfectly possible and pleasant, so long as the beach is clean and doesn’t have too many pebbles or shells. You can also alternate sessions, with some runs barefoot in water or along the shore, and others wearing running shoes.

Unlike concrete and hard surfaces, sand cushions the foot’s impact on the ground, creating fewer shockwaves that can damage the body’s musculoskeletal structure.

For beginners, it is better to run on wet sand, which is more compact and requires less intense effort than running on soft, dry sand. Note that running on sand is quite different to running in a city or park. Don’t expect to keep the same pace. Steps feel harder and become more tiring more quickly on sand. Make sure you stretch after each session too.

Watch out for high temperatures and the lack of shade when running on the beach. Make sure you stay hydrated, drinking enough water to avoid heatstroke. Protect your skin with a suitable sunscreen and head out wearing a t-shirt, a hat and sunglasses. It’s better to run in the morning or at sunset when it’s less hot and the beach is quieter.

Enjoy a good Chinese meal at these restaurants in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru

A beautiful time to reminisce the year gone by, people wish for love, joy and prosperity for the coming year on the Chinese New Year. With cultural activities and social gatherings, the celebration consists of delightful surprises such as the dragon dance, lion dance and the emperor’s wedding. In North China, people perform different versions of the Rice Sprout Song, a traditional Chinese dance performed by groups dressed in colourful attires. This year, the Year of the Rooster falls on January 28.


The community also place a lot of importance on food. The New Year’s Eve dinner, called the “reunion dinner”, is believed to be the most important meal of the year. A few food items are considered to be auspicious if consumed on this day. It is believed that eating fish brings good luck and monetary gains in the year to arrive. Dumplings, spring rolls, rice cakes and sweet rice balls are among the other food items.

Looking to celebrate the Chinese New Year by taking your friends and family out? Here are the restaurants that have lined up special offers for the day:


Chinese New Year is the perfect time to explore the traditional Chinese delicacies. At Royal China, welcome the Year of the Rooster with Egg Tarts, Custard Buns, Traditional Salad for Chinese New Year, Aubergine with Chicken or Vegetable.
Where: Royal China, 16th Floor, Eros Corporate Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110019
When: Till February 3; 7pm – 11.45pm
Cost: Rs 2,200 for two
Phone: 011-49818000
Tantalise your taste buds at a special Yum Cha Festival with Oriental cuisine at Asia Seven in the city. Indulge in a variety of steamed dishes like Crunchy Broccoli and Almond dumplings, Crystal Wild Mushroom, Yummy Cheese in Chilly for vegetarian lovers. Non-vegetarians can relish lip-smacking Chicken Siewmai, Crystal Duck and Cherry, Prawn Hargow, Prawn in Hot Yellow Curry dumplings among others.
Where: Ambience Mall, 3rd Floor, DLF Phase 3, Sector 24, Gurugram, Haryana – 122002
When: January 28 onwards; 3pm – 6pm
Cost: Rs 559
Phone: 0124-4078133
Savour Yee Shang - Traditional Salad for Chinese New Year at Royal China.Savour Yee Shang – Traditional Salad for Chinese New Year at Royal China.KOLKATA

To celebrate the occasion of Chinese new year, TFO (The Factory Outlet) has come up with exclusively curated oriental meal bowls to celebrate this remarkable festival where people can now dig into authentic Chinese meals at a pocket pinch of just Rs 199.

Where: The Factory Outlet, Block D, 5th Floor, 22 Camac Street, Kolkata – 700016
When: Till February 11; 12 noon – 12 midnight
Cost: Rs 1,200, plus taxes
Phone: 080-32211581


Welcome the year of the Rooster with good food as Singkong celebrates the Chinese New Year with a special menu for the festivities. An array of delectable culinary creations will be served that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Where: Singkong, UB City, Bengaluru
When: January 28 to February 1; 11:30am – 1am
Cost: Rs 275 onwards
Phone: 080-41755366

Relish Banana Leaf wrapped Grilled Red Snapper at SingKong.Relish Banana Leaf wrapped Grilled Red Snapper at SingKong.MUMBAI

Dim sum teahouse, Yauatcha, will honour the eminent colour red for Chinese New Year. For the occasion, Yauatcha will present two exclusive festive menus: the Chinese New Year Signature menu and the Supreme selection menu, which includes a special limited edition dim sum decorated in a vibrant palette of red, a red patisserie and a red cocktail.

Where: Yauatcha, Raheja Tower, First Floor, Bandra Kurla Complex, Next To Cafe Infinito, Bandra East, Mumbai
When: Till February 11; 12pm – 1am
Cost: Rs 2,500, plus taxes per person
Phone: 091-9222222800

By the Mekong at The St Regis Mumbai invites you on a culinary journey to welcome the Year of the Rooster. The special menu comprises dishes which is a masterful blend of home-style cooking with traditional ingredients.

Where: By The Mekong  Level, 37, The St Regis, Mumbai
When: January 28 t0 February 5; 12pm – 3pm and 7pm – 12pm
Cost: Rs 5,000 for two
Phone: 022-61628422

Truffle Dumpling at Yauatcha. Truffle Dumpling at Yauatcha.


Wangs Kitchen is hosting ‘Asian Cuisine Festival’ to celebrate the Chinese New Year. A special menu has been designed featuring mouthwatering soups, starters, luscious main courses and a variety of rice and noodles. Food lovers can relish dishes like Glass Noodles Thick Soup, Threaded Chicken, Kwayteow Goreng Noodle, Vietnamese Fried Rice, Five spice vegetable, Roasted Chicken tossed with a variety of sauces.

Where: Wangs Kitchen, G-7, Gee Gee Emerald, 151, Village Road, Nungambakkam
When: January 28; 11:30am – 10:30pm
Cost: Rs 600 – 800
Phone: 044-39253925/044-44401111

With the beginning of Fire Rooster year, China Town has introduced seven lucky dishes which are considered to bring happiness, prosperity, longevity and wealth this Chinese New Year.

Where: China Town, Cathedral Road and Ampa Mall Skywalk, Chennai
When: Till February 12
Cost: Rs 1,200
Phone: 044-28112246 (Cathedral Rd); 091-7604915096 (Ampa Mall Skywalk)

Chap Chay, the Asian Stir Fry Restaurant from the house of The Raintree, St Mary’s Road is all set to mark the start of a prosperous year by celebrating Chinese New Year in a healthy manner.

Where: Chap Chay, The Raintree, St Mary’s Road
When: Till January 29
Cost: Rs 1,200
Phone: 044-24304050

Enjoy Szechuan Noodles at Enjoy Szechuan Noodles at Wangs Kitchen.

Savour the flavour!

All in Good Taste

Even on a weekday afternoon weighed down by the rising mercury, in a mall that has seen better days, the sprawling Kofuku restaurant in Ansal Plaza seems to have a happy buzz around it. Inside, a group of Spanish tourists are having a noisy lunch, a solitary Japanese guest is reading on his iPad as he tucks into his bento box and I am sitting in my six-seater wahitsu, poring over the menu and trying to make up my mind if I should, in deference to the weather, give the miso soup a miss and settle for a chilled glass of sake instead. My dilemma sorts itself out — Kofuku is still awaiting its liquor license — so, I order myself a suimono soup (Rs 250) and some edamame (Rs 390) to prep me for the next course.

After a great run in Mumbai, the restaurant had a soft launch in Delhi in December last year and has mostly been operating on word-of-mouth publicity.

Their next stop is an express counter at the international airport terminal. The Delhi clientele, says proprietor Rajinder Budhiraja, is very different from the one in Mumbai. A full-blown Japanese meal might not sit easy with customers here, familiar as they are with sushi, teppanyaki and yakitori at best. So, the menu has been tweaked a little bit to accommodate a selection of mostly comfort Oriental dishes — cheung funs and dimsums and even New Zealand lamb chops alongside Donburi specialities — and the 76-seater restaurant (including outdoor seating) is positioned as a traditional izakaya or gastro-pub if you will. The liquor license would have helped, but, Budhiraja says, fresh licensing has been stalled by the Delhi government since the beginning of the year and the wait might prove to be lengthy.

In the meantime, the emphasis is on the food. The suimono arrives promptly, a clear dashi broth with seafood, and I am glad I settled for it. One of the guiding principles of Japanese food is the retention of the simplicity of the produce. Most of the flavour is induced from basic elements such as sugar, salt, miso, and soya. The soup is spot on — delicately flavoured and just the right dash of pungent, and the seafood is fresh. The edamame is served differently than what is the usual practice in Japan, where the blanched beans are served in the pod, frozen, and without salt. At Kofuku, the beans come freshly steamed and coated with salt crystals, more like the way it is served in California, the other great bastion of Japanese food.

Our next course is the age-watarigani (Rs 900) — fried soft shell crab tempura with wasabi mayo and dashi sauce. The crabs are succulent — the meat coming apart at every bite — and the tempura crunchy, but the dashi sauce is a letdown, lacking both the punch and the saltiness required to off-set the unsalted rice batter of the tempura. The chef’s special matsu-nigiri sushi platter (Rs 900) comes next, and has one each of maguro (tuna), sake (salmon), hamachi (yellow tail), kanikama (crab stick), unagi (eel), ikura (salmon roe) and tobiko (flying fish roe). A test of good sushi is in the quality of rice used for the roll. Traditionally made with glutinous rice (usually koshihikari) that does not come apart at touch, it is often a distinguishing feature between indifferent and excellent sushi. One of the worst things that could happen for a sushi is to disintegrate into an untidy mess in the time it is lifted off the plate and daubed in the soya sauce.

The sushi at Kofuku passes muster. The fish, sourced from Japan, Thailand and Scotland are fresh. If only the wasabi — the fiery horseradish condiment — was just as fresh, it would have been a win-win situation. But it is clearly off a container and more congealed, taking a while to mix seamlessly with the soya.

If after all this, you can still manage to eat (and we advise you keep room for it), do try the mochi ice cream (Rs 350). A good mochi is a thing of joy (and great textural contrast) — the thinnest of pounded sticky rice wraps enclose frozen ice cream within (think, dimsum). Here, though, the mochi ice cream is more rustic — the wraps are thicker, for one – but the ice cream inside is creamy and delightfully fresh, dispelling our initial scepticism that a mango ice cream would fetch us one of the synthetic variants in the market. If you are looking for a casual Japanese dining experience outside five star hotels, Kofuku might be a good place to experiment and increase your knowledge of the cuisine.

Meal for two: Rs 3,500 (exclusive of taxes) Contact: +91 11 41007548/49

Sure, yoga is good for your health. But do you know how it affects the brain?

Meditation is an activity practiced by millions of people worldwide. But how does it affect your brain? In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in international research on meditation and the findings may not be what you expect. Although the options are many, the purpose is basically the same: more peace, less stress, better concentration, greater self-awareness and better processing of thoughts and feelings.

A research team at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney have worked to determine how the brain works during different types of meditation. Meditation techniques can be divided into two main groups. One type is concentrative meditation, where you focus attention on your breathing or on specific thoughts, and in doing so, suppresses other thoughts.

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in international research on meditation.

The other type can be called nondirective meditation, where you effortlessly focus on your breathing or on a meditation sound, but beyond that the mind is allowed to wander as it pleases. Although according to the team, the research still reveals very little about which technique is the best, or better, it still provides food for thought about the increasingly popular concept of meditation.

Fourteen people, who had extensive experience with the Norwegian technique Acem meditation, were tested in an MRI machine. In addition to simple resting, they undertook two different mental meditation activities, nondirective meditation and a more concentrative meditation task.

Concentrative meditation is when you focus attention on your breathing or on specific thoughts, and in doing so, suppresses other thoughts. (Getty Images)

Nondirective meditation led to higher activity than during rest in the part of the brain dedicated to processing self-related thoughts and feelings. When test subjects performed concentrative meditation, the activity in this part of the brain was almost the same as when they were just resting.

“I was surprised that the activity of the brain was greatest when the person’s thoughts wandered freely on their own, rather than when the brain worked to be more strongly focused,” said Jian Xu, who is a physician at St. Olavs Hospital and a researcher at the Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging at NTNU.

Adding, “When the subjects stopped doing a specific task and were not really doing anything special, there was an increase in activity in the area of the brain where we process thoughts and feelings. It is described as a kind of resting network. And it was this area that was most active during nondirective meditation.”

“The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation,” says Svend Davanger, a neuroscientist at the University of Oslo, and co-author of the study.

“This area of the brain has its highest activity when we rest. It represents a kind of basic operating system, a resting network that takes over when external tasks do not require our attention. It is remarkable that a mental task like nondirective meditation results in even higher activity in this network than regular rest,” added Davanger.


Learning with music is good for you. It can change brain structure, say researchers

Listening to music comes with benefits. Using musical cues to learn a physical task positively impacts parts of the brain that process sound and control movement, according to a new study. The findings, published in the journal Brain & Cognition, may have implications for future research into rehabilitation for patients who have lost some degree of movement control.

“The study suggests that music makes a key difference. We have long known that music encourages people to move. This study provides the first experimental evidence that adding musical cues to learning new motor task can lead to changes in white matter structure in the brain,” said lead researcher Katie Overy from University of Edinburgh in Britain. For the study, a small group of volunteers were divided into two groups and charged with learning a new task involving sequences of finger movements with the non-dominant, left hand.

It’s a known fact that music encourages people to move.

One group learned the task with musical cues, the other group without music for four weeks. Using MRI scans, it was found that the music group showed a significant increase in structural connectivity in the white matter tract that links auditory and motor regions on the right side of the brain. The non-music group showed no change. Researchers hope that future study with larger numbers of participants will examine whether music can help with special kinds of motor rehabilitation programmes, such as after a stroke.



One board and one exam: Is it a good idea?

The last couple of months saw the usual annual frenzy over the results of various board exams and entrance exams. Of late, these announcements are slowly acquiring a certain degree of predictability. The CBSE topper inches closer and closer to the unrealistic 100% total. The Bihar board exam topper routinely goes to jail. We see full-page advertisements from various IIT-training institutes claiming most of the IIT toppers as their own.

In the midst of all these, there was also a significant announcement by the Union minister of human resource development, Prakash Javadekar, saying there would soon be a single national board for India, which would be created by combining boards such as the CBSE, ICSE and others. As it is going to be a central government initiative, it may well be a case of CBSE board attempting to swallow some of the others.

On the face of it, it may not be such a bad idea. We are surely not going to miss the state boards like Bihar board, where ranks and results have been up for sale. Even in other state boards, where exams are conducted scrupulously, the questions are often repeated from the past years. Those staple questions typically test only rote-learning – betraying a lack of imagination and creativity on the part of the question-setters.

Board exams

However, CBSE itself does not come out in flying colours. There are more than 15,000 CBSE schools in all over India. Why is it then that in international tests like PISA and TIMSS, which benchmark school students in various countries, India languishes at the very bottom? Why does the corporate world constantly bemoans India’s unemployable youth?

Why is it that even our best schools are considered to be of poor quality compared to the international standards? In my opinion, the root cause is government regulations of the wrong kind, of which CBSE is the main flag-bearer.

To understand it, sample these rules from CBSE affiliation rulebook:

“The size of the library must be 14m x 8m and it must stock a minimum of 1500 books.”

“The head of the school should have a master’s degree and a degree in education and at least 8 years of teaching experience or 5 years of administrative experience in a recognised high school.”

According to the first rule, we don’t have to care about what sort of books we stock in a school library, we must be concerned more about its size. According to the second rule, our revered former president APJ Abdul Kalam would not have been eligible to run a school if he chose to set one up. Forget about running one – he would not even have been eligible to teach – as he did not have a degree in education.

So if we really have to set up a single national board, we must not use CBSE as the model. We must think anew. We must get over our curious obsession about input rather than output. We should banish the Soviet-style mindset that quality can be controlled by central diktat and a maze of regulations.

If we aim to create a single national board, it should focus on real-life skills and thinking orientation. Instead of dictating classroom sizes, it should promote a vibrant classroom environment. It should offer students a wide variety of choices, rather than forcing on them the same menu of subjects. It should aim to be at par with the best international boards like IB, CIE or Edexcel.

However, that may be too much to ask. Big bang reforms like that have less chance of materialising. Change happens incrementally. And if you look closely at the statement that the minister made, you find a glimmer of hope. He mentions that the main purpose of this single board will be to conduct examinations. If this proposed single board conducts a skill-oriented, world-class, aptitude test – which becomes a single window of the entrance to our colleges – that might well transform Indian education system.

We Indians can do everything if exams demand it. If exams demand that we have real-life skills – our teachers will prioritise those skills and students will try hard to acquire those skills. If exams demand that we get better at thinking, applying logic, and reading proficiently, then there is hope our students and teachers will focus on those areas. So, if there is really a single exam after the 12th standard which is skill-oriented, the whole school education system may change overnight.

This is not such a radical idea. Countries such as the US have a single exam – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which is the gateway to most colleges. It will be easy to implement – the minister does not have to take on entrenched boards and force every one of them to conform to the same curriculum. The whole issue of marks disparity between different boards will not arise either.

I run a school which has been celebrated for waging a battle against rote-learning. At Levelfield School, we teach students to read well, apply their mind, solve problems. We won awards, we have been compared to the Phungshuk Wangdu’s dream school. We have been regularly rated among the top-10 schools nationally in standardised tests. But even we are often held back by the stifling regulations of the board. Near the board exam times, our students get derailed from their quest of acquiring 21st-century skills. To find any kind of success (which begins by gaining entry into a college), they must first pay homage to our obsolete system of memory-driven board exams.

So, I would appeal to the minister – change the system. Make it easy for the innovators to create world-class schools in India. Use our obsession for exams to cure our obsession for rote-learning.

New Study Discovers the 'Type' of Vitamin D Needed for Good Health

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that your body requires to regulate the calcium and phosphorus levels of our blood. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin as exposure to sunlight converts the cholesterol present in the skin to Vitamin D. Sun exposure is the best source of Vitamin D but you can also derive it from foods like eggs, cod fish, soy milk and mushrooms. “Vitamin D refers to a group of several different forms of this vitamin. For instance,  sterols in lipids of animals (7-dehydrocholesterol) are converted to Vitamin D3 and those in plants (ergosterols) are converted to Vitamin D2,” explains Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta.

According to the current guidelines followed by most of the health organisation around the world including the US National Institute of Health, the two forms of Vitamin D – D3 and D2 are equally beneficial for our health. But a new study refutes this understanding and claims that not all types of Vitamin D are made equal and Vitamin D3 is twice as important for your health as Vitamin D2.

Researchers from the University of Surrey have urged health authorities to change their current guidelines after having found that Vitamin D3 which is derived from animal products

such as eggs and fatty fish and also the made by our skin is more essential than Vitamin D2 obtained plant-based sources like mushrooms. Their findings suggests that consumption of animal products and moderate exposure to sunlight help in obtaining Vitamin D3 which is twice as likely to raise your overall Vitamin D levels as compared to Vitamin D2 rich foods.

New Study Discovers the 'Type' of Vitamin D Needed for Good Health

For the study, researchers recorded vitamin D levels of 335 South Asian and white European women over two consecutive winter periods. The study participants were spilt into five groups. Each group received a placebo, a juice containing vitamin D2 or D3 and a biscuit with D2 or D3. The results showed that the vitamin D levels in womenwho received vitamin D3 juice or biscuit increased by 75 per cent and 74 per cent respectively while those who were given vitamin D2 saw an increase of only 33 to 34 per cent over the course of the 12-weeks. The study will be published in July’s edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Vitamin D3 is primarily involved in the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus balance in our body. Total Vitamin D is measured in micrograms. The Indian Council of Medical Research recommends supplementation of 10 micrograms per day in case of minimal exposure to sun,” says Dr. Rupali Datta.