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For Indians, falling into wanderlust for ‘unexplored’ destinations



Komodo Island
Komodo Island in Indonesia

New Delhi, Oct 14 : Following a country-wide survey, with over 2,200 respondents, conducted by Luxury Escapes India amongst its frequent travelling, high-net worth member-base, the following destinations cropped up on top of everyone’s travel bucket-list:

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Komodo dragons fighting on Island Rinca, Indonesia CREDIT: SERGEY URYADNIKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK

Komodo Island is one of the only regions in the world, a home to the elusive Komodo dragon and as awareness of this rare creature grows amongst Indians they are making their way to catch a glimpse of this real-life dragon.

More and more Indians are discovering their love for powdery slopes and ski holidays and choosing to head eastwards – to Niseko, in the Japanese northern island of Hokkaido.

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Andaman & Nicobar Islands India

Andaman & Nicobar Islands have long been the haunt of deep-sea diving fanatics but the islands now look forward to inviting luxury travellers to its pristine shores thanks to the resorts such as the Taj Exotica Andamans and Munjoh Ocean resort at Havelock.

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Relax at Ko’a Kea Resort, Kauai, Hawaii, with Luxury Escapes. Photo: Supplied

Hawaii – With work, travel to the US is increasing at a rapid pace for Indian executives, its natural for them to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Hawaii. Luxury Escapes has noted a newfound love for the luau amongst Indians on a b-leisure trip to the US.

Faroe Islands – Technically a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the unspoilt paradise of the Faroe Islands is being discovered by Indian travellers. Luxury resorts are hard to come by, but Danish hospitality at local Bed & Breakfasts more than make up for it.

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South America and Antarctica – South America & Antarctica

South America and Antarctica – South America & Antarctica are so remote that Indians who wants to explore it properly can just take a short sabbatical from work and cover the entire region at one go. Alpacas, Machu Pichu, Christ the redeemer, Pablo Escobar, Patagonia, Argentinian meat, Avocados… the list goes on. Add to that, a luxury cruise option departing from Ushuaia and heading to the far reaches of the southern-most continent all in five star luxury.

Bandhavgarh is the dark horse amongst India’s forest reserves and is only now showing up on wildlife enthusiast’s itineraries. With luxury resorts such as the Taj Mahua Kothi and Syna Tiger Resort catering to this discerning audience, it makes for a perfect weekend getaway.

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Khao Lak, Thailand

Khao Lak – While Indians have had their fill of Phuket, Koh Samui and the like in Thailand; Khao Lak is proving to be an undiscovered gem for most. Replete with luxury resorts, beach clubs and wildlife parks; there’s something here for everyone.

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Black sand beaches, Varkala

Varkala – A sleepy little beach-town located on a hill-top overlooking the Indian Ocean; Varkala is gaining popularity for its black sand beaches, hippy culture and for being the birthplace of India’s nascent surfing culture.

When visits to Serengeti and Kruger are par for the course, a visit to the land of silver-back gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda, is what separates the men from the boys.

(Arun Ashok is the Country Manager for Luxury Escapes India, an Australia luxury travel startup.)


Keto diet may help you fight the flu




Keto diet-

New York,  A ketogenic diet, which includes meat, fish, poultry and non-starchy vegetables, may help combat the flu virus, suggests new research.

This diet regimen activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system’s response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, said the study published in the journal Science Immunology.

“This was a totally unexpected finding,” said co-senior author Akiko Iwasaki, Professor at Yale University in the US.The researchers found that mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates.

Specifically, the researchers found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung — while the high-carbohydrate diet did not.

When mice were bred without the gene that codes for gamma delta T cells, the ketogenic diet provided no protection against the influenza virus.

“This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection,” said co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit, Professor at Yale University.

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Diabetes-related stress more harmful for young adults




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New York, Nov 16 (IANS) Young people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes experience high psychological distress, resulting in worse health outcomes and poor blood sugar control, find researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.

Age plays a critical role in the well-being of people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.”We found we can evaluate a patient’s initial stress and predict how they will be doing six months later,” said Vicki Helgeson, professor of psychology at the university.

“If you can identify people who are facing diabetes distress earlier, you can intervene and prevent their health from declining,” said the findings published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

In the study, the team evaluated 207 patients who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the past two years.

They found younger patients (42 years and younger) experienced higher diabetes-related and psychological distress.

In addition, patients with higher education and income expressed more stress. Conversely, older patients (older than 64 years) had less psychological stress and greater consistency in self-care, blood sugar control and medication adherence.

Patients in long-term relationships also reported less diabetes stress.Patients identified diet as the greatest stressor (38 per cent).

Other significant stressors include checking blood sugar (8 per cent) and experiencing high or low blood sugar events (7 per cent).

Patients who self-reported greater stress also reported greater depressed mood, less adherence to medication and higher anxiety.

“Diabetes care is difficult, because it requires a lifestyle change that you have to do forever,” Helgeson said. “Life gets in the way of sticking to a diabetes regimen.”

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Why perimenopause affects sexual life in some women




Sex And Menopause

Sexual dysfunction increases by nearly 30 per cent during perimenopause and vaginal dryness most often has the greatest effect on desire, arousal and overall satisfaction, reveals a new study.

For some women, sex becomes less satisfying with age, with a pronounced decline during perimenopause. Women start perimenopause at different ages.

There are many factors that can negatively affect sexual function, including mental and emotional status, ageing, chronic medical problems and menopause status.

Decreasing estrogen levels during the menopause transition cause a variety of biological changes in a woman’s body, leading to vaginal atrophy, the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls.

“This study examined sexual functioning in women aged 40 to 55 years and identified a link between vaginal dryness and worse sexual function.

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“Given the high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women, identifying an eminently treatable contributing factor such as vaginal dryness may allow women to maintain their sexual function during the menopause transition,” said Dr Stephanie Faubion, medical director with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in a paper published in the journal Menopause.

Although previous studies have documented the effect of vaginal atrophy on menopausal women, this new study is one of only a few to assess effect during perimenopause, a transitional time before menopause when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen.

Largely as a result of vaginal dryness, researchers noted that sexual satisfaction scores decreased while sexual dysfunction increased by about 30 per cent during the perimenopause years.

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