WellStart Health Joins Blue Shield of California’s New Digital and Community-Health Network — Largest in the Industry

Source: WellStart Health Joins Blue Shield of California’s New Digital and Community-Health Network — Largest in the Industry

Howard Jacobson and Josh LaJaunie, authors of Sick to Fit and featured presenters at our May 13 meeting, are on the WellStart Health team. This is great news! Thanks for the forward, Megan!



Mindfulness Meditation Classes at UAMS

These Mindfulness Meditation videos were recorded live by Dr. Denise Compton, clinical psychologist, at the UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging. This approach to meditation is based on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. The series includes an introduction to Mindfulness Meditation, as well as introductions to the 7 “fundamental attitudes” that are encouraged in this practice. The videos also include introduction to a variety of meditation exercises.

These 30-minute classes are ongoing at UAMS, Reynolds Institute on Aging, 1st floor, on Wednesdays from 12-12:30PM. Parking in the adjacent lot is free and all are welcome. Please use the Contact icon on the menu above if you would like further information. Click here for directions.

The Plant Strong Club 7-28-19 Email

Click the following link to see a copy of latest email. Click on Follow in the left column and add your email address if you would like to be added to the list and automatically receive notices about new posts to this site.


Updated with message from Stephanie to her contacts:

Hello friends, 

I have met most of you at various Farmer’s Markets and discussed in passing the health benefits of a Plant-Based Diet while selling microgreens.  Well, I’m pleased to invite you all to the Plant Strong Club meeting this Monday, August 5th from 6-8pm at Natural Grocers on Rodney Parham where we will have more time to visit about this exciting topic!

I’ve been an RN for 27 years, caring mostly for end-stage heart failure patients (you can read more details from my bio below), but I will be sharing our family’s story of transitioning to a plant-based diet after my husband was diagnosed with pre-diabetes earlier this year.   If you suffer from any of these far too common chronic conditions-high blood pressure, diabetes or pre-diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol (technically a total cholesterol over 150 or LDL (bad) cholesterol over 80), and many more-the good news is-you can do something about it!  By changing what you eat and you will frequently enjoy much more dramatic and long-lasting results than you could ever obtain with expensive medications and invasive procedures. 

I’ll also be discussing the exciting nutrition benefits of microgreens in particular and I’ll have some microgreens available for sale as well as my Seven Day Plant Based Challenge Kits (7 days of broccoli microgreens for morning green smoothies and 7 days of Superfood Rainbow Mix to nutritionally turbo-charge easy lunches and dinners.  I have easy recipes and a pantry item list scripted out for 7 days as well as a list of recommended viewing, reading and internet resources).  So be thinking about it!  The idea is to jump in the deep end for 7 days and then after that, decide what food choices you will continue to make for the rest of your life for the optimal health that is easily attainable with this lifestyle.   

Please RSVP with this Facebook link if possible, and I hope to see you there!


The Final Alkaline Video – Markus Rothkranz

In the previous video, I tested food to show people who think fruits and veggies are alkaline, that they are not. In this video I explain what happens inside the body. There are many misconceptions like the food turns the body alkaline, or alkaline bodies are healthier and an acidic body is unhealthy… or cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment (it definitely can!) and where the concept of alkaline ash came from. Hopefully this video will help clear things up. This is my final alkaline video, because life is too short and precious to bicker about pH levels. Enjoy the video! Here are links to studies mentioned in the video Virtually all pH in the body is regulated through respiration and kidney function https://medreview.wordpress.com/2013/…

The kidneys produce bicarbonate ions that neutralize acids in your blood, enabling your body to closely manage blood pH https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… loss of collagen is strongly linked with low levels of two acids — orthosilicic acid and ascorbic acid, or vitamin C — in your diet https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Clinical trials — which tend to be more accurate — have concluded that acid-forming diets have no impact on calcium levels in your body https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/f… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Many people argue that cancer only grows in an acidic environment and can be treated or even cured with an alkaline diet.

However, comprehensive reviews on the relationship between diet-induced acidosis — or increased blood acidity caused by diet — and cancer conclude that there is no direct link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti… cancer grows in normal body tissue, which has a slightly alkaline pH of 7.4. Many experiments have successfully grown cancer cells in an alkaline environment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8… while tumors grow faster in acidic environments, the tumors create this acidity themselves. It is not the acidic environment that creates the cancer, but the cancer that creates the acidic environment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… while lemon juice may make the pH of the urine more alkaline, it does not have the same effect on the pH of your blood. Numerous studies show that the foods you eat have a very limited effect on blood pH https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2…

Alkalinity driving cancer cell growth and malignant transformation: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/71e8… Na+/H+ exchanger-dependent intracellular alkalinization is an early event in malignant transformation and plays an essential role in the development of subsequent transformation-associated phenotypes. FASEBJ 2000 Nov;14(14):2185-97 Tumorigenic 3T3 cells maintain an alkaline intracellular pH under physiological conditions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1990 October; 87(19): 7414–7418 31P NMR analysis of intracellular pH of Swiss Mouse 3T3 cells: effects of extracellular Na+ and K+ and mitogenic stimulation. J Membr Biol 1986;94(1):55-64 Extracellular Na+ and initiation of DNA synthesis: role of intracellular pH and K+. J Cell Biol 1984 Mar;98(3):1082-9 How cancer cells maintain their internal alkalinity and evidence that blocking the proton pumps makes cancer cells acidic killing them: Vacuolar H(+)-ATPase in Cancer Cells: Structure and Function. Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology Sept. 2011

Vacuolar H+-ATPase in human breast cancer cells with distinct metastatic potential: distribution and functional activity. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 286: C1443–C1452, 2004 Targeting vacuolar H+-ATPases as a new strategy against cancer. Cancer Res 2007 Nov 15;67(22):10627-30 Vacuolar H(+)-ATPase signaling pathway in cancer. Curr Protein Pept Sci 2012 Mar;13(2):152-63

An Anti-Aging Pill? Think Twice – The diabetes drug metformin, sometimes taken to slow aging, may blunt the health benefits of exercise. By Gretchen Reynolds, NY Times

A popular diabetes drug sometimes taken to slow aging may diminish some of the expected health benefits of aerobic exercise in healthy older adults, according to a new report. The drug, metformin, can blunt certain physical changes from exercise that normally help people to age well.

The results raise questions about the relationship of pills and physical activity in healthy aging and also whether we know enough about how drugs and exercise interact. The results are particularly disconcerting given that healthy, active people may be considering taking the drug to slow aging.

Metformin currently is the most-prescribed medication globally for people with Type 2 diabetes. It allows people with Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood-sugar control and insulin sensitivity, in large part by reducing the amount of sugar released by the liver into the blood. In people with diabetes, the benefits can clearly outweigh the risks.

But in recent years, scientists, physicians and plenty of other people entering middle age have become intrigued by the idea that it might also change how healthy people age. Worms and rodents given metformin typically outlive their unmedicated labmates. These animal studies suggest that the drug not only reduces blood sugar, it also reduces inflammation and produces other cellular effects that alter aging.

Unsurprisingly, some researchers have speculated that combining metformin and exercise might lead to even greater anti-aging benefits than either approach alone. But little has been known about just how and whether metformin and exercise might work together deep inside our bodies and cells.

So, for the new study, which was published in February in Aging Cell, researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Colorado State University and the University of Illinois decided to ask healthy people to sweat and swallow metformin.

They began by recruiting 53 sedentary but otherwise healthy men and women in their early 60s. Most had risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, such as a family history, but were not diabetic.

The researchers measured the volunteers’ current aerobic fitness, blood-sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and body mass. They also took tiny leg-muscle biopsies and randomly assigned the volunteers to start taking either metformin or a placebo.

All of the volunteers then began a supervised exercise program, visiting the lab three times a week to jog on a treadmill or pedal a bike for 45 minutes, a routine that lasted for four months.

Afterward, the researchers repeated all of the measurements from the study’s start and compared the two groups.

It turned out, to no one’s surprise, that most of the volunteers now had better aerobic fitness and blood-sugar control than before, as well as improved insulin sensitivity. Each of these physiological changes would be expected to improve how well the volunteers aged.

But there were notable disparities between the two groups. Over all, the men and women taking metformin gained less fitness, upping their endurance by about half as much as those swallowing the placebo. Many of those taking the drug also showed slighter, if any, improvements in insulin sensitivity. (Hardly anyone’s weight changed much, in either group.)

The scientists next looked microscopically inside their volunteers’ muscles and found telling discrepancies between the two groups. The muscle cells of the exercisers on placebo teemed with active mitochondria, which are the cells’ powerhouses. Mitochondria transform oxygen and sugar into cellular fuel in a process referred to as mitochondrial respiration. Higher respiration generally means better cellular health.

In the muscle cells from the men and women on placebo, mitochondrial respiration rose by about 25 percent, compared to levels at the study’s start. But not so in the muscle cells from the metformin group, which showed little if any upswing in mitochondrial respiration.

In effect, metformin had road-blocked the normal exercise-related gains in muscle-cell mitochondrial respiration, says Benjamin Miller, a principal investigator in the aging and metabolism research program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, who oversaw the study.

Without these souped-up mitochondria, the exercisers on metformin seemed less able to improve their fitness or insulin sensitivity than the other volunteers.

These results do not mean that people should stop or avoid using metformin, Dr. Miller cautions, even to brake aging. The study followed only a small group of people for a relatively short period of time and examined a mere fraction of the voluminous bodily impacts of exercise and metformin. It also did not include people taking metformin without exercise.

But the findings “do give us reason to think a bit more cautiously” about mixing metformin and exercise in healthy people, Dr. Miller says.

“There was not an additive effect” from combining them, he says. Instead, metformin and exercise “did not seem to play together very well.”

More research is needed, though, to understand how metformin affects mitochondria, exercise and aging, he says. More broadly, the results raise questions about how exercise might respond to other medicines.

“Doctors are very cognizant of drug-drug interactions,” he says. “It’s time we consider drug-and-exercise interactions, too.”

A version of this article appears in print on , Section D, Page 6 of the New York edition with the headline: Between a Pill and Sweat: Questions. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Arkansas Wellness Forum – Maryelle Vonlanthen, M.D. – Two Events This Weekend!

Hello all my foodies ! 

Finally, I have water at my house and I can do food prep much more conveniently. I have been on the road once again thus despite good intentions the late announcement for the classes this coming week end. 

I am going to continue on the travel theme and bring you some recipes that would allow you to eat well despite being on the road.  Amazing what you can do with a microwave! 

On Saturday I try again to share what I learned during my many hours on the road this past month. As you know I love to listen to podcasts, and this will summarize some exciting and interesting information I learned as I was criss crossing the country! Hopefully we will not have any power outages this time around! 

The schedule is as follows: 

Please RSVP by email to Arkansas Wellness Forum arwellnessforum@gmail.com no later than Thursday noon and let me know which event(s) you plan to attend.  

Our next Cooking Class is this Friday July 26, 2019 from 6:00-8 :00PM 

Location : second floor Baptist classroom (near the Breast imaging center) located in the Hickingbotham Center, 9500 Kanis Rd. 

Cost: 15 $ (or use your prepaid card) 

Saturday lunch: 

   When : Saturday July 27  , 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM 

   Where: My office  Pediatric Gastro Associates 1515 South Bowman Rd (on the left just past the skating ring) 

   Cost: $15 at the door  (or use your prepaid card) 

Happy eating !!! 



Payment options: 

 You will have 3 options. 

   1.  Pay at the door 15$ per event (class or lecture) 

   2.  Pick up a DISCOUNT CARD and purchase 9 events (pay $15 at the door) and get the 10th one free. If you bring guests you can fill your card faster! (10% discount) 

   3.  Purchase a PREPAID CARD for $120 for 10 events. I will sign the card each time you use it. Couples you can use the same card and if you bring a guest you can use it too so you and your guest will benefit from the discount. (20% discount) 

How to Stop Tooth Decay | NutritionFacts.org – Dr. Michael Greger

If sugar consumption is considered the one and only cause of cavities, how much is too much?

Watch video here: How to Stop Tooth Decay | NutritionFacts.org

Spotlight seems to be on oral health this week! Great presentation Monday night at Fletcher Library by Dr. Don Deems, thank you very much! See his Cliff’s Notes here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ogum67g4eftkkqj/AACmJ3OVs4oesiya2Sc3rWuEa?dl=0 , and watch for a ‘back-by-popular-demand’ date! Check him out here: https://www.cantrellwestdental.com/about/ .