Nutrients

Nutrients

By Dr. Samantha Larkin, ND- Associate Doctor and Manager of the Spark Health IV Program

1. B Complex contains Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (dexpanthenol), and B6 (pyridoxine). B1 (Thiamine) is an important coenzyme for the metabolism of neurotransmitters, carbohydrates and branched chain amino acids. Thiamine is also important for the health of our red blood cells and is traditionally known as being extremely depleted by alcohol consumption. B2 (Riboflavin) helps support the function of other B vitamins and helps to support the antioxidant function of glutathione. B3 (Niacin) is crucial for cardiovascular health and for protecting our DNA. Niacin is especially helpful in patients with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). Niacin has been shown in research to increase HDL (“good” cholesterol), lowers LDL (“bad cholesterol”, and decreases plaque buildup in the arteries, especially the carotid artery. B5 (Dexpanthenol) is a component of the coenzyme that helps our body process nutrients (fats, carbs and protein). It also protects our nerves and has been shown to aid in lowering cholesterol and improving wound healing. B6 (Pyridoxine) is essential in producing norepinephrine and serotonin, important neurotransmitters in regulating mood and sleep. 

1. B Complex contains Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (dexpanthenol), and B6 (pyridoxine). B1 (Thiamine) is an important coenzyme for the metabolism of neurotransmitters, carbohydrates and branched chain amino acids. Thiamine is also important for the health of our red blood cells and is traditionally known as being extremely depleted by alcohol consumption. B2 (Riboflavin) helps support the function of other B vitamins and helps to support the antioxidant function of glutathione. B3 (Niacin) is crucial for cardiovascular health and for protecting our DNA. Niacin is especially helpful in patients with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). Niacin has been shown in research to increase HDL (“good” cholesterol), lowers LDL (“bad cholesterol”, and decreases plaque buildup in the arteries, especially the carotid artery. B5 (Dexpanthenol) is a component of the coenzyme that helps our body process nutrients (fats, carbs and protein). It also protects our nerves and has been shown to aid in lowering cholesterol and improving wound healing. B6 (Pyridoxine) is essential in producing norepinephrine and serotonin, important neurotransmitters in regulating mood and sleep. 

2. B5- (Dexpanthenol)  Found naturally in avocado, yogurt, tuna, and chicken, dexpanthenol is a vitamin that is actually synthesized by our own gut bacteria! It is a component of the coenzyme that helps our body process nutrients (fats, carbs and protein) and protects our nerves. Deficiencies of dexpanthenol can manifest as numbness, tingling, burning, or fatigue. Dexpanthenol has also been shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol and reducing high triglycerides, and has been shown in research to significantly improve wound healing.

3. B6 (Pyridoxine)  Found naturally in bananas, carrots, spinach, peas, potatoes, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, legumes, and sunflower seeds, Vitamin B6 is essential in producing norepinephrine and serotonin, important neurotransmitters in regulating mood and sleep. 

4. B12 (Methylcobalamin)  Found naturally in meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, and other animal sources, and therefore tends to be deficient in our vegetarian and vegan patients. Symptoms of low B12 can manifest in numbness and tingling in the feet or hands, difficulty with mental tasks, fatigue, or memory loss. Vit. B12 is critical for the manufacture of red blood cells, the health of our nerves, and the protection of our DNA.  B12 is also helpful for patients with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a history of gastric bypass surgery who don’t absorb Vitamin B12 as well as others in the gastrointestinal tract. B12 has been shown to effectively reduce high homocystine, which has been associated with cardiovascular disease risk. 

5. 5-MTHF(L-methylfolate) is the biologically active form of B9 (folate). The folic acid we ingest from food must be converted into Dihydrofolate (DHF), then to Tetrahydrofolate (THF), and then finally into L-methylfolate (5-MTHF) to be used in the body. It is estimated that more than half of the U.S. population has a genetic enzyme defect making it difficult to convert folic acid into its active form. 5-MTHF is also a key player in the production of neurotransmitters.

6. Taurine – Taurine is an essential nutrient for cardiovascular function and has been associated with reduced risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Taurine is a known antioxidant and has been shown in research to prevent the pro-oxidant effects of exercise, making it great for athletes. It has been shown in research to aid in weight loss and decrease cholesterol levels.

7. L-carnitine – Naturally found in red meat, fish, poultry, milk, this compound has been shown to increase the function of mitochondria, our body’s tiny energy-producing machines located in all of our cells. L-carnitine is also known to support our nerves, brain, and heart.

8. Glycine – is an amino acid that is a building block for many proteins in the body. It acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord, and is well known to help improve sleep quality.

9. Magnesium  – Found in spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, magnesium is a crucial nutrient. There is overwhelming evidence to support magnesium’s use for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiac death.

10. MIC (Methionine Inositol Choline ) – known as the ‘weight loss’ nutrient combination, helping with fat burning and speeding up metabolism. Methionine, an essential amino acid, helps the liver break down fat. Inositol is critical for fat metabolism aid in fat-burning liver function, while choline regulates cholesterol and fat transport around the body, preventing it from depositing in one place.

11. L-Arginine – L-Arginine is one of the “star” nutrients responsible for cardiovascular health. It is a precursor to nitric oxide, the molecule responsible for vasodilation (opening our blood vessels wider to allow for better circulation, better delivery of oxygen and other nutrients). L-Arginine is a popular nutrient supplemented by athletes before a workout to increase. It is also known to increase libido and enhance sexual performance. L-Arginine has been shown to enhance blood flow to the genital area. For men, it is known to enhance quality of erections, and for women, it increases tissue sensitivity enhancing sexual stimulation.

12. Glutathione  is nature’s antioxidant. Synthesized in the body from the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine, glutathione is an amazing detoxification nutrient. An easy way to understand the function of Glutathione is as a “mop” that goes around the body and sweeps up toxins. The body naturally produces it, but we are almost always depleted of it because of the amount of toxicity we are exposed to on a daily basis. From pesticides and chemicals hidden in our food to car exhaust on the road, toxins are a part of our life, whether we like it or not.  Glutathione is our favorite antioxidant compound because the liver uses it for phase two detoxification (the breakdown of water soluble toxins). After glutathione does its work, we are able to eliminate the toxins as safe byproducts. Other than supplementation, there are many additional ways to get your daily dose of glutathione. Moderate exercise is associated with higher natural levels of glutathione, especially a combination of aerobic and weight training. Additionally, cruciferous vegetables (such as brussels sprouts and broccoli) are associated with increased glutathione levels. All of our full size IVs here at Spark come with glutathione, delivered separately for maximum efficacy. If you’re coming to Spark for one of our awesome “Fast Bags”, consider adding a Glutathione push!

For more information about micronutrient testing, Vitamin IV’s or Vitamin Shots, please call Spark Health today at (858) 228-4188 or send us an email at Spark@MySparkHealth.com . Spark Health is conveniently located so we can serve patients in San Diego, and all of North County such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos, and Poway. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals!

Thank you,

` The Spark Team

Functional Medicine Takes Your Body’s Resilience and Wellness to the Next Level

IV therapy in San Diego

Wellness is a constant battle in a world full of health detriments. We read food labels. We avoid fumes from cars and cleaning products. We seek time to exercise and ways to make our jobs less sedentary. We manage stress.

The world wasn’t always like this. For all the solutions of modern medicine and technology, we have lost a purity of our environment, adding new challenges. Life in a city, even one of moderate population density like San Diego, makes these factors more prevalent.

Health Challenges We All Face

Chronic stress, sedentary routines, processed foods, and air pollution are all challenges that have arisen with modern times.

Stress, for example, evolved in nature to trigger survival instincts, not to deal with deadlines, finances, or traffic jams. These days, stress can make toxins harder to eliminate and quality sleep harder to achieve, depleting our body function, brain function, and overall wellbeing.

Our body’s detox system was also developed in a less polluted world. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate build up toxins from our bodies and diet.

Air pollution; however, is something that it is impossible to avoid and its effects can be as damaging as smoking. San Diego ranks 6th in the United States for cities with the most ozone pollution.

Since we can’t avoid certain health factors, we need a leg up to beat them. That is why Spark Health strives to be a leader in integrative medicine in San Diego.

Solutions We Can All Employ

Diet and exercise are an important foundation for a sound mind and body. For most people, an ideal exercise routine is daily cardio and/or aerobic with intermittent weight training. A balanced diet is crucial with the right variety of vitamins and nutrients to boost your system and keep it at optimal level. Antioxidants are our best weapon to fight toxicity.

Free Radicals are unstable molecules that cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. They can come from air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, poor diet, and more. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals.

Solution – Integrative Medicine and IV Therapy

Functional medicine takes your body’s resilience and wellness to the next level. Spark Health is a leading Naturopathic practice providing nutrition counseling, vitamin injections and IV therapy in San Diego to name a few.  Each IV therapy session includes a shot of glutathione, your body’s most important anti-oxidant. Glutathione optimizes the benefits of the vitamins and nutrients in each treatment, which are tailored to promote a range of benefits, from general health and restoration, to weight loss, athleticism, and mood.

Integrative and functional medicine allow your cells and organs to better process the nutrients consumed and in return provide a vitality that enables you to be more active, aware and productive.

With integrative medicine, we can definitively win the fight against health hazards that are all around us and become our best selves. To learn more or to book a visit please visit www.MySparkHealth.com or contact Spark Health at 858.228.4188 with any questions.