IV Therapy For Improved Energy


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



Are you looking to support your energy levels naturally, without the need for caffeine or energy drinks? Are you sick of the mid-day slump at work? Are you looking to improve your stamina at the gym? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you are the perfect candidate for IV therapy!

IV therapy is a fantastic way to support natural energy levels. IV nutrient therapy provides nutrients at 100% bioavailability. The nutrients go directly into vein, bypassing the digestive tract and preventing the need for the body to process the nutrients before delivering them to target tissues. Oral nutrients are often poorly absorbed, if absorbed at all!


A lot of patients ask if they will feel ‘wired’ when they have an energy IV. They often ask if it will be like an energy drink, and seem concerned they will be unable to sleep. IV vitamin therapy for energy levels utilizes only natural substances that the body already recognizes and produces itself, creating a more calming energy that is much different than a cup of coffee or an energy drink. Although everyone has unique physiology and nutrient needs, the effects from a vitamin IV last approximately 7 days for most people.


If you are a new patient, or a patient looking for an IV experience that lasts approximately 20 minutes, our “Energy Fast Bag” is a great choice. If you are an established patient here at Spark Health, and would like to get a full size IV, our “Energize” IV is made just for you. This vitamin IV is packed full of nutrients to help nourish the body, prevent cellular damage, support healthy energy levels, and rebuild muscle.






Taurine, which is normally found in meat, fish, and dairy, is an amino acid that is great for improving energy and athletic performance. Not only is not only wonderful for supporting muscle tissue, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. Taurine can also help increase your endurance as an athlete. It has been shown in research that just 7 days of taurine supplementation resulted in significant increases in VO2 max and cycle ergometer exercise time to exhaustion; most likely due to taurine’s superior antioxidant activity and its ability to improve cellular protection. Taurine has also been shown in research to protect the cardiovascular system. It has also been shown to have a modulatory effect on the neurological system and can improve sleep quality. Sleeping better at night means more energy in the daytime. (2,3)




L-carnitine is the ultimate amino acid for improving energy! It drastically improves the function of mitochondria, our body’s tiny energy producing machines which are located in all of our cells. Our muscles are packed full of these tiny energy machines, so when these are working optimally, we perform at our best. The other tissues that contain a lot of mitochondria are our nerves, our brain, and our heart, so supplementation of L-carnitine aids these tissues as well. L-carnitine is an important building block for certain neurotransmitters that are needed for optimal cognitive functioning, giving us the mental energy we require to properly match our physical energy levels. (1)




Amino Acids are the basic building blocks of every protein in our body. There are two types of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Our bodies can’t create the essential amino acids, so we have to rely on food or supplementation to receive them. And although our bodies can synthesize the non-essential amino acids, we are often depleted of them. These amino acids are important for supporting all of the body’s biochemical processes, so  we add a generous dose of amino acids to our “Energize” Vitamin IV.


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supports healthy adrenal gland function. The adrenal glands produce hormones that help modulate our stress response, and also play a role in producing sex hormones. It happens that the adrenal glands require a large amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in order to properly make these hormones! When our adrenal glands are not functioning properly, it can lead to fatigue and low energy levels. (4) Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is particularly difficult to supplement in large amounts without digestive side effects, which makes it an awesome addition to our energizing IVs.




The “Energize” vitamin IV contains lots of B-vitamins, which are fantastic for energy support. B vitamins tend to be very depleted in times of stress and fatigue. B5 (dexpanthenol) is a component of the coenzymes that help our body process the nutrients we use for fuel (such as fats, carbs, and protein), and fuel gives us energy! B12 (methylcobalamin) is also fantastic for supporting energy levels. It helps with the conversion of your food into energy. At Spark Health, we use Methylcobalamin, the form of vitamin B12 that can be utilized immediately by the body. This is crucial for those who have MTHFR genetic mutations that make it difficult to convert certain vitamins into their active forms.


If you are interested in learning more about our IV therapy offerings, or would like more information about naturopathic medicine or integrative medicine, call 858-228-4188 or send us an email at Spark@MySparkHealth.com. We look forward to working with you to achieve your highest expression of health!


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



  1. White HL, Scates PW. Acetyl-L-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine. Neurochem Res 1990;15;597-601
  2. Zhang M: Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids. 2004, 26: 203-207.
  3. Bakker AJ, Berg HM. Effect of taurine on sarcoplasmic reticulum function and force in skinned fast-twitch skeletal muscle fibres of the rat. J Physiol. 2002 Jan;538:185-94.
  4. Patak P, Willenberg HS, Bornstein SR. Vitamin C is an important cofactor for both adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. Endocr Res. 2004 Nov;30(4):871-5.


How is Naturopathic Medicine Different From Conventional Medicine

Spark Lifestyle Services

Naturopathic medicine shares a lot with conventional medicine.  We both rely on lab testing and physical exams to help make sense of a patient’s symptoms.  We both share common roots in medical science and researched-based treatments. But we also offer things beyond conventional medicine.


First of all, we go broader.  We have a broad focus that looks at the whole body.  We want to understand how the different systems of the body are working together, since they can affect each other.  So your rash or your headache isn’t just a problem with your skin or your head. We need to look more broadly at the body to understand what’s happening.


Second we go deeper.  We don’t just rely on a single screening test- we often have to go more in depth to understand complex problems, and to help catch things early, which is important if you are concerned with preventing illness, since it is easier to correct a problem in the early stages.


Finally, we think outside the box.  There is testing beyond what is conventional that can be incredibly helpful such as more comprehensive gut testing, food allergy testing, additional inflammation and detoxification tests and nutrient panels that all help us provide the best possible care.


We are also different in the types of treatments we focus on.  We do sometimes need to use prescription medications but our top choice is usually diet changes, exercise, supplements of particular vitamins or other natural products, detoxification protocols, etc.  These things are usually a gentler intervention on the body and not only solve the health problem, but leave the body healthier.


If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at MySparkHealth.com .

What to Expect When Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor

Natural Medicine San Diego

Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor at Spark Health may not be your average doctor’s appointment. Naturopathic Doctors are trained similarly to Medical Doctors as they go through 4 years of medical school with similar coursework but the approach to patient care has a different perspective.

Naturopathic Medicine follows the following six principles in order to provide you with the best personalized medical care  which include:

  •  The Healing Power of Nature. Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
  • Identify and Treat the Causes. Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
  • First Do No Harm. Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
  • Doctor as Teacher. Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
  • Treat the Whole Person. View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
  • Prevention. Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.

When you book a new patient appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor at Spark Health is that you will be meeting with your doctor for about an hour long.

We want to be able to get to know you as a whole person so that we are treating you as a person and not just a symptom. Prior to our new patient appointments, we have our patients fill out a thorough new patient questionnaire.

This allows the doctor to get some background and get to know you before you walk through their door. When you arrive at Spark Health you will be checked in with our patient care coordinator, we check your vitals and then you get an entire hour to discuss your current health concerns and goals with your Naturopathic Doctor.

During the visit with the doctor, you will discuss your current symptoms, past medical history, family history, current diet, and lifestyle factors like how you are sleeping, stress management, and more. This is because all of these factors have a powerful influence on how you are feeling and your overall health.

Naturopathic medicine wants to identify and treat the cause rather than simply suppressing symptoms. During your initial appointment with the doctor is when you will decide the best ways to further gather information with lab testing. This may be with a blood draw, urine, saliva, breath, or stool collections. Many of the labs we use can be billed through your insurance but all of the office visits are cash price.

Your Naturopathic Doctor is able to create a superbill for you after your visit that may provide reimbursement from your insurance company, depending on the policy. At Spark, we perform all of our blood draws in office and also offer mobile phlebotomy services to accommodate you and your schedule.

Most other lab testing can be done in the comfort of your own home.

 As Naturopathic Doctors, we are trained to look beyond the basics when it comes to lab testing. This allows us to provide the most personalized treatment plan that is right for you and your body at that time.

Depending on your current symptom picture and history, a Naturopathic Doctor will be able to guide you towards the proper lab testing. Too often we have patients that come in with a laundry list of supplements without knowing why or if they should be taking them.

We want you to supplement your body with what it needs which is why we like to tell our patients to test instead of guess. Something we see commonly is patients experiencing abdominal complaints and nearly everyone running to the store to get on a probiotic, but not all probiotics are created equal.

With a comprehensive stool analysis, we can get a better understand of your gut microbiome to see what is happening with the beneficial flora of your gut to see exactly which strain and dose of probiotic is best for your body.

 Once all lab testing has been done your doctor will review all of your labs and go through everything discussed in that initial appointment to create your complete treatment plan.

Your Naturopathic Doctor will want to take everything into account while developing your plan. Your first lab review appointment will also be a bit different than visiting your conventional doctor.

We sit down for another hour long appointment to go through your lab results point by point so that you can understand what each value means. Your Naturopathic Doctor also will be looking at your labs through a different perspective.

Often times reference ranges for certain lab values are quite large and we want to look at them through a functional perspective. For example, vitamin D has a reference range typically around 30-100 but if a patient’s vitamin D level is only a 31 it may be in the normal range but not what is optimal for that patient.

 Your treatment plan may include medications, supplements, dietary interventions, as well as lifestyle adjustment so that you can reach your health goals to feel your best. A common misconception is that Naturopathic Doctors are against using medication, which is not the case.

We will use medications and prescriptions when necessary but always aim to provide our patients with a treatment plan that is using interventions that are least invasive first.

At Spark, we want to educate our patients as much as possible because when you have the knowledge and understanding about your body your health with succeed even more.


For more information about naturopathic medicine or integrative medicine, please call Spark Health 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

Natural Medicine Pediatrics

Naturopathic medicine is great for kids!  For those that have health problems, it can be helpful to evaluate nutritional levels, and sometimes gut health to see what kind of impact this could be having on their health. Once we have a more complete idea of what is going on, we can recommend specific diet changes, supplements, or other treatments that can work alongside their conventional care, or sometimes be a safe and effective alternative to what they were using before.  Parents appreciate having support for using natural care, in knowing which products and dosages are safe, and knowing when conventional care is the more appropriate option.

One bonus to bringing kids in early is to plant the seed that health is largely created by choices and actions.  Although it is a hard time for most kids to really take responsibility for that, we start sending those messages early, that not only are diet, sleep, moving your body, handling stress important, there are places to go for help and support with that.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at MySparkHealth.com .

How Can Naturopathic Medicine Support Cancer Treatment?

Spark Lifestyle Services

Naturopathic Medicine and Cancer

Many patients that are diagnosed with cancer feel overwhelmed and are looking for guidance in treatment options, as well as recommendations for natural therapies that can help support them through treatment.

Working with a Naturopathic Doctor that is trained in and specializes in integrative cancer treatment can allow patients to receive the benefit of conventional treatments while minimizing negative side effects.

Naturopathic doctors who specialize in naturopathic oncology understand both the standard treatments used by medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, and how best to work in a collaborative model of cancer co-treatment.

There are many ways in which naturopathic oncology care can benefit patients.

Many patients experience side effects from chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, including hot flashes, insomnia, taste changes, mouth sores, fatigue, bowel changes, nausea and neuropathy.

Naturopathic medicine can help to prevent and minimize the risk of these side effects so that patients can maintain their regular treatment schedule without interruption, and can help resolve lingering side effects from conventional treatment.

Screening for any potential interactions between conventional and natural cancer therapies is another important component of integrative cancer care, as these interactions may affect the efficacy of treatment.

After patients have completed treatment, we work to support the natural cancer-fighting ability of the immune system to help prevent recurrences or other types of cancer.

Naturopathic Medicine at Spark Health

If you are interested in learning more about how naturopathic medicine can support your cancer treatment, please reach out and give us a call at 858-228-4188 or send us an email at Spark@MySparkHealth.com. We look forward to helping you achieve your health goals! 

The Spark Health Clinic 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. 

Thank you,

Dr. Aliza Cicerone

Medical Director at Spark Health

Here are the Differences Between B12 Shots and Vitamin IVs.

two people receiving IV therapy treatments


B12 Shots and Vitamin IVs

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

Patients often ask about the difference between getting a B12 Shot and getting a Vitamin IV. These two services are both valuable in their own ways, depending on what your health goals are!

When and why should I come in for a B12 shot? 

We generally recommend coming in for a B12 shot weekly for health maintenance, or as needed for specific health concerns.

The great thing about the B12 shots at Spark Health is that we put much more than B12 in our shots. We have 16 proprietary nutrient blends for all types of health goals, from increased energy to immune health to detox.

Our shots have been formulated by world class experts in injectable nutrients.

Rather than giving 1mL of vitamin B12 and sending you on your way, we jam pack our shots with up to 3mL of nutrients!

These injections go directly into the muscle and slowly absorb into the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Our B12 shots are also helpful when you need a quick boost and don’t have the time to get a vitamin IV. 

Does the B12 shot hurt? 

The B12 shot is given into the top of the gluteal muscle with a very small needle, and we add anesthetic to make it a very comfortable experience for our patients. Most patients describe it as feeling like a little pinch.

What are the benefits of B12?

Vitamin B12 aids in the conversion of food (fat, protein and carbohydrates) into energy. 

Vitamin B12 may be depleted due to various factors, including:

  • irritable bowel disease
  • celiac disease
  • bariatric surgery
  • certain infections (such as H. Pylori)
  • certain diets (vegetarian and vegan)
  • certain medications (such as oral contraceptives, PPIs, Metformin, antibiotics and corticosteroids) (3, 4, 5) 

Vitamin B12 is also necessary for immune health. Deficiency of this vitamin in humans has been shown in research to decrease lymphocytes and suppress natural killer (NK) cell activity.

NK cells are a type of white blood cell that attack cells infected by viruses. Supplementation of Vitamin B12 reverses these effects, providing us with the defenders necessary to keep us healthy. (1, 2)

What type of B12 do you use?

Here at Spark Health, we love B12 and use a specific form known as methylcobalamin. 

Methylcobalamin is the form of vitamin B12 that can be used immediately without modification or conversion in the body.

This is especially important for people with genetic mutations that make it difficult to activate compounds in the body by methylation.

When and why should I come in for a vitamin IV?

Vitamin IVs are valuable in their ability to deliver plenty of nutrients at once, with 100% bioavailability.

A vitamin IV has more room for nutrients than a vitamin shot, so it is helpful when you need a lot of support fast!

We recommend coming in for a vitamin IV at the first sign of a cold, or whenever you’re feeling fatigued or lacking energy.

The nutrients in a vitamin IV go directly into the bloodstream and are delivered to the tissues that need them most.

Here at Spark Health, our “fast bag” vitamin IVs take about 15-20 minutes to drip, are only $85, and contain all the B vitamins, vitamin C, and essential minerals you need to stay in tip-top condition.

We offer custom formulas that address a variety of health goals, from weight loss to energy to stress reduction. 

So, can you break down the main differences between the B12 shots and the Vitamin IVs?

B12 Shot:

  • Treatment Duration: Less than 5 minutes
  • Delivery method: Gluteal muscle
  • Volume of nutrients/fluid: Approx. 3 mL
  • Average Cost: $40

Vitamin IV (“Fast Bag”):

  • Treatment Duration: 15-20 min.
  • Delivery method: Vein accessed through the inside of the arm
  • Volume of nutrients/fluid: Approx. 120 mL
  • Average Cost: $85

Vitamin IV Therapy and Vitamin Shots at Spark Health

If you are interested in learning more about the vitamin shots or vitamin IVs we offer at Spark Health, give us a call at 858-228-4188 or send us an email at Spark@MySparkHealth.com. We look forward to helping you achieve your health goals! 

The Spark Health Clinic 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. 

Thank you,

` The Spark Team



  1. Maggini, et al. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses. British Journal of Nutrition (2007), 98
  2. Tamura J, Kubota K, Murakami H, Sawamura M, Matsushima T, Tamura T, Saitoh T, Kurabayashi H & Naruse T (1999) Immunomodulation by vitamin B12: augmentation of CD8þT lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cell activity in vitamin B12-deficient patients by methyl-B12 treatment. Clin Exp Immunol;16,28-32.
  3. Berenson, et al. Effect of hormonal contraceptives on vitamin B12 level and the association of the latter with bone mineral density. Contraception. 2012 November ; 86(5): 481-487
  4. Zhao-Wei Ting, et al. Risk Factors of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Patients Receiving Metformin. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1975-1979
  5. Herrmann et al. Causes and early diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105:680-5.

Non-Pharmaceutical Options for Symptoms of ADHD

Alternative Treatments for ADHD Symptoms

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

ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a behavioral condition characterized by persistent inattention and/or impulsive, hyperactive behaviors.

These symptoms show up in childhood and interfere with social, academic or occupational activities. ADHD is understood to be a result of multifactorial causes including genetics.

Genes specifically affecting the regulation of dopamine and glutamate are associated with ADHD. Neurologically, there are differences in brain structure in the frontal cortex, cerebellum and parietal lobes as well as reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex in patients affected by ADHD compared to those without ADHD.

Other biological elements associated with ADHD include:

  • Prematurity and low birth weight
  • Exposure to toxins or infections during pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic stressors during early childhood (2)

Although symptoms of ADHD tend to improve in late adolescence, many adults still suffer from this condition. The standard treatments for ADHD are stimulant drugs such as amphetamine salts (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin), but these drugs are associated with a high level of abuse and side effects. 

If you answer yes to any of the below questions, we are ready to lead you toward your highest expression of health through a personalized, individual approach. 

  • Do you or a loved one suffer from ADHD?
  • Are you interested in taking a different approach from the standard pharmaceutical treatments?
  • Do you want to learn more about specialized testing that can help address some of the imbalances underlying ADHD? 
  • Do you want to explore the non-pharmaceutical options that are on the cutting edge of addressing this condition? 

Non-Pharmaceutical Treatments for ADHD Treatments

There are many angles we are able to take as Naturopathic Doctors to help address conditions like ADHD.

The first consideration is the importance of the gut-brain axis (GBA). There is a direct connection between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the enteric nervous system (the neurons responsible for intestinal functions).

Did you know that the majority of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in the body is actually produced in the gut itself? The enteric nervous system surprisingly uses more than 30 neurotransmitters.

The activities going on in the gut are often indicative of processes going on in the brain, and vice versa. It is well understood that gastrointestinal inflammation and dysbiosis can contribute to alterations in mood and behavior.

Specifically, research shows a connection between altered GI flora and ADHD. Therefore, if we are able to address intestinal functioning properly, we are able to change the activities of the central nervous system. 

We do this by using stool testing and other personalized functional lab testing. From the results of a stool analysis, we may make specific recommendations on supplements, probiotics, or dietary changes that can enhance gastrointestinal functioning and therefore help address ADHD symptoms. (1,2)

There is also evidence that persons with ADHD exhibit more susceptibility to food allergies than persons without ADHD. (2) Improvements in behavior can be seen often on certain types of elimination diets. (3)

Here at Spark Health, we can test for antibodies to 96 or 184 foods, depending on individual needs.

Food sensitivities are different from food allergies in the reaction that they create in the body. Many doctors test only immediate allergies to foods, such as peanuts, which can lead to immediate anaphylactic reactions.

But this doesn’t give us information about how repeated exposure to certain foods over a long term can impact health. By testing for food sensitivities, we take the guesswork out of the equation, so you have a clear sense of which foods to avoid and which foods to include in the diet. 

Other tests that we may utilize include neurotransmitter testing (measured by a urine sample), which allows us to assess levels of amino acids and amines that turn into the chemical messengers that make up our brain chemistry.

Although we are unable to directly measure the neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, we can use urinary levels to see certain patterns that may be associated with disorders such as ADHD. From these results, we can create a personalized plan that can help to balance out neurotransmitters and alleviate symptoms. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Spark Health approach to personalized natural medicine, give us a call at 858-228-4188 or you can email us at Spark@MySparkHealth.com.

We look forward to helping you achieve your health goals!

~The Spark Team


1. Carabotti M, et al. The Gut-Brain axis: Interactions Between Enteric Microbiota, Central and Enteric Nervous Systems. Annals of Gastroenterology (2015); 28,203-209

2. Petra AI, et al. Gut-microbiota-brain Axis and Its Effect on Neuropsychiatric Disorders With Suspected Immune Dysregulation. Clinical Therapeutics (2015); 37

3. De Theije CG, et al. Food Allergy and Food-Based Therapies in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Pediatric Allergy Immunol. 2014;25:218-226

How Micronutrient Deficiencies Could Be Holding You Back from Your Optimal Health

Spark Lifestyle Services

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

Micronutrient Deficiencies

Sometimes eating healthy, exercising and taking a multivitamin isn’t enough to support optimal health.

If you are doing those things but still feel fatigued, stressed, or otherwise out of balance, testing for micronutrient deficiencies should be considered. Micronutrient deficiency refers to having a low amount of the vitamins and minerals your body requires for daily biological processes.

Approximately 40 micronutrients are required in the human diet. Inadequate intake of micronutrients is known as an important contributor to increased rates of illness. (1,3)

In developing countries, micronutrient deficiencies are widespread, and cause very serious symptoms and even death. In the U.S., deficiencies can be less obvious and can cause silent issues that accumulate over time, such as DNA damage.

In fact, micronutrient deficiencies can damage DNA in the same way that radiation does. Micronutrient deficiencies have been associated with cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, weight gain and obesity, cognitive issues, and lowered immunity. (3)

Common Micronutrient Deficiencies

  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D
  • selenium
  • vitamin A
  • calcium
  • folate

Am I at Risk Of Having A Micronutrient Deficiency?

Those particularly at high risk of micronutrient deficiencies are:

  • patients on a low calorie diet
  • smokers
  • patients following a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • those who eat few fruits and vegetables
  • patients who have undergone gastric or bariatric surgeries, and those recovering from illnesses.

However, anyone can be affected by micronutrient deficiencies. (2)

Micronutrient Testing

Micronutrient testing provides information on how well the body utilizes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants. The micronutrient test that we use at Spark Health functionally measures how nutrients are used inside the cells, specifically lymphocytes.

The lymphocytes are placed in various nutrient conditioned media, and are observed for growth. Since the life span of a lymphocyte is approximately four to six months, this micronutrient test provides an average of nutrient status over a longer period of time.

This is very different from simply testing blood levels, which are constantly changing. Furthermore, the micronutrient panel we run does not require any fasting or specific preparation. Patients do not need to stop taking their medications or supplements, and can even receive IV nutrient therapy without it affecting their results.

IV Nutrient Therapy

Based on this micronutrient test, we are able to make personalized recommendations.

We can make a customized IV bag based on what your micronutrient test says you are deficient in. We can deliver concentrated levels vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and amino acids directly into the bloodstream through an IV.

With certain nutrients, IV therapy provides up to 10 times the absorption of oral supplementation. By administering the nutrients directly into the bloodstream, our cells are able to effectively metabolize the nutrients they require for optimal function and healing.

Spark Health’s IV Nutrient Therapy Program

For more information about how micronutrient deficiencies could be holding you back from your optimal health, give us at a call at 858-228-4188 or email us at Spark@MySparkHealth.com.

Spark 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.

Thank you,
The Spark Team


1. Black, R.E. Micronutrient deficiency – an underlying cause of morbidity and mortality. Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(2):79

2. Shankar, P, Boylan, M, Sriram, K. Micronutrient deficiencies after bariatric surgery. Nutrition 2010; 26: 1031–1037.

3. Ames, B.N. Micronutrient Deficiencies A Major Cause of DNA Damage. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;889:87-106

Sun Safety and Skin Health

Spark Lifestyle Services

Summer is just around the corner which means our exposure to sun will increase. Whether it’s laying out on the beach or walking to and from our cars, we are constantly exposed to the sun.

We recommend some amount of sunlight in order to support optimal Vitamin D levels, hormones, and a healthy mood but for optimum skin health, you want to avoid too much exposure to sun.

Sun Safety Tips

  • Choose your sunscreen wisely.
  • Pay attention to the inactive ingredients.
  • Reapply every 2 hours.
  • Support your sunburn.
  • Increase your antioxidants.
  • Take care of sun-damaged skin.

What sunscreen should I use?

Aim to use a mineral based sunscreen like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead of a chemical sunscreen in order to reflect the harmful rays. Many of the chemical sunscreens have been shown to have hormone disrupting effects and high rates of allergic reactions. Not all chemical sunscreens are created equal and the Environmental Working Group has put together an easy chart to help you navigate sunscreen ingredients.

Here are some of our favorite mineral sunscreen brands:

  • MyChelle
  • W.S. Badger Company
  • Goddess Garden
  • All Terrain

Pay attention to the inactive ingredients.

Stay away from sunscreens that contain retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) and keep your Vitamin A use to at night.

How often should I apply sunscreen?

Despite the number of your SPF, you still need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours to ensure you are continuously protected from the sun.

What do I do if I get sunburned?

In the case you are overexposed to too much sunlight here are some of our favorite after-sun soothing products.

  • Goddess Garden After-Sun Gel with Aloe Spray
  • W.S. Badger After Sun Balm
  • All Terrain Aloe Gel Skin Relief
  • MyChelle Cucumber Cooler Soothing Spray

Increase your antioxidants.

Increasing your dietary and supplemental antioxidants will help protect you from the inside out.

Focus on antioxidant rich foods like berries, leafy greens, carrots, red bell peppers, salmon, chocolate, green tea and high quality coffee.

Talk to your Spark doctor about adding in specific antioxidant support during these months of higher sun exposure.

Take care of sun-damaged skin.

Sometimes we don’t notice the after-effects of our sun exposure until years later. Here are some of our favorite ways to reverse the signs of aging due to sun exposure:

  • Sunscreen.
  • Vitamin.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids.
  • Vitamin A.
  • Growth Factors.


Apply sunscreen daily to any areas of sun damage no matter what. This includes your neck, chest, and don’t forget the back of your hands!

Vitamin C.

For added sun protection in the morning use a topical Vitamin C serum for its antioxidant benefits. We love Skin Authority’s Super-C Serum and Devita’s C-Pro Plus for a 20% Vitamin C content that will help to brighten dark spots and increase collagen production.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

AHAs are exfoliants that are used to get rid of dead skin cells and can improve the appearance of sun damaged skin. We love Skin Authority’s Resurfacing Accelerator and Suki Skincare’s Resurfacing Enzyme Peel.

Vitamin A.

Whether you can tolerate a retinol or need a gentler version like retinyl palmitate, vitamin A is one of the best anti-aging nutrients around. Remember to only use in the evening! Our favorites are Skin Authority’s Vitamin A Cell Renewal and AllVia’s Retinol Cream.

Growth Factors.

With sun damage comes fine lines and wrinkles and one the best ways to nourish sun damaged skin is with Skin Authority’s Skin Growth Factor Technology (SGF-4). Using the Wrinkle Reversing Serum and Dramatic Eye Lift in the morning will tighten and brighten those areas that have had a little too much sun.

Is My Sunscreen Safe?

If you are curious about the safety of your sunscreen you have at home, use the Environmental Working Group Cosmetics Database to search for the safety of your products.

Learn More About Spark Health

For more information about Sun Safety and Skin Health, give us at a call at 858-228-4188 or email us at Spark@MySparkHealth.com.

Spark 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.

Thank you,
The Spark Team

Acne and IV Nutrient Therapy

two people receiving IV therapy treatments

Acne is one of those conditions that can have a multitude of causes. At Spark Health, it is always our goal to be able to identify the root cause of your acne so that we can prevent it from happening in the first place.

The triggers can be multifactorial which is where a functional lab evaluation with a Spark doctor can help to identify your personal acne triggers. Whether the cause is coming from dysregulated hormones or a poor functioning digestive system, nutrient deficiencies are almost always involved.

Since it can be a challenge to achieve proper nutrient absorption from our food and/or supplements, IV nutrient therapy is a great way to ensure you are getting 100% absorption of those key nutrients.

IV Nutrient Therapy for Acne

Our Acne Support IV bag provides comprehensive support for our patients suffering with acne breakouts.

Here is a breakdown of my favorite acne fighting nutrients that are highlighted in our Acne Support IV bag:

  • Vitamin B3: Acne prevention, lowers sebum production, down regulates inflammation
  • Vitamin B5 : Acne prevention, balances oil production
  • Vitamin B6: Acne prevention associated with hormonal fluctuations
  • Carnitine: Works together with vitamin B5 to balance oil production, supports the immune system, increases cellular repair
  • Vitamin C: Antioxidant, supports collagen formation, boosts immune system, increases wound healing
  • Selenium: Antioxidant, reduces inflammation, thyroid supportive
  • Glutathione: Antioxidant, liver supportive, decreases inflammation, collagen supportive

Learn More About IV Nutrient Therapy and Acne

For more information about Acne and IV Nutrients, give us at a call at 858-228-4188 or email us at Spark@MySparkHealth.com.

Spark 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.

Thank you,
The Spark Team