The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet for the Brain

Detox Basics

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

The Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is low in carbs, high in fat and moderate in protein. The body produces ketones for fuel instead of burning sugars and carbohydrates for fuel.

Ketones are a fuel source that the liver produces when we break down fat. Evolutionarily speaking, we would produce ketones in a fasted state, when food was scarce.

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

There are plenty of health benefits of a ketogenic diet, but the benefits for the brain are particularly striking.

The ketogenic diet was originally designed to help decrease the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy. The diet has been studied to be especially effective in children and adult patients who have refractory seizures (seizures that do not respond well to anti-seizure medications). (1,2,7)

There is evidence that ketone bodies not only act as molecules for fuel, but also act as cell signaling molecules. These signaling molecules have strong anti-inflammatory actions and have been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the brain. (4)

Ketones have been shown to help reduce the damage that free radicals create in brain cells. Ketone bodies also support the vagal nerve, therefore increasing parasympathetic tone.

When our bodies are under parasympathetic tone, we are in a more rested and relaxed state. Having better parasympathetic tone can lead to stress reduction, improved sleep, and improved mood.

A ketogenic diet (or any diet that mimics a fasting state) increases levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF is responsible for increasing connections between neurons in the brain. Low BDNF levels have been associated with neurodegenerative disorders.

In animal models, a ketogenic diet has been shown to decrease amyloid beta plaques, which have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. (3) Furthermore, the administration of ketones have been shown to improve memory in humans with Alzheimer’s disease. (5)

Additionally, in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the brain has trouble utilizing glucose for fuel. Therefore, switching its energy source to ketones results in improved cognition.

There is also some evidence that a Ketogenic diet may have therapeutic value in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers usually study Parkinson’s disease with an animal model that utilizes the neurotoxin MPTP.

They use this neurotoxin to create injury to the brain that creates symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. Beta-hydroxybutyrate was shown in mouse models to decrease the toxicity that MPTP created. (8) Effects of a ketogenic diet are promising in some case studies and human studies with smaller sample sizes. (6)

It is evident that a ketogenic diet can also benefit patients that experience stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). The destruction of brain cells that results from strokes and brain injury involves cell death from glutamate. It is thought that Ketone bodies can actually prevent cellular death in the brain in cases of high glutamate. (9)

Overall, it is clear in the research that a ketogenic diet is not simply a means of weight loss, but a powerful therapeutic tool that can be utilized to help treat many different brain-based disorders.

Learn More About Ketogenic Diets

For more information about the benefits of a ketogenic diet for the brain, give us at a call at 858-228-4188 or email us at

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.

Thank you,
The Spark Team


1. Paoli et al. Beyond weight loss: A review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 2013;67:789-796.

2. Kossoff et al. Ketogenic diets: An update for child neurologists. J. Child Neurol. 2009;24:979-988.

3. Van der Auwera et al. A ketogenic diet reduces amyloid beta 40 and 42 in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2005 2:28

4. Gasior et al. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the Ketogenic diet. Behav Pharmacol. 2006: 17(5-6):431-439

5. Reger, et al. Effects of B-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiology of Aging 25 (2004) 311-314

6. T. B. VanItallie et al. Treatment of Parkinson disease with diet-induced hyperketonemia: A feasibility study. Neurology Feb 2005, 64 (4) 728-730

7. Freeman JM et al. The efficacy of the ketogenic diet – 1998: a prospective evaluation of intervention in 150 children. Pediatrics. 1998;102:1358-1363.

8. Tieu K et al. Beta hydroxybutyrate rescues mitochondrial respiration and mitigates features of Parkinson disease. J Clin Invest. 2003;112:892-901

9. Stafstrom CE, Rho JM. The ketogenic diet as a treatment paradigm for diverse neurological disorders. Front. Pharmacol., 09 April 2012

Does Vitamin B12 Help With Weight Loss?

Nitrional Basics

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

Although there is no concrete research that B12 aids directly in weight loss, there is plenty of evidence to show that vitamin B12 deficiency can affect your overall health and wellbeing. 

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), and certain medications (such as oral contraceptives, PPIs, Metformin. antibiotics and corticosteroids). (3, 4, 5, 6)

Studies have shown that B12 deficiency is more common in those who are overweight or obese. (1,2)
It is unclear whether low B12 causes weight gain, but this research gives us insight into the micronutrient issues that may be related to a higher body mass index. 

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.

Methylcobalamin is especially important for immune health. Supplementation of Methylcobalamin provides you with the defenders necessary to stay healthy, so you can keep up the good eating habits and exercise routines that make you successful in your weight loss journey. (7) 

How Spark Health Can Help.

Overall, vitamin B12 is helpful in keeping you healthy and active so you can reach your goals. Come to Spark Health today to try one of our B12 shots! We go above and beyond when formulating our shots, adding much more than just B12. If you are looking for a natural way to promote weight loss, we recommend trying our “Body Sculpt” Shot. This shot includes B12, L-carnitine and MIC. MIC (Methionine Inositol Choline) is known as the ultimate ‘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 and fat-burning liver function, while choline regulates cholesterol and fat transport around the body, preventing fat from depositing in one place. If you prefer IV therapy, we recommend the Weight Loss Fast Bag, which features MIC, B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals to get you feeling your best.

At Spark Health we have custom formulated many of our proprietary Vitamin Shots (Vitamin Injections) using B vitamins. Our Vitamin Shot Bar has a wide variety of B12 Shots to choose from… you can check out our extensive menu of shots at

For more information about our weight management offerings, give us at a call at 858-228-4188 or email us at

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. Kaya et al. Obesity and insulin resistance associated with lower plasma vitamin B12 in PCOS. Reprod Biomed Online 2009; 19:721-6.

2. Baltac et al. Association of vitamin B12 with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and body fat composition; primary care-based study. Med Glas (Zenica) 2013; 10(2):203-210

3. Aarts et al. The Gastric Sleeve: Losing Weight as Fast as Micronutrients? Obes Surg (2011) 21:207–211

4. 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

5. Zhao-Wei Ting, et al. Risk Factors of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Patients Receiving MetforminArch Intern Med. 2006;166:1975-1979

6. Herrmann et al. Causes and early diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105:680-5.

7. Tamura et al. Immunomodulation by vitamin B12: augmentation of CD8þT lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cell activity in vitamin B12-deficient patients by methyl-B12 treatment. (1999) Clin Exp Immu- nol116,28 – 32. 

What is the PRP Micro Needling Facial?

Spark Lifestyle Services

So what is the PRP Micro Needling Facial?

Well, the PRP Micro Needling Facial is a leading-edge, age management facial using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and an electronic micro needling pen.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Micro Needling uses the healing power of platelets and growth factors from your own blood to stimulate collagen growth, repair and regenerate damaged skin, and reverses signs of aging. This type of medical facial is commonly referred to as the Vampire Facial which was made popular by Kim Kardashian.

Let’s talk more about what PRP is:

(PRP) Platelet Rich Plasma is the nutrient-dense portion of your blood full of growth factors. These growth factors trigger the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, resulting in healthier and younger looking skin.

Let’s talk more about what Micro Needling is:

Micro Needling is a collagen induction therapy that improves your skin’s overall appearance by treating fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and discoloration. This procedure uses tiny needles to create microchannels in the skin that allow for PRP’s growth factors and hyaluronic acid to penetrate the skin deeper than traditional applications for superior results.

How is this medical facial performed?

We will draw a small amount of blood from your arm and place this in the centrifuge to isolate the PRP. After numbing cream is applied to the treatment area, the face is prepped for the procedure. Once the needling begins, the PRP and hyaluronic acid are applied topically, much like a serum, to allow maximum absorption into the dermis through microchannels created by the microneedles.

How long is the recovery time?

Immediately after the treatment, you will notice a slight redness of the skin, similar to a mild sunburn. The total healing time depends on the patient and the condition of the skin. On average, skin is slightly red for 2-3 days.

How long will it take till I see results?

You will notice an immediate “glow” to your skin. The first changes patients typically see are a decrease in pore size and improvement in overall skin tone and texture. Your full results develop over the course of a few weeks as the collagen matrix begins to lie down. Results continue to improve over months as collagen production continues.

How many treatments will I need?

Most patients will need 2-3 treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart. For extensive or advanced signs of aging, 6-8 sessions may be needed. Maintenance PRP Micro Needling Facials are recommended every 6-12 months, depending on the individual and your doctor’s recommendation.

Advantages of the “PRP Micro Needling Facial”:

There are a lot of benefits to having the PRP Micro Needling Facial done at Spark Health. Some of the main benefits that our patients commonly rave about are as follows…

  • Enhances natural collagen production
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improves skin tone and texture
  • Decreases pore size
  • Fills in acne scars
  • Evens out skin discoloration
  • There is little to no downtime
  • Ideal for the patient who does not want any synthetic fillers

At Spark, we have advanced the PRP Micro Needling Facial (aka Vampire Facial) and taken it to the next level by developing 3 different levels of this medical facial geared towards our patient’s unique needs. Below is a synopsis of the PRP Micro Needling Facial levels and some of the add-on’s that are available.

Level 1:
Micro Needling Facial with Hyaluronic Acid

  • Purpose: To treat acne scarring and discoloration
  • Results: Seen over 4-8 weeks after treatment
  • Discomfort level: only a 2 out of 10
  • Recovery: 2-4 days
  • Procedure length: 1-2 hours
  • Number of recommended sessions: Typically, 3 treatments, 5-6 weeks apart

Level 2:
Micro Needling facial with Hyaluronic Acid and Platelet Rich Plasma.

  • Purpose: Increase collagen production to treat fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone/texture, age spots, acne scarring and discoloration
  • Results: Seen over 4-8 weeks after treatment
  • Discomfort level: only a 2 out of 10
  • Recovery: 2-4 days
  • Procedure length: 1-2 hours
  • Number of recommended sessions: Typically, 3 treatments, 5-6 weeks apart

Level 3:
Micro Needling Facial with Hyaluronic Acid, Platelet Rich Plasma, Wrinkle Reversing Serum/Moisturizing Lift Cream with SGF-4 Technology and Custom Beauty Bag IV

  • Combined with a Specially Formulated IV to Further Enhance Results:
  • Beauty Bag – “Collagen Builder”; includes a Glutathione Push
  • Beauty Bag – “Acne Support”; includes a Glutathione Push
  • Purpose: Increase collagen production to treat fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone/texture, age spots, acne scarring and discoloration
  • Results: Seen over 4-8 weeks after treatment
  • Discomfort level: only a 2 out of 10
  • Recovery: 2-4 days
  • Procedure length: 1-2 hours
  • Number of recommended sessions: Typically, 3 treatments, 5-6 weeks apart

Additional Areas:



  • *Wrinkle Reversing Serum with SGF-4 Technology:
  • *Moisturizing Lift Cream with SGF-4 Technology:
  • *Beauty Bag – “Collagen Builder”; includes a Glutathione Push
  • *Beauty Bag – “Acne Support”; includes a Glutathione Push
  • *Sheet Mask

Enhance your skin naturally with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Micro Needling Facial by Spark Health

As the electronic micropen is applied to the skin, hundreds of superficial micro-channels are created every second. This process stimulates your skin’s natural ability to regenerate collagen and elastin.

The repair process begins almost immediately. New collagen fibers produce softer, firmer skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, discoloration, and acne scars, and improve skin texture.

To speak to one of the Spark doctors about the PRP Micro Needling Facial please reach out to us at (858) 228-4188 or you can send us an email at

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

IV Vitamin C is an Adjunctive Cancer Treatment

Natural Medicine San Diego

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

When you think of vitamin C, you probably think of its anti-oxidant, immune-supportive qualities. What you may not realize is that vitamin C has different qualities when delivered in low doses versus high doses! The only way to get high concentrations of Vitamin C into the blood is through an IV, since the digestive system prevents absorption of high amounts of Vitamin C.

In the 1970s, Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize winner, led the way in the development of high dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) as an adjunctive cancer treatment. His research indicated that patients with advanced cancer survived longer with high dose vitamin C treatments than those who did not receive high dose vitamin C. (1)

More well-controlled clinical trials in humans are necessary to definitively say that high dose vitamin C is curative for patients with certain cancers, however, there is plenty of evidence to suggest its value as a safe and effective adjunctive (complimentary) cancer treatment.

High dose IV vitamin C leads to the production of hydrogen peroxide in the areas surrounding cancer cells, causing damage to those cells. (2) It has been shown that cancer cells are particularly prone to injury by the hydrogen peroxide, while normal cells are able to safely change the hydrogen peroxide into water. (3) Normal cells have an enzyme called catalase that is responsible for converting hydrogen peroxide into water. Tumor cells do not have enough of this enzyme, making them susceptible to damage by hydrogen peroxide. (1)

Most of the research available on this mechanism has been done in cell models, and more evidence from controlled human studies are needed. Human studies have, however, provided overwhelming evidence of high dose vitamin C increasing quality of life in patients with cancer. (6,7) There is evidence that it can help with fatigue, constipation, depression, and insomnia. (1)

High dose vitamin C does not interfere with the anti-tumor effects of chemotherapeutic drugs and does not increase their toxicity. (1) There is some evidence in the literature that high dose ascorbic acid therapy may add to the efficacy of other cancer therapies. (3,4,5) It has also been demonstrated in the research that high dose vitamin C therapy can improve survival in cancer patients and also contribute to a reduction in tumor mass. (1)

Overall, the research concludes that high dose vitamin C is a safe and effective adjunctive cancer treatment. Here at Spark Health, we offer high dose vitamin C IV therapy for established patients and patients who have a recommendation for this therapy from their oncologist.

At Spark Health, we are lucky to have Dr. Aliza Cicerone, one of the only cancer oncologists in California who is also a Naturopathic Doctor. Our team at Spark has developed an integrative approach to cancer treatment. To read more, please go to

If you are interested in high dose vitamin C therapy for adjunctive cancer care, give us at a call at 858-228-4188 or email us at

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. Fritz, et al. Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer: A Systematic Review. Integrative Cancer Therapies 2014

2. Chen, et al. Ascorbate in pharmacologic concentrations selectively generates ascorbate radical and hydrogen peroxide in extracellular fluid in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104(21):8749-54.

3. Verrax J and Calderon PB. The Controversial place of vitamin C in cancer treatment biochemical pharmacology. 76 (2008) 1644-1652.

4. Levine, et al Vitamin C: A Concentration- Function Approach Yields Pharmacology and Therapeutic Discoveries. Advanced Nutrition: 2: 78-88, 2011.

5. Ma Y, et al. High-dose parenteral ascorbate enhanced chemrsensitivity of ovarian cancer and reduced toxicity of chemotherapy. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Feb 5;6 (222).

6. Vollbracht et al. Intravenous vitamin C administration improves quality of life in breast cancer patients during chemo-/radiotherapy and aftercare: results of a retrospective, multicentre, epidemiological cohort study in Germany. In Vivo 2011 Nov-Dec; 25(6):983-90

7. Yeom et al. Changes of terminal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life after high dose vitamin C administration. J Korean Med Sci 2007 Feb;22(1):7-11

8. Anderson, Paul S. Intravenous Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Information for Physicians and Patients. (2017)

Have the Nerve to Improve Your Brain Health!

Spark Lifestyle Services

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

The brain is often ignored in regular health maintenance. We can easily get caught up in clearing our skin, healing our gastrointestinal system, or getting our allergies under control, but how often do we think about protecting the amazing, three-pound supercomputer we carry inside our heads?

At Spark Health, we want our patients to experience less fatigue, improved memory, better energy levels, and enhanced mental focus. We want to help our patients prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Thus, we created the “Brain Power” IV- full of nutrients to support the brain, spinal cord, and nerves all around the body. Let’s talk about some of the “star” nutrients in this incredible IV.


B1 (thiamine)- has a nitrogen component that it donates for the production of neurotransmitters. In animal models and neuronal cell culture, thiamin deficiency has been associated with increased beta amyloid production, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. 1 Thiamine levels were found to be lower in human patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than in patients without these conditions. 2

B complex– contains Vitamin B5 (Dexpanthenol), which helps our bodies create the myelin sheath, the fatty insulation material covering nerves that helps signals travel efficiently. Deficiencies of dexpanthenol can manifest as numbness, tingling, burning, or fatigue. B complex also contains B6 (Pyridoxine), which is essential in producing norepinephrine and serotonin, important neurotransmitters in regulating mood and sleep.

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 a nutrient that aids in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Deficiency in those neurotransmitters can contribute to anxiety, depression, dementia, and autoimmunity.

Taurine is known to be incredibly protective for the brain. It aids in the prevention of atherosclerosis and is protective against ischemic strokes. 3

L-carnitine– is known to support our nerves, brain, and heart. It has been shown to act as a building block for certain neurotransmitters needed for optimal cognitive functioning.4 Research also suggests that acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation may also improve mental function and reduce deterioration in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.5

In the “Brain Power” IV, we deliver a therapeutic dose of all of the above nutrients as well as basic vitamins and minerals in order to help our patients feel the best. We top the IV off with a generous dose of glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) to further support the brain and body.6


1. Zhang, et al. Thiamine deficiency increases beta secretase activity and accumulation of beta amyloid peptides. Neurobiology of Aging (2009)

2. Gibson, G. E., Hirsch, J. A., Fonzetti, P., Jordon, B. D., Cirio, R. T., & Elder, J. (2016). Vitamin B1 (thiamine) and dementia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367(1), 21–30.
3. Menzie, J., Prentice, H., & Wu, J.-Y. (2013). Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Taurine against Ischemic Stroke. Brain Sciences, 3(2), 877–907.

4. White HL, Scates PW. Acetyl-L-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine. Neurochem Res 1990;15;597-601

5. Cristofano, A., Sapere, N., La Marca, G., Angiolillo, A., Vitale, M., Corbi, G., … Di Costanzo, A. (2016). Serum Levels of Acyl-Carnitines along the Continuum from Normal to Alzheimer’s Dementia. PLoS ONE, 11(5), e0155694.

6. Pocernich, C. B., & Butterfield, D. A. (2012). Elevation of Glutathione as a Therapeutic Strategy in Alzheimer Disease. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1822(5), 625–630

How To Fix Nagging Shoulder Pain

How to fix that nagging shoulder pain

Is lingering shoulder pain inhibiting you from your daily activities or performing at a high level? Ever get a shoulder stinger while playing football or goofing around as a youngster? It is likely that you caused damaged to surrounding ligaments or labrum of the shoulder. When that happens, even endless hours of physical therapy and icing the shoulder can’t make the pain go away completely. What can you do? It’s time to learn a little more about PRP regenerative injections!


Why do I still have shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is caused by connective tissue or surrounding musculature that is injured during an abnormal movement. The muscles or tendons that are usually involved are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, or teres minor (rotator cuff muscles). The dysfunction of these muscles causes a downstream effect by inhibiting certain muscles or over-activation. The most common injury in the shoulder joint is to the supraspinatus – inhibiting shoulder flexion & abduction, as well as internal rotation (lifting the arm to pick up an item).

Shoulder pain is quite common because the dynamic function of our shoulder puts heavy strain on the surrounding muscles and connective tissues. PRP may have significant benefits for many shoulder injuries. It is suggested to consult with a specially trained PRP practitioner before shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement surgeries often cost thousands of dollars and recovery times are substantial.

The body is a patch and repair system – if an effected joint/structure is injured the bodies secretes calcium to mend and heal the structure (connective tissue, ligament, tendon, muscle, etc). This leaves the body with bone spurs, calcified connective tissues, and a consistent dull achy pain. Alternative treatments may provide temporary relief such as chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, topical creams, homeopathics, cold laser, ultrasound, and E-stem… the list goes on and on. These therapies may be beneficial to the joint and surrounding tissues but they do not physically heal and regrow the damaged tissue.

PRP regenerative injections are platelets and plasma extracted out of your own blood, activated, and injected back into the effected joint/connective tissues. The platelets contain stem cells and growth factors that will differentiate into a cartilage cell or connective tissue cell. This will allow the physical structure to heal properly and maintain its structural integrity. And the process of the needling technique also has the added benefit of stimulating the affected joint and structures.

PRP (non-surgical) regenerative injections are actually do the opposite of what you may think. The PRP causes an inflammation of the joint, rather than an anti-inflammatory effect most treatments like cortisone injections are intended to have. But while cortisone injections temporarily mask the pain, they are detrimental and degrading to the joint. Instead of masking the symptoms, the inflammatory effects of PRP bring increased growth factors, immune cells, and blood cells and genuinely improve the healing process.


PRP Regenerative Injections may be effective in treating these conditions 

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhensive capsulitis)
  • Chronic shoulder dislocations
  • Bicep tendinitis
  • Glenoid labral tear
  • Osteoarthitis (OA)
  • Tendinitis
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Instability


What to expect

PRP regenerative injections may be a viable treatment option for shoulder pain and dysfunction caused by overuse or connective tissue/ligamentous damage. During the pain management consult – a thorough history will be taken, physical exam including orthopedic exams, muscle testing, and functional movement assessment. Benefits and risks of the procedure will be discussed, as well as at home instructions. Clinically, there has been a high success rate of moving patient’s out of pain, improving structure and function, and improving movement patterns. Average treatment length is approximately 3-5 treatments to see the best results with PRP regenerative injections.


Other treatment options for shoulder pain 

  • Movement and mobility specialists (Your Healthy Spine Integrative Clinic)
  • Physical Therapy (Movement Rx)
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Cold Laser
  • Graston technique
  • Trigger point therapy/ART/Massage Therapy.



“Humpty Dumpty has nothing on me – thanks to Spark Health and PRP.”

“Spark Health has been an absolute lifesaver to me over this past year. I was initially treated for turf toe and both ankles for instability. After 1 PRP treatment, I was back in action and was able to return to teaching spinning class and snowboarding.”

“Through a sequence of unfortunate events, I ended up sustaining multiple injuries to my shoulder, low back, pelvis and hip. I saw 3 different physical therapists, a chiropractor, two orthopedic surgeons, a physical medicine doctor and an acupuncturist; all leaving me with no answers, increased pain and having spent thousands of dollars with no results, just worsening of symptoms. I have Ehlers-Danlos so for me surgery is never the best option nor does it target areas I need the most help with.”

“I am so grateful to the doctors at Spark for their global approach to getting me put back together. After just one PRP treatment to the pelvis and lower back, I had more than 70% improvement and will probably need only one other injection there. I am so appreciative for Spark’s pricing; most of the other clinics charge hundreds of dollars more per treatment.”

“Platelet Rich Plasma and Spark Health have been life-changing to me.”

Dr. Jason Phan ND – Spark Health – Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in IV Vitamin Therapy, PRP/Prolotherapy Regenerative Injections, Men’s and Women’s Health, and Optimal Living. 

The Show Featuring Dr. Cicerone

Listen to “The Show 11-17-16 Dr. Aliza Cicerone” on Spreaker.

Our very own Dr. Cicerone, aka “Dr. C,” was on “The Show” with Elizabeth Meza. They talked naturopathic medicine, prolotherapy and all things Spark Health! Dr. C shared valuable insight into how Spark Health finds the roots of its patients’ health issues, and neutralizes them in a natural and conclusive fashion. Meza conducted an informative and engaging interview that allowed Dr. C to really delve deeply into the benefits Spark Health offers its patients. Dr. C discussed the four key elements of Spark Health’s products and services: PRP Injections, PRP Facials, Vitamin Injections and Vitamin IV Therapy.

Dr. C explained, “Prolotheraphy is a regenerative joint injection. And it’s been done in the professional athletic world for years now, and in the past — probably — 5 years or so it’s really become more mainstream. So, the public has access to it.” Dr. C broke down the differences between platelet rich prolotherapy (PRP Therapy) and the dextrose prolotherapy which is a sugar solution. PRP Therapy employs fascinating a technique which involves using some of the patients’ own blood as an essential part of the prolotherapy. Spark Health’s patented PRP Injections have aided everyone from crossfit athletes, to triathletes all the way to the “weekend warriors” among us.

This interview is packed with information, and Dr. C makes it all easy to understand. More importantly: she explains how it all works. She goes into detail about how Spark Health’s services enrich and repair our bodies from the inside out. So, give this a listen and learn how Spark Health can help you live a happy and healthy life!

Prolotherapy & Joint Pain in San Diego

Spark Health has focused its medical background in the areas of pain management and improving athletic performance. Utilizing a sports medicine background with natural medical knowledge, prolotherapy and PRP regenerative injections are the main therapeutic modality performed for pain. Our practitioners are highly trained in physical medicine and regenerative joint injections being taught by The American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine.

Regenerative injections have been treating acute and chronic pain for the past 40 years. It has gained popularity in the United States due to NBA star Kobe Bryant going to Germany to receive Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Now NFL stars such as Brandon Marshall have been receiving regenerative injections for acute physical conditions. Prolotherapy has been showing promising results compared to cortisone (steroid) injections. It has shown long lasting and well-tolerated results in nearly every joint of the body.

Prolotherapy is a mixture of 50% dextrose solution combined with 0.9% normal saline and an anesthetic such as lidocaine. This formula is specially formulated to produce inflammation in a person’s affected joint. Yes, you read that correct, prolotherapy causes inflammation in the joint, which therefore, your body produces an inflammatory response to bring growth factors, cofactors to produce collagen and elastic fibers to the area to promote healing. An amazing concept that allows the body to heal itself and aligns quite well with the naturopathic philosophy of let nature be thy cure. Instead of dampening the bodies own biological processes with pharmaceutical drugs, prolotherapy utilizes the bodies own immune cells to stimulate growth and repair.

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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections is a safe procedure that involves a blood collection and a specialized needling technique to improve joint pain and joint function. PRP procedure involves collecting a patients blood that is spun down to extract platelets. Platelets are a natural substance the body produces that induce stem cell production, collagen production, elastic fiber production, and contain growth factors that are beneficial in healing and repair of joints. Once these platelets are collected they are injected back into a patient’s injured joint which causes an inflammatory response (which is good). PRP induces the bodies own healing response to take place while the platelets are acting as stem cells and inducing growth and repairs of the joint capsule and surrounding soft tissue. PRP is a great alternative to steroid injections, pharmaceutical interventions, or even surgery.

Prolotherapy/PRP regenerative injections will benefit the professional athlete but also the normal wear and tear on our bodies. It will help repair nagging aches and pains, but also prevent serious surgeries in the future. The best time to receive prolotherapy/PRP is anytime! There are some athletes that receive treatment prior to competition to strengthen the ligaments and connective tissues. Acute and chronic conditions can be effectively treated. Prolotherapy/PRP has only recently been available to the general public due to its expanding research and science behind the art of regenerative injections. Call now to learn more about Prolotherapy/PRP and book your initial consult today!

Dr. Jason Phan NMD
Spark Health

PRP Facial – Platelet Rich Plasma Micro Needling Facial in San Diego

Platelet Rich Plasma Micro Needling Facial (Vampire Facial) is a leading-edge procedure that uses the healing power of platelets and growth factors from your own blood to stimulate new collagen growth. Our PRP Micro Needling Facial promotes circulation, repairs and regenerates damaged skin, and helps slow and reverse the signs of aging. This procedure triggers the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, resulting in healthier and younger looking skin.

Our PRP facial helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tightens and tones, and minimizes scars and dark spots. If you’re interesting in learning more about the Spark approach to personalized medicine, visit our website at, or call us at 858.228.4188.

Medical Weight Loss Program in San Diego

At Spark Health, we believe the key to losing weight and keeping it off is understanding the factors contributing to the problem.  These factors vary person to person, but they can include hormone imbalances, digestive problems, food intolerances or negative emotional environments.

Our doctors will examine all of these factors, and work with you to create an individualized program that includes diet, exercise, lifestyle counseling, oral supplements and IV therapy.

Weight-loss programs increase cell membrane fluidity to allow toxins to exit the cell, as well as help maintain a proper blood sugar balance, healthy cholesterol level and appropriate digestion or absorption rates.

Spark’s signature treatments support healthy weight loss and body detoxification, such as our Body Sculpt Shot or our Weight Loss and Cellular Detox IV bags.

Spark Health helps empower our patients to lose weight in a healthy, safe and effective way, while supporting the body’s detoxification processes.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Spark Approach to personalized medicine, give us a call at (858) 228-4188.