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.

Shots vs Fast Bags vs Full Bags

Patients often ask about the difference between getting a shot and getting a vitamin IV. These two services are both valuable in their own ways, depending on what your health goals are! Our shots are great for a quick and easy boost. We have 16 proprietary nutrient blends for all types of health goals, from increased energy to immune health to detox. These injections go directly into the muscle and slowly absorb into the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Our shots are helpful when you don’t have the time to get a vitamin IV.

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, and all the B vitamins, vitamin C, and essential minerals you need to stay in tip-top condition. We offer formulas that address a variety of health goals, from weight loss to energy to stress reduction.

Full size IV bags are even more effective because we can fit about three times the amount of vitamins, minerals and amino acids in them! We require a quick appointment with one of our doctors, simply to make sure it is safe for you to receive a full size bag. During this brief appointment, we can also customize a formula specific to your health goals!

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

Sparkle and Glow and Collagen Builder

Paralax

 

The Sparkle and Glow, Collagen Builder, and Acne Support are

Spark Health’s skin focused IV therapies. The Sparkle and Glow

is the ultimate IV for overall skin health. It highlights vitamin C,

amino acids, zinc and B vitamins needed for clear, youthful skin. It

is not easy to absorb adequate nutrients from diet and

supplements alone which is why I am such a fan of adding

nutrient IVs to ensure you are getting 100% nutrient absorption. If

you don’t have time for a full sized IV the Collagen Builder and

Acne Support bags are great options to support your skincare

concerns. The collagen builder was designed to highlight two key

nutrients needed in collagen formation – vitamin C and glycine.

The acne support includes L-carnitine and vitamin B5. These

nutrients help to balance the keratinocytes or the oil producing

cells involved in acne formation.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at

858.228.4188 or visit us online at MySparkHealth.com .

Vitamin C

Vampire Facial San Diego

 

Video Transcript:

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient when it comes to maintaining
optimal skin health. It is naturally found in high concentrations in
the skin and is a great addition to anyone’s skincare routine. Your
skin needs vitamin c for collagen synthesis, protection from
oxidative damage, and wound healing. I like to incorporate vitamin
C internally as well as topically for most skin types. As a part of
your topical routine, vitamin C is best used in the morning to
protect from any sun damage you may be exposed to during the
day. It is crucial for anyone concerned with fine lines or wrinkles
because at higher concentrations when vitamin C is applied
topically it enhances collagen formation. It also works as a
depigmentating agent and anti-inflammatory making it a great
addition to anyone dealing with acne, rosacea, or
hyperpigmentation. If you would like to learn more, give us
a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at
MySparkHealth.com.

What is a FABNO?

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Video Transcript:

When looking for someone to help guide you through cancer diagnosis and

treatment, it is important to work with a doctor who has a strong

background in both conventional and integrative approaches. FABNO

stands for Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology meet

the highest standard of the profession as specialists in naturopathic

oncology.

The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians initiated a

credentialing process for naturopathic doctors in 2006. A separate and

independent board, the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO),

was established to oversee the process and work with the Board of Medical

Examiners to develop standards for credentials, including training

requirements, application process and board certification exams.

Naturopathic doctors who meet standards representative of advanced

experience and knowledge in cancer care are eligible for board certification

in Naturopathic Oncology. Qualifying doctors whose applications are

accepted must have completed a 2-year residency focused in naturopathic

oncology or have been in practice for at least 5 years with 5000 oncology

patient contact hours and submit cases for review by designated

examiners. All applicants must then pass a board certification exam in

order to be awarded the status of Fellow by the American Board of

Naturopathic Oncology.

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

online at MySparkHealth.com .

Best Detoxification Programs

Spark Lifestyle Services

Video Transcript:

 

When people think ‘detox program’ they are likely to think of things like juice cleanses and maybe bowel purging kinds of programs.  As much as we love a fresh clean green juice, these are not the optimal way for most people to detoxify.

The most important parts of detoxification are cleaning up the diet dramatically so you stop throwing toxins in to the system.  This can include some fruit and especially vegetable based smoothies, but cooked foods like soups and stews are easier on the digestive tract and since most of us could use some gut R&R as part of the detox, too much raw fiberous food can be hard on the gut.

It is also important to have a high dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants available for the liver to detoxify at max speed.  This is really the most important limiting factor for detoxification. And there are plenty of herbs that also are helpful for the liver.  Not in helping to purge the bowels

Finally doing things that draw toxins of the body faster, thru the main detox pathways is a helpful component. Things that increase circulation such as hot and cold alternating therapy (like alternating hot/cold in your shower) are helpful.  Any kind of sauna (especially infrared saunas which heat the tissues more deeply) increase the transportation of toxins from the tissues to the liver for processing and also increase sweating to get them out.

Keeping the bowels moving with proper hydration and fiber is critical, though purging the bowels is generally miserable and rarely accomplishes true detoxification internally.

Detox programs that incorporate these things are those that are a more comprehensive and complete type of detox that will have a bigger impact on your wellness.

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