NMN Supplement and Aging

Oct 06, 2023

By Dr. Sean Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a molecule that has gained attention in recent years due to its potential role in enhancing longevity and healthspan. Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPTs) ought to be aware of NMN as many clients have begun taking them and are unaware of new data and legal challenges ahead. NMN is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme involved in various cellular processes, including energy metabolism and DNA repair. Research on NMN supplementation in humans is ongoing, and while there is some promising evidence, it's important to note that the field is still evolving, and more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions.
Here is a research summary of NMN use in humans up to my knowledge cutoff date in September 2021:

  1. NAD+ Levels: One of the primary reasons for interest in NMN is its potential to boost NAD+ levels in cells. NAD+ declines with age, and...
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A Guide to Processed Foods for PTs

Mar 07, 2023

A Guide to Processed Foods for PTs

By Dr. Sean Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

Physical therapists are leading the charge to help clients improve not only their rehabilitation status but also their health problems. Many of these chronic health problems stem from poor lifestyle choices like poor sleep patterns, excessive stress, and bad nutrition. One key element in nutrition that Doctors of Physical Therapy can make a big impact on is education around reducing processed foods. 

In the past my team and I have recommended using Dr. Greger’s stoplight method for limiting processed foods. The system was easy to understand and convey during patient education; plus, Dr. Greger loves his information being spread in order to improve health. Now, a new method of categorizing processed foods has emerged: NOVA.

NOVA is a food classification system that groups foods based on the extent of processing they undergo. The system was developed by researchers in...

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Preventing Muscle Mass Loss

Feb 13, 2023

Preventing Muscle Mass Loss

By Dr. Sean Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

As physical therapists (PTs) we do our best to optimize our older clients' strength, balance, and functioning. Obviously, our mainstay interventions focus on exercises, balance training, and adaptive equipment. In our courses, we highlight the importance of Vitamin D status and protein consumption for older adults, to improve balance, strength, and prevent sarcopenia. A recent study in Nature Aging highlights yet another potential dietary component that impacts muscle function: ceramides.

Ceramides, a sphingolipid, which is a type of fat, has been shown to reduce muscle mass and functional capacity in rodents. Moreover, it has been shown that offering ceramide-inhibiting medication effectively reverses sarcopenia, which is very promising for human studies. In the current study the authors examined older adults with a genetic variant to inhibit ceramides. The results showed these adults...

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Intermittent Fasting and PT

May 26, 2021

Fasting, or intentional restriction of food intake, has been around for thousand of years. Much of the roots of fasting comes from religious or spiritual ceremonies; today, fasting is often done for the aspects of improving health and longevity, with some still continuing the religious or spiritual purpose. The data on fasting is robust and doctors of physical therapy (DPTs) need to be aware of the benefits, risks, and the how-to of fasting. Let's get started!

Many various forms of fasting exists. Strict or pure fasting includes the abstinence of food altogether. Time restricted fasting or feeding is where a person restricts feeding to a certain number of daytime hours and uses sleep to help create a partial fast. In other words, a person may eat only from 11am to 7pm, while fasting from 7pm to 11am. Some might consider this a form of intermittent fasting, but the true definition of intermittent fasting is where person will consume food ad libitum one day while restricting food...

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The Expanding Scope of Nutrition

May 17, 2021

By Dr. Sean M Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

The field of nutrition science continually expands. Once seen through only a metabolic and nutrient lens, nutrition science now interconnects with immunology, neurology, and psychology. How these fields of study interact are becoming amazingly complex but may help to shed light into various therapies and prevention for many common chronic conditions. How these various areas of clinical practice interact with nutrition makes it apparent that the practicing physical therapist needs to be aware of how foods interact with human physiology and biochemistry. 


Nutrition certainly impacts immunology. From colds to rheumatic flares, diet can certainly mediate certain physiological processes that can drive or promote disease states. Nutrients play a vital role in disease prevention. Water helps to hydrate our eyes and mouth to prevent infections. Vitamin C helps to boost white blood cell count, which...

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Geriatric Physical Therapy and Nutrition

Sep 30, 2020

By Dr. Sean M. Wells

Many facets of nutrition can impact older adults' function and health. The focus on this blog article will be to highlight how inflammation, which can be mediated via diet, impacts older adult function and health. 

Using the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), physical therapists can quantify the amount of inflammation a client's diet is provoking. Essentially the score ranges from as low as -5 to as high as 5, with a "fast food diet being reported at 4 and a macrobiotic diet being listed at -5. Probably the best diets on the DII are vegetarian Indian diets and other Asian diets rich in vegetables and spices. Another way of "scoring" or ranking the inflammation cause by a diet is to use an A-F system. An "A" score would be ideal and the most negative (e.g. close to -5, which is the least inflammatory), while "F" is the most inflammatory (e.g. most positive, 5). An average, or "C" score, would be a 0. 

 Using the DII, PTs can see how diet...

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