Dietary Supplements: What PTs Need Know

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

Three out of four Americans takes some form of dietary supplement every day. From multivitamins to weight loss supplements, the list of dietary supplements is long and the associated costs can be substantial. Physical therapists (PTs) work with a wide range of patient types, many of whom are actively taking supplements for health, to slow aging, or in hopes to reverse a disease state. Obviously these supplements must have some positive impact on our health, right? Doctors of physical therapy (DPTs) are becoming more holistically trained to understand the role of nutrition and dietary supplements: despite this, the answer to above question is convoluted and may even surprise you.


Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is vastly different than the drugs that many of our patients are taking. The lack of regulation should be a mainstay reason why...

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