Additional Proteins Aid in Muscle Protein Synthesis for Geriatrics

Jul 09, 2024

We've known for some time that extra protein for our geriatric clients can help them add some extra lean muscle mass. For physical therapy, more lean muscle mass means better balance, less falls, and greater lifespan. Despite this, the FDA still calls for the standard 0.8g/kg/bw for protein for older adults. Does more protein really help actual muscle protein synthesis? Also, does the protein source matter? I have many clients taking collagen right now, assuming they are getting added joint benefits plus extra protein for the muscles -- but does it help?

We explore these topics and more in our recent video. The transcript of the video is below. Enjoy!

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GLP Inhibitors and Muscle: What PTs Need to Know

Jun 11, 2024

GLP Inhibitor use is on the rise, which is great for patients but not so great for physical therapists burdened with questions. One of the biggest concerns right now with GLP inhibitor use is the loss of fat free muscle mass, usually in the form of muscle mass. This is an obvious concern to the PTs and exercise science community in general. Should we be concerned? Listen to our most recent video here or check out the transcript below:

0:00) Good afternoon, Dr. Wells here today to talk to you about a new article, really a commentary, (0:05) in this month's JAMA by Conte, Hall, and Klein. It was really a study or commentary on the new (0:13) GLP inhibitors, Ozempic and Wigovi. They're very popular right now for weight loss, and probably (0:18) one of the biggest concerns that a lot of people are talking about is that people lose fat-free (0:23) mass while taking these drugs.


Well, no surprise, the authors found that individuals that...

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A New Healthy and Sustainable Plant Based Omega 3 Oil?

Feb 08, 2024

Could Ahiflower Replace Fish and Flax?

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

In the realm of nutritional supplements, Ahiflower oil has been gaining recognition for its impressive profile of health-promoting properties. Extracted from the seeds of the Buglossoides arvensis plant, Ahiflower oil is rapidly becoming a popular choice for those seeking an omega-rich alternative to traditional fish oil. Some people are making the claim that Ahiflower could replace fish-based Omega 3s but the plant is still new to the scene. A recent PubMed article outlines some of these factors, but let's briefly dive into the potential health benefits that may make Ahiflower oil a noteworthy addition to your wellness routine.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reinvented

Ahiflower oil distinguishes itself by its omega-3 fatty acid content, particularly boasting a unique combination of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), stearidonic acid (SDA), and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This trifecta of fatty...

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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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Collagen Supplementation for Joint Pain and Arthritis

Jul 19, 2023

Collagen Supplementation for Joint Pain and Arthritis: Does it Really Work?

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

Recently I was presenting at the annual conference of Athletic Trainers' Association of Florida (ATAF) and I was overwhelmed by one consistent question: why didn't you talk about collagen supplementation? My talk was specifically on orthopedics for older adults and naturally I focused on osteoarthritis (OA) and how important exercise and diet are for that condition. I did touch on some supplementation, but I left off collagen because my last examination of this supplement, using one of my favorite websites, yielded mediocre results. However the participants at the sports medicine conference piqued my interest and convinced me that perhaps I had missed something -- almost every single one of these participants had some form of joint pain or stiffness and felt significantly better after taking collagen daily. So, back to...

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Exercise Affects the Gut Microbiome

Mar 28, 2023

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

At Nutritional PT we talk a lot about how food can impact the gut microbiome. But as Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT), did you know that exercise has been shown to influence the gut microbiome? Studies have found that regular physical activity can increase the diversity and abundance of beneficial gut microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia, while reducing the abundance of potentially harmful microbes, such as Clostridium and Bacteroides.

New Research

A recent study demonstrated that alpha diversity increased among normal-weight and overweight adult individuals with moderate increases in physical exercise durations. Compositional alterations were primarily observed among normal-weight individuals. These findings indicate that even small increases in PA duration by overweight individuals can improve beneficial microbe abundance and diversity in the intestines, which has huge implications for PTs working...

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Intermittent Fasting or Plant Based Diets: Which is Better?

Mar 22, 2023

I recently finished the Huberman Podcast with Dr. Panda, an known expert in the area of intermittent fasting and circadian rhythms. It was an awesome podcast covering many topics -- be sure to check it out! After listening to this podcast it got me thinking about my own published research in intermittent fasting and how it stacks up against certain dietary patterns, especially a plant-based diet.

We have discussed intermittent fasting before in other blog posts, as well in our 3 course certification bundle. In short, intermittent fasting is adapting the feeding schedule of person to restrict food to certain times or certain days. A classic intermittent fasting schedule that I used in my research was one day of feeding and one day of fasting. Obviously this works well for animal and insect models but in humans it can prove to be difficult for compliance. As such, many researchers, and clinicians now, use a more palatable for of intermittent fasting commonly known as time-restricted...

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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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Fueling Childhood Asthma?

Jan 09, 2023

Fueling Childhood Asthma?

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

Often in nutrition we consider what our patients are eating but don't consistently think about how that food is cooked. We know from copious research, presented in our courses, certain cooking methods can increase the risk of cancers, increase advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and promote cardiovascular disease. As physical therapists we treat many patients with heart disease, cancer, and conditions that are worsened by AGEs (e.g. arthritis and diabetes). Needless to say cooking methods matter and a recent study highlights the risk of using gas stoves in the development of asthma for children.

We've known for some time that ventilation is very important when cooking foods with heat and fats. Polycyclic amino acids (PAH) and other inhaled organic byproducts of grilling/cooking can promote certain lung diseases and even lung cancer. Why do you think many restaurants have ventilation...

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