Dr. Dominic D’Agostino is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. He is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). Dr. Dom is the leading expert on the ketogenic diet and how it may combat different diseases.
Dr. Dom’s Journey…(3:15)
- After majoring in nutrition and biology, he got into more of a research role with his degree.
- His studies during his post doctoral fellowship with the Department of Defense led him to the ketogenic diet. He was especially interested in the way different fuel sources affect the brain in extreme conditions.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?… (7:35)
- Diet that evolved out of how fasting changes brain energy metabolism
- Basis of the diet is: eating primarily fat, a moderate amount of protein, very minimal or no carbohydrates
- Our bodies produce ketones which are used as an energy source when carbs are depleted. This preserves our brain energy metabolism
- It is a way of eating that mimics the state of fasting that can be sustained independent from calorie restriction
Benefits of Keto diet for the average person?… (10:15)
- Controls a number of different diseases; seizures, dementia, Alzheimers, even cancer.
- Our carb tolerance decreases as we age; lowering our carb intake will help slow down general age related issues
- Keto diets produce sustained energy, are an appetite suppressant, weans us from being glucose dependent, more clarity.
- Can achieve this state through modified Atkins, supplementation, intermittent fasting, strict ketogenic meals.
- Dom used to be a big breakfast person
- now he usually does 2-3 eggs, small portion of protein, green veggies (500-600 cals)
- butter/MCT coffee (sips on through the day) and does not usually have to eat until dinner
SEALS, Delta Force, Air Force, medical drug research…(16:35)
- Works through the office of Navy Research on product formulation and human application
- Currently testing about a dozen different ketone supplements on rodents
- including which have the greatest capacity to enhance physical performance, safety, mechanistic work (inflammation etc.)
- He is looking at ways to preserve/enhance cognitive function under low oxygen conditions (for people who fly)
- Hoping to find a way to take a supplement that will get one into nutritional ketosis
- Decreases side effects of chemo by protecting the normal, healthy cells
What are you most excited about now?…(24:25)
- The emerging applications of nutritional ketosis, finding out the differences between the actual ketones that your body produces, and trying to identify the optimal formula/sweet spot for supplemental ketosis
How do you test your methods?…(25:55)
- Anecdotal feedback from trials with rats and mice
- Researching how the body makes energy as well as effect of creatine, caffeine etc.
- Formulating these supplements to enhance the cells capacity to shuttle nutrients and generate ATP
Piece of advice to change overall health?…(34:15)
- Since we are all busy, adapt your body to less frequent feedings. Try intermittent fasting just once a week to condition your body to cope with the days you are ‘too busy to eat’
- Wean yourself off of carbs and sugar
- Take at least one hour to shut your brain off.
- tons of free resources available on his website