Dom D’Agostino on Disease Prevention, Cancer, and Living Longer

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Dom is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and a senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) — which is mentioned in the current issue of Outside Magazine (on which there’s a clown who looks a lot like me).

Much of Dom’s work is related to metabolic therapies and nutritional strategies for peak performance and resilience in extreme environments. Dom’s research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), and other private organizations and foundations.

Does the ketogenic diet “beat” chemotherapy for cancer?

  • No but it can be used in parallel to enhance the effectiveness of radiation by lowering inflammation and protecting healthy tissue
  • Radiation and chemotherapy are very effective treatment methods for many cancers – THESE SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED
  • The therapeutic ketosis zone is when the ratio of glucose on ketones is of 1 or 2.
  • Keeping a good ratio on the glucose ketone index is the best way to make your immune system more vigilant to cancer.

 Further Reading:

How does one jump-start a daily ketogenic cycle without supplements?

  • You can jumpstart with supplements such as exogenous ketones.
  • You can do it with exercise.
    • 2-3 hour walk with a 15-minute high intensity training.
  • You can also fast.
    • However, fasting for too long will damage you immune system.

How can lean muscle mass be maintained when fasting?

 What types of cancers are most affected by ketosis?

  • Type 4 brain cancers that are resistant to therapy.
  • Aggressive metastatic cancer.
  • Combining a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting is even better.

What process is most effective for targeting cancer?

  • Targeting the Warburg phenotype (highly glycolic tumours).
    • 80 to 90% of cancers that are more glycolytic (consumer more glucose to grow)
      • So cutting off the glucose with a ketogenic diet can help to starve them, as many cancers can’t use ketones for energy
    • They are more aggressive and grow rapidly.
    • BUT, it is not helpful for all cancers
  • Having a tumor is not always fatal
    • Many people can live decades with tumours without any problems who have benign tumours.
  • Targeting Insulin Inhibition as a Metabolic Therapy in Advanced Cancer
    • Shows that most cancers can’t use ketones for energy.

The ketogenic diet has been shown as a do no harm therapy.

Nutritional ketosis and hyperbaric oxygen therapy: how, why, and when?

  • It can vary depending on the individual.
    • Younger people benefit more from hyper oxygenation.
    • People with brain tumors are more at risk while oxygenating.
      • They need to start slower.
    • It can help heal persistent wounds by saturating a problem area with oxygen.
      • Used in some type of infections, for necrosis tissue, for damage caused by radiation, etc.
      • It helps to reduce inflammation.
    • Sometimes used for cancer patients.

How long would an amateur endurance athlete need to be in ketosis to get the full benefit of being fat adapted for a marathon, and what supplement stack would Dom recommend?

  • Ben Greenfield on the Best Nutrition Supplements.
  • You need to test your supplements before using it to train for a marathon.
  • KetoSports: Keto8 is a good choice.
    • Caprylic acid (C8)
  • Branched chain amino acids can be used.
  • The longer you’re on the diet, the better you can burn the fuel.
    • It can take up to half a year.

Should an APOE4 (Apolipoprotein E) carrier — someone at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease — be careful with a ketogenic diet?

Are there any downsides to shifting out of ketosis for an occasional cheat meal?

What does Dom have to say about the study that found ketogenic diets have no metabolic advantage?

  • Ketogenic Low-Carbohydrate Diets Have No Metabolic Advantage over Nonketogenic Low-Carbohydrate Diets
  • Some studies have shown that ketosis increased the level of brown fat, which can burn more metabolic energy.
  • In a ketogenic diet, you eat less because your appetite is repressed.
    • You won’t experience cravings caused by hypoglycaemia.
  • More studies are needed.

If your body doesn’t do well with dairy or nuts, what would be good fat source alternatives on a modified ketogenic diet?

  • Dom eats eggs, avocados, olive oil, MTC oil, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, fatty fish and fatty meat.
    • 1/3 of his fat calories come from MTC or coconut oil.

Metformin, methylene blue, and other non-food substances meant to increase longevity.

  • Metformin in Longevity Study (MILES)
    • It talks about how metformin can restore the gene profile in older adults with impaired in glucose tolerance.
  • Metformin to Augment Strength Training Effective Response in Seniors (MASTERS Trial)
  • Metformin has a calorie restriction effect.
    • Lowers elevated blood glucose and insulin.
    • It also enhances ketones level.
    • It’s an activator of AMP kinase.
      • Lowers the signalling of hunger.
    • Side effects: Photo-sensitivity of the skin, GI discomfort and a decrease in B12 absorption.
    • Longevity: strength training to build muscles, maintains a ketogenic diet, does intermittent fasting and HIIT.

 Can the ketogenic diet be used while glycolytic training?

  • For any kind of training or diet, the body will adapt after a certain period.
  • Supplement with creatine and eat red meat.
  • Give it at least 3 to 6 months to reap the benefits.
  • With a ketogenic diet, athletes burn twice as much fat while resting.

What is it like to be an academic who makes serious weight training a big part of his life, and how do these two pursuits complement (or complicate) each other?

  • The lessons he learned from training helped him realised it takes hard work to advance in something.
  • The pursuit of size and strength complicates the pursuit of longevity.
    • Overeating activates OGF-1 gene and increases aging.
    • Accelerate cancer and diseases.
  • Training is one of his priorities.

Thoughts on John Kiefer’s carb backloading?

  • Carb backloading can be really effective for gaining strength.
  • But to optimize recovery, you should limit your carb consumption.
    • For him, his glucose level can’t go higher than 130mg/dL.
    • A workout “breaks down” your body.
    • And a glucose level of 140mg/dL and higher kills beta cells, which produce insulin.
      • It creates irreversible damage.
      • It increases cancer risks and nerve damage.
      • Stroke risk is increased by 25% for every 18mg/dL rise.

Are ketone salt products on the market safe — specifically the DL beta-Hydroxybutyric salts?

  • Kegenix
  • KetoSports KetoCaNa
  • Forever Green Ketopia
  • The FDA decides what is safe, but Anything is toxic at a high dosage.
  • DL beta-Hydroxybutyric has many health benefits.
    • Dangerous side effects have never been reported.
      • Richard Veech has said that DL beta-Hydroxybutyric salts is dangerous because it’s a racemic compound.
        • However, many safe drugs are racemic.

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