Listen to the full episode here:
Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, an assistant professor in molecular pharmacology and physiology joins me to discuss an approach he has developed to metabolically starving cancer cells through diet and compressed oxygen. We talked about breathing, the ketogenic diet and how we can fuel our bodies to prevent disease.
Download the PDF transcription at https://drronehrlich.com/prof-dominic-dagostino-keto-nurition/
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: Hello and welcome to Unstress. I’m Dr. Ron Ehrlich. Remember the food pyramid? It was endorsed almost by almost every government and every health authority with grains as the foundation. It was developed in the 1980s endorsed by the FDA in 1992 then shortly after that heart foundations and diabetes associations and medical associations around the world. Certainly, in the USA, UK and Australia. It morphed into my food played in 2005 and more recently in Australia in 2013 into Australian healthy eating guidelines, which actually looked very similar to the plate in the pyramid.
It also suggested that three meals a day was important to maintain blood sugar levels and if you were on a carbohydrate-based diet particularly if you also follow the low-fat advice that had literally been shoved down our throats for the last 40 or 50 years then you really would need at least three meals a day.
In fact, you could be excused from thinking that carbohydrates are an essential nutrient, but you might be surprised to learn that they are not. Glucose which is what carbs gets quickly broken down to is not the only fuel the body uses. The body can also use fat in the form of ketones also referred to as Ketogenesis. Interestingly, cancer cells love glucose and hate ketones. Glucose is very unstable and can cause damage to our human cells. It’s why diabetes is such a problem. Glucose out of control damaging cells throughout the body. The issue of how cells get their energy is a really important one.
My guest today is Professor Dominic D’Agostino an assistant professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine molecular pharmacology and physiology where he develops and tests metabolic therapies including alternative energy sources and ketogenic agents for neurological disorders like epilepsy as well as cancer and wound healing. He’s developed an approach for metabolically starving cancer cells through diet and compressed oxygen. So, we did talk about breathing, replacing chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. It’s a fascinating conversation and while the first part of our discussion, look it gets a bit technical when Dom is basically referring to parts of the brain that are involved in breathing regulation. So, don’t get too worried about those details. And for those that really want to explore the neuroanatomy he refers to, we’ll have links to an Anatomy textbook referencing the brain stem.
Getting the balance right of how we fuel our bodies is critical to preventing diseases and as it turns out holds great promise for dealing with many conditions. Neurological ones like epilepsy, dementia which is interestingly now being referred to as type 3 diabetes as well of course as cancer. It’s a topic we’re going to be exploring in more detail in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Professor Dominic D’Agostino.
Download the PDF transcription
Welcome to the show Dom.
Dr. Dominic D’Agostino: Thanks for having me Ron. Great to be here.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: Now Dom you were in Australia a few weeks ago and a lot of excitement there with your presentation and you were talking about ketogenic diets and all this but I wondered before we got into any of that whether you could share with us a bit of your own journey?