Fighting Cancer Nutritional Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting


Dominic D'Agostino pic
Dominic D’Agostino

With a background in the improvement of high-performance neurological and muscle capacities, Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, serves as an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He also serves as a research scientist at IHMC. As a guest on the Sigma Nutrition and Performance podcast (accessible at in February 2017, Dr. Dominic D’Agostino focused on the cancer fighting abilities of a “press pulse protocol” that incorporates a variety of modalities, including hyperbaric oxygen, ketogenic diet and metabolic drugs.

Dr. D’Agostino describes ketone supplementation and intermittent fasting as placing intense metabolic stress on tumor cells that are dependent on glucose for aggressive activity. Particularly when calorie restricted, the ketogenic diet is effective in reducing insulin levels and pathways that drive tumorous cells’ hyper-metabolic state.

Among the effects are a reduction in blood glucose and a mobilization of fatty acids in ways that starve the tumor and suppress cancer growth. The spikes that typically occur in glucose and insulin through carbohydrate feeding are significantly decreased. The combination of insulin signaling suppression and glucose availability is a powerful tool in transitioning the body toward a ketone and fatty acid metabolism.

Dr. D’Agostino notes that this is a difficult process for many people, as the body undergoes glucose withdrawal before reaching a new physiological stasis in which abundant ketone bodies are produced. The brain, with its inherent metabolic flexibilities, can ultimately adapt to this new energy source and thrive. Oncologists at numerous institutes are working on developing Press Pulse protocols as a “comprehensive stand alone nontoxic approach” or as means to further augment standard of cancer therapies.