Dominic D’Agostino's Keto Diet: 6 Little-Known Benefits

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 3, 2024
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As a certified personal trainer, I know that the ketogenic diet has been popular for quite some time, but even though scientists have proven its benefits several times, there are still skeptics.

I've been following the career and research of Dominic D'Agostino, one of the top experts on the ketogenic diet and ketone supplementation, for a long time, so I decided to share his opinions and views with you.

Quick Summary

  • Dominic D'Agostino's keto diet is a specialized dietary approach that focuses on the therapeutic benefits of nutritional ketosis, as he provides insights into its various health advantages and applications.
  • The article delves into the lesser-known advantages of the ketogenic diet, such as its potential to reduce inflammation and improve mental clarity.
  • Despite ongoing medical advancements, obesity remains a critical global health concern, contributing to adult mortality rates as high as 2.8 million per year, according to the study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.
  • From my perspective as a personal trainer, staying informed about dietary trends like the ketogenic diet is crucial for helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals.

Dr. Dominic D'Agostino's Story on Ketosis

dominic d'agostino giving a speech in a podium

Dominic D'Agostino, a professor at the University of South Florida, has been researching the keto diet for over ten years.

His lab tests and develops nutritional strategies and metabolic-based supplements for cancer, seizures, neurological disorders, and metabolic wellness. The ketogenic diet was used 100 years ago to treat epilepsy symptoms and seizures.

Today, D'Agostino and his fellow researchers are trying to discover how this diet can be used against cancer, neurological disorders and enhancing military personnel's resilience and safety in extreme environments.

He's best known for his controversial idea that food can be used as medicine against severe illnesses like cancer, lifting 500 pounds after a week of fasting, and holding a record for most weight squatted in 24 hours. Here's what he has to say on the keto topic.

Other diet plans:

What is Ketosis and What are Its Benefits?

measuring tape measuring a gold fork and knife

Ketosis is a metabolic state characterized by a high concentration of ketones in the blood, occurring when the body has limited access to glucose and uses fat as fuel. This state, often achieved through a ketogenic diet or fasting, preserves brain energy fuel flow during carbohydrate restriction and offers benefits like improved brain function and potential weight loss.

He sees this state as a means to preserve brain energy fuel flow when our bodies are faced with starvation or eliminate or limit carbohydrates from foods.

He says that the ketogenic diet is the only diet defined by an elevation of a biomarker that can be measured with commercially available technology. Basically, ketosis is a metabolic state in which there's a high concentration of ketones in your blood.

According to the study on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, while in this state, your body has limited access to glucose (blood sugar) and uses fat as fuel [1].

You can start this metabolic state if you follow the ratio of:

  • 90–60% fat
  • 10–30% protein, and
  • 10% or fewer carbs

According to the study from the MedicalNewsToday website, a high-fat, low-carb diet will put you in a state of ketosis that will reduce your body's glucose and water stores, resulting in quick weight loss [2]. In the long term, this state could suppress your appetite leading to fewer calorie intake.

As doctor Dom himself says:

“Enhancing your metabolic resilience can make you better in performing cognitively and physically under austere environments where you have limited food availability and also where the partial pressure of oxygen may be lower, for example at altitude, or higher, your extreme environments where you're breathing high-pressure oxygen.”

The Main Function of Ketones

usb cable charging a white 3d brain

It's a common misconception that our brain can't function without carbs.

However, research has revealed that even though some brain cells need glucose to function properly, the largest portion of our brain can use ketones as fuel.

Moreover, our brain, and other organs, can use glucose from protein and other molecules.

So, low-carb nutrition won't damage your brain or stress your organism.

6 Major Benefits

different fruits and vegetables and a bag

Research has also revealed the ketogenic diet provides numerous health advantages and is beneficial against things like:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Weight loss
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes, and
  • Parkinson’s disease

Does Dr. Dom Practice What He Preaches?

Yes, Dr. Dom practices what he preaches. Dr. Dom adheres to a ketogenic diet 95% of the time, finding the meals indulgent and practical, as they keep him satiated and align with his taste preferences, which have adapted to favor fatty, salty foods over sweet ones.

“I can eat in the morning and not get hungry in the afternoon and that has a practical advantage. And I actually like the food, I think of it as fairly indulgent, not very restrictive because your palate adapts over time and you gradually wean yourself off of sweet foods and you gain a liking to fatty, salty foods.”

Keto Diet Mistakes People Make

green apple, spoon and fork, and a measuring tape on a plate

According to Dr. Dom, the main mistake people make is they practice keto for the wrong reasons.

He believes people switch to keto mainly to lose weight, and he thinks that nutritional ketosis isn't essential for weight loss, even though it may help.

In my experience, people who use keto for general health purposes are afraid to go in and out of ketosis as they believe they're doing something wrong.

However, Dr. Dom thinks that unless you're using foods as medicine, it's not good to be in constant metabolic ketosis.

He actually says it's good to drift in and out and keep your metabolism flexible.

Why the Keto Diet Helped His Eczema

Besides research, Dr. Dom's own body showed him the health advantages of keto.

While eating diets different from keto, the scientist had a skin condition — eczema, which is essentially an inflammation.

Once he switched to keto, he could see a quick improvement, leading him to believe keto might also be medicine for inflammatory processes.


How Does the Ketogenic Diet Impact Neurological Diseases?

The ketogenic diet impacts neurological diseases by enhancing brain health and function, offering therapeutic benefits for conditions like epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease.

What Are the Effects of the Keto Diet on Athletic Performance?

The effects of the keto diet on athletic performance are altering energy metabolism to increase fat utilization, which may improve endurance and recovery in endurance sports. However, the transition to fat metabolism can be challenging for some athletes.

How Does the Keto Diet Compare to Other Dietary Approaches?

The keto diet compares to other dietary approaches by differing significantly from other diets like the Mediterranean or plant-based diets in its composition of high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates, inducing a state of ketosis that can be effective for weight loss and managing certain health conditions.

What Is the Concept of Personalized Keto Diet Plans?

The concept of personalized keto diet plans is customized to an individual's health goals, nutritional needs, and metabolic responses, ensuring the diet's effectiveness and sustainability while catering to personal preferences and health conditions.


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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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