What’s up, friends, welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. I’m your host, drew Manning. Um, today’s episode you guys is probably one of my favorites so far. Um, on the show. Uh, I’ve been super excited to have this guy on for a long time. Our first heard about him on the Tim Ferriss show and ever since then he’s exploded in popularity. And so luckily through connection I was able to have him come on my podcast. So Don, dr Dom D’Agostino is my guest today. You guys, I consider him the expert on anything ketosis. Um, anyways, he is a professor in the department of molecular pharmacology and physiology at the university of South Florida, um, and a senior research scientist at the Institute for human and machine cognition. Um, the primary focus of his lab work is developing a testing metabolic therapies including ketogenic diets, ketone esters and ketone supplements to induce nutritional therapeutic ketosis.
Dr Diego Siena’s lab uses in vivo and in vitro techniques to understand the physiological, cellular, and molecular mechanism of metabolic therapies and nutritional strategies for peak performance and resilience. His research is supported by the office of Naval research ONR and the department of defense, the DOD. Um, anyways, you guys see, definitely knows what he’s talking about. Um, I definitely consider him an expert on the, uh, in the field of ketosis. And so basically today in today’s episode, we dive into what ketosis is. We do try and keep it very basic, very simple, but he’s a smart guy and he, you know, knows the science behind it. And so sometimes he’ll kind of talk about the science and even I don’t understand what it’s talking about, but I try and bring it back to layman’s terms so all of us can understand what he’s talking about.
Cause I really do feel like a lot of people can benefit from this episode. So please share this with friends and family or someone they think you could benefit from a nutritional ketosis. We also talk about a ketone esters. Ketone supplements, how the Navy seals use this, um, the types of days that the Navy seals are on, even though they don’t eat a ketogenic diet. He talks about how, um, the keto diet can, uh, prevent, uh, brain seizures, um, due to, um, oxygen toxicity in these Navy seals that, um, dive at deep lengths and, uh, are under water for a long period of time. Um, and how are these ketone supplements can prevent that. And we also talked about how this can help endurance athletes, strength athletes. Um, and just your average Joe out there. That’s, you know, uh, we have talked about how it can benefit type one, type two diabetics, the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis.
So much good information here. You guys are going to love this episode. But before we dive into the episode, I want to introduce our new sponsor. I’m so proud and so happy to bring on key Genex as a sponsor. Nike genics is a, a exogenous ketone supplement company. Um, it’s based off of the research of Dom. So we even talk about, um, uh, key genetics in the episode and Dom talks about it. Um, he talks about the, the formulas that he created, um, that are in this product. And so basically what it is, what key Genex is, you guys are kind of hacks your body puts your body into a state of ketosis within 60 minutes. Cause here’s the thing, your body can either run off of glucose from carbs or or ketones. Um, when there’s no carbs available or no glucose available. Um, and your body is a lot more efficient running off of ketones.
And usually it takes about three, four or five sometimes you know, up to a week for some people to get into ketosis. And so the way you do that is by eating a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. What key Genex is and what it does is you guys is you take it and within 60 minutes you’re in a state of ketosis. You can even test your, your ketone levels as well afterwards just to show that you really are in a state of ketosis. And that’s what his doctor, Dom Diego Siemens resources is based on this, these ketone supplements. You can also go to [inaudible] dot com for size fit to fit fit to learn more about the product and what it does. And how it works and the science behind it, but we dive into all that today with Dom. Um, and so definitely go check out, check out key genex.com if you’re interested in learning more about [inaudible] and his ketones on what they can do for you. All right, you guys, let’s go ahead and dive in today’s episode with Dom. I’m sorry, that was a long intro. I know, but it’s finally time to talk to dr Dom D’Agostino.
All right, Dom, welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast, man. How are you doing?
Great. Thanks for having me. Yeah,
Amanda, I’m excited to finally connect with you. You’re all the way in Florida. I’m all, I’m all the way out here in Hawaii. It’s cool that we could do this. Yeah, I agree. Um, so I know that you’re, you know, you’re the Quito expert. So many people want to pick your brain about ketosis. Actually want to dive in first and foremost to find out more about like you growing up and your past history to find out what led you to your research on the keto diet. So what did you grow up in Florida?
No, uh, I grew up in New Jersey. Uh, I guess I would even call it like rural New Jersey. I grew up on a farm, uh, bailing hay and growing potatoes, soybeans, all that, all that stuff. And just a farm boy. And, uh, I got interested in, uh, you know, working out and that kind of led me to nutrition to optimize my gains from that. And I was familiar with low carb diets, but it wasn’t really until I delved into a neuroscience research that I stumbled upon in ketosis. And, um, and you play, did you play sports growing up? Yeah, uh, you know, team sports didn’t always kind of resonate with me, but I played them anyway. I played like pop Warner football, like Peewee football and then football through high school and I was kind of a skinny kid. Uh, when I started high school, maybe one 35 and I finished weighing about 200 and like an even 200.
And uh, but I was really strong for my size and I started lifting probably as a sophomore or freshman, even late freshman. And sophomore and read everything I possibly could on nutrition and mostly from muscle and fitness and Arnold’s encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding and, you know, kind of the staple, uh, resources that are out there. And, uh, you know, I, I was really interested in science in high school. It’s the only subject I really, that got me engaged and I, I challenged myself with, you know, uh, like an honors, honors biology courses and things like that. And for me it was just a way to understand my own body better so I could enhance my size and strength, you know, and, and, and, and football, like. Yes. But just in general, I liked being, I was a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and, uh, you know, watched, uh, all his movies, uh, you know, predator and, uh, Conan and commando, all those movies over and over. So he was a huge, like inspiration to me. And so I was, uh, kind of wanted to be like him, like a lot of kids, idolize, you know, people, uh, that, that was a big part of it.
That’s kinda like how I was, you know, you’re, are you, how old are you? 40. Yes. 40. Okay. 40 years. Yeah. So I’m just five years behind you. And I think, you know, me growing up playing football as well in high school everybody wanted to be bigger, faster, stronger, put on being muscles. So I was kind of from the same era of trying to just, you know, big gains, big muscles, you know, reading those magazines, high protein diets, right. Uh, low carb kind of came about towards like my college late high school, college years. Um, so I, I can relate to that. Definitely. So fast forward a little bit. Uh, so you stopped playing football after high school, you didn’t play in college?
I didn’t play in college. Uh, I was in college at Rutgers university and I and I trained a lot with the football player. So, uh, many of them trained kinda, they did the F the football training thing and then they would also train kind of in the normal gym and I would train with them. So I was training with some pretty high level people and I’m a firm believer in, you know, put yourself in an environment where people are stronger and better than you, you know, whether it be academic or or strength or size or whatever and you will, they will pull you in that direction. Like you will get better. And that’s kinda what I did. And through college I grew a lot too. Uh, grew a lot in size and strength and um, and at the same time, you know, I was, uh, majoring in nutrition science at Rutgers and also double-majoring actually in, in biology. So a lot of the classes I was taking like systems physiology and advanced, you know, wanting to in these courses, uh, gave me more in depth understanding of human physiology and nutrition and biochemistry and uh, and I was, you know, pouring myself equally as much time as I spent, you know, in the academics I spent an equal amount of time kind of online researching stuff or reading the magazines to apply what I was learning.
So co compare yourself to where you were back then versus where you are now. Obviously you advanced your studies and your knowledge. Do you feel like you’re in better shape now at 40 than you were back then at 20 with all the research that was out and available to you at that time?
Yeah, I think, I think, I know, I know my body a lot better now. You know, my body’s different than what it, when it was at 20. I felt like I could kind of do anything. When you’re 20 and you’re just picking up heavy stuff and throwing in calories, you know, you’re just growing. You have a lot of growth factors and hormones are raging. Uh, so when, uh, you know, at 40, I feel more light on my feet. I’m not two 50 to 60 that I was kind of in, in the past when I would bulk up or even heavier, I stay at a kind of a slim two 25 and I feel best at that way. And for me to get under that way, I really have to go hungry sort of. So if I eat sort of just to stay satiated and a, and a stay with, you know, a ketogenic diet, I kind of maintain my way as long as I’m hitting the major exercises in the gym.
Uh, and you know, I’m, I’m a lot more flexible in the way I’m eating. Like some people may perceive the ketogenic diet as a very inflexible, rigid way of eating. Uh, although I kind of follow a low carb modified Atkins kind of approach relative to ketogenic diet, I like to put into the realm of the clinical. Uh, but I, I find it very liberating because I don’t get, I don’t get hungry. My cognitive performance is better. I can, my energy is sustained throughout the day much better. And it’s that I don’t have to have frequent feedings to keep my energy levels. So, uh,
yeah, that’s a perfect segue into what I wanted to talk about next. Like what is ketosis and versus just your typical low carb diet, which is what was the craze, you know, 10, 15 years ago with the Atkins. And so some people might have some misconceptions about, Oh, keto is low carb. Yes. But there’s more to it than that. Can you talk about, let’s start out with what ketosis is for those who don’t even know.
Okay. Um, I do like to take a step back when we talk about ketosis. Uh, and I like to put it in the context first in the context of fasting because that’s kind of like, um, you know, humans, ketosis is a natural state of our physiology that our ancestors would go in and out of. And I think that’s important to understand and it’s not a metabolic derangement. So that’s, most doctors are taught that. And maybe I’m guilty of that. I’m at a medical school and that’s what our students are taught. I try to get in, you know, a little bit of education about nutritional ketosis, but, um, so ketosis is in re if we take the take the kind of view of fasting, when you, when you stop eating, you have limited, uh, glucose availability through your glycogen stores, right? And primarily your liver glycogen.
And once that’s depleted, your body will quickly liberate free fatty acids for fuel. And these, these fats are liberated from our adipose or um, our adipose tissue. And long chain fatty acids typically don’t cross the blood brain barrier very readily. So the liver and it further enhances its fat oxidation and converts many of these fatty acids into ketone bodies through accelerated fat burning in the liver. And ketone bodies are, I like to call them water-soluble fat molecules. They’re broken down into smaller molecules that went in when they’re in the blood, they can readily transport across cell membranes, uh, even easier than glucose really. Cause you have the, it uses various transport mechanisms that allow it to get into tissues and function as fuel more efficiently than glucose. And it can cross the blood brain barrier and become a highly efficient fuel. Uh, it’s even been called a super fuel because you can sort of derive more energy per oxygen molecule out of it, uh, for the brain.
And after you fasted for a couple of days, your, your brain adapts to using ketones for an energy source. So the key to genic diet or a low carbohydrate diet that’s restricted enough in carbohydrates and sufficient enough in fats, uh, mimics that state of fasting. And it can put your, if you were to draw blood out of someone on a clinically implemented ketogenic diet, it would look like they’re fasting. And, uh, and that’s done medically for the medical management of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. And you know, in, in early reports of fast and controlling seizures led clinicians into the direction of the ketogenic diet cause they, they saw that they could mimic that physiological state. So, you know, looking into that a little further, um, that’s interesting. You know that it works clinically in that way to manage epilepsy. It must be enhancing or preserving or in some way, uh, altering brain function to make it function normally in a pathological state.
So that’s kinda how my research got into that. So that would be, so ketosis, the nutritional ketosis is defined by a macro nutrient ratio that’s low and sufficient and protein, a very high in fat and low restricted enough in carbohydrates that you sort of have depleted liver glycogen or glycogen reserves to drive, um, hepatic ketogenesis or liver ketogenesis. And when you’re in that state, you can derive a lot of, a lot of benefits from it. But that the diet to, to achieve that state, it’s important to understand is different in individuals, you know, whether they’re sedentary and athlete child or a 50, 60 year old man.
Yeah, no, but that’s a great starting point. So basically what you’re saying is your body can run off two different types of fuel sources, glucose, which is what most of us in today’s day and age are used to running off of, right? Or ketones. But ketones are a more efficient fuel source. But in order to get into ketosis, you have to either fast, right? Or you can mimic that by changing up your macronutrients to a high fat, moderate protein, low carb approach where as some people might think, Oh, low carb, but then a lot of protein and then a lot of fat as well. But I think that was the approach back in the 90s was okay, cut out carbs but eat a lot of protein and that’s where people can, uh, kind of go about it the wrong way. Cause the protein is converted into glucose if you eat too much of it. Correct. And it’ll bump you out of ketosis for some people
it can. Yeah, it definitely can. So too much protein can convert over to, uh, glucose through gluconeogenesis, uh, and it can also stimulate the hormone insulin. So there’s a little bit of question as to, you know, how much gluconeogenesis is actually altered by, uh, you know, varying protein consumption that still needs to be studied. Um, because some studies show that it stays fairly constant. Uh, but I don’t, it has not been studied in the context of like bodybuilder two or even eating to 300. I mean, I was eating 450 to 500 grams of protein back when I was yeah, like really trying, when my metabolism is cranking out, it’s just kind of a, like a typical meal would be like steak and eggs and wash it down with a metrics, you know, on my way to school, something like that. And I would, you know, eat again, two ops.
Uh, so, you know, no one has studied that sort of, and that’s what people are actually doing that, you know, there’s, there’s guys out there, I’ve talked to football players and athletes and power lifters that are sort of eating in that way, three, 400 grams of protein a day and that just has not been studied. Uh, and I’ve, I’ve actually gotten blood, you know, measurements from some of those people eating 350 grams of protein a day and many of them are hitting ketosis. You know, they’re doing two and a half hour sessions in the gym. Then like a high intensity, you know, a cardio interval training at nighttime or things, something like that. And I don’t know, maybe they’re taking drugs and stuff too, which could alter that, but uh, but yeah, I’ve seen, you know, guys will contacted me, you know, and they’re not following a traditional ketogenic diet. They’re low car, but they’re still hitting, uh, blood ketone numbers that are kind of, and some of them are supplementing with MCT. So that could further bump you up into ketosis.
So really quick. So like, let’s say for example, you eat a quest bar or you have like whey protein, has whey protein been found to, uh, spike your blood sugar levels versus like a grass fed burger or bacon or eggs, something, something like that. Um, has you saying there’s no studies on that or what about weight? What about weight? Protein?
Yeah, that’s a good question. Uh, I have found personally that liquid calories like a, a way just pure whey protein will kick me out of ketosis. And an equal amount of protein from a meat source is, has a different metabolic response in me and pretty much everyone that I see, uh, if you are going to take way, uh, I think there’s a lot of potential out there for like a shake that to have a base of coconut, coconut milk, like either coconut milk powder or MCT powder or something like that with way added to it. And then that would slow the gastric emptying time and release the way into the system a little bit slower. So you don’t, so you could still maintain ketosis. Um, yeah. And that, that would be my suggestions is someone could do that themselves or you know, someone waiting for someone to make a product like that. It’s, it’s like a really like, uh, that, that’s, uh, I think that would be something that, you know, I would take personally, I don’t really tolerate dairy protein too well though. So I’m also a big whole foods person. I like to eat my meals instead of drink it, but, um, but I think it could be a useful product for some people.
So. Okay. So getting back to the ketogenic diet, who would this, who would you recommend this diet? Not before, or do you think everybody across the board could benefit from this type of diet versus a, for example, like a strength athlete and Durance athlete, someone that’s trying to lose 200 pounds, someone that’s trying to gain lean muscle or is there certain types of people there that should proud that probably wouldn’t benefit from a, a ketogenic diet?
Well, I would need a lot of information to answer that, but uh, but I will, no, I think, I think it’s good. I think most people that I’ve been in touch with have definite health benefits from a ketogenic diet, but it really depends on where their starting points coming from. Uh, I seen tremendous, you know, a response and people who thought they’re eating well and they were had type two diabetes, insulin resistance, and they were moderately overweight and they were primarily a high carb, low fat diet, and they’ve had a remarkable response, uh, to nutritional ketosis. Um, and some women on the other hand, you know, uh, have not responded as favorably as I would have predicted they would. Uh, so I think the variability seems to come more with women and women athletes, but men, I think men are just hardwired to be able to fast. And I think, and when women have a dip in their blood sugar, that hypoglycemia is, sends a stress response to their brain. And, um, and I think they have some hormonal, uh, considerations that they need to address. But once they’re adapted, you know, there’s, there’s some athletes that thrive on acute, uh, female athletes. I thrive on occasion and diet. But I think the, the take home message is that the women are a little more variable where the large, large majority of men adapt really well, especially if they’re athletes.
So, so what are some, for, in your opinion, since you’re in the industry, what are some myths about ketosis that some people have or that you’ve heard that, that people think are still think about the keto diet?
Myths? Uh, there’s quite a lot of them. Uh, and they come from different circles. Well, they, that ketosis is a dangerous state to be in. And that’s, you know, I’ve given, I can’t tell you how many talks that I’ve given and uh, I have like a clinician or even a dietician, really say, well, what about ketoacidosis? And uh, so, uh, ketoacidosis, uh, is a, a particular metabolic state that, uh, specifically associated with type one diabetes where there is a lack of insulin and the body has really tight control over insulin. And when you’re on a ketogenic diet, which I’ll call a nutritional ketosis, uh, you, your body regulates its ketone levels within a pretty tight range and you’ll have ketone urea, you’re, you know, you’ll break them down, use them as metabolic fuel, and then if your ketone levels start to rise too much, uh, you’ll have ketone induced insulin release.
So the ketones will actually cause a small release of insulin from the pancreas and that will shut off ketogenesis in the liver. So the, it’s like, and that’s, and there’s a couple other mechanisms too, but they’re just sort of like the main ones. And that would prevent anyone with a, a normal physiology. Anyone who doesn’t have a preexisting sort of metabolic derangement in the form of insulin insufficiency, uh, to, to do really well on the diet and to maintain their own ketone levels. Uh, you have, so you have diabetic ketoacidosis associated with type one diabetics, and then you have alcoholic ketoacidosis, which is kind of a self is something in and of itself. If you’re dehydrated and you’re drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, you know, and you can have pretty, uh, altered, uh, electrolytes. And, you know, you see this sort of my, my friends work the ER or ER docs.
You know, I’ve worked in new Orleans and you see it when Mardi Gras, when people just drink too much or they’re on, you know, spring break, which is spring break. Now, uh, you get kids coming in who had this, sometimes they just, they go on a binge drinking and they don’t eat a couple of days and just drink and you can get into trouble. Uh, so one would then predict maybe that it’s not a good approach for a type one diabetic. But I gotta tell you that there’s a lot of type one diabetics that have contacted me and said that this was the key thing to wean them off of excess insulin, which they were when they’re falling a high carb approach, uh, they’re in, they were bumping up their insulin more and more and they found that they could cut back to her insulin 60, 80, sometimes 90% less insulin.
And when, whenever you using less exact, you know, less insulin, exogenous insulin injectable insulin, that’s a good thing. And it would be hard for your doctor to argue against that if you’re falling in nutritional program that that requires, you know, far less insulin. That’s really, really a good thing. And that’s, that’s what happens with type one diabetics, but they have to be much more, uh, you know, they have to have better oversight over their, their ketones cause they could potentially get into trouble, uh, faster if, if, uh, they were not, if they didn’t have like an insulin pump and they didn’t have it managed well. Like one of my students, a PhD student is type one diabetic and he does really well. Uh, switching to, uh, from high carb to acute eugenic diet. And I have a number, there’s a doctor in the ER in this area, Dr. Keith Runyon. And he wrote a book, the, the ketogenic diet for type one diabetics that you can find on ketogenic diet resource.com. And there’s, uh, there’s two books he wrote. One is the ketogenic diet for type two diabetics and he was brave enough to write a book, uh, for ketogenic diet for type one diabetics cause he’s a medical doctor and he has type one diabetes and the guy also runs like marathons and stuff. So, um, and his used the ketogenic diet for, for that. Interesting.
That’s interesting. Yeah, go ahead.
I was going to say that that’s, I wonder if there’s been backlash where people in the medical community that have kind of gone after him to, you know, kind of challenge him in a way, but it sounds like from his perspective, and you know, he’s a medical doctor, so he knows what he’s talking about and he’s type one diabetic himself, you’re saying?
Yeah, he’s type one
diabetic. And um, you know, I, I probably have at least a dozen type one diabetics that have contacted me that sort of stay in touch and I’m just, um, you know, I’ll respond back to people and, and some people I want to hear back from them more than others kind of. And so I will be, when they contacted me and they ask about, you know, could I use this approach? I have type one diabetes and I give them a cautious, well, maybe, you know, you’ve got to do the research, read this book, read into it. And uh, and everyone who’s contacted me and has tried this approach has, it’s, it’s worked wonders. Occasionally you get people that can get completely off insulin, uh, exonerated. So I think maybe their pancreas is making a little bit of insulin. Uh, cause I don’t think you could completely get off insulin but a few people have reported that they could.
But most people just cut their insulin dose at least in half. If they’re eating a standard diet from a standard diet to ketogenic diet, they can cut their throat or insulin at least in half. And sometimes 60, 80 even, like I said, 90% less insulin. That is cool. So that’s what I’m trying to touch on is okay. The ketogenic debt for the most part, I think a lot, there’s a lot of people that could benefit from this day and not just people that are trying to lose weight or lose fat, but people with medical conditions like type one or type two diabetes. And then I want to shift over to another thing that I kinda hear in the industry about uh, strength athletes like putting on muscle and then also endurance athletes. Cause everyone’s like, well you’ve got to have carbs to put on muscle. You’re going to have carbs to run marathons. What have you found and your research. And your research for those people that are trying to gain lean mass and then those people that do endurance running, who have been set in their ways for so long with a glucose based diets.
[inaudible] yes. So I get this question a lot. My, our lab is primarily a, an animal model lab, but we do subcontract out human research and we started doing that. I would say we’re about, you know, two thirds or more kind of a animal model research. But we do have some, some human studies that we’ve completed and, and hope to continue to expand and more human studies and the research on the ketogenic diet for strength athletes has shown up to this point that it doesn’t give you an advantage in terms of strength and size, but it does give you an advantage in terms of, uh, maintaining and, and being able to add, enabling you to add strength and size while losing body fat faster. So when you approach it, so we’d say there’s, you get a stronger recomposition, uh, effect. Um, and that, that’s even in kids like college age kids.
Uh, what I want to kind of reproduce this study and do it in guys that are 50, 60, because I think you’d even get a better response because we become more carbohydrate intolerant as we age. Uh, so I think the KeyJack diet can be a tool that can be used perhaps continuously, but maybe in younger population intermittently, uh, during periods where they want to, uh, enhance their, their body composition or their power to weight ratio, you know, whether it be for power lifting or something like that. They’re kind of a, a stronger package, pound for pound. Uh, and it was one of the, the first study that we published in 2012. It was with collaborators in Italy and it was with a gymnast and there was a variety of exercises, you know, like dips and pull ups and things like that to, to look at their strength.
And, uh, they were able to maintain their strength performance on a ketogenic diet and uh, and able to reduce their body fat more than with a standard diet. And that’s pretty common. That’s pretty common. But gaining, you know, a lot of kids will contact me like 20 year olds and you know, she can, I bulk up on a ketogenic diet. You know, I have to look back to, I grew up in an Italian family and we ate lots of pasta and carbs and I tolerated it really well. You know, I couldn’t continue to do that, do that. Now. Uh, you know, I wouldn’t carve up for my desk job here, you know, although I have a standing desk, but, uh, when I was younger, you know, I did a lot of farm work and was pretty active mountain biking and things like that and got more time to, to work out in the gym and you know, maybe you could titrate your carbohydrates based on your, your activity, but generally speaking, when you’re younger, your carbohydrate tolerance is much, much more, you know, much greater.
And as we age, uh, and it may be due in part to some, you know, a lifestyle where you’re maybe not as active as you were when you were younger. But generally as we age, our carbohydrate tolerance goes down. So I think if we shift more towards eating low carb, uh, that’s a good thing. And, and it w and I think most people could benefit by using a ketogenic diet, whether it be continuously or just intermittently through periods of, uh, the year. You know, I think, I think maybe we weren’t supposed to eat the same way all the time. And food availability was always changing, you know, based on seasons. So I think it’s good to kind of fluctuate and to allow our bodies to adapt to different types of, of eating, maybe different foods to, to promote metabolic flexibility in that way. You know, uh, I, I admit that I’m, I’ve been on a ketogenic diet pretty much continuously, uh, because I’m always trying different ketogenic diet recipes, different supplements. You know, as I speak to you, I’m opening up a package now of a new ketone product that kind of out. So I like to kind of maintain, I feel better myself staying in a state of ketosis and it’s part of my research. But, uh, if I wasn’t a researcher in ketosis, I would probably kind of rotate my diet a little bit more.
Well, that’s what I was going to ask. Is there any downsides to staying in ketosis for a long period of time or stretches, you know, is there a certain period of time that’s optimal? I guess it’ll differ per person based on their goals, but is there, is there any danger to staying in a state of ketosis for a long period of time? Like what you’re doing? Obviously it sounds like for you know, but for the average person,
uh, well I think it would, they would need to get blood work to determine that. But based on what I’ve seen, if someone was to follow like a three to one or four to one ratio, ketogenic diet that’s used in the clinical realm, that’s, that’s like 90% fat, 85 to 90% fat and the protein is pretty low actually. It’s like, you know, 10, eight to 10%. So that’s pretty extreme. And that following that could probably lead to some, uh, changes in blood lipid profile that could be alarming to most doctors and the general, you know, a medical community with an elevation of LDL, maybe an elevation in triglycerides. Uh, if they’re not, if they’re calorie restricting, they probably wouldn’t see the, the rise in triglycerides. Uh, uh, but if you look at, you know, the, the data, there’s, there’s a population of people out there that have drug resistant epilepsy that have been on the diet and continue with the diet for decades.
You’ve been, and their blood work looks pretty good. And I know some of them and you know, you can look at the studies, uh, some of the studies, the early studies showed, uh, an elevation of triglycerides and, and some abnormal blood work. But many of the, these studies were done in kids and some of them are also on antiepileptic drugs. And they were also using a ketogenic diet product called keto cow. And back then Kito cow was primarily, you know, uh, as basically casing and, uh, hydrogenated like, uh, soybean oil. And it just, yeah, it had a lot of hydrogenated fats and, and I think now they took the fats out, but it’s still far from ideal. Like you could formulate a ketogenic diet that would, uh, be much better than that. I think they’re continuing, uh, Nutricia is continuing to improve that product. Uh, as we, you know, as a, as a nutrition community learns more about, uh, different types of fats.
But, uh, so, so people will point to some of those studies and say, look, the junk diet can be dangerous liquid it did to these kids, they had high triglycerides. Um, but you know, that’s a four to one ratio diet that’s very extreme relative to like what athletes are doing with a modified Atkins diet. And, and, uh, I think it’s gonna vary depending on the person, but generally, no, generally, um, I don’t, I don’t see it as a, unless, you know, every bodies, uh, metabolic physiology is different. We’re, we’re all a unique, you know, metabolic entity. I like to say. And, you know, some of us have, uh, the field of Nutrogenomix is probably going to contribute a lot into this question in the next three to five years. And I think it can predict, you know, whether you have a deficiency in a beta oxidation pathway that would, you know, reduce your capacity for, you know, your liver to make ketones or reduce your capacity for certain tissues to make or to utilize ketones as an energy source.
So, uh, or whether you will become deficient in, you know, a particular, uh, micronutrient if you go on this diet. You know, so I, I think our tools for nutrition are increasing really exponentially as technology advances. And I think that in the future you can envision a technology that you can, you know, allow us to analyze a drop of blood and give a good kind of overall, uh, uh, prescription of a diet that you shouldn’t follow or not necessarily a diet that he should follow. But, uh, it can tell you, you know, uh, like, like, you know, the data from 23 in me, you know, you can take that data and export it to a number of different services out there, um, that can, that are telling that are at least their advertising that they can do that right now. And you know, I have a list of about 10 of them.
I’m still researching them to figure out how valid, you know, their services are. Uh, but that, that’s really exciting to me that, you know, you know, I can, I know that I may fast caffeine metabolizer. Uh, but I know, uh, someone who’s not, you know, my, my fiance freaks out if she has like a little espresso and her heart starts racing. So like I have the gene that allows me to metabolize caffeine very fast. And, uh, I know a few people that are extremely sensitive to it. And the same thing, you know, can happen with diet [inaudible] types of foods. So you can have someone who’s just intolerant to high levels of fat. And, uh, and I think there are few and far between, but I think they’re out there and, and it’s not like they are or they’re not. It’s a spectrum in many cases, kind of a, a spectrum based on kind of uh, your genetic profile. And I think,
let me stop you there and ask you before we move to the next soak or, um, question that I had is, is there a minimum amount of time that someone should experiment with nutritional ketosis before they throw it out the window? Like for example, if they feel horrible on day two or day three and they’re like, Oh, this is horrible, I should just stop. Is there a minimum amount of time, 30 days, 60 days or where they should go all out and to really experiment to see if, if it’s for them or not. Like what would be a minimal amount of time that they should experiment with it before they try? They say it’s not for me.
Yeah, I would say no less than three weeks. Definitely no less than three weeks. I think the, a lot of the fatigue sluggishness that you feel occurs in the first two weeks and the F and usually most people by the third week, they’re starting to feel better. Uh, but really you probably want to go four to six weeks, but I would say no less than than three weeks to give it an honest to goodness, you know, shot and, and you want to do, you know, there’s some, some things that you want to do right off the bat. Uh, just ensure that your, your sodium intake is adequate, that your, your overall electrolyte, you know, uh, uh, consumption is bumped up pretty significantly, I think would help a lot. Your hydration level. So being in a state of ketosis has a diuretic effect, so you are eliminating more water.
And with that water goes, you know, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium. So these things supplemented would be a good idea. Uh, I tend to get, I was getting a lot of, um, calf cramps at nighttime and I found that supplementation of magnesium in the form of magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, magnesium glycinate is probably one of the best. Uh, and that, that solved that problem within two or three days. Uh, so that, and I did a blood, I did blood work where my magnesium was on the low end of the spectrum, almost out of range, like low normal. And then when I supplemented that put me in the high normal range of magnesium. And since I’ve been in that high normal range, I never get, um, cramps again. And, and I used to, I went almost a year or so getting cramps and just, you know, didn’t, didn’t supplement magnesium, but that was my only side effect.
I’ve heard about taking too much magnesium as well and what that can do to system.
Yeah. It depends on the form. So what, what form are you talking about? Like magnesium oxide, uh, is okay, but you know, there’s some, there’s some studies on it just showed you just need to take more of it, but it’s, it can be, people can have an intolerance or that it could cause some GI GI issue. So, yeah, the, the form of magnesium’s pretty important. Uh, I have, uh, a powder at home, I forget what it’s called. It’s like, it’s magnesium citrate. It’s one of the more popular powders. It’s like it’s supposed to make you calm and relaxed, which magnesium sort of does that. And I take it before I go to bed and since I’ve been taking that product that’s, that has really remedied. But the first, you know, really good magnesium supplement that I took that I felt that working was magnesium glycinate. So it’s magnesium bound to a protein or amino acid is what I would recommend.
Okay. Um, shifting gears here a little bit because, well actually we forget. We’ve ready. Talk about endurance athletes. We talked about strength athletes. What about endurance people or the kid doing day for endurance athletes?
Yeah. Being fat adapted gives you a lot of advantages, uh, for an endurance athlete. And first and foremost is that you have better access to a greater reserve of fuel, right? So your fat oxidation pathways are significantly upregulated over time. And if you just look at your fat oxidation capacity could be two to three fold higher. And Jeff Bullock has shown that, uh, as recently published work in his work in metabolism on that, uh, he gave a great talk on this actually if you go to IHMC, uh, evening lecture series, he gave a great like one hour, 45 minute talk on research, uh, of, of high carb, basically elite level, high carbohydrate, you know, diet based athletes and elite level athletes that were following a high fat keep jank diet and just looked at fat oxidation. And the, the highest fat burners in the high carb, uh, group were not even close to the lowest fat oxidizers have the key to genic diet group.
So their, their fat oxidation capacity were literally like two to three fold higher. And that has very practical advantages for an athlete for having to refuel during the workout. And when you’re refueling and undergoing strenuous physical exertion, throwing in calories into your GI system is really not a good thing cause your, your blood, your GI system is, takes a lot of energy and a lot of blood really to make it sort of work properly. And when you’re like running a marathon or you’re all out physical activity, you don’t want to have to, you know, uh, be pounding calories, especially in the form of like sugary syrups and stuff that could cause GI issues. Uh, water and electrolytes. Yeah, I think that there are things that are easily absorbed, but you know, these fat adapted athletes, they’ll tell you, man, I did it. Just feel better faster.
They don’t even try to, to drink like MCT or anything during the race there. We have plenty of fat stores, you know, for a marathon, you know, you’re not going to waste the way in a marathon, but you just, you know, give your body, uh, fluids, give it electrolytes. And if you’re fat adapted, you’re good to go. If you’re not fat adapted, if you’re carb dependent or sugar dependent and you know, you do an ultra marathon, you’re going to have to do significant amount of refeeding, uh, during that. And a fat adapted person may need to refit too. But being fat adapted, it is also very glycogen sparing because you, your ex, you know, you’re, um, you’re liberating more fatty acids for fuel. You’re kind of sparing your liver glycogen and, and someone who is fat adapted leading up to a race, they could continue eating their ketogenic diet foods but maybe bump up their calories, you know, eat an extra two, three, maybe 4,000 calories up leading into it and their glycogen reserves will, will fill up, you know, it won’t like, like carbo-loading but they will fill up enough, they’ll have, you know, and it’s probably good to have even a tiny little bit of extra fat to
okay. Yeah. That’s what I was going to say is like for people that are, you know, if they’re not, they’re not fat adapted. They shouldn’t just stop eating carbs the night before a race and then eat a bunch of fats expecting to, you know, see the benefits of, of that, of eating the fats instead of the carbs before race. Right. Cause everybody’s still depending on the glucose.
Yes. Yep. So that’s one, that’s just one thing. The other thing would be less oxidative damage to, uh, less inflammation, less oxidative damage and guys that are keto adapted or fat adapted. And we think, you know, there’s, there’s good evidence now that ketones have an anti inflammatory effect. Uh, we did some work, you know, using exogenous ketones with our collaborators at Yale and showed that there was a particular inflammatory pathway, the NLR P three inflamma zone actually, and that was published in nature medicine and it showed that your, your, the ketones suppress an inflammatory pathway, that, that when it’s activated, it leads to the liberation of all sorts of inflammatory cytokines that could cause muscle damage and, and, and inflammation. And keeping that, keeping that inflammatory pathway suppressed, uh, during rigorous exercise is a really important thing. And we think we’re doing up some, we’re doing some followup work, uh, looking at cytokine levels, um, and follow up work from, from that paper to determine specifically sort of how it’s doing that and what cytokines may be most important.
So you have the inflammatory component and you have key tunes, right? So your brain, uh, running off ketones may likely provides a lot of advantages even for athletes who are not particularly having to think and do exhausting, uh, mental activities when they’re running. But the ketones probably delay, uh, probably work in ways to delay the onset of mental fatigue or the perception of exertion. So, so what we feel is that like branch chain amino acids kind of do that too, by limiting, you know, the serotonin to the brain so that perceived exertion could be less. And, you know, caffeine does that too. And I’m that the studies have not been done yet. It’s something that we want to do, but we think that the ketones, uh, you know, having a steady fuel flow to the brain, uh, keeping the brain happy as we say, uh, has significant advantages mentally for an athlete, uh, when it comes to perceived exertion and just, uh, delaying central fatigue that may be contributing to impaired exercise performance, especially with long duration exercise performance.
Okay. So, so really quick question about that before we, cause I want to get into exhaustion as ketones here on a little bit, but before that, um, from what I’m hearing, um, as far as that goes, I was gonna ask you about Quito and CrossFit athletes and keto or nutritional ketosis for CrossFit athletes and for like NFL players. So those types of activities. Uh, what has been your like, um, I don’t know if you’ve done research on CrossFit athletes or NFL players yet, but what has been your, um, what have you seen or heard about the benefits or maybe not, um, non-beneficial things with the keto diet and those types of athletes?
Yeah, that’s a good question. I have not studied CrossFit athletes. All I can say is that I do get feedback and you know what, you can draw from that. And maybe bias, maybe only the CrossFit athletes that are getting great responses are contacting me. A few have contacted me and just said, you know, I’m having a hard time adapting, you know, keeping up the intensity in my routine. You know, I switched to acute agentic diet and I’m just kind of struggling in the gym and then I’ll respond back and be like, well, how long are you doing it? What’s your ketone levels? You know, tell me exactly what you’re eating. And it’s like, yeah, I’m into, you know, I’m on my second week now and I’m just kind of dragging in. And a few of them got back to me and was like, yeah, you were right.
You know, I just stuck with it. Uh, I, you know, incorporated some, some MCTs into my food and you know, I read Jeff Bullock’s book and figured out I was doing a few things wrong. Um, and you know, over time my body adapted to it and I’m doing really well. And I think that’s your, your, your body’s capacity to adapt metabolically, especially in athletes is really great. Like you can actually change your metabolic physiology over time. And I think that’s really exciting to me that you can just kind of alter, you know, your energy pathways with time. I know I have [inaudible] in my body. I know it just, I can oxidize fat so much more efficiently and, and just run off fat and ketones more efficiently than I did when I first started experimenting with the diet. Um, so I think that’s, that’s a message that I want to and to, to convey to people.
And I think that’s what Jeff, Ola, can Stephen Finney do that too. And when they give their talks and in their book is that just kind of stick with it and forcing your body eat to, you know, change its metabolic physiology is not like a real easy thing to do. But I think you can drive a lot of benefits from it. And I think it’s, it’s really important to give the ketogenic diet a chance. And because your body, you got to give your body time to adapt to it and that adaptation rate is going to vary depending upon the person. Um, and I think there’s ways that you can, you know, help your body, uh, adapt to it too. But I think there’s a lot of benefits that you can derive from eating just low carb and not necessarily ketogenic initially. And, and that becomes kind of a gateway to the ketogenic diet if you want to, if you want to because you just, when you transition from eating high carb to low carb and not necessarily ketogenic, that kind of weaned your body off the weed, your brain off of the need for spikes in glucose or high glucose and Oh sorry, go ahead.
Oh, NFL, right. I think you’re gonna
yeah. Or football players in general. Like if you got feedback from NFL players or football players in general.
Yeah, there’s a, a few that a lot of like high school kids and parents of high school kids, uh, are, are really enthusiastic about the ketogenic diet cause they understand the neuroprotective effects of ketones. And when it comes to performance too, they, uh, depending on your position and everything, right. So, um, there there’s, could be a performance advantage. Uh, most of the kids, you know, when I talked to, uh, coaches, most of the coaches are trying to get their kids to like a lot of their kids to lose weight. So they haven’t been running a lot. Um, depending on like where you’re out in the state, like maybe in Florida or, or Georgia and stuff, we have a little bit beefier, heavier kids. It’s just need to kind of tone up and lose weight as they go in to their position. But I think, uh, you know, we’re, we’re not studying NFL players. Uh, but I think it would be an interesting population to study. But I think even if you just consider the neuroprotective effect of ketones, uh, what does
that mean? What does that mean? Neuroprotective effect? Just so people know? Well, there’s a lot
of discussion, uh, anything, you know, anything regarding ketones and football. Uh, the questions I usually get half to have to do with brain injury and concussions. So that has been a big topic of discussion with, with the investigators that I talked to. And when your brain is, uh, running off ketones, it, it has a lot of, uh, a higher energetic capacity. And also the ketones have an antiinflammatory effect. And we know that after we get traumatic brain injury or concussion, there’s an, there’s an energetic crisis that sensed in the brain and that that energetic crisis, uh, results in impaired glucose metabolism and there’s a half dozen or more different pathways that have been identified. Uh, internalization of the glucose transporter from the membrane, the glut three transporter, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex PDH that becomes less active. So these are the things that allow the brain cells to use glucose for fuel don’t work that well.
And so these pathways, uh, the pathways that are impaired with brain injury are, don’t have little or no effect on ketone metabolism. So an elevation of blood ketones would allow an alternative energy substrate to sort of bathe the brain and restore brain energy metabolism in the face of that glucose energy crisis. And whenever, after brain injury, if you can preserve and continue kind of normal brain function, that’s, that’s really an important thing to do. And we know that the ketogenic diet, it’s, there’s a lot of, you know, it’s kind of a mystery in some ways. We don’t know exactly how it works, you know, we knows we think it works 20 or 30 different ways kind of all synergistically together. But the important thing that we do know is that it preserves brain homeostasis and normal brain activity. And doing that in the context of brain injury I think is extremely important.
And so that’s, that’s sort of from an energy perspective and also from a signaling perspective, which I don’t want to get too deep into the science, but we know that there’s specific pathways in the brain that when they’re activated leads to significant neuroinflammation and this chronic sort of encephalitis, uh, that, that athletes have, this chronic inflammation leads to the downstream kind of consequences from, from the brain injury. And we think that the suppression of specific, uh, inflammatory pathways by ketones can prevent that from happening. And that’s sort of a, a big focus of our lab now is to look at those inflammatory pathways. That is awesome.
And that was a grant for me that’s groundbreaking. You know, I think a lot of people will find that type of information, that knowledge very beneficial for them specifically or for someone that they know that, that, you know, plays football for example. And we’ll see where this goes, you know, five to 10 years from now. Um, I don’t know. I mean the resources is really interesting to me, so we’ll have to have you back on again and talk about that kind of stuff when you, uh, find more data on that. But, um, okay. I want to shift gears here and talk about exogenous ketones. Ketone supplements, for example, key genics is a company that I was introduced to. I tried out there their product, their [inaudible] ketone supplement. And what is that and why would it be beneficial for people, um, to take versus like a nutritional ketosis type of diet where, where do you see that supplement fitting in and why is it so, why is everybody talking about why is everyone so excited about these exotic as ketones?
Yeah, I think there’s, you know, my, my lab probably about more than half of what I do is, is on these exoticness ketones. We also look at metabolic drugs and, and the ketogenic diet we study. But the interesting thing about exogenous ketones, we were talking about NFL players, right? So say you get a hit and get knocked unconscious and you get significant brain injury, you know, and you’re not on a ketogenic diet. You know, if you put type guy on a ketogenic diet, it could take, you know, two or three days to get into ketosis. If you have an exotic in his ketone supplement, he could be in ketosis in like 10 minutes, really, you know, or in under an hour for sure. I mean, in, in 10 minutes you start to see, uh, an elevation of blood ketones pretty quick. Uh, that, that’s from a therapeutic point of view.
That’s really important. Uh, and I, I’ve always been interested in inducing like rapidly inducing nutritional ketosis, uh, sustaining it and supporting it. And that’s what exotic just ketones do. And I approached it from the perspective of the Navy seal diver that could experience oxygen toxicity seizures, right? So the day, uh, they need something that they could take right before a mission that will preserve, uh, their performance and prevent them from going into a seizure during, during their mission. And, uh, so the only way to do it that’s really difficult to do with a ketogenic diet. So that’s where our original sort of exaggerates ketone was the ketone Ester. And these are, these are really potent. They taste absolutely horrible, but perhaps in the future and make them in a way that’s, that’s, uh, more affordable and that don’t taste, it doesn’t taste like gasoline. And now Keith genics is a product and there’s other products out there, uh, key genics, uh, is really a product that’s kind of paving the way and developing a beta hydroxybutyrate and combined with medium chain triglyceride formula.
Right? So this formula is kind of based off some research that we did in the lab showing that a ratio of beta hydroxybutyrate, uh, in, in a mineral salt. So you combine beta hydroxybutyrate with mano or dive in like cat ions and that could be, you know, a fancy word for a sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium. And those ketone salts are formulated with a, a medium chain triglyceride powder and the, which is a form of fat. And when it’s mixed together and ingested the fat sort of acts to, uh, sustain that level of ketosis over time. And it more or less functions as like a delivery system and different ratios work better than other ratios. So, uh, and that’s what Keith genics essentially is and there’s various cofactors and a few other things added to help promote and sustain that, um, that, uh, nutritional ketosis and some, uh, things that then that also enhance fat oxidation are included in the product. And whenever you’re enhancing fat oxidation, you’re enhancing your ability to make ketones cause naturally sort of, if you’re in ketosis without an exoticness ketone product, that those ketones are a result of fat oxidation. So the product can actually enhance your own endogenous ketone production while simultaneously providing its own source of ketones to the body.
Interesting. So that’s, that’s kind of what I kind of went into this. I was surprised first of all, like, uh, I had heard these exhaustion as ketones tastes horrible and you know, they, you know, they’re very salty. But for example, I had key Genex I’m like, this actually tastes really good. So that was the first thing that surprised me was these tastes good. You’re talking about the ketone esters. Those things are the things that you haven’t found a way to make those tastes good yet, right? Yeah, right.
Yeah. There that’s they are, they’re more potent. [inaudible] on a gram per gram basis are more potent and are also made sort of synthetically, whereas key genics are derived from products that are derived from nature actually. So the precursors are more or less found in nature where the ketone esters, they co they probably fit into a category that’s a may depending on the type of Esther and the particular, you know, formula. It could be in the realm of a medical food, you know, and, and maybe better off put into a capsule and not into a shake that you drink. But, but I think, you know, uh, the, the future of exoticness ketones really lies in developing something that, uh, that tastes good no matter, you know, no matter how potent or effective a product is, if it doesn’t taste good, it’s not gonna work. And I think that there’s a lot of potential to develop various ketone salts, uh, and a lot of work still needs to be done by our labs.
And hopefully other labs will study this too, to kind of screen out what forms of beta hydroxybutyrate are our most effective, tolerable, uh, palatable. And that could be put into a formula and various formulas can be developed for a specific applications, whether it be for the football field, for a military, uh, you know, scenario for a medical, uh, scenario. You have a situation like status epilepticus when kids go into a, a constant, uh, sustained seizure. And when you’re a kid, uh, you don’t want to give them large doses of anti seizure drugs because they can, it can cause developmental problems later on. Uh, but we know that diet works, but implementing the diet takes time, right? So if you have a kid in status epilepticus, if you can give them, you know, a lot of these things can be put into an IV formula or intragastric so you can quickly deliver the ketones to suppress the seizures and control it and you’re giving the body something, you know, that it’s, uh, has naturally anyway, if you measure the blood, it’s bioidentical. The ketones that are elevated in your blood from the key genics product are bio identical to the ones you know, your body makes it its own, so its own way. So, and I think that it’s really important.
Let me talk about the application of this, these exotic ketones like key Genex. So for example, let’s say instead of waiting two, three, four, five days, however long it takes to get into a state of ketosis, you could take this product, essentially bypass those, you know, those days. And then from there to sustain a ketogenic diet, um, you’re kind of bypassing three or four days of having to transition from glucose over to ketones. Correct. Within 60 minutes.
Yeah. That that’s, that’s I think a really practical applications. When people start a ketogenic diet, then they go into what I call glucose withdrawal. Their brain goes into glucose withdrawal and it can send, it can put your body into a state of stress. You know, if your body senses hypoglycemia, you’re going to have a dump of cortisol. Your adrenal glands are going to be activated, and your epinephrin, your adrenaline is going to be even further activated from the hypoglycemia. And that’s, it’ll lead to shaking high heart rate, perhaps, you know, palpitations. So if you supply your, you know, your body with ketones, it’s sort of more or less telling your brain that it’s not going into a physiological energy crisis, right? So your, it will impact your, your own, your physiology in a way to just preserve normal physiology as you transition into a ketogenic diet. You know, and that’s important.
It here’s the so cool about that is that we’re all into hacking, um, you know, things in our life to make life simpler. And this sounds like an awesome way to hack the ketogenic diet without having the keto flu is some people call it right, which is, I think what you’re describing there, you’re kind of hacking that, bypassing that, jumping right into a state of ketosis by just taking this powder drink that you just drink and it tastes good by the way. But let me ask you, like later on down the road you’re, you take, you’re taking the product, you’re eating a keto friendly diet and you’re at your, into a state of ketosis. Let’s say for whatever reason you were like, you know what, I’m having a bad day, I’m going to have some donuts and some beer. Could you, so I, I, cause I think a lot of people were interested in this. Are you saying like people could have that, but then afterwards take T gen X or some exoticness ketones and then be right back into a state of ketosis? Or does it take some time to get rid of that all that glucose you just had and, and get back into ketosis? Or is this product saying, even if you have glucose in your system, you could transition over to ketones within 60 minutes.
Yeah. You could stay in nutritional ketosis, uh, independent of carbohydrate intake. So you could, yeah, you could. And that’s, that’s how we really started studying ketones because the military, they didn’t want to implement any kind of carbohydrate restriction cause their, most of their food sources are MRDs are carb based and even, you know, the, what they call their first Strack first strike ration, you know, something that you take immediately before battle. It’s basically corn syrup, sugar and caffeine. Uh, yeah, the military, you know, it’s kind of are kind of archaic in the way that they think about their nutrition program. But that, that’s changing I think, uh, I think given talks there and stuff. Uh, but, uh, yeah, so you can follow a high carb diet and take exogenous ketones and still measure, uh, your blood. And it would indicate that, you know, you’re at a level of ketosis consistent with a person that’s on a ketogenic diet, a strict ketogenic diet, uh,
body choose ketones over the glucose. Is that what
your, your body will, will do
or does it, I guess I’m asking, like if there’s glucose and ketones in the system, it’ll choose ketones over glucose.
Uh, it, so your body will use, I get this question a lot and it’s a good, it’s a really good question. Uh, so if you’re getting glucose and getting ketones, you know, in your blood or from your, from your diet, your body will use what’s ever available, right? So if you are keto adapted, it may use proportionally more ketones for fuel. Your brain may do that. Uh, so as we age, uh, there’s great work by Steven Kunene, uh, showed that as we age, our brain has impaired glucose metabolism. Uh, but as we age, our ketone metabolism does not increase. So we can potentially derive, uh, get more benefits, you know, the aging brain from ketones, uh, as we age. But generally speaking, our, our brains and our cells are already, uh, hardwired to use ketones as an energy source. And we have what’s called the Amano carboxyl gas, uh, transporters.
And there’s MCT transporters, one, two, up to four, right? I think MC, uh, MCT transporter two is in the brain and it’s the same transporter is Lactaid actually. So, uh, so that, yeah, our bodies had that if we were to stay in ketosis like strictly two toasts over time, the protein for that transporter is sort of upregulated and increased over time and our bodies manufacturer more transporters on, on the membranes of the cells. And that’s been shown in animal models. And we think, you know, that that would happen in humans too. And also the, the catalytic enzymes increase over time. So if we’re forcing our body to burn more ketones for fuel enforcing our tissues and our physiology as a whole to use ketones as an energy source, it will increase. Uh, it’s sort of the, the metabolic pathways will increase, uh, so the various enzymes and metabolic pathways that, that allow us to derive energy from ketones are upregulated and can be sustained over time.
And when we have the diet. So the, the, uh, the take home from that or the implications could be that if you have, if you are fat adapted, if you are keto adapted and you take a ketone supplement, then you may have better transport and utilization of those ketones. Uh, that’s sort of what we think. But we need to do a study to confirm that this studies that were done, there’s an exercise studies that were done at Oxford actually with a, a ketone Ester and it, it looked more or less at elite level athletes, uh, but they were carb adapted, they were well following a standard diet. But you can argue that and they benefited tremendously from, from exogenous ketones as far as power output, uh, rowing. So one could argue though, if you are an athlete, you are, you know, you, you produce more lactate and you’re probably bouncing in and out of ketosis cause you’re, you have do depleting workouts, right? So you’re already like somewhat fat adapted and keto adapted. Uh, we re to really answer this question, I think, uh, Jeff Bullock might be working on it. We really need to take tissues, muscle biopsies, and do some pretty elegant, uh, global metabolomics and also trace her based, uh, metabolomics where we look at, uh, you know, the fate of glucose and the fate of exogenous beta hydroxybutyrate, uh, with, with tracer based, uh, technologies. You know,
so, so basically you’re saying that even if someone is in nutritional ketosis, even taking exogenous ketones could benefit them when it comes to performance enhancement, uh, versus just your typical Kito diet, right? Is that what you’re saying?
Yeah, absolutely. So if you’re on a standard diet or if you go off the ketogenic diet and take ketones, you’re still using those ketones for energy and you’re still getting benefits from it. And there’s some pretty good evidence out there from our lab and other labs showing that you have better utilization of glucose when ketones are in your system. And we don’t know exactly why, uh, but we think that ketones enhance insulin sensitivity. So ketones influence various endogenous antioxidant pathways that when they’re influenced, uh, and certain oxidative pathways or, uh, oxidative stress markers are decreased, uh, that can enhance insulin signaling in a way that would enhance, uh, peripheral glucose disposal. So, uh, if we give a bolus, it give a big dose of an exotic as ketone and we look at blood glucose, it goes down. So the question is, why does glucose go down if you’re giving exonerations ketones by mouth or you know, in the food or with an intragastric NovaSure.
So there’s two reasons for that. Either it’s decreasing hepatic gluconeogenesis or it’s enhancing peripheral glucose uptake from the tissues. And I think it’s both. I think both things are happening actually. I think we’re, you know, insulin’s working more effectively and our tissues become, have a greater capacity for transporting glucose and deliver is kind of turning down its gluconeogenesis because it’s sensing, Hey, I have energy here, so I don’t need to dump all this glucose into the bloodstream because, you know, uh, the liver is a, is a really incredible kind of energy sensing organ. So, and that’s why, you know, a healthy live bird is like a really good thing. If you’re taking something that impairs your liver function, whether it be, you know, some kind of drug or alcohol or things like that, it’s, it’s really messing up your metabolic physiology. So I always tell people, you know, measure, look at your liver enzymes, your liver enzymes are a really good bio marker for your overall metabolic physiology and your general health. If your liver is working well, everything else is probably working well.
Interesting. So basically, um, cause I know people are gonna ask me this cause they might not understand everything you just said, but let’s say they’re a type two diabetic and they’re, look, they miss donuts and they miss, you know, sugar. Um, they could take the exact exoticness ketone supplements and then just, you know, get away a little bit with more, maybe some cheat meals here and there versus if they didn’t have the ketones in their system.
Yeah, I do that too. I don’t follow a, I follow a ketogenic diet 95% of the time, maybe 98% of the time actually. But I do go out and I’ll have sushi. Uh, I’ll have, I’ll have popcorn at the movies sometimes, uh, or if, you know, there’s cheese, CAG cake or something like that. Sometimes I give in or, uh, and when I, when I do this, occasionally I become even more kind of obsessed with measuring my glucose. And what I find is that I, my glucose rarely goes above five millimolar. It usually stays, it bumps up from, I typically stay about 3.5, you know, somewhere around like 80, you know, 75 80 or something like that. And you know, I, I did a lot of glucose measurements when I was in college because I did a whole project on diabetics and I did tons of glucose measurements and my glucose measurements now are much better showing that even though I’m not giving my body carbohydrates and, uh, my, my ability to transport and use glucose has not been impaired.
Right. Uh, and I think that’s kind of an important consideration because there’s some evidence out there that in some people, if they transitioned from high carb to low carb and they injured, reintroduced carbohydrates into their diet, that can really kind of screw them up. They dump a massive amount of insulin, uh, or they just, or glucose levels shoot through the roof. That has not been the case for me. Uh, but, uh, I tend to tolerate maybe having a cheat meal every once in a while is, you know, preserving that insulin sensitivity and, and kind of enhancing and maybe preserving my, my body’s ability to use glucose, uh, in carbohydrates, uh, for fuel, uh, instead of not, instead of completely eliminating them all the time. And if I throw them into my diet, it’s almost like a foreign substance. Right? So I think even for people that are doing low carb, and it may be good to occasionally, uh, you know, have a carbohydrate refeed, uh, which was probably normal to our physiology even when we were kind of evolving and, uh, but maybe couple that carbohydrate refeed, you know, with a workout.
Uh, so I tend to, if I do, uh, if I, if I know that we’re going out to dinner and it’s at some kind of restaurant where the kind of food that I want to eat is, you know, high in carbohydrates, I will try to arrange it such that I do some kind of physical activity before or you know, throw in my work, uh, you know, before or maybe even after. So that’s, that’s how I do it. And I, but if I eat a ton of carbs, so this is what happens if I don’t couple it with exercise or do some kind of activity and I eat a high carbohydrate meal and I go to bed, I wake up like three in the morning or four in the morning starving. It’s like I have a, I have a massive insulin dump, right? And, and that causes a, there’s a postprandial hypoglycemia from that.
So I eat the carbs. My body is so insulin sensitive probably from the ketones, which is a good thing, right? But the, the carbs kick me out of ketosis. And, uh, so my, my glucose level shoot up my, my pancreas releases insulin. The insulin does an incredibly good job because, you know, my body’s very insulin sensitive and then I go hypoglycemia and I wake up hungry in the middle of the night and I’ll, out of curiosity, I’ll tech check my blood glucose and it’ll be, you know, like 56 or 54 or something like that. And then I checked my ketones and it’s like 0.2. So that’s why I feel like crap because my glucose is real low and my ketones are low. So my brain is really going into a stress response saying, Hey, you know, there’s no energy here, like your hypoglycemia, but where’s my ketones?
So, uh, in that case, you know, probably keep genics would be a good thing or some MCT oil. Uh, I liked, I liked the MCT oil powder that quest makes and just kind of throw it into, um, a shaker bottle or something and drink it. But the key genics to congenic is kind of wires me up. So if I take it, uh, I tend not to take, keep genics after three or four in the afternoon, uh, because I think it has some green tea extract in it, which is a great, could be a great fat burner, but there’s a little little bit of caffeine in there and I just try to eliminate all caffeine, you know, after like three o’clock in the afternoon. Yeah, no, I’m the same thing. And I like the MCT oil from quest as well. It’s good.
It’s a good, um, it’s a good, uh, supplement
as well to add to the diet. Um, okay. Couple
last questions here. Um, and this is just one of them is for me, one of them is from a friend, but what about nutrient density and the, you know, the ketogenic diet because if you know a lot of high fats, you know, you’re eating some carbs, most of which hopefully it’s from vegetables, but if you’re eating zero carbs, what about nutrient density? Is that play a role? For example, with the permeability and your microbiome, does it have any effect on that kind of aspect of your health?
Yeah, I’m a big fan of, you know, having fiber. Uh, when I switched to eating low carb, I was actually eating a lot more vegetables because my previous diet was a lot of fish and rice or chicken and pasta and or jr, you know, steak and a sweet potato. So now, uh, my meals actually have, I eat like a salad every day, uh, and I have some kind of vegetable every day, whether it be a lot of asparagus and cauliflower and broccoli and spinach and kale and those sort of sorts of things. So that keeps my microbiome healthy. I think. I’ve never had any kind of GI issues growing up. I did have a lot of sort of, uh, what do I call it? Like a nervous, I didn’t know what it was when I was growing up, but I’d eat like a big bowl of cereal before school.
And like every time I got to school, like I felt sick as a kid maybe. And I do have like a lactose intolerance and like a sort of a mild intolerance to wheat and things like that. So, and I just thought that it was a normal part of eating my breakfast, that I felt a little bit sick after her. An unsettled stomach. Uh, so, so I think as it, when it comes to nutrient density, you, the ketogenic diet gives a lot of, um, it’s fairly liberal in the amount of, of vegetables that you can eat. You know, green, leafy vegetables obviously are really low in carbs. And, uh, we do, uh, once or twice a week we’ll do, uh, mashed potatoes, cauliflower mashed potatoes, so we’ll cook that. So that’s part of it. And just, you know, a big salad every night. So that’s, and I think the raw veggies really help your, your gut microbiome too.
But that’s an area that everyone asks me. Like, why aren’t you studying the microbiome? Well, well I’ve, we’re interested in doing that or you know, writing white papers, proposals for that. We just haven’t gotten it funded yet. But we want to further understand how low carb and ketogenic diet affect the diversity of the microbiome and just kind of the overall, you know, bacterial colony, you know, whether it decreases total bacterial count. And, and how it shifts, uh, the microbiome. That’s, and we, you know, there’s, there’s a little bit of discussion about a little bit of concern that a mouse microbiome is different than a humans. Obviously it is a, so we want to do kind of a, a, a tandem mouse and humans study at the same time. That’s in a perfect world, that’s the, that’s sort of [inaudible] and if there is similarities in that, if we can, you know, we can easily control a mouse diet, right?
And we want to formulate it in a way that best reflects, you know, a population of humans we’re working with and then, you know, get some initial baseline data and then change that diet over time. And if we can see some parallel shifts in the microbiome, that’s awesome. Right? Because that would, that would mean the mouse model is a great model to work with. And then we can do a lot of interesting things. Like we could determine how changing the gut microbiome affects their response to chemotherapy or respect, you know, changes the response to various metabolic drugs. We’re looking at, you know, and this is a big, big interest to, you know, the, the clinical community.
Okay. So last couple of questions here from, from Facebook. Um, how does the keto diet affect, uh, blood circulation, you know, erectile dysfunction, libido, testosterone, that kind of aspect of sexual aspect to any feedback, research studies that you have on the keto diet and those, those kinds of things like circulation, erectile dysfunction, libido and testosterone.
Okay. Well, we’ve only studied, uh, we did study, uh, blood flow in the form of, uh, ischemic wounds. So we have a rat model of ischemic wounds and we did a Doppler blood flow measurement, uh, with ketone supplementation. And we showed that there was a significant elevation of blood flow to, uh, to the wound, which was made a schemic with a particular model and that, uh, enhance the wound healing process. So that’s likely due to what we did not determine is what caused the increase in blood flow. And we think that it was a [inaudible] dilation effect, which may impact, you know, other things too. Um, and we did, uh, sort of supporting that hypothesis was the, was the recent finding. We didn’t really publish it yet, so I’m not gonna talk too much about it, but there was an elevation of a Denison, so a Denison’s, a neuroprotective, it kind of protects your brain, but it, Dennison is a very powerful vasodilator and the ketogenic diet and ketone supplementation, uh, increases, uh, Denison levels pretty significantly in, in the blood.
And that’s, that’s a potent phase, a dilator. So an enhancement of blood flow would, would make sense. Uh, there was a couple papers published for one paper in particular looking at brain blood flow and showed that uh, elevating ketones caused a 30 to 40% increase in brain blood flow. And when you’re, when you have visit dilation to the brain, you can actually get a headache. And, and I can tell you just from kind of experimenting self experimenting with various exhaustions ketone supplements, when my doses get up kinda high, when I’m kind of pushing my own self experimentation, I start to get a bit of a head rush and even a bit of a headache. And, uh, and just, just because I think I have too much blood flow to the brain and I actually start to get a little bit anxious even because I think my is like a little bit over stimulated.
Uh, although we’ve done some recent work, uh, can’t really talk about it yet cause we’re working on the manuscript. But I’ll just tell you that with anxiety, when animals are put on, uh, in a state of nutritional ketosis, they do much better. You know, when it comes to anxiety that they have more exploratory behavior and, uh, and we’re screening a bunch of different ketone supplements to determine which ones, uh, work best and, you know, but as it pertains to the blood flow, uh, we have some good data to show that ketones do increase blood flow. Uh, we didn’t look at all the different organs, so no. Uh, but, and we, and, uh, consistent with that, it’s an elevation in tissue and blood levels of a Denison. So we think it may be working through a Denison. Okay. Um, is there a specific
millimolar Mueller level that is optimal for pre-workout? Like, if you’re about to do, you know, pretty strenuous workout, like three millimolars versus one or two, like what’s the optimal arrange to be in pre-workout
if there is one? Yeah, that’s a good question. I feel best between one and two and, uh, once I get up about three and even four and five, maybe it’s because of the things I have to do to get to that level, whether it be fasting or a real strict Q jank diet or a big dose of a supplement that’s, you know, kind of pushing my GI tolerance. Uh, whenever I get to that four, five, even six, I even push myself to like 10, sometimes a [inaudible] experiment. I didn’t, I just felt unwell, like, uh, although, you know, but I’m also, I usually stay sedentary because I’m testing myself. Right. But if I was to get up to 5 million molar and just run all out, which I haven’t done yet, maybe that would be optimal. But when it comes to mind, normal daily activity and going to the gym and doing my short little like 30 minute workouts that I do, uh, if that, uh, I feel best to stay in between one and two millimolar. And sometimes, you know, when I leave the office, if I’m, uh, really strict with my diet and I slam a key genics or something, I get up to like 2.5 or something like that. And I’m really, I really still good. So, but generally, yeah, right around like 1.5 to two, anywhere between one and two is when I kind of feel good or kind of feel at my best.
Gotcha. Okay. Well, cool man. Well, here’s the thing, Dom, I have like 50 other questions to get to, but we’ll kind of cut it off right here. Otherwise, you know, this’ll be like the Tim Ferriss podcast, but anyways. Um, okay. So just to wrap up though, like I do at the end of all my, um, uh, podcasts, I like to ask some rapid fire questions that just kinda, we were not going to talk about Quito really, or anything sciency. Uh, so just kinda answer yes or no. Does your fiance, uh, eat keto friendly foods? Is she in ketosis like you?
Uh, she is this week actually because we’re trying out, uh, products from a new company that’s making prepackage ketogenic foods and she loves them. So this company has done a remarkable job. I don’t think they’re ready to be, go public yet and let’s say about, so generally, no, she’s like a really good carb burner. But this week, yes, because we’re trying pre-packaged ketogenic foods that tastes awesome. Yeah. I think I know the company you’re talking about, so I know, I know you don’t and actually really think you’re thinking of another company, but it’s a, it’s a, a colleague of mine that’s uh, an uh, an epileptologist actually. So there’s a couple of companies forming out there, so there’s probably going to be some competition in this space. Awesome.
Okay, cool. Um, are you planning on eating, um, CUDA friendly foods on your honeymoon
after your wedding? Uh, yes, I am, because I’m Marty, I already have a bag pack that has like oysters packed in olive oil and my sardines and I have a lot of key genics packed and my MCT powder pack. So I know I’m going to be, and I actually have my blood meter and all my strips with me, so, uh, yeah, I will be, but I will not, we’re going to be in, Oh, we’re culture, uh, experiencing culture is a big part of our travel, so I will not hesitate to try the foods that are native and very specific to the regions that I’m in and I’m not going to slam some key genetics afterwards. Right? Yes. Yes.
Okay. What about your, what about your wedding? Is the KFC gonna be cake there?
Uh, Quito based cake. Yeah. Yeah. I, uh, that’s a good question. So we kind of debated this. Should I make, you know, should I, should I sort of indoctrinate all the wedding people into ketosis or force my, uh, I’m not a big believer in forcing my dietary regimen onto other people. Like I’m very sensitive about that. Uh, if yes, for various reasons, but, uh, but I think there’s going to be low carb options, you know, or do gonna do kind of like a standard cake, but we may have some low carb keto options. Maybe we’re still kind of debating that, so.
Okay. So if, uh, if records or USF played in a football game, who would you cheer for?
Yeah, that’s a hard one. That’s actually a hard one. You know, when I first came to USF, I was always rooting for Rutgers. Uh, but now, you know, since I’ve been here for almost 10 years now, uh, I kinda been written for USF just because I know some of the football coaches. And actually my, my, my doctor is, you know, uh, works for the U S a football team too. So I like to see everybody happy around here. Uh, so I got a, I kinda switched to rooting for USF as of the last couple of years.
That’s totally fine. What’s your current deadlift PR cause I know you’re a beast with the desert and you, you fat, didn’t you fast for seven days or ten seven days and you did lifted five 50 for eight reps or something.
Yeah, I did a 500 for 10 and then I did five five 85 for one. Yeah, my best PR. Oh, I don’t know what I, you know, I haven’t deadlifted in probably about, well about five weeks I think. Uh, I can always pull a seven plates, a six 75. So that’s kind of like my max. My best is six 75 seven plates for five reps is probably the best I ever did. But I was, I was pretty heavy around and seven 25 is my, my all time kind of highest that I’ve did, I dealt, was conventional stance. But now I pull Sumo stance because I feel my, my back, you know, as I age at 40, I’m starting to feel my back’s a little more stiff. So I’m trying to do some mobility work and to be safe. Uh, I’ve switched my stance up from conventional, uh, which if I went for a PR I would go conventional. But now I do assume, I just feel it’s a lot more safer.
Gotcha. Okay. Last question for you. The most important one would you ever do, cause obviously I’m known for doing my fit to fat to fit journey where I gained 75 pounds of pure fat in six months and then lost it in six months. What’d you ever do fit to fat to fit on purpose to show how the keto diet could maybe benefit the weight loss? Would you ever do that type of experiment?
Uh, you know I was just thinking about that. I was thinking about completely going off the ketogenic diet and doing, not, not force feeding myself carbs to get fat, but just switching to the diet that I used to follow, you know, 20 years ago when I was 20 and that macronutrient ratio, which was like 60% carbs, 60 to 70, 80% carbs maybe. And just doing that for you know, two, maybe three months and, and just doing my blood work and seeing, seeing what happens. Uh, so I would do that, but I wouldn’t force feed myself. I wouldn’t, you know, purposely do anything unhealthy and I don’t, I don’t necessarily think that, you know, a carbohydrate based diet is necessarily an unhealthy thing to do. Uh, especially for an athlete. But if, you know, you’re, you’re carving up for a desk job and most people have desk jobs, right? Unless your, your, your, your work output is really high. I don’t think a high carb diets optimal by any stretch of the imagination.
No, that’s funny cause every doctor I talked to is like, absolutely not. I wouldn’t do anything unhealthy to my body. Even dr Oz when I was on a show, they asked him to do this type of a diet or a sedentary lifestyle for 30 days and then do an episode on it. He like refused to do it. So I wasn’t surprised, but it would make for an interesting experiment. And I was like, I’ll talk to you about this off air about that. Um, the experiment idea that you had cause I was going to talk to you about that. But anyways, um, okay. Um, I’ll let you go man. But thank you so much for coming on. Very great information. Uh, before we, we leave though, where can people get in touch with you or on social media or your website, things like that.
Okay. Uh, yeah, you go find me on Facebook or Twitter. You know, I post on there probably like once every day or two something, usually research-based. Uh, and I have a website, uh, Quito nutrition.org and it’s just a compile nation of links that’s more or less information and people looking for consulting. Uh, I’ve also started a website with Travis Kristofferson called metabolic optimization.com and, uh, we’re looking to, you know, we do podcasts with the leading experts in metabolism and nutrition and, and uh, we recently had Adrian check on and she had, uh, uh, did a great overview of her cancer research that she’s doing at Barrow. So those two ketone nutrition.org metabolic optimization. And you can find me on, uh, Twitter and Facebook.
Okay, man. Well, we’ll put those in the show notes and thank you seriously. Once again, congrats on the wedding coming up, man. So happy for you and uh, we’ll have to have you back on again in the future to answer the other half of the questions.
Great. I look forward to it. Thanks for having me on this one. Okay, man. We’ll talk to you soon. Okay, thanks. [inaudible]. Bye.
All right you guys, I hope you enjoy today’s episode with Dom. Um, I know I did. Uh, so if you did enjoy it, please share it with friends and family. So when you think could benefit from learning more about ketosis, nutritional ketosis, you guys know I’m doing a 30 day experiment on, uh, uh, nutritional ketosis right now and I’m taking the kitchen X product, um, during those 30 days as well. And, um, I, uh, I’m loving the results. I’m loving how I’m feeling was no keto flu. Um, I could tell I was in ketosis within the first, uh, 60 minutes of taking the product and I feel great you guys. So definitely go check out [inaudible] dot com especially if you just finished listening to this episode and know you’re going to be curious about learning more about the science behind it. I know I was and that’s why I did my research after hearing about Dom on the Tim Ferriss show, I dove into ketosis and the benefits of it, uh, started following Dom’s research and sort of falling in key Genex and um, uh, it’s, it’s a great product you guys [inaudible] there’s nothing else like it that’s out there.
It’s a whole new, um, industry in my opinion. It’s a whole new category in the supplement industry. You guys, there’s nothing else like it out there. So check it out. [inaudible] dot com for size fit to add fit as our show sponsor. And if you guys enjoyed today’s episode, you guys, I plan on bringing a lot more, um, great people to interview to bring this kind of information to you. And so please subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. Uh, please leave us a five star review if you feel this information is valuable and definitely share it with friends and family. You guys, we love you guys. My, uh, website is fit to fat to fit.com. All my social media handles are at fit to add fit land. Who wasn’t here today, couldn’t do this episode. Her website is to email@example.com and her, uh, uh, social media handles are at to fit at home. Thank you guys once again for joining me here on the [inaudible] experience podcast. We’ll see you back here next week with another great episode.