The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino

We are certainly hearing a lot these days about the ketogenic diet, and with very good reason. It may turn out that this dietary approach is the most powerful intervention we could entertain, in terms of providing the most salubrious environment for the body and the brain!

I’m going to tell you right up front, today’s interview is a bit scientifically intense, but nonetheless absolutely worthwhile. I had the great honor to speak with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino. He is is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. He is also a Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). His laboratory develops and tests nutritional strategies and metabolic-based supplements for neurological disorders, cancer and enhancement of physical performance and resilience in extreme environments.  His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), private organizations and foundations.

Our time together explored the mechanisms involved in terms of how ketosis is so powerfully beneficial for brain cells and brain health. Again, it is certainly a bit detailed from a scientific perspective, but the information is, in my opinion, hugely valuable.

  • John Stark

    References to ALS interests me. Lets consider the possibility that thoughts can drive brain chemistry … this is powerful science one that Gabor Mate is aware of. thank you for empowering so many.

  • Chris Afford

    Fascinating webchat! Amazing to hear that ketones have multiple roles not just limited to being a fuel source – I’m going to have to watch it again as there’s so much info there to take in! And excellent links for further reading too. Many thanks to you both for this.
    Best wishes from the UK

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks for watching Chris!

  • Lubo Morhac

    Excellent video, very relevant to my lifestyle. Thank you for the valuable info!!! I’m 52 years old and was a mess several years ago plagued by autoimmunity issues and depression, which prompted me to engage in researching impact of food, supplementation and lifestyle modifications. After a lot of trial and error for many years I’m finally getting the desired traction. For about 2.5 years now I have been practicing intermittent ketogenic diet with once per week, 24hr fasting -> this to create a baseline, restart into ketosis and enjoy many other benefits of fasting. This approach works amazingly well. I haven’t had a single cold in 2 years, got rid of my ragweed allergies, am on the ball cognitively (have a very demanding job) and hold my own at the gym, getting stares from the people half my age.
    I work diligently diversifying and protecting my microbiome as it among other things provides a secondary means of producing butyrates in your body. Of course your diet has to contain adequate amounts of fiber that your gut bacteria feeds on and produces these awesome compounds.
    Please keep on researching, validating and spreading the word for the benefit of healthier and happier population and re-shaping the future of healthcare.
    Hope to see you soon in a follow up video and thank you again!

  • Kunk

    Thank you so much! A request for a future topic:
    Dr. D’Agostino mentioned that there might be a link in the diets/research helping sporadic ALS and Lyme disease…or at least he mentioned some possible association in the discussion at that point. (LOL I was listening as hard as I could, but may not have caught the precise idea.) I live in the state with the highest occurrence of Lyme, and frequently remove those tics even after just mowing the lawn. If there is any further research on dietary assistance in fighting or preventing this disease, it would be welcome news!
    Thank you for providing this conduit of information to the public. I’m new to your mailings, reading Grain Brain, and learning so much.
    K Kunkel, Pennsylvania

    • lhzaritz

      I’ve found pathogens and organisms anxious to leave my buddy if baited withfruit. But then ive vit hd and lyme s o who knows?

      • Kunk

        I don’t quite follow. You are keto, but what do you mean with baited with fruit. Can you be more specific?

  • Mark


    Excellent stuff as always! I really appreciated your comments to Dom regarding the implication of his work, the rapidly growing masses that are following it, the burgeoning science that supports it, and perhaps most importantly, the many people who are benefitting from some application of it in their complex lives. I am very grateful for a growing platform of consciousness with respect to “metabolic health” and just how profoundly it can be modulated through food and lifestyle. Thank you for your research Dominic. and David-thank you for being the intrepid master translator! Mark Pettus

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks for your thoughts Mark. Hoping you’ll share feedback on future broadcasts too!

  • Veronica Hood

    Why do you post my full name? I’ve asked you not too?

    • David Perlmutter

      Hi Veronica: Unfortunately, we do not control the name Disqus publishes here. They will post the name you have provided them with. If you would like to display that differently, you’ll need to update your Disqus account, and that will reflect here.

      • Veronica Hood

        Thank you for your reply. I am an avid follower of your discussions, books, and television topics beginning with Grain Brain. They are all truly life changing. I work in a hospital and have shared your site with many colleagues. We are so appreciative of the dialogues and science you share. Please continue.
        I have reached out to Discus numerous times explaining my concern to no avail. This has kept me from asking questions and joining discussions.
        I did want to ask if there is a connection between the Sugar Busters diet and the Ketonic diet?

    • Judith McAllister

      I have had my gal bladder removed. Will this be a problem if I go on the keto diet?

  • Judith McAllister

    Thank you for such a beneficial interview.

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks for watching Judith. Will continue to record more like it!

  • Roger Drummer

    I used this diet to beat Stage 3 bladder cancer. I avoided the surgery and still have my bladder, prostate etc…. no trace of cancer. I did it with herbs, meditation and the keto diet.

  • Cindy Davis Mikolajczyk

    Thanks so much for this in depth look at what ketones do for us besides being an eating plan. As an RN for 39 years and having been obese my entire adult life, ketogenic eating has been almost miraculous for me. Down 63 pounds and still going. I read your books, listen to these podcasts when traveling (lecture on wound care) and have heard Dr Dom speak live several times. With you, and your background as a neurologist, Dr Dom brought it to a whole new level. I mention you and refer people to your books and website constantly from my Ask Nurse Cindy Facebook page (18K followers and growing daily) THANK YOU for all you do. Your writing and podcasts have been a guiding light for me, my family and my followers.

  • Michael Scher

    Great interview. Can you elaborate at all, or point me in the direction of any writings on your site, as to how the ketogenic diet or gut microbiome health relates to the treatment of causes and/or symptoms of Multiple Schlerosis? Thanks so much…

  • Luc Chene

    Thank you for this detailed information! As for fuel consumption and the use of rodent models, I have a question as to the applicability to humans. Rodent can synthesise ascorbic acid from glucose whereas humans cannot. In rodents this vitamin C pathway can be an outlet for glucose which is non existent in humans where even the metabolite that would be used tio make vitamin C from

  • Lisa Pitts

    How can this Diet be encompassed into a Vegan / Vegetarian Diet ?
    Thank you in advance Dr.

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