Starving cancer: Dominic D’Agostino at TEDxTampaBay

Starving cancer: Dominic D’Agostino at TEDxTampaBay

Translator: Marta Gysel
Reviewer: Carlo Schiatti Navy SEAL divers are the best
at what they do. But they have a problem that limits their ability
to do their mission. Our research focused
on solving the problem and it led to an unexpected
path of discovery for neurological diseases and cancer. The problem results
from the specialized equipment that the Navy SEAL divers use, including the oxygen rebreather. The advantage of the rebreather
is that there are no bubbles so it’s very quiet and helps the SEAL
evade detection from the enemy. The disadvantage
of the oxygen rebreather is that the high levels of oxygen and the pressure
from the undersea environment causes a potential for a seizure. These seizures occur
with little or no warning and there is no effective
mitigation strategy to prevent them. So the question we ask is
why do the seizures occur and how can we prevent them. To answer this question required funding from the Office of Naval Research to develop a microscope that was installed
inside a hyperbaric chamber, or a high-pressure chamber. This chamber could simulate
the underwater environment and the pressure
of the underwater environment. Using this technology we demonstrated
that neurons in the brain, when subjected to high pressure
and high oxygen, are overstimulated. The overstimulation of the brain from the high oxygen and pressure causes a decrease
in brain energy metabolism. When this happens, it causes the potential for a seizure. These oxygen seizures occur
with little or no warning and there is no effective way
to prevent them. These drug resistant seizures are similar to epilepsy patients that have drug resistant seizures, and in the case of patients they can use a special diet
to prevent these seizures. One example of the patient
who used diet is Mike Dancer. Mike used a variety of antiseizure
medication, and the medication caused
severe side effects and was not able to control his seizures. So, due to the severe side effects Mike stopped
all the antiseizure medication and when he did it, he saw an increase in his seizure frequency. At about this time Mike discovered there was is a dietary intervention, that he could use to control his seizures. And when he did it,
he found a sharp decrease in his seizure frequency. I’m happy to say that Mike
has been on the diet for 5 years now, and he’s been managing his epilepsy for 5 years without medication. So what is the ketogenic diet? Compared to a normal diet, the ketogenic diet
is very low in carbohydrates and it’s very high in fat. People have used the diet for years to help them regulate their body weight, reduce their body weight, and control or reduce
their blood glucose levels. But most importantly, the ketogenic diet is proven
to control seizures, when drugs fail. No organization has done more
to educate the public about therapeutic potential
of the ketogenic diet than The Charlie Foundation started by Hollywood producer
Jim Abrahams. Jim’s son Charlie
was stricken with seizures. They were so severe and no amount of drugs could help him. So Jim looked into alternative approaches to manage his son’s seizures. And with his research he discovered that the ketogenic diet was being used at Johns Hopkins Hospital, so it was a treatment that was used specifically for pediatric epilepsy. So Jim took Charlie
to Johns Hopkins Hospital and they worked pretty closely
with a dietician there, and within a short amount of time Charlie’s seizures were under control. And Charlie was actually
cured of his epilepsy at Johns Hopkins Hospital with the use of the ketogenic diet. So Charlie is actually off the diet
completely today, and he remains seizure-free. The ketogenic diet is effective for a variety of neurological disorders including Glucose Transporter
Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome. Children with this disorder lack the ability to transport
glucose into the brain. So their brains are literally
starved of glucose and this causes a potential for seizures. So it’s known that, you know, the brain can use glucose
as the primary fuel, but it can readily adapt
to using ketones for energy. So in this way the brain
is like a hybrid engine, right? So it uses glucose as the primary fuel but during periods
of limited glucose availability the brain can readily adapt to using this alternative fuel source. So we are exploiting
the neuroprotective effects of ketones by developing ketone supplements
for the Navy SEAL divers for oxygen seizures. So the advantage
of the ketone supplement is that you can circumvent
the need for the dietary restriction that’s required to elevate and sustain blood levels of ketones. There are many therapeutic
applications of ketones because nearly all healthy cells in a body can use ketones for fuel
as an alternative energy source. Surprisingly, cancer cells
lack the ability to transition from using glucose for fuel
to using ketones. So, in a way, cancer cells are like
damaged hybrid engines. They use large amounts of glucose much more than healthy cells, and they lack this ability
to transition over to an alternative fuel source. So we can say that “sugar addiction” is really the Achilles heel
of cancer cells. This observation inspired me in the lab, and I asked a question, I wondered, why very little attention
was being given to nutrition to exploit this weakness of cancer cells. So, it turns out that the sugar addiction was actually observed over 80 years ago
by Otto Warburg. So, Otto Warburg did experiments, he won a Nobel prize
for these experiments, demonstrating that [cancer] cells
are damaged in their metabolism and the damage in their metabolism results in high amounts of sugar uptake. More recently, Thomas Seyfried
from Boston College has been a pioneer, really,
in validating Warburg’s hypothesis and proving that cancer
is a metabolic disease. In Tom’s experiments, he demonstrated that there is a specific, metabolic defect of cancer cells
as glucose dependency, and that we can target that with a variety of non-toxic
alternative approaches. Oncologists target this weakness
in cancer cells, which is excess glucose consumption, with something called a FGD-PET Scan. The PET Scan actually shows the excess consumption
of glucose in cancer cells relative to the healthy tissues
surrounding it. So this allows for the imaging
of excess glucose consumption that oncologists use. But this information really isn’t used to exploit the cancer
for a treatment modality. The excess glucose consumption
of cancer cells allows them to thrive and proliferate in a low oxygen environment. Another interesting observation
that we made in the lab is that high pressures of oxygen are actually damaging to cancer cells. We’ve demonstrated that when high levels of oxygen
are given to cancer cells that they overproduce
oxygen free radicals, and these are damaging
to the cell membrane. At high magnification we can observe bumps on the surface of the membrane that are indicative of membrane damage. What’s most interesting is
that the same level of oxygen that damaged the cancer cells was non-toxic to the healthy brain cells. These observations inspired us to test the combination of the ketogenic diet
and hyperbaric oxygen in a mouse model of metastatic cancer. The glowing regions on the screen, show the growth and the spread of metastatic cancer cells. This study demonstrated
the therapeutic efficacy of a new, non-toxic, alternative approach to cancer management. So what started out
as a Navy SEAL project and then led to a promising
mitigation strategy for the oxygen seizures in the form of ketone supplements ultimately led us down a path to this unexpected discovery. So the question is, can we manage cancer
with non-toxic strategies? I believe that we can. And I’ve been inspired by a number of seizure patients
and cancer patients that have used these alternative methods to manage their incurable diseases. Future treatments and prevention
of many diseases may fall back on the ancient
wisdom of Hippocrates, when he said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Thank you. (Applause)

About the author


  1. Can somebody tell me about the easiest, simplest way to consume that much fat, and don't forget to say how simple and easy it is.

  2. A cure for cancer that doesn't require the trillion dollar entrenched interests, this guy is not going to survive for long.

  3. Love your work mate. Thank you so much for your research and insight.

    I hope you find a way to share this with the masses for health benefits and a modest profit.

  4. Was diagnosed diagnosed-with non Hodgkin lymphoma. It has not mestatisized. Had one chemo. Now waiting for PET scan-my Tues. need prayer and a good diet.

  5. Dominic, I hope you see this post.  I want to offer you an alternate understanding of the cancer cell.  My theory is that it is a last ditch effort by the body to handle the unnatural amounts of carbohydrate our agricultural society puts into our bodies.  We have some ways to buffer and clear this glucose.  We store lots of it as fat.  We vent much of it by spilling it into the urine.  But, ultimately, the body must resort to a third method of clearing destructive levels of glucose from our blood.  We build specialized cancer cells that consume higher than normal amounts of glucose (compared to the normal cells in our body.)  The cancer cells clear destructive levels of glucose by the building of these cancer masses.  Its a last ditch strategy because the body must in a short amount of time begin to dismantle these cancer masses and rebuild the body tissues with normal cells before the effected organs are so compromised as to cease to function at the necessary level.       Just about all the disease that afflicts our bodies can be understood as attempts on its part to deal with unsustainable demands placed on it.  And in the long run the body must ultimately break down and fail us.

  6. As someone who recently lost a friend to cancer, I wish I knew this years ago. Of course, she never told me it was cancer for a couple of years, and I am grateful that after being given a few months to live that she lasted several years. Still, the medicine she took caused her weight to balloon. If I knew of fasting, I would have encouraged it if only to see her better and still have her here. I wish at some point a doctor mentioned it. I plan to switch to a fasting lifestyle. Modern medicnrecan be such BS at times, caring more about making money than the best treatment (especially, if it's 100% free and costs nothing).

  7. Otto Warburg, Seyfried: not brute force but intelligence can cure cancer. Believing in aggressive treatments including surgery means not understanding that cancerous cells are highly mutated and therefore extremely weak compared to healthy cells. It also means not understanding that the disease is enhanced by a diet our organism is not equipped to tolerate (as it evolved from hunters and gatherers that did not yet know industrial agriculture)

  8. I wonder about the application to other brain disorders? For example, some bi-polar disorders are thought to be related to seizure activity very deep in the brain, thus its response to anti-seizure medications.

  9. Man…this is cool stuff. I'm sure Big Pharma and the Federal Government will try to shut this guy down. Eating low carb can cure cancer? Nah! Expensive drugs are the only way!!!!

  10. as a young child..i had
    severe Epilepsy seizures….
    and than all the
    all just stopped by the time
    i was 14years old….my
    doctors was all surprised….
    i was NOT on any good diets or medications..i just
    NO SEIZURES..i swear to
    GOD!!!!! it just disappeared
    on its own..LUCKY ME..
    i am now 39 years old.
    EPILEPSY FREE.wooohoo😆

  11. Cant help but comment, my father has prostate ca, had biopsy a month ago bcoz of high psa 27, no bone scan yet, it was scheduled for today but machine was malfunctioning so maybe at thursday it would go, …anyway since chemo, radiation and brachy sounded so painful and depressing we opted to try barley grass supplements, the company who makes these supplements also has a wellness clinic with integrative medicine doctors, so we went there and papa was told to stop all meat, stop canned food, foods with preservatives, stop any food product from animals and replace milk with soymilk or almond milk and go with organic vegetables and tofu to replace meat, was also told to up the barley grass intake and was given some other immune boosting supplement, i wonder if this can be considered a ketogenic diet??? Papa doesnt want chemo, we dont want chemo too, but if ever it is absolutely needed i believe this dieting and supplement can make him overcome chemo…Would love to hear from anyone reading this

  12. I am sceptical. A family member had cancer and on some days could not eat due to medication and side effects of chemo. So in theory it should have wiped out the cancer. I know her daughter was careful about her diet and was not allowed sugar. On her final days she was in and out of hospital and not eating. They put her on drips. So again more chances to starve the cancer. I think for every survivor story, there are those who lost their battle…..

  13. Hello? There IS A CURE,,! MAX GERSON HAS CURED THOUSANDS IN STAGE 4 pancreatic cancer back in the 20s, because Big Pharma has paid off legislature to NOT disclose the cure! Look into GERSON THERAPY! His daughter Charlotte Gerson is touring the world supporting his successful treatments to thousands!! For over half ndred years! Many successful happy people's testimonies are on YouTube, listen to them! So sad this country DOES NOT know😕

  14. Before buying on gearbest, know that it's thieves.
    They do not repay,
    on google search for "Thieves Gearbest".

  15. My grandaughter was having seizures. Petit mal between 8 and 15 an hour. Three medication changes over 8 weeks with no effect. Bought her some ketone gummies. Took two a day. First day her seizures were cut in half and in four days they were gone. There was a minor change in medication but I don't think it was the medication that stopped the seizures. I think it was the ketones. She was on them for about 2 months and then her parents forgot or decided not to give her the ketones. She began to start twitching. They upped her meds and they stopped. I wish her parents had kept her on the ketones and dropped the meds rather than vice versa.

  16. Hey Doc,

    Your presentation covers a lot of ground in a short time. Well done.

    My question is … are ketones really an “alternative” fuel source? Or are they the better fuel source.

    I know I am picking at wording, ‘alternative’ makes it sound abnormal. In truth, aren’t high carbs abnormal for the human body in comparison to how our ancient ancestors lived before farming and prepackaged foods?

    This is definitely not an argument … left only as a consideration for those who stumble across it.

    Keep up the good work Sir!

  17. Nobody makes money with fasting, & interval training. It is a discipline, a habit hard fought, daily. I have discovered thanks to Dr Jason Fung, that intermittent fasting & Keto diet completely fix my type 2 Diabetes. As the Dr wisely points out, much of this knowledge has been with us for 100 years. Please share this video. Thanks to Dr. D'Agostino, Amazing Ted Talk.

  18. And yet in the documentary The C Word with Dr. David Servan-Schreiber who discovered the cancer connection years ago, has been poo-poo’d… follow the sugar money behind the doctors who deny this connection if you want to know why they say sugar is ok (aka “a calorie is just a calorie”).

  19. Brilliant video from the great Professor Dom D'Agostino . I loved how he explained the reason behind the initial study and the evolution ultimately leading to incredible discoveries on life threatening illnesses and diseases. Food really is thy medicine! I really hope professor D'Agaostino receives a Nobel Prize for his contribution to health and human life.

  20. Fasting kills cancer. Cancer cells are cheap imitations of normal cells, and while normal cells can handle fasting perectly well, the cancer cell cannot. Fasting was so common for our human ancestors, and all cultures had to deal with food shortages, especially in winter. In addition, immune system function skyrockets during fasting, fighting pathogens and disease producing organisms. It's like the body kows what to do…

  21. wake up people, either fast or exercise or intermittent fast or whatever but go into ketosis often. We have become so glucosed up that most never do. We'll round up every last one involved in the sugarization of america later.

  22. This guy has gotten a lot of backlash from other cancer research groups, and he has yet to address his criticizers.

    The ketogenic diet does not cure all forms of cancer, and may only help in one particular type.

  23. My high school honey has some kind of cancer and I believe the answer lies here. Prostate cancer for 4 years and 4 days.

  24. I know some Silat Temple in Northern Sumatera cure cancer by doing this kind of starving treatment, but they added a few of breathing techniques that can be attributed to the Oxygen level of your brain that helps like those weird machine. So, I think what this doctor says is true.

  25. If you need more evidence of the effects of DIET on health and well-being look at records of when "civilized" societies bump into "primitive" societies. When the modern diet is fed to the primitive people they soon develop diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, and all other "civilized" diseases. Hence it would behoove us civilized folk to adopt a primitive diet to kill off potential for diseases of the modern world. Keto and/or a paleo based diet will change you for the better. Try it for six months and get back to me.

  26. Is he saying that we should banish all carbs,including whole grain or just to avoid PROCESSED carbs?

  27. Did I miss it? I don't think he ever said how their study affected the problem that Seals were having. Are Seals now on a ketogenic diet? Sounds like they should be.

  28. Bless this guy. He's obviously nervous, but this information is too important not to talk about. We need serious research into personalized cancer treatment with various natural methods: diet, anti-angiogenic foods, anti-cancer herbs, and other methods.

  29. It looked liked he stopped the Speech when it just started to get interesting 🙂 (yeah, i know its a 'limited time' TED talk)

    Thank you for sharing. I wish such news be spread so everyone can start trying out these non-toxic alternative therapies.
    More than the disease itself, the treatments for these diseases are the most dreaded (not just for the patients themselves but for their loved ones around them).

  30. Make tea using powdered ginger and green tea drink this twice and day.
    Eat raw garlic.
    Helps to kill and prevent cancer cells.

  31. i agree with this speaker. i have always believe that to eliminate cancer, we should NEVER use chemo. we should always use alternative therapy.

  32. FASTING is the key … just like other Great Teachers have taught us , Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed
    Nothing is perfect but fasting is your best option

  33. I started the keto diet last week and noticed yesterday as I was sitting in a meeting that floaters in my eye are starting to fade away. My co workers were looking at me funny cause I kept looking at the white board rolling my eyes in circles trying to find them lol.

  34. It would be great if someone could find a cure for the live sound technician’s inability to hear and adjust for high pitch feedback…

  35. fasting cures cancer! The reason the healthcare system does not want you to know this is because they can't sell "fasting" so there is no money to be made! They want to sell drugs!

  36. Use Food grade Hydrogen peroxide 35%. it will give oxygen to cancer cell and slowly kill it. add keto and Intermittent fasting for 100% success cure rate.

  37. Just remember the scientists and doctors that everyone trust like priest are the same ones that lobby Congress to make anything else other then chemotherapy surgery or radiation illegal. There argument is if you don’t do that people will die. They kill thousands of people. What they are really saying is only we can kill people with our treatment. No can’t sue us the FDA gives us a license to do it. No u cant chose anything else it might kill u. So I have the right to die in some states. I can travel to do this. But I can’t chose an alternative therapy for my cancer. Nonsense!

  38. So the question I have is, what happens to cancer when someone goes on a somewhat extreme ketogenic diet?

  39. Notice he was getting very nervous at the end of his talk and was very careful to not say the “C” word. Cure. Mainstream doesn’t allow that word. Great info.

  40. I WONDER WHAT DR. AGOSTINHO HAS DISCOVERED AFTER 2013. 6 years has already went by? What’s new doc?

  41. Stop consuming sugar and carbohydrates and the cancer will starve.
    Fasting is also a very powerful tool in combating cancer.

  42. Great info. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I cured my cancer with Budwig protocol. I ate myself healthy. Non-hodgkins follicular lymphoma… gone. No standard medical treatments. None. 👍🏻

  43. Woahhh… Uno momento. Cancer cells are suppose to survive using 10 times or such less glucose than healthy cells reason why is so tough to kill them. They adaptogenic or something like that and don´t use more than healthy ones. It would be so easy cure cancer. You need to deplete completely the sugars to start killing them. Please check this fact.

  44. Mr. D. Agostino, depending, on kind of Cancer,for examples Bloods Cancer's after a failed Chemotherapy, and a bone marrow damaged, and you sufferings from exess in Bacrerias or Mycotoxins the treatment must be totally differently about a solid Cancer's treatments. Foods are the solutions for yours survival's. You must know what's food to be eaten to avoiding Microbacterial to develop ! But it's quite difficult, that's why People's dying from low Immunes Systems, even from HIV .

  45. I lost my daughter at 19 to Ewing’s sarcoma. There is a site specifically to raise funds for that form of cancer and our girls story is on there along with many others with the same disease. Interestingly two survived last time I looked. One was a long distance cyclist and the other was a long distance runner so plenty of intake of oxygen. Wish I’d known about all this at the time. Also I now know people that help sufferers through a change of diet and often help them survive. Happy to share that info and the book and site etc if asked. Yes I am one of those very frustrated people that could still have my daughter here but we were guided through pharma cause my wife worked in it.

  46. I have many brain tumor symptoms including seizures since a year ago + a family history with brain tumors. Will get a MRI scan of my brains soon and know what I will try in case its a tumor.

  47. Does the Wim Hoff technique, which involves heavy breathing patterns, have a positive effect on cancer prevention and/or elimination?

  48. I feel really sorry for people who believe what he says here. I read some comments saying fasting kills cancer. all i can say is that " dream on". i started to have symptoms of tumour in my brain in December 2016 but I ignored the symptoms for about 6-7 months. I had been fasting for almost two years which is kinda my life style anyway but still got the cancer even though i keep cakes and sweets away from my kitchen.

    On December 5th 2017, they checked my weight i was 80 kg pre surgery which is ok for my height. around that time, a friend of mine who believes for alternative treatment, said that i should have a strict diet like no sugar, no carb, no starch, no booze, fast up to 3 days. She thought that this diet help me starve the cancer. I did as much as i could but i had terrible pain in my head so I had to take pain killers as well as some food.

    19th January 2018, the day of the surgery, i had another MRI scan. this scan revealed that the tumour was much bigger than the last MRI scan. I had lost weight and i was 75kg. I had lost 5 kg in 5 weeks and the cancer got way too bigger.

    After the biopsy, i found out that it was not a benign tumour like they thought but it was a malignant . After 2 sessions of chemo, the last 30 per cent of the cancer around my cranial nerves that doctors couldn't remove, shrank and disappeared.

    No doctors promised me anything. i dont know what happens in the future but at the moment i am still here.

    All i can say is that there are tons of different cancers and there are different drugs and protocols to treat them. Please dont believe in one magic diet and a magic drug.

  49. I do a keto diet and fasting every other day. Best thing I've ever done for myself. I used to weight 272 pounds, which is a lot for my 5'5" height. Began on June 6 of this year. Today, August 26 I weight 180 pounds and I have never felt better in my life. My energy is up, my mood is better, I sleep better, I can actually make myself workout everyday! My skin is clearing up, my brain is working better, I have become more productive and found purpose in life again. The ketogenic diet, fasting, working out, and staying clear of any processed foods and sugar has changed my life. And the best of all, ketogenic food is AWESOME! (clean keto, not cheese in every bite haha)

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