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the role of nutrition in epigenetic control of human diseases

Remely, Marlenea; Stefanska, Barbarab; Lovrecic, Lucac; Magnet, Ulricha; Haslberger, Alexander G.a

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: July 2015 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 328–333
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000180
GENES AND CELL METABOLISM: Edited by Paulo Ivo Homem de Bittencourt Jr. and Philip Newsholme

Purpose of review Nutrients or even diets affect the epigenome by lifelong remodeling. Nutritional imbalances are associated with noncommunicable diseases. Thus, nutriepigenomics is a promising field in the treatment of complex human diseases.

Recent findings The epigenome is susceptible to changes and can be shaped by nutritional states, especially in prenatal period through transgenerational mechanisms and in early postnatal life when critical developmental processes are taking place. Although more stable, the epigenetic marks in adulthood are also dynamic and modifiable by environmental factors including diet.

Summary The present review is focused on the most recent knowledge of epigenetically active nutrients/diets including transgenerational inheritance and prenatal predispositions related to increased risk for cancer, metabolic syndrome, and neurodegenerative diseases.

aDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, University Vienna, Vienna, Austria

bDepartment of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafaytte, Indiana, USA

cDepartment of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Clinical Institute of Medical Genetics, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Correspondence to Marlene Remely, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University Vienna, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +0043 4277 54997; e-mail:

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