Impact of Nutritional Epigenomics on Disease Risk and Prevention
Nutritional epigenomics is an emerging subject that has been implicated in disease risk and prevention. Epigenetics has been a concern in cancer research for the last 3 decades, but only in recent years has interest in its connection to other fields developed, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes and nutrition.
Epigenetics is generally used to refer to heritable changes in gene expression that are not accompanied by alterations in DNA sequence. Because epigenetic marks are potentially reversible and are implicated in the pathogenesis of diverse non-communicable diseases representing major public health problems in both developed and developing countries, the epigenome is an attractive target for nutritional intervention. Indeed, accumulating evidence shows that epigenetic processes can be influenced by nutritional components; Nutritional modulation of epigenetic processes thus adds a further layer of complexity to gene-nutrient interactions and should be considered for the definition of strategies for health promotion and disease prevention. This publication presents four review papers that address the impact of nutritional epigenomics on disease risk and prevention in various settings. It thus provides stimulating reading for anyone interested in the field.