Being Overweight Adds Distinct Epigenetic Marks to DNA

December 27, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Extra weight that you may have put on during the holidays could not only appear around your belly, but also add epigenetic tags to your DNA, suggests a new study. Having a high body mass index (BMI) was linked to additional methyl tags found at more than 200 areas on the genome, which affects gene expression and could predict susceptibility to some diseases like diabetes. “This issue is particularly relevant because an estimated one and a half billion people throughout [more…]

Epigenetics Could Turn on an ‘Obesity Switch’

September 6, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

We know that a predisposition to become overweight is found in our genes. Now, we’re starting to learn that epigenetics also has a hand in determining whether a person will become fat or lean. New research is uncovering the possibility of an epigenetic switch that is, interestingly, either “on” or “off”. A group of researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg published their study in Cell. More than one-third of individuals are considered to be [more…]

Overweight Fathers May Epigenetically Increase Their Daughters’ Risk of Breast Cancer

July 5, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Although we typically think the mother has a large impact on her child’s health, epigenetic research is beginning to suggest that a father’s behavior may also have a significant amount of influence. Recently, we posted a blog article on the epigenetic influence a father’s lifestyle has on his children, showing that both mothers and fathers contribute to their offspring’s health through epigenetic alterations. Other research has indicated that a father’s diet could impact his sperm epigenome and influence pregnancy outcomes. [more…]

Could Common Chemicals Tip the Epigenetic Balance and Program Someone for Obesity?

May 24, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

We’ve all heard of the risks of the BPA, or Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make durable plastics. BPA can be found in baby bottles, toys, water bottles, and the lining of food cans, but it has also leached into the water and air, travelling around the world. Research has shown this endocrine disruptor can cause adverse health effects during development and impact the reproductive system by mimicking estrogen, binding to nuclear estrogen receptors and even androgen receptors. It [more…]