Explore the many ways in which different types of food and drink have potential to influence epigenetic marks on DNA and, ultimately, health outcomes. Learn how broccoli may be able to epigenetically reduce cancer risk, how an assortment of herbs could boost health, and even the ways a high fat, low carb diet may be able to boost mental ability. This collection of cutting-edge nutriepigenetic research studies aims to break down complex dietary epigenetic findings and understand its potential application in our daily life.
Check out our comprehensive e-book Epigenetics in Life: What We Eat to learn more about how different foods influence health.
Male infertility is a huge problem affecting nearly 1 in 10 men of reproductive age. This issue is occurring alongside observed reductions in sperm count in men over the last several decades. Although the reasons for these observations are not yet fully understood, environmental toxicants and poor diet could both be involved by adversely affecting the integrity of sperm DNA. DNA methylation is important not only for proper functioning of sperm but also the development of the fetus. Moreover, methylation [more…]
Obesity is currently a major healthcare concern in the United States, and biomedical researchers are still working to untangle the complexity of the physiological changes that occur as a result of increased fat gain. Human beings have two major types of fat in their bodies which are white and brown adipose tissue (WAT and BAT, respectively). More recently, it was discovered that WAT can undergo a process called “beiging” that results in a darkening of the tissue color and increases [more…]
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is an extremely common chronic disease that affects the way the body uses insulin to regulate glucose levels. Specifically, the body either resists the effects of insulin, or it doesn’t produce enough of it to properly metabolize glucose. This could lead to nerve damage, heart and blood vessel complications, and other adverse health effects down the line. There are several factors that could lead to developing T2D, including obesity, lack of exercise, and poor diet. There [more…]
The barrier of the small intestine consists of a thin layer of cells which blocks pathogens from entering the body and has a major role in absorbing nutrients through microvilli. Maintenance of the intestinal barrier is important since these cells are constantly being sloughed off as food passes through and tiny amounts of damage can cause a leaky gut which is now understood to be associated with several chronic diseases (Fasano 2017 and Meddings 2006). The intestinal barrier is normally [more…]
The paraben family of substances—including methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben—are preservatives frequently found in cosmetics. Approximately 90% of products found in grocery stores contain some amounts of parabens, making it difficult for even the most careful consumer to completely steer clear of them. Those concerned are less nervous about individual items’ paraben levels, with the acceptable range being set by the Food and Drug Administration, and more worried about the potential effects of cumulative exposure. That is, until we start discussing pregnant [more…]
Parenteral nutrition (PN) is a means of administering intravenous nutrition to critically ill patients or individuals who cannot otherwise consume food through the normal oral route. Although PN is a critical part of patient care in many clinical situations, it must be carefully administered to avoid harmful side effects. Infants may be especially vulnerable to complications caused by receiving suboptimal PN due to having specific nutrient requirements for growth and development. One other concern with PN mixtures is that they [more…]
Obesity is a disease characterized by excessive body fat. It can be caused by environment, a person’s early-life nutrition, and it can even be a result of their parent’s diet. Obesity is so dangerous because associated with many diseases such as hypertension, type-2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. How does extra weight cause so many different problems? Many studies point to the fact that these diseases are, at least partially, mediated by epigenetics. In a study published in the European [more…]
There has been growing literature that suggests how environmental chemical exposure can lead to birth defects but the majority of the studies are association based. A fraction of those studies have shown how ambient chemical exposure affects insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism1 or affecting gut-microbiota2. But how early life chemical exposure can affect epigenetics—or change the epigenome and drive the effect till later life was missing. A new study published recently in Nature Communication by Dr. Lindsey Treviño and her [more…]
Betaine is a methyl-donor nutrient that can be obtained through the diet and is especially rich in spinach, beets, and whole-wheat foods. Alternatively, betaine can be synthesized from choline obtained through other dietary sources. Methyl donor nutrients provide precursors for methyl groups used in important biological processes including methyltransferase enzymes which regulate DNA methylation. There is currently great interest in better understanding how dietary methyl donors can effect epigenetics, and whether changes in DNA methylation can be carried from generation [more…]
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the annual figure for preterm births is 15 million babies, which is somewhere in between 5% and 10% of all births worldwide. These babies are born before 37 weeks’ gestation, and are known to be at higher risk for health complications at birth that include: respiratory issues, eye problems, and even neurodevelopmental disorders. But what are the specific molecular mechanisms that drive these health problems? After all, once born, premature babies are given [more…]