Nutrition, epigenetics and ageing

McKay, Jill and Wakeling, Luisa (2015) Nutrition, epigenetics and ageing. In: Anti-Ageing Nutrients. Wiley, Chicago, IL, pp. 133-154. ISBN 9781118733271

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


Dietary practices can determine health outcome throughout the lifecourse and this introduces questions regarding the mechanisms through which exposures to certain nutrients are retained. Epigenetics involves changes to the genome that do not involve the primary DNA sequence. These changes are marks upon the genome, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and noncoding microRNAs, which are copied from one cell generation to the next. Involved in gene expression, epigenetic marks are important in maintaining cellular health and it is thought that instability of these marks may contribute to aberrant gene expression and a decline in optimal health, contributing to the ageing process. DNA methylation has been mainly shown to decrease in its content across the genome with ageing contributing to instability of the chromosome and tumour formation. On the other hand, typically unmethylated domains can undergo an age-related increase in methylation with a loss of expression of particular genes to the detriment of cell health. Mounting evidence suggests that dietary factors, including specific nutrients, can shape the epigenome. Dietary exposures such as high fat, low protein or energy restriction and, more specifically, variation of particular micronutrients or non-nutrient components of the diet (i.e. folate or polyphenols) can alter epigenetic activity. To a large extent, the relationship between nutrition and ageing through epigenetics remains undiscovered; however, the introduction of novel model organisms such as the honeybee may contribute to elucidation of the fundamental mechanistic relationships and generate potential epigenetic biomarkers translatable to humans. Unlocking the key to the epigenome and its complex interaction with nutritional factors may facilitate dietary recommendations to promote healthy ageing.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: epigenetics, epigenome, DNA methylation, nutrition, ageing, dietary polyphenols, dietary restriction, one‐carbon metabolism
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C400 Genetics
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 11:20
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 14:17

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics