Obesity & Nutrition

From ‘foodies’ to the latest diet fad, we have become obsessed with what we eat–and to a large extent, science has driven our interest in eating. Almost weekly there is a study in the mainstream media about what we should or should not be eating to improve our health. Epigenetics has been wrapped up in the food craze too–as many the results of many studies show links between diet and epigenetic changes on our genes. For example, some data suggest that the food we eat can influence the activity of our genes. Interesting studies in mice have shown that when expecting mothers eat a diet devoid of a certain nutrient it can have adverse effects on the developing fetus and their offspring can have a host of health problems like increased cancer risks and obesity. Our understanding of how these results translate to humans is still evolving, and the evidence is also strong that these changes reverse when our diet changes. Our increased attention on the food we eat is good for our overall health, but how much epigenetics is involved is a still question with a developing answer.

Understanding Epigenetics:
Obesity & Nutrition
Check out these stories for more context on epigenetics and agriculture
Epigenetics: Core misconcept
Mark Ptashne | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Epigenetic mechanisms of transmission of metabolic disease across generations
July 12, 2017 | Vicencia Micheline Sales, Anne C. Ferguson-Smith, Mary-Elizabeth Patti | Cell Metabolism
Omega 3 fatty acids, inflammation and DNA methylation: an overview
June 14, 2017 | Bethan Hussey, Martin Lindley, Sarabjit S. Mastana | Clinical Lipidology
Propagation of Polycomb-repressed chromatin requires sequence-specific recruitment to DNA
June 08, 2017 | Friederike Laprell, Katja Finkl, Jürg Müller | Science
Epigenetics, nutrition and mental health. Is there a relationship?
June 07, 2017 | Aaron Stevens, Julia Rucklidge, Martin Kennedy | Nutritional Neuroscience
Associating cellular epigenetic models with human phenotypes
June 06, 2017 | Tuuli Lappalainen, John M. Greally | Nature
The role of diet and exercise in the transgenerational epigenetic landscape of T2DM
May 11, 2017 | Romain Barrès, Juleen Zierath | Nature Reviews Endocrinology
Choline, other methyl-donors and epigenetics
May 11, 2017 | Steven Zeisel | Nutrients