Journal Articles

Nutritional influence on epigenetics and effects on longevity

March 18, 2011

Niculescu, M.D. & Lupu, D.S.(2011)Nutritional influence on epigenetics and effects on longevity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab CareJan;14(1):35-40

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

This review synthesizes recently published information regarding nutrition and its impact upon epigenetically mediated mechanisms involved in longevity and aging.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Recent studies enriched considerably our understanding of the relationship between aging and gene-nutrient interactions that continuously shape our phenotype. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in mediating between the nutrient inputs and the ensuing phenotypic changes throughout our entire life and seem to be responsible, in part, for the biological changes that occur during aging. Less is known about the epigenetic role that nutrients have in directly influencing longevity and aging. However, recent studies clearly indicated that because nutrition modulates epigenetic events associated with various diseases (e.g., cancer, obesity, and diabetes), there is at least an indirect epigenetic link between nutrition and longevity and, therefore, biologic plausibility to hypothesize the epigenetic role of nutrition in altering longevity. Apart from limited human studies, promising animal studies brought us much closer to understanding how nutrition could have such an impact upon longevity and aging.

SUMMARY:

Complex epigenetic mechanisms are involved in aging and longevity, directly or indirectly via disease mechanisms. Nutrition has a strong impact upon epigenetic processes and, therefore, holds promise in having important roles in regulating longevity and aging.

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