Nutritional Epigenomics and Age-Related Disease

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Recent advances in epigenetic research have enabled the development of epigenetic clocks, which have greatly enhanced our ability to investigate molecular processes that contribute to aging and age-related disease. These biomarkers offer the potential to measure the effect of environmental exposures linked to dynamic changes in DNA methylation, including nutrients, as factors in age-related disease. They also offer a compelling insight into how imbalances in the supply of nutrients, particularly B-vitamins, or polymorphisms in regulatory enzymes involved in 1-carbon metabolism, the key pathway that supplies methyl groups for epigenetic reactions, may influence epigenetic age and interindividual disease susceptibility. Evidence from recent studies is critically reviewed, focusing on the significant contribution of the epigenetic clock to nutritional epigenomics and its impact on health outcomes and age-related disease. Further longitudinal studies and randomized nutritional interventions are required to advance the field. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent developments in nutrition
Issue number7
Early online date6 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

The research described in this review was supported in part by Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke Association (NICHS206_07; DJL-M and MW), DSM Nutritional Products (MW, HN, JJS, and CH), Economic and Social Research Council/Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (ES/N000323/1; CPW and DJL-M), and Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, Ulster University (SDA). SDA was the recipient of travel grants from the Nutrition Society, Biochemical Society, and Genetics Society.


  • Aging
  • B-vitamins
  • diet
  • DNA methylation
  • epigenetic age
  • epigenetic age acceleration, epigenetic clock, one-carbon metabolism
  • Epigenetic clock
  • Diet
  • One-carbon metabolism
  • Epigenetic age acceleration
  • Epigenetic age


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