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Nutrients 2010, 2(5), 551-571; doi:10.3390/nu2050551
Review

When Food Meets Man: the Contribution of Epigenetics to Health

1,* , 1,2
, 1,4
, 1
, 1,3
 and 1
1 “Giovanni Galli” Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Lipids and Mass Spectrometry, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milano, Italy 2 “Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation” Laboratory, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milano, Italy 3 “Giovanni Galli” Center for the Characterization and Safe Use of Natural Products, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milano, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 April 2010 / Revised: 11 May 2010 / Accepted: 14 May 2010 / Published: 25 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics 2009)
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Abstract

Post-translational modifications of chromatin contribute to the epigenetic control of gene transcription. The response to food intake and individual nutrients also includes epigenetic events. Bile acids are necessary for lipid digestion and absorption, and more recently have emerged as signaling molecules. Their synthesis is transcriptionally regulated also in relation to the fasted-to-fed cycle, and interestingly, the underlying mechanisms include chromatin remodeling at promoters of key genes involved in their metabolism. Several compounds present in nutrients affect gene transcription through epigenetic mechanisms and recent studies demonstrate that, beyond the well known anti-cancer properties, they beneficially affect energy metabolism.
Keywords: fasted-to-fed cycle; gluconeogenesis; bile acid synthesis; cholesterol metabolism; chromatin; histone deacetylases; transcriptional regulation; resveratrol; sirtuins fasted-to-fed cycle; gluconeogenesis; bile acid synthesis; cholesterol metabolism; chromatin; histone deacetylases; transcriptional regulation; resveratrol; sirtuins
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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De Fabiani, E.; Mitro, N.; Gilardi, F.; Galmozzi, A.; Caruso, D.; Crestani, M. When Food Meets Man: the Contribution of Epigenetics to Health. Nutrients 2010, 2, 551-571.

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