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Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 236; doi:10.3390/nu9030236

Early-Life Nutritional Programming of Type 2 Diabetes: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence

D.F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology, Kiev 04114, NAMS, Ukraine
Received: 11 February 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 5 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Diet Factors in Type 2 Diabetes)
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Abstract

Consistent evidence from both experimental and human studies suggest that inadequate nutrition in early life can contribute to risk of developing metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes (T2D) in adult life. In human populations, most findings supporting a causative relationship between early-life malnutrition and subsequent risk of T2D were obtained from quasi-experimental studies (‘natural experiments’). Prenatal and/or early postnatal exposures to famine were demonstrated to be associated with higher risk of T2D in many cohorts around the world. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression as a possible major contributor to the link between the early-life famine exposure and T2D in adulthood. Findings from these studies suggest that prenatal exposure to the famine may result in induction of persistent epigenetic changes that have adaptive significance in postnatal development but can predispose to metabolic disorders including T2D at the late stages of life. In this review, quasi-experimental data on the developmental programming of T2D are summarized and recent research findings on changes in DNA methylation that mediate these effects are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: type 2 diabetes; famine; natural experiment; quasi-experimental design; epigenetics type 2 diabetes; famine; natural experiment; quasi-experimental design; epigenetics
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Vaiserman, A.M. Early-Life Nutritional Programming of Type 2 Diabetes: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence. Nutrients 2017, 9, 236.

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