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Early Life Nutrition and Energy Balance Disorders in Offspring in Later Life

Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 8090-8111;
Received: 10 June 2015 / Revised: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 11 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Balance)
The global pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes is often causally linked to changes in diet and lifestyle; namely increased intake of calorically dense foods and concomitant reductions in physical activity. Epidemiological studies in humans and controlled animal intervention studies have now shown that nutritional programming in early periods of life is a phenomenon that affects metabolic and physiological functions throughout life. This link is conceptualised as the developmental programming hypothesis whereby environmental influences during critical periods of developmental plasticity can elicit lifelong effects on the health and well-being of the offspring. The mechanisms by which early environmental insults can have long-term effects on offspring remain poorly defined. However there is evidence from intervention studies which indicate altered wiring of the hypothalamic circuits that regulate energy balance and epigenetic effects including altered DNA methylation of key adipokines including leptin. Studies that elucidate the mechanisms behind these associations will have a positive impact on the health of future populations and adopting a life course perspective will allow identification of phenotype and markers of risk earlier, with the possibility of nutritional and other lifestyle interventions that have obvious implications for prevention of non-communicable diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: developmental programming; maternal nutrition; energy balance; metabolic syndrome developmental programming; maternal nutrition; energy balance; metabolic syndrome
MDPI and ACS Style

Reynolds, C.M.; Gray, C.; Li, M.; Segovia, S.A.; Vickers, M.H. Early Life Nutrition and Energy Balance Disorders in Offspring in Later Life. Nutrients 2015, 7, 8090-8111.

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