Nutritional Epigenetics

  • Carsten Carlberg
  • Ferdinand Molnár


Nutritional epigenetics is a sub-discipline of nutrigenomics and describes how dietary compounds affect our epigenome. Chromatin modifiers use intermediary metabolites, such as acetyl-CoA, α-ketoglutarate, NAD+, FAD, ATP or SAM, as co-substrates and/or co-factors. In this way, chromatin modifiers act as sensors for the nutritional status of our tissues and cell types leaving respective marks on their epigenome. The thrifty phenotype is a concept of epigenetic programing of metabolic tissues during pre-natal development. Its principles apply also in adult life and may explain the missing heritability of the susceptibility for complex metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.


Nutrigenomics Energy metabolism Acetyl-CoA NAD+ SAM Folate Thrifty phenotype Type 2 diabetes Personalized nutrition 

Further Reading

  1. Avgustinova A, Benitah SA (2016) Epigenetic control of adult stem cell function. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 17:643–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barres R, Zierath JR (2016) The role of diet and exercise in the transgenerational epigenetic landscape of T2DM. Nat Rev Endocrinol 12:441–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carlberg C, Ulven SM, Molnár F (2016) Nutrigenomics Springer Textbook ISBN: 978-3-319-30413-7Google Scholar
  4. Gut P, Verdin E (2013) The nexus of chromatin regulation and intermediary metabolism. Nature 502:489–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kinnaird A, Zhao S, Wellen KE, Michelakis ED (2016) Metabolic control of epigenetics in cancer. Nat Rev Cancer 16:694–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sales VM, Ferguson-Smith AC, Patti ME (2017) Epigenetic mechanisms of transmission of metabolic disease across generations. Cell Metab 25:559–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Carlberg
    • 1
  • Ferdinand Molnár
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BiomedicineUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of BiologyNazarbayev UniversityNur-SultanKazakhstan

Personalised recommendations