Nutritional Programming of Metabolic Syndrome: Role of Nutrients in Shaping the Epigenetics

  • Sonal Patel
  • Arpankumar Choksi
  • Richa Pant
  • Aftab Alam
  • Samit ChattopadhyayEmail author
Reference work entry


Increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome like obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes is an emerging public health problem. Susceptibility to such diseases has always been attributed to environmental and genetic factors which certainly play a pivotal role but cannot be the sole causal factor leading to metabolic syndrome. Epigenetics – a mediator between genetics and environment – is emerging as a potential candidate to explain the increase in the prevalence of such metabolic diseases. Changes in the epigenetic landscape marked by DNA methylation, histone methylation, and acetylation can lead to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and vascular dysfunction in both animals and humans. Nutritional programming during early stages of life can manipulate the metabolism and the physiology of the organism. This is where the importance of optimal maternal nutrition comes into play. Both maternal under- and overnutrition have the potential to adversely affect the etiology of metabolic disorders in the developing fetus by changing the epigenetic marks. Various macronutrients and micronutrients in the maternal diet have also been shown to be exhibiting specific effect on the future health of the offspring. Though the role of epigenetics in fetal programming of metabolic syndrome is constantly being well understood, research on the therapeutic aspect is still in its infancy. Interventions and manipulation of dietary supplementation which potentially can make changes in the epigenetic marks can be the future therapeutic targets for chronic metabolic syndrome.


Metabolic syndrome Obesity Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance Nutritional genetics Transgenerational effects Fetal nutrition Macro- and micronutrients Therapeutics 

List of Abbreviations


11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1


Angiotensin II receptor, type 1b


5′ AMP-activated protein kinase


CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta


Glucose 6-phosphatase


Growth hormone secretagogue receptor


Glucose transporter type 4


Glucocorticoid receptor


Histone acetyltransferase


Histone deacetylase


Insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor


Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3


Intelligence quotient


Intrauterine growth restriction


Long interspersed nuclear element-1


Liver X receptor alpha


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


Nitric oxide synthase


Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1


Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase


PPAR gamma coactivator -1 alpha


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha


Reactive oxygen species


Sirtuin 1


Tricarboxylic acid


Zinc finger protein 423


Zinc finger protein 57


Retinoid X receptor alpha


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonal Patel
    • 2
  • Arpankumar Choksi
    • 2
  • Richa Pant
    • 2
  • Aftab Alam
    • 2
  • Samit Chattopadhyay
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Chemical BiologyKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Chromatin and Disease Biology Lab (# 08), National Centre for Cell Science, NCCS ComplexSavitribai Phule Pune University CampusPuneIndia

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