For decades, we’ve known how important it is to receive proper nutrition during early stages of life. Nutritional experiences in the beginning of development can set the stage for many things, including body weight, and can even affect the risk of obesity as we get older. Recent research supports the idea that poor nutrition at the beginning of pregnancy or while a baby is nursing can be stored as molecular epigenetic “memory” on the child’s genome, potentially setting them up for metabolic diseases later in life.
Numerous studies reveal a connection between epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation or histonemodification, and human obesity. New research in Nature Communications investigated a form of persistent epigenetic memory that may play a role in the developmental programming of obesity.
As one of the most complex and fastest-growing areas of research in biological science, a wide array of studies delves into the nuances of epigenetic memory of nutrition. Researchers have demonstrated the inheritance and transmission of epigenetic marks across generations, but others have shown that the epigenetic transfer of nutrition memory ends before great-grandchildren. The contentious topic still requires further research, but numerous studies have begun to illuminate the ways in which early life choices might epigenetically influence our health and the health of our children later on.
Epigenetic research has shown that a son’s mental fitness could be influenced by his father’s diet even before the child is conceived and that the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy could epigenetically reduce a kid’s disease risk. Still, there is much more waiting to be uncovered.
A group of researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) add to the collection of studies on the persistence of epigenetic marks over time. Previously, they discovered that milk lipids which are released during lactation after a mother gives birth act as a ligand that activates the nuclear receptor PPARα, or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors involved in regulating many biological processes, including the metabolism of lipids and glucose, overall energy homeostasis, and inflammatory responses. This particular transcription regulator, PPARα, plays a key role in liver fat metabolism and, in mice, is essential to preventing the liver from storing large amounts of fat.
By activating PPARα via milk lipid ligands, fatty-acid β-oxidation genes in the postnatal mouse liver become naturally demethylated. DNA methylation is a popular epigenetic mechanism known for switching genes off and reducing their expression. Administering a synthetic PPARα ligand (Wy) to mother mice during the perinatal period led to a greater reduction in DNA of these genes in the liver of the mice offspring. The researchers confirmed that Wy was present in the breast milk of the mothers and ingested by her children.
With these findings in mind, the team utilized genome-wide DNA methylation analyses to explore whether the methylation status of PPARα target genes persists from early life to adulthood. Indeed, they found that a few of these genes which underwent ligand-activated PPARα-dependent DNA during the perinatal period persisted as the mice turned into adults.
Among the genes investigated, which the researchers referred to as “epigenetic memory genes”, they focused on fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). FGF21 is a peptide hormone which plays a critical role in regulating energy homeostasis.
Koshi Hashimoto, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Preemptive Medicine and Metabolism at TMDU, explained: “We provide the first evidence that the PPARα-dependent gene Fgf21 demethylation occurs in the postnatal mouse liver, and once established it persists into adulthood and exerts long-term effects on the magnitude of gene expression response to environmental cues, which may account in part for the attenuation of diet-induced obesity.”
Essentially, once DNA methylation status of FGF21 is established in early life, it could affect obesity in adulthood. The researchers suggest that the suckling period is a critical window of time for PPARα-dependent FGF21 demethylation to occur as a result of maternal environment.
Senior author Yoshihiro Ogawa, MD, PhD, said, “We propose that FGF21 methylation represents a form of epigenetic memory that persists into adulthood, and it may have a role in the developmental programming of obesity.”
With further research we can continue to unravel the mystery of nutritional epigenetic memory and get closer to understanding how early life experiences may set us up for positive or negative health outcomes much later in life.
Source: Yuan, X., Ogawa, Y. et al. (2018). Epigenetic modulation of Fgf21 in the perinatal mouse liver ameliorates diet-induced obesity in adulthood. Nature Communications, 9(1).
Reference: Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Epigenetic Modulation of Fgf21 Gene in Early-Life Ameliorates Adulthood Diet-Induced Obesity. TMDU Press Release. 6 Mar 2018. Web.
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Dr Eddy Bettermann MD focus on Biological Medicine (Biologische Medizin), Darkfield Microscopy (Dunkelfeld Mikroskopie), Orthomolecular Medicine (Orthomolekulare Medizin), Ayurvedic Medicine (Ayurveda), Psychosomatic Medicine (Psychosomatische Medizin), raw food (Rohkost), fasting (Fasten): Our primary integrative medicine goal is the maintenance of your health and wellness, and we are committed to safe and effective healthcare. Our specialties include online integrative medicine education by alternative doctor: food and allergy management through the use of Integrative medical therapy, Environmental Medicine, General Family Medicine, Ayurveda, Panchakarma, Chronic Fatigue, ADHD, autism, Fibromyalgia, Yeast/Fungus related diseases – Candidacies, mercury dental replacement and detoxification, Natural Thyroid Replacement, Weight loss, Lyme Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Addiction related programs, Intestinal Dysbiosis, as well as trigger point therapy using Neural Therapy. Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD, physician from Germany, consultant and teacher in biological medicine, especially dark field microscopy known as Live Blood Analysis in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. But he lecture also in the USA, Canada and the U.A.E. He speaks english and german. https://dreddymd.com/2017/01/17/the-interactive-live-blood-cd-and-the-certified-training-live-blood-analysis-online-course/ https://dreddymd.com/courses/ https://dreddymd.com/2017/01/17/live-blood-microscopy-analysis-darkfield-course/ “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food.” — Hippocrates Physician Member of the Medical Board at AOX Singapore, Medical Doctor at Nurse Mobile Clinic and Physician at DrEddy Clinic Our Mission: The mission of the Integrative Medicine is to search for the most effective treatments for patients by combining both conventional and alternative approaches that address all aspects of health and wellness – biological, psychological, social and spiritual. Biological Medicine is a big part of my work and so is Dark field Microscopy, what I use in my daily practice and what I teach more then 15 years in Asia and around the world: Live Blood Analysis in dark field based on Haematology. We utilize Live blood analysis since 2004, conventional as well as specialty laboratories for a thorough diagnostic work up of the disease in question. Our integrative medicine treatment regimens are especially unique and are tailored specifically to the individual needs of each patient. Our Mission: don’t harm, prevent, use food as medicine We are a reliable partner for integrative medicine in Medical Spa & Clinic Development and integrative medicine Education Training for alternative doctors – we bring different holistic approaches, like Integrative Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda Medicine together. On your request we offer our service in your place as well. Heavy metal poisoning Heavy metal poisoning is much more common than most people realize, and if you’re thinking that it doesn’t apply to you because you haven’t been exposed to any, think again. If you’ve eaten fish regularly, had amalgam fillings, received vaccinations, drank contaminated water, or done industrial or agricultural work or pharmaceutical manufacturing, there’s a good chance that you have a fair amount of toxic metals in your system.. We are here to help and to educate! Wishing your health and happiness Dr Eddy Bettermann MD Multimedia library https://bit.ly/2Wgqsd3 Protect you and your family from harmful radiation https://bit.ly/synergyscience-dreddymd More information about 5G and EMF: https://dreddymd.com/?s=5G+and+EMF Protocol https://amzn.to/2Nxsfql View all posts by dreddymd