According to the new paradigm of the Developpemental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), the environmental factors to which an individual is exposed throughout his life can leave an epigenetic footprint on the genome. A crucial period is the early development, where the epigenome is particularly sensitive to the effects of the environment, and during which the individual builds up his health capital that will enable him to respond more or less well to the vagaries of life. The research challenge is to decipher the modes of action and the epigenetic mechanisms put into play by environmental factors that lead to increased disease susceptibility or resilience. The challenge for health is to translate these scientific discoveries into action through, among others, the establishment of preventive recommendations to slow down the growing incidence of non communicable diseases.
© 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.