Dietary Modulation of the Epigenome

Physiol Rev. 2018 Apr 1;98(2):667-695. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00010.2017.


Epigenetics is the study of heritable mechanisms that can modify gene activity and phenotype without modifying the genetic code. The basis for the concept of epigenetics originated more than 2,000 yr ago as a theory to explain organismal development. However, the definition of epigenetics continues to evolve as we identify more of the components that make up the epigenome and dissect the complex manner by which they regulate and are regulated by cellular functions. A substantial and growing body of research shows that nutrition plays a significant role in regulating the epigenome. Here, we critically assess this diverse body of evidence elucidating the role of nutrition in modulating the epigenome and summarize the impact such changes have on molecular and physiological outcomes with regards to human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Epigenomics
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Disorders / genetics*
  • Nutritional Status / genetics*
  • Phenotype