Epigenetic Responses to Diet in Aging

Dianne Ford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Some epigenetic features are affected by diet, and epigenetic alteration is a hallmark of aging. The extent to which these epigenetic changes are causative, and thus the potential for influences of diet on these features to slow the aging process, requires critical evaluation. Multiple molecular markers of aging interact with epigenetic alteration, and diet is one component of environmental impact that, along with genotype, is likely to influence how epigenetic alterations refine the aging trajectory. Diet could contribute to healthier aging by reversing or slowing age-related causative epigenetic changes or by promoting a different but protective epigenetic state. The plasticity of the epigenome during early development may afford a particular window of opportunity for dietary intervention in aging, and effects on stem cells are likely to be of particular functional importance. Some of the effects of sirtuins to counteract aging may be via epigenetic actions on polycomb group protein gene targets, which have a role in stem cell integrity. Tissue-independent global epigenetic signatures of aging may provide a biological readout of the efficacy of dietary intervention to counteract effects of aging.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Basis of Nutrition and Aging
Subtitle of host publicationA Volume in the Molecular Nutrition Series
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128018279
ISBN (Print)9780128018163
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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