The prevalence of metabolic disorders such as metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes arc increasing in recent times. One of the possible reasons for this is the exposure of the fetus to the maternal environment during development. If the environment is not ideal, due to maternal over- or under-nutrition, the potential for diseases arises. Many studies have shown that babies born with a low or exceedingly high birth weight arc at greater risk of being obese and developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in later life. Epigenetic mechanisms may be responsible for this observation, as many animal studies have shown that the diet of the mother may influence the phenotype of the offspring, depending on the epigenetic changes induced, specifically changes in methylation status of certain genes. In this chapter emerging research into maternal diet and epigenetic changers is discussed.
|Title of host publication||Epigenomic Medicine|
|Editors||Tom C Karagiannis|
|Publisher||Transworld Research Network|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|