Hernández-Saavedra D1, Moody L1, Xu GB2, Chen H1,2, Pan YX1,2.
Author information
Division of Nutritional Sciences.
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.
Chronic caloric restriction (CR) without malnutrition is known to affect different cellular processes such as stem cell function, cell senescence, inflammation, and metabolism. Despite the differences in the implementation of CR, the reduction of calories produces a widespread beneficial effect in noncommunicable chronic diseases, which can be explained by improvements in immuno-metabolic adaptation. Cellular adaptation that occurs in response to dietary patterns can be explained by alterations in epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA. In this review, we define these modifications and systematically summarize the current evidence related to CR and the epigenome. We then explain the significance of genome-wide epigenetic modifications in the context of disease development. Although substantial evidence exists for the widespread effect of CR on longevity, there is no consensus regarding the epigenetic regulations of the underlying cellular mechanisms that lead to improved health. We provide compelling evidence that CR produces long-lasting epigenetic effects that mediate expression of genes related to immuno-metabolic processes. Epigenetic reprogramming of the underlying chronic low-grade inflammation by CR can lead to immuno-metabolic adaptations that enhance quality of life, extend lifespan, and delay chronic disease onset.

Copyright © American Society for Nutrition 2019.

DNA methylation; dietary restriction; energy intake; histone acetylation; microRNA; sirtuin

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