Epigenetic traits have the peculiar characteristic of being heritable. Epigenetic phenomena can also be reversed or modified by environmental factors, including nutrition. It is known that both single nutrients and our diet as a whole can affect physiologic and pathologic processes in our body from conception to natural death. Because of this, epigenetics is now regarded as one of the most important mechanisms by which a nutrient or diet alters the expression of critical genes, thereby affecting facets of our phenotype, including health traits and disease susceptibility. In this chapter we will discuss how nutrients, bioactive food components and our diet modify these epigenetic marks during our lifetime and influence our health.
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