Early Life Nutrition and Energy Balance Disorders in Offspring in Later Life

Nutrients. 2015;7(9):8090-8111 DOI 10.3390/nu7095384

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Nutrients

ISSN: 2072-6643 (Online)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Home economics: Nutrition. Foods and food supply

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML

 

AUTHORS

Clare M. Reynolds (Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand)
Clint Gray (Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand)
Minglan Li (Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand)
Stephanie A. Segovia (Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand)
Mark H. Vickers (Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

The global pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes is often causally linked to changes in diet and lifestyle; namely increased intake of calorically dense foods and concomitant reductions in physical activity. Epidemiological studies in humans and controlled animal intervention studies have now shown that nutritional programming in early periods of life is a phenomenon that affects metabolic and physiological functions throughout life. This link is conceptualised as the developmental programming hypothesis whereby environmental influences during critical periods of developmental plasticity can elicit lifelong effects on the health and well-being of the offspring. The mechanisms by which early environmental insults can have long-term effects on offspring remain poorly defined. However there is evidence from intervention studies which indicate altered wiring of the hypothalamic circuits that regulate energy balance and epigenetic effects including altered DNA methylation of key adipokines including leptin. Studies that elucidate the mechanisms behind these associations will have a positive impact on the health of future populations and adopting a life course perspective will allow identification of phenotype and markers of risk earlier, with the possibility of nutritional and other lifestyle interventions that have obvious implications for prevention of non-communicable diseases.