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Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(32):4050-9.

Medicinal chemistry of the epigenetic diet and caloric restriction.

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CH175, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294-1170 USA.


The pronounced effects of the epigenetic diet (ED) and caloric restriction (CR) have on epigenetic gene regulation have been documented in many pre-clinical and clinical studies. Understanding epigenetics is of high importance because of the concept that external factors such as nutrition and diet may possess the ability to alter gene expression without modifying the DNA sequence. The ED introduces bioactive medicinal chemistry compounds such as sulforaphane (SFN), curcumin (CCM), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and resveratrol (RSV) that are thought to aid in extending the human lifespan. CR, although similar to ED in the target of longevity, mildly reduces the total daily calorie intake while concurrently providing all beneficial nutrients. Both CR and ED may act as epigenetic modifiers to slow the aging process through histone modification, DNA methylation, and by modulating microRNA expression. CR and ED have been proposed as two important mechanisms that modulate and potentially slow the progression of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, obesity, Alzheimer's and osteoporosis to name a few. While many investigators have examined CR and ED as separate entities, this review will primarily focus on both as they relate to age-related diseases, their epigenetic effects and their medicinal chemistry.

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