Epigenetic methylation in aging is affected by lifestyle and nutrition

Autoren:Pointner, Angelika; Tomeva, Elena; Magnet, Ulrich; bruckmueller, Christina; Dum, Elisabeth; Haslberger, Alexander
Abstrakt:Research of the last decades has demonstrated that understanding the interaction of nutrition and health plays a crucial role in disease prevention and therapy and consequently healthy aging. A diet comprising a rich variety of vegetables and fruits along with a lifestyle with moderate stress and regular physical activity are strongly associated with a reduced risk of various chronic and age-related diseases. Non-nutritive plant compounds such as vitamins and phytochemicals like polyphenols, carotenoids or glucosinolates are capable of affecting aberrant epigenetic events by various pathways including inhibition of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), modulation of histone acetylation via histone deacetylase (HDAC), histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibition or influence on noncoding RNA expression. To assess the link between lifestyle and DNA methylation of certain genes with relevance to aging, oxidative stress, genome instability and inflammation we analyzed the promotor DNA methylation of ASPA, LINE1, IL6, cMyc, DNMT1, MLH1 by high resolution melting in 43 healthy subjects. Lifestyle and eating habits were assessed by lifestyle and nutrition questionnaire.Our results show a strong correlation of ASPA and the age of participants. We found that a higher intake of leafy vegetables was correlated with a lower methylation of MLH1, but a higher methylation of ASPA and IL6. Furthermore, a higher amount of physical activity was correlated with a higher methylation of IL6 and DNMT1. Participants with high levels of stress showed a lower methylation of DNMT1 and IL6.Our results confirm the already reported correlation between biomarkers and age and furthermore, a significant gene specific influence of specific food components or physical activity on DNA methylation. Identifying noninvasive biomarkers, which reflect biological age may serve as early predictors for prevention of possible diseases resulting from unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Therefore, understanding the role of methylation modifying food components may contribute to a healthy aging.