, Volume 322, Issue 1, pp 73-79
Date: 22 Apr 2005

Nutritional programming of adult disease

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Intrauterine and early neonatal life is a period of physiological plasticity, during which environmental influences may produce long-term effects. Both undernutrition and overnutrition during this period have been shown to change disease risk in adulthood. These effects are influenced by the type, timing and duration of inappropriate nutrition and by the previous nutritional environment and may not be reflected in changes in body size. An understanding of the interaction between nutrient imbalance and alteration of gene expression is likely to be the key to optimising future health outcomes.