Epigenetic effects of paternal diet on offspring: emphasis on obesity
Overnutrition, obesity, and the rise in associated comorbidities are widely recognized as preventable challenges to global health. Behavioral, metabolic, and epigenetic influences that alter the epigenome, when passed on to offspring, can increase their risk of developing an altered metabolic profile. This review is focused on the role of paternal inheritance as demonstrated by clinical, epidemiological, and experimental models. Development of additional experimental models that resemble the specific epigenetic sensitive situations in human studies will be essential to explore paternally induced trans-generational effects that are mediated, primarily, by epigenetic effects. Further elucidation of epigenetic marks will help identify preventive and therapeutic targets, which in combination with healthy lifestyle choices, can diminish the growing tide of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other related disorders.