Early life programming and metabolic syndrome
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- Wang, XM. World J Pediatr (2013) 9: 5. doi:10.1007/s12519-013-0403-7
Metabolic syndrome (MS) has reached epidemic proportions worldwide among children. Early life “programming” is now thought to be important in the etiology of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and MS. Nutritional imbalance and exposures to endocrine disruptor chemicals during development can increase risk for MS later in life. Epigenetic marks may be reprogrammed in response to both stochastic and environmental stimuli, such as changes in diet and the in utero environment, therefore, determination of targets for early life effects on epigenetic gene regulation provides insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of a variety of adult onset disease phenotypes. The perinatal period is a crucial time of growth, development and physiological changes in mother and child, which provides a window of opportunity for early intervention that may induce beneficial physiological alternations.