Epigenetic Effects of Nutrients Involved in Neurodevelopmental and Mental Disorders

  • Takeo KubotaEmail author
  • Kazuki Mochizuki
Reference work entry


Epigenetics is a mechanism that can change gene expression, not by changing the genomic sequence but by changing epigenomic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone acetylation. Failure of epigenetic mechanisms results in various congenital neurodevelopmental disorders, suggesting that these mechanisms are essential for normal brain development. Epigenetic mechanisms are affected by various environmental factors including nutrients such as folic acid and various histone deacetylase inhibitors during early life. Since these nutrients are essential for epigenetic modifications, their insufficient intake in the early developmental period can induce epigenomic abnormalities that lead to dysregulation of gene expression in the brain, which may result in acquired neurodevelopmental and mental disorders. Therefore, on the basis of the epigenetic understanding of the effects of nutrients, early intervention with an appropriate therapy and education in nursery and preschools is important to prevent or ameliorate acquired neurodevelopmental and mental disorders.


Epigenetics Epigenome DNA methylation Histone modification Neurodevelopmental disorders Mental disorders Environmental factor Nutrient Folic acid Early intervention Nutritional education 

List of Abbreviations


Aryl hydrocarbon receptor


Arachidonic acid


Docosahexaenoic acid


DNA methyltransferase


Developmental origins of health and disease


Glucocorticoid receptor


Histone deacetylase inhibitor


Induced pluripotent stem cell


Methyl-CpG binding domain


Myosin 1g


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Child StudiesSeitoku UniversityMatsudoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Local Produce and Food SciencesFaculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of YamanashiKofuJapan

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