Epigenetics and lifestyle

Jorge Alejandro Alegría-Torres, Andrea Baccarelli, Valentina Bollati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of lifestyle includes different factors such as nutrition, behavior, stress, physical activity, working habits, smoking and alcohol consumption. Increasing evidence shows that environmental and lifestyle factors may influence epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and miRNA expression. It has been identified that several lifestyle factors such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress and working on night shifts might modify epigenetic patterns. Most of the studies conducted so far have been centered on DNA methylation, whereas only a few investigations have studied lifestyle factors in relation to histone modifications and miRNAs. This article reviews current evidence indicating that lifestyle factors might affect human health via epigenetic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • DNA methylation
  • environmental exposures
  • epigenetics
  • histone modifications
  • lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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