Present and future of anti-ageing epigenetic diets

Maria Giulia Bacalini, Simonetta Friso, Fabiola Olivieri, Chiara Pirazzini, Cristina Giuliani, Miriam Capri, Aurelia Santoro, Claudio Franceschi, Paolo Garagnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The rapid technological advancements achieved in the last years have boosted the progressive identification of age-associated epigenetic changes. These studies not only contribute to shed light on the molecular basis of ageing and age-related diseases but, given the plasticity of epigenetic modifications, also provide the basis for anti-ageing interventions to counteract the onset of age-related diseases. In this review we will discuss nutritional interventions as a promising approach that can positively counteract epigenetic changes associated with ageing and promote the health for the elderly. First, we will give an overview of age-associated epigenetic signatures, focusing on DNA methylation. Then, we will report recent evidences regarding the epigenetic changes induced by nutritional interventions in the adulthood (referred as "epigenetic diets"), such as (i) caloric/dietary restriction, (ii) diet supplementation with nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism and (iii) diet supplementation with bioactive food components. Attention will be drawn on the limits of current studies and the need of proper human models, such as those provided by the ongoing European project NU-AGE. Finally, we will discuss the potential impact of epigenetic diets on inflammaging and age-related diseases, focusing on cardiovascular disease, highlighting the involvement of epigenetic modifications other than DNA methylation, such as microRNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Ageing
  • DNA methylation
  • Inflammaging
  • MicroRNAs
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Bacalini, M. G., Friso, S., Olivieri, F., Pirazzini, C., Giuliani, C., Capri, M., Santoro, A., Franceschi, C., & Garagnani, P. (2014). Present and future of anti-ageing epigenetic diets. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 136-137, 101-115.