Low maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with increase in methylation at the MEG3-IG differentially methylated region in female infants.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Diet is dictated by the surrounding environment, as food access and availability may change depending on where one lives. Maternal diet during pregnancy is an important part of the in utero environment, and may affect the epigenome. Studies looking at overall diet pattern in relation to DNA methylation have been lacking. The Mediterranean diet is known for its health benefits, including decreased inflammation, weight loss, and management of chronic diseases. This study assesses the association between maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern during pregnancy and infant DNA methylation at birth. Mediterranean diet adherence in early pregnancy was measured in 390 women enrolled in the Newborn Epigenetic Study, and DNA methylation was assessed in their infants at birth. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and infant methylation at the MEG3, MEG3-IG, pleiomorphic adenoma gene-like 1, insulin-like growth factor 2 gene, H19, mesoderm-specific transcript, neuronatin, paternally expressed gene 3, sarcoglycan and paternally expressed gene 10 regions, measured by pyrosequencing. Infants of mothers with a low adherence to a Mediterranean diet had a greater odds of hypo-methylation at the MEG3-IG differentially methylated region (DMR). Sex-stratified models showed that this association was present in girls only. This study provides early evidence on the association between overall diet pattern and methylation at the 9 DMRs included in this study, and suggests that maternal diet can have a sex-specific impact on infant DNA methylation at specific imprinted DMRs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gonzalez-Nahm, S; Mendez, M; Robinson, W; Murphy, SK; Hoyo, C; Hogan, V; Rowley, D

Published Date

  • May 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 2

Start / End Page

  • dvx007 -

PubMed ID

  • 29492309

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5804547

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2058-5888

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/eep/dvx007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England