Nutrigenomics at the Interface of Aging, Lifespan, and Cancer Prevention1-3

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Abstract

The percentage of elderly people with associated age-related health deterioration, including cancer, has been increasing for decades. Among age-related diseases, the incidence of cancer has grown substantially, in part because of the overlap of some molecular pathways between cancer and aging. Studies with model organisms suggest that aging and agerelated conditions are manipulable processes that can be modified by both genetic and environmental factors, including dietary habits. Variations in genetic backgrounds likely lead to differential responses to dietary changes and account for some of the inconsistencies found in the literature. The intricacies of the aging process, coupled with the interrelational role of bioactive food components on gene expression, make this review a complex undertaking. Nevertheless, intriguing evidence suggests that dietary habits can manipulate the aging process and/or its consequences and potentially may have unprecedented health benefits. The present review focuses on 4 cellular events: telomerase activity, bioenergetics, DNA repair, and oxidative stress. These processes are linked to both aging and cancer risk, and their alteration in animal models by selected food components is evident. J Nutr 2016;146:1931-9.

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