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Epigenetic Remedies by Dietary Phytochemicals Against Inflammatory Skin Disorders: Myth or Reality?

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 5 ]


Wim Vanden Berghe and Guy Haegeman   Pages 436 - 450 ( 15 )


While many botanicals have been used during thousands of years in various cultures for the treatment of several inflammatory conditions, wound healing or preserving skin beauty, their active ingredients and their mechanisms of action are less well characterized. It is known that throughout life, environmental conditions and dietary compounds influence gene expression. Only recently it has been observed that exposure to specific phytochemicals can affect gene expression via reversible epigenetic mechanisms and gets recorded in our “epigenome” through life. Epigenetics refers to heritable phenotypical differences or changes in gene expression that are not attributable to changes in DNA sequence, but rather depend on variations in DNA methylation, chromatin structure or microRNA profiles. As such, our dietary epigenetic imprint superposed on our genome may rewire gene expression patterns in the body and the host immune system, and protect against inflammatory disorders, cancer and ageing. This has recently launched reexploration of nutritional, botanical or phytopharmaceutical compounds for epigenetic effects to identify promising nutraceuticals or cosmeceuticals which could (re)program stem cell differentiation, wound healing, skin regeneration, tissue homeostasis, or “correct” epigenetic marks responsible for inflammatory skin disorders and ageing.


NFkB, AP1, Epigenetics, Phytochemical, Diet, Skin, Inflammation


Lab Protein Science, Proteomics and Epigenetic Signaling, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, Wilrijk, Belgium.

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