Developmental origins of health and disease: Current knowledge and potential mechanisms

Daniel J. Hoffman, Rebecca M. Reynolds, Daniel B. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epidemiologic and clinical research has provided a large body of evidence supporting the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), but there has been a relative dearth of mechanistic studies in humans due to the complexity of working with large, longitudinal cohorts. Nonetheless, animal models of undernutrition have provided substantial evidence for the potential epigenetic, metabolic, and endocrine mechanisms behind DOHaD. Furthermore, recent research has explored the interaction between the environment and the gastrointestinal system by investigating how the gut microbial ecology may impact the capacity for nutrient processing and absorption in a manner that may limit growth. This review presents a summary of current research that supports the concept of DOHaD, as well as potential mechanisms and interactions that explain how nutrition in utero and during early childhood influences lifelong health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-970
Number of pages20
JournalNutrition Reviews
Volume75
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • Developmental origins
  • Disease
  • Epigenetics
  • Fetal origins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Health
  • Obesity

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