Limits...
Food as exposure: Nutritional epigenetics and the new metabolism.

Landecker H - Biosocieties (2011)

Bottom Line: Nutritional epigenetics seeks to explain the effects of nutrition on gene expression.This article analyzes how food has become environment in nutritional epigenetics, with a focus on the experimental formalization of food.This scientific discourse has profound implications for how food is perceived, manufactured and regulated, as well as for social theories and analyses of the social body that have a long history of imbrication with scientific models of metabolism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Society and Genetics, University of California Los Angeles , Box 957221, 1323 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7221 USA . E-mail: landecker@soc.ucla.edu.

ABSTRACT
Nutritional epigenetics seeks to explain the effects of nutrition on gene expression. For social science, it is an area of life science whose analysis reveals a concentrated form of a wider shift in the understanding of food and metabolism. Rather than the chemical conversion of food to energy and body matter of classic metabolism, food is now also a conditioning environment that shapes the activity of the genome and the physiology of the body. It is thought that food in prenatal and early postnatal life impacts adult-onset diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; exposure to food is seen as a point of potential intervention in long-term health of individuals and populations. This article analyzes how food has become environment in nutritional epigenetics, with a focus on the experimental formalization of food. The experimental image of human life generated in rodent models, it is argued, generates concepts of food as a form of molecular exposure. This scientific discourse has profound implications for how food is perceived, manufactured and regulated, as well as for social theories and analyses of the social body that have a long history of imbrication with scientific models of metabolism.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

In this diagram by embryologist C.H. Waddington, the landscape is contoured by genes (represented by the straight lines) that pull on the landscape like guy-wires. The portion of the embryo poised at the top is not determined to go one way or another, but the landscape will make certain routes down the hill more likely, which Waddington referred to as ‘canalization'. Nutritional epigeneticist Robert Waterland likes to represent nutrition as the wind that additionally influences cells during development, adding a contemporary variation to the classic diagram (Courtesy of R. Waterland).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3500842&req=5

fig1: In this diagram by embryologist C.H. Waddington, the landscape is contoured by genes (represented by the straight lines) that pull on the landscape like guy-wires. The portion of the embryo poised at the top is not determined to go one way or another, but the landscape will make certain routes down the hill more likely, which Waddington referred to as ‘canalization'. Nutritional epigeneticist Robert Waterland likes to represent nutrition as the wind that additionally influences cells during development, adding a contemporary variation to the classic diagram (Courtesy of R. Waterland).

Mentions: We may now answer the question of what kind of environment food is with some specificity. Both in its particular experimental configuration – focusing on molecules such as genistein, folic acid and bisphenol-A – and in hypothesis generation, food is depicted as an enveloping molecular medium. In the words of one researcher, nutrition is ‘the wind that blows over the developmental landscape' the landscape is contoured by genetic possibility, but nutrition blows over it at critical periods in development (Waterland, 2006b, p. S138) (Figure 1). The image of the fetus immersed in its in utero environment accentuates this sense of the body forming in its medium; in turn the pregnant body as environment is a point of concentration of the pervasive. It is here that the various forms of regulation articulate, with maternal metabolism as the intersection of food, food regulation, nutrition as medicine, self-regulation, ideas of intervention, hormonal regulation and the heritability of patterns of gene regulation.


Food as exposure: Nutritional epigenetics and the new metabolism.

Landecker H - Biosocieties (2011)

In this diagram by embryologist C.H. Waddington, the landscape is contoured by genes (represented by the straight lines) that pull on the landscape like guy-wires. The portion of the embryo poised at the top is not determined to go one way or another, but the landscape will make certain routes down the hill more likely, which Waddington referred to as ‘canalization'. Nutritional epigeneticist Robert Waterland likes to represent nutrition as the wind that additionally influences cells during development, adding a contemporary variation to the classic diagram (Courtesy of R. Waterland).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3500842&req=5

fig1: In this diagram by embryologist C.H. Waddington, the landscape is contoured by genes (represented by the straight lines) that pull on the landscape like guy-wires. The portion of the embryo poised at the top is not determined to go one way or another, but the landscape will make certain routes down the hill more likely, which Waddington referred to as ‘canalization'. Nutritional epigeneticist Robert Waterland likes to represent nutrition as the wind that additionally influences cells during development, adding a contemporary variation to the classic diagram (Courtesy of R. Waterland).
Mentions: We may now answer the question of what kind of environment food is with some specificity. Both in its particular experimental configuration – focusing on molecules such as genistein, folic acid and bisphenol-A – and in hypothesis generation, food is depicted as an enveloping molecular medium. In the words of one researcher, nutrition is ‘the wind that blows over the developmental landscape' the landscape is contoured by genetic possibility, but nutrition blows over it at critical periods in development (Waterland, 2006b, p. S138) (Figure 1). The image of the fetus immersed in its in utero environment accentuates this sense of the body forming in its medium; in turn the pregnant body as environment is a point of concentration of the pervasive. It is here that the various forms of regulation articulate, with maternal metabolism as the intersection of food, food regulation, nutrition as medicine, self-regulation, ideas of intervention, hormonal regulation and the heritability of patterns of gene regulation.

Bottom Line: Nutritional epigenetics seeks to explain the effects of nutrition on gene expression.This article analyzes how food has become environment in nutritional epigenetics, with a focus on the experimental formalization of food.This scientific discourse has profound implications for how food is perceived, manufactured and regulated, as well as for social theories and analyses of the social body that have a long history of imbrication with scientific models of metabolism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Society and Genetics, University of California Los Angeles , Box 957221, 1323 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7221 USA . E-mail: landecker@soc.ucla.edu.

ABSTRACT
Nutritional epigenetics seeks to explain the effects of nutrition on gene expression. For social science, it is an area of life science whose analysis reveals a concentrated form of a wider shift in the understanding of food and metabolism. Rather than the chemical conversion of food to energy and body matter of classic metabolism, food is now also a conditioning environment that shapes the activity of the genome and the physiology of the body. It is thought that food in prenatal and early postnatal life impacts adult-onset diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; exposure to food is seen as a point of potential intervention in long-term health of individuals and populations. This article analyzes how food has become environment in nutritional epigenetics, with a focus on the experimental formalization of food. The experimental image of human life generated in rodent models, it is argued, generates concepts of food as a form of molecular exposure. This scientific discourse has profound implications for how food is perceived, manufactured and regulated, as well as for social theories and analyses of the social body that have a long history of imbrication with scientific models of metabolism.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus