DNA methylation is one of several epigenetic mechanisms that play a regulatory role in genome programming and imprinting during embryogenesis. Aberrant DNA methylation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases associated with aging, including cancer and cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Evidence is accumulating that dietary factors in utero modulate disease risk in later life. Although folic acid is a key component of DNA methylation, the impact of folic acid availability in utero on DNA methylation patterns and disease risk in adulthood is at present poorly characterized. This review describes the relationship between folic acid and DNA methylation, and the association between DNA methylation during in utero development and aging.

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