Physical activity in the prevention of human diseases: role of epigenetic modifications

Elisa Grazioli, Ivan Dimauro, Neri Mercatelli, Guan Wang, Yannis Pitsiladis, Luigi Di Luigi, Daniela Caporossi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenetic modification refers to heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by alterations in the DNA sequence. The current literature clearly demonstrates that the epigenetic response is highly dynamic and influenced by different biological and environmental factors such as aging, nutrient availability and physical exercise. As such, it is well accepted that physical activity and exercise can modulate gene expression through epigenetic alternations although the type and duration of exercise eliciting specific epigenetic effects that can result in health benefits and prevent chronic diseases remains to be determined. This review highlights the most significant findings from epigenetic studies involving physical activity/exercise interventions known to benefit chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number802
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume18 (Supplement 8)
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2017
Event34th FIMS World Sports Medicine Congress, FIMS 2017 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 29 Sept 20172 Oct 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Disease prevention
  • DNA methylation
  • Exercise
  • Histone modification


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical activity in the prevention of human diseases: role of epigenetic modifications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this