Food Chemicals in Epigenetic Targets: Towards an Epi Food Chemical Database

25 August 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


There is an increasing awareness of the importance of epigenetics to understand disease etiologies and develop novel therapeutics. Concomitantly, the renewed interest in epigenetic processes and their relationship with food chemicals has been reflected by an increasing number of publications in the past few years. However, there is a lack of a recent systematic and quantitative study that accounts for the most recent advances in the area associating the chemical structures of the food and natural product components with their biological activity. Here, we analyze recent advances and discuss the status of food chemicals and their intersection with natural products in epigenetic research. We discuss the most investigated diseases and potential therapeutic applications associated with food chemicals and natural compounds ingested in the diet. Using chemoinformatics tools, we compared quantitatively chemical contents, structural diversity, and coverage in the chemical space of food chemicals reported with epigenetic activity. As part of this work, we built and curated a compound database of food and natural product chemicals annotated with structural information, epigenetic target activity profile, and main source of the food chemical or natural product, among other relevant features. The compounds are cross-linked with identifiers from other major public databases such as FooDB and the COlleCtion of Open Natural ProdUcTs, COCONUT. The compound database is freely accessible at


chemical space
food chemicals
natural products
structure-activity relationships

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