Food Chemicals and Epigenetic Targets: Assembling an Epi Food Chemical Database

31 August 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


There is increasing awareness of epigenetics's importance in understanding disease etiologies and developing novel therapeutics. An increasing number of publications in the past few years reflect the renewed interest in epigenetic processes and their relationship with food chemicals. However, there needs to be a recent 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 the status of food chemicals and their intersection with natural products in epigenetic research. Using chemoinformatics tools, we compared quantitatively chemical contents, structural diversity, and coverage in the chemical space of food chemicals with reported 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, the “Epi Food Chemical Database” is accessible at


chemical space
food chemicals
natural products
structure-activity relationships

Supplementary weblinks


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