Increasing intakes of refined carbohydrates and decreasing intakes of fiber in the US have paralleled the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) to near epidemic proportions (63) . Numerous prospective cohort studies have found that that diets rich in fiber, particularly cereal fiber from whole grains, are associated with significant reductions in the risk of developing type 2 DM (64-74) . Although no intervention trials have evaluated the effect of increasing dietary fiber intake alone on type 2 DM prevention, two important intervention trials found that a combination of lifestyle modifications that included increasing fiber intake decreased the risk of developing type 2 DM in adults with impaired glucose tolerance (75, 76) . Although multiple factors, including obesity, inactivity, and genetics, increase the risk of developing type 2 DM, the results of observational studies and intervention trials indicate that fiber-rich diets improve glucose tolerance and decrease the risk of type 2 DM, particularly in high-risk individuals.
The correlation between DNA methylation and chromatin structure, as it relates to transcriptional activity, is demonstrated by the observation that there are several proteins, that bind to methylated CpGs but not to unmethylated CpGs, whose functions are integrated into transcriptional regulation. There are currently 15 genes in the human genome that encode proteins that bind to methyl-CpG in DNA. These 15 proteins are divided into 3 subfamilies identified by structural similarities. These sub-families are the methyl binding domain (MBD) proteins, the methyl-CpG-binding zinc finger proteins (also called the Kaiso family), and the SRA domain ( S ET and R ING finger domain A ssociated) containing proteins. The SET domain is so-called because it was first identified in three Drosophila proteins called S uppressor of variegation variant 3-9 [Su(var)3-9], E nhancer of zeste, and T rithorax. The RING domain is a zinc-finger-like domain which gets its name from the term R eally I nteresting N ew G ene.
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