As a potential link between genetic predisposition, environmental exposures, and food allergy outcomes, epigenetics has been a molecular variable of interest in ongoing efforts to understand food allergy mechanisms and outcomes. Here we review population-based investigations of epigenetic loci associated with food allergy, focusing on established clinical food allergy. We first provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms that have been studied in cohorts with food allergy, predominantly DNA methylation but also microRNA. We then discuss investigations that have implemented epigenome-wide approaches aimed at genome-wide profiling and discovery. Such epigenome-wide studies have collectively identified differentially methylated and differentially regulated loci associated with T cell development, antigen presentation, reaction severity, and causal mediation in food allergy. We then discuss candidate-gene investigations that have honed in on Th1, Th2, T regulatory, and innate genes of a priori interest in food allergy. These studies have highlighted methylation changes in specific candidate genes as associated with T regulatory cell activity as well as differential methylation of Type 1 and Type 2 cytokine genes associated with various food allergies. Intriguingly, epigenetic loci associated with food allergy have also been explored as potential biomarkers for the clinical management of food allergy. We conclude by highlighting several priority directions for advancing population-based epigenomic and epigenetic understandings of food allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14065
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • biomarker
  • egg allergy
  • epigenetic
  • epigenome-wide association study
  • epigenomic
  • food allergy
  • methylation
  • miRNA
  • milk allergy
  • peanut allergy


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