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  • Writer's pictureMaria C Colon-Gonzalez

The Impact of Trauma on Epigenetics: How Life Experiences Can Alter Gene Expression

Experiences of pain and shock, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, can leave lasting scars on your mental and physical health. Recent research in the field of epigenetics has revealed that trauma can also leave molecular marks on our DNA, influencing gene expression without altering the genetic code itself. These changes can have profound implications for your health and can subsequent generations.

Epigenetic modifications can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, including diet, stress, and, notably, traumatic events.

The Mechanisms of Trauma-Induced Epigenetic Changes

  1. DNA Methylation: DNA methylation involves the addition of a methyl group to the DNA molecule. Traumatic events have been shown to alter methylation patterns in genes associated with stress responses and emotional regulation. Yes, you can be more susceptible to anxiety.

  2. Histone Modification: Histones are proteins around which DNA is wrapped, and their chemical modification can affect gene accessibility and expression. Trauma can influence histone, these modifications can affect genes involved in neural plasticity, stress responses, and inflammation. Yes, you can develop autoimmune disease. 

  3. Non-Coding RNAs: Non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs, can regulate gene expression, impacting genes related to brain function and stress responses. Yes, you can develop PTSD or depression. 

Is this evidence-based medicine or a marketing tactic?

  1. Childhood Trauma and DNA Methylation: Research has demonstrated that individuals who experienced severe childhood trauma exhibit distinct methylation patterns in genes associated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a critical system in the body's stress response. 

  2. Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Animal studies have provided evidence that the epigenetic effects of trauma can be passed down to offspring. 

  3. Trauma and Brain Function: Trauma-induced epigenetic changes can impact brain function and structure. These changes can affect neural connectivity and brain regions associated with memory, emotion, and cognition.

Trauma can have far-reaching effects on your epigenome, influencing gene expression and potentially contributing to the development of various health issues. At Salud Revisited we are elevating personalized medicine by offering 3x4 Genetic Tests and Genova Metabolomix+ Testing. 

So, this is no trick, schedule your FREE Optimize Your Genes call.

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