Biology of Trauma® Podcast
With Dr. Aimie Apigian MD, MS, MPH
Episode 5

How Genetics And Epigenetics Affect In-Utero Development, Part 1

Show Notes

Today on Biology of Trauma, I am joined by William Walsh, founder of the Walsh Institute. His mission is to bridge the gap between biochemistry and depression. In this episode, he expands on the interconnected relationship between genetics and epigenetics in utero.

Our biology is a delicate balance between our predisposed genetics and daily behaviors that influence our ever-fluctuating epigenetics; both determine our mental stability. Since our DNA is in a constant state of decay and reconstruction, epigenetics disorders only occur when the reconstruction of DNA is derailed by an emotional or physical insult to the mind or body that can lead to or exacerbate low serotonin depression. This can heavily impede the child’s development in a pregnant patient experiencing this mental state.

Continuous oxidative stress can lead to complications on a cellular level for not just the mother but the baby in utero. Umbilical cord testing proves the link between depleted folate levels caused by oxidative stress and the baby’s development issues. Dr. Walsh shares how you can identify epigenetic disorders and the tools to treat them.



  • [2:30] Folates, B12, and Pregnancy
  • [5:10] Umbilical cord blood testing confirms a direct influence of folates and B12 on babies’ DNA
  • [9:00] Genetics vs. Epigenetics in Utero
  • [10:30] Epigenetics define the rate of gene expression, and genetics determines the quality
  • [11:08] Epigenetics fluctuate daily, but a sufficient insult can permanently alter them
  • [11:50] The Role of Oxidative Stress
  • [17:00] An epigenetic disorder happens when the DNA cannot sufficiently recover
  • [22:00] Tools for Addressing Low Serotonin Depression
  • [23:30] Methionine & Sam-E can shut down the expression of the Reuptake gene called SERT
  • [24:45] 5 HTP supplements can raise serotonin levels in the brain.


Find more from Dr. Walsh:





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Products I recommend from this episode

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