epigeneticsOver the last thirty years, how many of you have noticed the rise in anxiety and depression? Have you also noticed an increase in ‘autoimmune’ disease(s)? Have you seen new treatments develop that are resolving these peoples’ suffering? Your answer to that last question is probably “no.”
According to a study commissioned by the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), a staggering 40 million American adults (and over 25% of American adolescents) are affected by anxiety disorders. Of those 40 million, 7 million suffer with general anxiety disorder, 15 million with social anxiety disorder, and 14.8 million with major depressive disorder. (1) The same study reveals that $42 billion per year are spent on anxiety disorder treatments, which averages to around $1,050 per person in a year. These statistics are actually from a 1999 study, so this data is almost 20 years old. I believe our rates of anxiety, depression, and autoimmune disease have increased in an exponential manner since these statistics were published.

Within our clinic, as high as 90 percent of our patients suffer with anxiety and depression along with other chronic illnesses. We observe that patients who come to us suffering with anxiety and/or depression are at high risk for developing chronic illnesses and autoimmune disease(s). More often than not, these patients are also suffering with fibromyalgia or Crohn’s disease, for example. You see, all the body’s ‘engines’ work together so if one systemic “engine” isn’t running properly, it affects the other engines as well.

The fields of Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics are new, cutting edge, technological breakthroughs in the overarching field of genetics. Epigenetics is a term used to identify how the environment interacts with our genes, while Nutrigenomics is the science of how nutrition interacts with our genes. The field of Nutrigenomics is revolutionizing our understanding of how to apply specific supplementation to meet an individual’s’ needs.
Epigenetics is a scientific, holistic and safe approach to resolve chronic illnesses and improve the quality of life which otherwise have been made worse with a multitude of detrimental side effects using outdated pharmaceutical approaches. Epigenetic research has shown that our environment can change our genetic structure far beyond what we inherited from our parents. Our lifestyle habits, environmental conditions and toxic exposure can change our genes to the point where those changes are passed on to our offspring. As we continue to develop our understanding of these various genetic mutations we will be even better at addressing the underlying cause of a variety health issues.

We are seeing unprecedented success rates with our patients with the use of genetic testing in addition to blood panels and brain chemical testing. With this combined patient data, we not only see what is wrong — causing them to be ill — but we can see the cause. Using this data, we are precise with nutritional protocols to address both the “wrong” and the “cause”.

This is an unprecedented step in the right direction for patients with unresolved illnesses who are still seeking answers and resolution to their ailments. By focusing on the body’s biochemistry and finding which genetic mutations are affecting it, we can shut off the “mal expression” of the gene and get individuals’ systemic “engines” running again!

We have been excited to work with Peoples Rx to provide community outreach and educational seminars on this topic! My next class at Peoples will be “The Gut Microbiome: Your Personal Fingerprint” on August 10 at 7 p.m. See you there!


Dr. Elena Villanueva, DC
Modern Holistic Health, Austin, TX
(512) 550-7933