A Perspective on the Scientific, Philosophical, and Policy Dimensions of Hormesis

Hoffmann, George R.
January 2009
Dose-Response;2009, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
The hormesis concept has broad implications for biology and the biomedical sciences. This perspective on hormesis concentrates on toxicology and toxicological risk assessment and secondarily explores observations from other fields. It considers the varied manifestations of hormesis in the context of a broad family of biological stress responses. Evidence for hormesis is reviewed, and the hormesis model is contrasted with more widely accepted dose-response models in toxicology: a linear nonthreshold (LNT) model for mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, and a threshold model for most other toxicologic effects. Scientific, philosophical, and political objections to the hormesis concept are explored, and complications in the hormesis concept are analyzed. The review concludes with a perspective on the current state of hormesis and challenges that the hormesis model poses for risk assessment.


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