Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Exp Toxicol. 2010 Apr;29(4):249-61. doi: 10.1177/0960327109363973.

Hormesis is central to toxicology, pharmacology and risk assessment.

Author information

Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Division, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.


This paper summarizes numerous conceptual and experimental advances over the past two decades in the study of hormesis. Hormesis is now generally accepted as a real and reproducible biological phenomenon, being highly generalized and independent of biological model, endpoint measured and chemical class/physical stressor. The quantitative features of the hormetic dose response are generally highly consistent, regardless of the model and mechanism, and represent a quantitative index of biological plasticity at multiple levels of biological organization. The hormetic dose-response model has been demonstrated to make far more accurate predictions of responses in low dose zones than either the threshold or linear at low dose models. Numerous therapeutic agents widely used by humans are based on the hormetic dose response and its low dose stimulatory characteristics. It is expected that as low dose responses come to dominate toxicological research that risk assessment practices will incorporate hormetic concepts in the standard setting process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center