Hormesis: principles and applications

Hormesis has emerged as a central concept in biological and biomedical sciences with significant implications for clinical medicine and environmental risk assessment. This paper assesses the historical foundations of the dose–response including the threshold, linear and hormetic models, the occurrence and frequency of the hormetic dose response in the pharmacological and toxicological literature, its quantitative and temporal features, and underlying mechanistic bases. Based upon this integrative foundation the application of hormesis to the process of risk assessment for non-carcinogens and carcinogens is explored.

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