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Hormesis and Homoeopathy

Hormesis and Homoeopathy

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The clinical utility of Hormesis has not been explored due to it association with HOMOEOPATHY. !
The clinical utility of Hormesis has not been explored due to it association with HOMOEOPATHY. !

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Published by: Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on Mar 08, 2010
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 A Publication of the Northeast Regional Environmental Public Health Center, University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health, Amherst, MA 01003
 Vol. 13 No. 2 Part I, September 2005, ISSN 1092-4736
Biological Effects of Low Level Exposures 
BIOMEDICAL IMPLICATIONS OFHORMESIS – PART 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION: BIOMEDICAL IMPLICATIONS OFHORMESIS – PART1
 Edward Calabrese...............................1
SHOULD WE EXPLORE THE CLINICAL UTILITY OFHORMESIS?
Wayne B. Jonas................................................2 
THE MANAGED IMMUNE SYSTEM: PROTECTING THE WOMB TO DELAY THE TOMB
Rodney R. Dietert and Michael S. Piepenbrink..........................................................7 
LOW-DOSE RADIATION AND ITS CLINICAL IMPLICA-TIONS: DIABETES
Guan-Jun Wang, Xiao-Kun Li,Kazuo Sakai and Lu Cai.....................................................12 
BREAST CANCER, CHEMOTHERAPY AND HORMESIS
Lorne J. Brandes.................................................................22 
NONLINEARITY IN BIOLOGY, TOXICOLOGY ANDMEDICINE JOURNAL
.....................................................28 
INTERNATIONAL HORMESIS SOCIETY 
.......................28 
IHS APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
..........................29 
 ADVISORY COMMITTEE
................................................31
While the hormesis concept has often been assessed within the context of its risk assessment implications, it is becoming more widely recognized that will also have at least as large and significant an impact on the biomedical sciences. Con- sequently, this issue of the BELLE News- letter is devoted to an exploration of some of the biomedical implications of hormesis.Since we believe that these articles repre- sent only the so-called tip of the iceberg in terms of biomedical implications of hormesis, we hope that this issue will encourage others to explore their areas of investigation. It is our hope that im-  proved knowledge of the dose response and their interactions with adaptive mecha- nisms will enable researchers to explore and find practical ways to enhance the health of patients and entire populations.The present contributions not only provide detailed and integrative information on this topic but also often point the direction where important developments are likely.
INTRODUCTION
 
2 BELLE Newsletter 
SHOULD WEEXPLORE THECLINICAL UTILITY OF HORMESIS?
 Wayne B. Jonas, MDDirector, Samueli Institute for Information Biology 1700 Diagonal RoadSuite 400 Alexandria, Virginia 22314Phone: 703-299-4800Fax: 703-535-6752Email: wjonas@siib.org John A. Ives, PhDSamueli Institute for Information Biology 1700 Diagonal RoadSuite 400 Alexandria, Virginia 22314Phone: 703-299-4800Fax: 703-535-6752Email: jives@siib.org
 ABSTRACT
The idea that low-dose adaptive effects as described inhormesis can be used clinically has been discussed forhundreds if not thousands of years. Paracelsus famousadage that “the dose makes the poison” and the commonfolk saying that one can be cured by “the hair of the dogthat bit you” speak to this idea. So why has so littleresearch been done on the possible clinical utility of hormesis? What areas of clinical hormesis seem to be themost promising to explore? This article examines theseconcepts and proposes some initial areas of research where the possible utility of hormeiss might be investi-gated.
 WHY HAS CLINICAL HORMESIS NOTBEEN DEVELOPED?
Given the growing literature on hormesis and its poten-tially wide clinical utility, why has research on the clinicaleffects of hormetic dose-responses not been moreextensively explored? We propose that a number of obstacles to the investigation of clinical hormesis haveprevented its development. These include an almost exclusive use of the term in toxicology, the inaccuratedefinition of hormesis in its early years, the association of hormesis with the fringe medical system called homeopa-thy, the powerful effects of pharmacology at high doses,and the disastrous effects of early, unscientific attemptsto clinically apply radiation hormesis.
Use and Definitions of Hormesis in Toxicology 
The term hormesis was coined by two toxicologists in1943 and its discussion has, until recently, remained as asmall discussion in the toxicology literature.
1
Its implica-tions remain focused mostly around environmental riskassessment. Only recently has the term been used in astandard textbook of pharmacology, yet most pharma-cologists we speak to are not familiar with the term. Theinitial definitions of hormesis revolved around stimula-tory effects of low-doses of toxins often emphasizing anapparent positive rather than adaptive, nature of sub-stances that were normally associated with adverseeffects.
2
This was interpreted by some skeptics as anattempt to push the beneficial nature of the area ratherthan more precisely define and understand the science. When Ed Calabrese and Linda Baldwin, two toxicolo-gists, began to show that hormetic dose-responses were widespread outside the field of toxiciology the discussionbegan to take on a more interdisciplinary nature, withthe recent creation of the professional association theInternational Hormesis Society.
3
Still, few physicians orclinical investigators are involved in this Society or thefield.
 Association with Homeopathy 
In contrast to toxicologists’ failure to discuss the clinicalimplications of hormesis, practitioners of the fringemedical system called homeopathy were more than willing to use the concept in an attempt to justify theirpractice. Schulz, one of the first to describe thehormetic phenomenon believed he had discovered theunderlying mechanism of homeopathy. This furthercontaminated any discussion of possible clinical use of the concept.
2
Homeopaths were ousted from main-stream medicine and often fought with conventionalpractitioners. In addition, they held to the irrationalclaim that dilutions beyond Avogadro’s number still hadeffects.
4
Some of their drugs were eventually founduseful in conventional medicine, although at higherdoses. Instead of clearly differentiating the study of clinical hormesis from homeopathy, however, many inthe field of hormesis avoided the concept all together,refusing to discuss or explore any clinical applications.This is unfortunate since the rising use of complemen-tary and alternative medicine has created an increasedinterest in the low-dose effects of chemicals in foods,herbs, and homeopathic substances as well as otherstimulatory interventions such as exercise and psycho-therapy.
5, 6
Hormesis may offer insights into the mecha-nisms of some of these therapies. For example, it ispossible that the reported effects from ultra-high dilu-tions in homeopathy are due to hormetic dose-responses
 
Vol. 13, No. 2 Part I, September 2005
secondary to the borosilicate contaminants derived fromthe glass in which these preparations are made. Most homeopathic medicines are made in glass and significant amounts of borosilicates contaminate their solutions.
7
Silicates are often bioactive. Thus, a likely explanationfor the reported effects in homeopathy is secondary silicate contamination.
The Power of Pharmacology 
It was around the same time the phenomenon of hormesis was being explored in toxicology, that thepowerful effects of high dose pharmacology was beingdemonstrated and widely used. These discoveries over-shadowed any interest in the clinical effects of low doses. Antibiotics, anesthetics, analgesics and chemotherapeu-tic agents produced such dramatic effects that the almost exclusive focus in pharmacology was on the discovery of new therapeutic agents and agents with lower toxicity,not the potential use of low-doses of drugs. At the sametime, misguided attempts to apply radiation hormesisresulted in disaster. When Eben Byers, a millionairepromoter of a radioactive “longevity tonic” calledRadithor, died of radiation poisoning in 1932, the idea of clinical applications of hormesis took another hit, sincehe had promoted the tonic as scientifically provenbecause of hormesis.
8
RESEARCH ON THE POSSIBLECLINICAL UTILITY OF HORMESIS
There is a growing literature on exploring the possibleutility of hormetic dose-response effects. Ed Calabreseand Linda Baldwin have summarized several areas of hormesis that may have clinical implications and applica-tions. Alzheimer’s, bone remineralization, tumor growthand revascularization, hair growth, and viral infectionsall have evidence of hormesis as an approach to treat-ment.
9
A recent special issue in
Critical Reviews in Toxicol- ogy 
focused on hormetic dose-response relationships inimmunology including its use in bacterial and viraldisease, lupus, Grave’s disease, acute respiratory diseases,and cancer.
10
Hormetic dose-response relationships may be the basis for treatment outside toxicology in areas of psychology and stress management.
11
There may be wide potential for clinical applications of hormesis. It is now well established that low-doses of toxic and infectious agents often stimulate growth, repairand protective processes in cells, animals and humans.These effects are found to occur with a number of toxins, drugs, viral, and bacterial agents includingenvironmental toxins and those used for chemical,biological, nuclear and radiation [CBRN] terrorist purposes.
12
Hormetic responses occur in various celllines, tissues, animal and plant species and humans andhave been observed after exposure to low levels of toxicchemicals
3, 13
, including heavy metals
14
, infectious agents
15
, as well as ionizing radiation
16
and in trauma.
17, 18
Exposure to low-level stressors can induce both generaland specific protective effects. Studies have demon-strated this occurs from exposure to ischemia, heat,hydrogen peroxide, nicotine, oxygen radicals, alcohol,heavy metals (e.g., cadmium, arsenic, lead), cytotoxicand carcinogenic agents used for chemotherapy (e.g.,adriamycin, cisplatinum), interleukin-1 (and othercytokines), gram-negative organisms and other stressors.
3, 18, 19
Reduced mortality as well as reduced cellular andorgan damage has been found in brain, liver, kidney,lung, muscle, and in a number of isolated cell lines. Is it possible to use such low-dose exposures to rapidly induceprotective and therapeutic effects to toxic exposures andstresses without causing harm?
20
Protective effects canoccur well below the no observable adverse effect level(NOAEL). Could hormesis offer an alternative approachfor the mitigation of a number of toxic and infectiousagents but with potentially wider application, safety andflexibility than current vaccine and anti-toxin ap-proaches?There are a number of examples whereby exposure tosub-toxic doses of otherwise toxic compounds confersprotection and treatment against higher toxic doses of the same or similar harmful compounds.
20
We call thisconcept Rapid Induction of Protective Tolerance(RIPT). RIPT occurs by inducing a stimulatory effect oncell repair, tolerance and protective processes. Onechallenge in the study of this area is that significant clinical effects would likely arise from a coordinated whole organism response of inherent [self-derived]healing and defense processes that are complex toinvestigate. The clinical value of hormesis may be most evident if multiple, redundant mechanisms are induced.
21, 9
Many cellular protective mechanisms are distinct fromimmune stimulation, like that produced by vaccines, yet immune mechanisms may enhance and extend a RIPTeffect.
10
If true, this would allow rapid use of hormesis ina wide variety of situations including terrorism, environ-mental toxicity, drug toxicity, cancer and emerginginfections such as influenza, SARS and Avian flu.
RECENT RESEARCH ON POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF HORMESIS
 We have been investigating the potential protectiveeffects of low level exposure using a number of toxins ina variety of studies. Our program on protective andtreatment effects examines the biological effects of lowlevel exposures to physical, chemical, and biologicalagents as a simple method for modulating the adverseeffects from exposure to higher doses of the same toxins.
22
The method could be applicable to self-treatment of toxin exposure by soldiers on the battlefield and forprotecting civilian populations from terrorist 

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