Defining hormesis: the necessary tool to clarify experimentally the low dose-response relationship.


The authors comment on Calabrese and Baldwin's paper 'Defining Hormesis', which, to date, is the first attempt to provide a definition of hormesis that goes beyond the different interpretations of this phenomenon reported in the literature. While appreciating the effort made in this study to place hormesis in a general and at the same time specific context, the authors believe some clarifications are needed as regards the quantitative features of this phenomenon. In this connection, they speculate on whether Calabrese and Baldwin think it appropriate to include hormesis assessment criteria in the document, referring in particular to those reported in a previous paper. The authors share Calabrese and Baldwin's conclusion that future experimental models designed to study hormetic phenomena must necessarily include the time factor, which not only guarantees this phenomenon will be detected, but is also able to detect the specific type of hormesis.


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