From Longevity Wiki

Hormesis (from the Greek word "normao", meaning "to excite") is a biological phenomenon in which a beneficial effect (such as increased lifespan, stress tolerance, or growth) results from exposure to low doses of a potentially harmful substance or condition (such as heat, radiation, or toxins).[1] Hormesis is characterized by a dose-response relationship, in which a low dose of a stressor produces a positive effect, while a high dose produces a negative effect. Hormesis is studied in different areas of biology, such as in the response of cells to environmental stressors or toxins.

Some researchers have proposed that hormesis may play a role in the aging process. Certain types of cellular stress, such as caloric restriction and exposure to mild toxins, have been shown to extend lifespan in a variety of animal models.[2][3] Mild dietary restriction without malnutrition has demonstrated able to prevent the onset or to decrease the severity of several age-related diseases, such as cancer, neurodegeneration or cardiovascular diseases.[4] Heat-shock or cold-shock responses are also considered to be hormesis mechanisms.[5][6]

  1. Mattson MP. Hormesis defined. Ageing Res Rev. 2008 Jan;7(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2007.08.007. Epub 2007 Dec 5. PMID: 18162444; PMCID: PMC2248601.
  2. Kouda, K. and Iki, M. (2010) “Beneficial effects of mild stress (hormetic effects): Dietary restriction and health,” Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 29(4), pp. 127–132. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2114/jpa2.29.127.
  3. Masoro EJ. Role of hormesis in life extension by caloric restriction. Dose Response. 2006 Aug 19;5(2):163-73. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.06-005.Masoro. PMID: 18648602; PMCID: PMC2477693.
  4. Flanagan, E. W., Most, J., Mey, J. T., & Redman, L. M. (2020). Calorie Restriction and Aging in Humans. Annual Review of Nutrition, 40, 105-133.
  5. Mane NR, Gajare KA, Deshmukh AA. Mild heat stress induces hormetic effects in protecting the primary culture of mouse prefrontal cerebrocortical neurons from neuropathological alterations. IBRO Rep. 2018 Nov 14;5:110-115. doi: 10.1016/j.ibror.2018.11.002. PMID: 30519667; PMCID: PMC6260229.
  6. Rattan SI. Hormetic modulation of aging and longevity by mild heat stress. Dose Response. 2006 May 22;3(4):533-46. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.003.04.008. PMID: 18648625; PMCID: PMC2477195.