This post is by the co-moderator and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tallbloke nor any other.
Image courtesy Wikipedia, one of a variety of shapes in an under researched subject,
“Definition of HORMESIS
: a theoretical phenomenon of dose-response relationships in which something (as a heavy metal or ionizing radiation) that produces harmful biological effects at moderate to high doses may produce beneficial effects at low doses”
– Merriam-webster dictionary. That is a poor definition and a political definition. It omits to mention the effect is common and in benign situations.
The effect is also one of the roots of homoeopathy where opposite effects are claimed at low doses, however this is taken into fairy land by the idiot faction, through to zero dose.
I’ve also come across a similar inverse effect mentioned in herbalism.
A nice instance of crazy opposite effects, in this case it seems individual related is Ritilin, a stimulant. “Ritalin tablets contain the active ingredient methylphenidate hydrochloride, which is a type of medicine called a stimulant. It is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.” — netdoctor
That is a crazy statement! It omits to mention the intent is for adults but is also used for the opposite effect mainly in children.
This is also in a way related to immunisation where exposure brings a protecting reaction. Keep in mind early explorers wiping out societies with infections where the explorers had immunity to their own bugs.
Dosage is an interesting subject and ought to be a highly and thoroughly researched subject. A lot of it is not, I go further, a lot of it pointedly not researched.
This is common with plenty of other fields.
A number of times on the Talkshop the subject of nuclear power has come up, including in articles and safety gets mentioned yet skated around. One of the hot issues is Hormesis, put bluntly many claim there is a linear effect between dosage of something and human illness or death.
I first started work in the nuclear research industry, which gives me an interest and perhaps more knowledge than Joe Public. Within the industry like so many area there is questionable “everyone knows”.
Personally I think the fear of ionising radiation is overblown but a fear from contamination does need caution… the media tend to be ignorant of the distinction as do the public.
So far as I know the actual evidence of harm from ionising radiation at low doses is at best very bad, strongly suggesting we evolved with radiation, which we did, and we tolerate it.
I am now going to point at a “dodgy” source of information where I would be very interested in opinions on whether what it says is accurate, because if so this is of great importance and would be damning.
Image from the pdf
Please keep comments polite and don’t go over the top or you will be snipped without warning.
Repeat, posted by the co-moderator.