Hormesis is the dynamic where exposure to a low-dose or short-term exposure induces a beneficial physiological response. Examples of hormetic stressors include exercise, fasting, oxidative stress, caloric restriction, cold, radiation, and heat. Hormetic stressors exert different effects but many activate common or similar pathways. For example, exercise, fasting, and cold and heat exposure all induce the expression of heat shock proteins.
Benefits[edit | edit source]
When the human body is activated by environmental stressors, it enters a state of hormesis. A 2008 study found that hormesis causes mitochondrial biogenesis. Patients with ME/CFS have been show to have reduced mitochondrial function, so this is why thermotherapy or cryotherapy may be beneficial.
Chronic fatigue syndrome[edit | edit source]
Robert Naviaux found subjects with ME/CFS exhibited the opposite metabolic and phospholipid profile to that found in acute cell danger response, perhaps in response to a chronic cell danger signaling, such as a chronic infection. It is unclear what role, then, hormesis might play in patients with ME/CFS. Many patients as a function of the disease have a diminished ability to respond to hormetic challenges such as exercise, cold or heat. At the same time, some patients report improvement with intermittent fasting or sauna therapy.
Jamie Deckoff-Jones, MD has found success with normobaric oxygen therapy in patients with ME/CFS. She observed that periodic treatment was significantly more effective than continuous. This observation can be attributed to the benefit of allowing cells to repair via hormesis.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Sano, Fukuda, Motoaki, Keiichi (November 2008). "Activation of Mitochondrial Biogenesis by Hormesis". Circulation Research. 103.
- Naviaux, Robert. "Metabolic features of chronic fatigue syndrome". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Deckoff-Jones, MD, Jamie. "The Most Overlooked, Effective Prescription Drug". GreenMedInfo.
mitochondria - Important parts of the biological cell, with each mitochondrion encased within a mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondria are best known for their role in energy production, earning them the nickname "the powerhouse of the cell". Mitochondria also participate in the detection of threats and the response to these threats. One of the responses to threats orchestrated by mitochondria is apoptosis, a cell suicide program used by cells when the threat can not be eliminated.
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A controversial term, invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that generally refers to a collection of symptoms as “fatigue”. There have been multiple attempts to come up with a set of diagnostic criteria to define this term, but few of those diagnostic criteria are currently in use. Previous attempts to define this term include the Fukuda criteria and the Oxford criteria. Some view the term as a useful diagnostic category for people with long-term fatigue of unexplained origin. Others view the term as a derogatory term borne out of animus towards patients. Some view the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, while others view myalgic encephalomyelitis as a distinct disease.