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Of reductionism and the pendulum swing: connecting toxicology and human health.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22740779     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
In this contribution we will show that research in the field of toxicology, pharmacology and physiology is by and large characterised by a pendulum swing of which the amplitudes represent risks and benefits of exposure. As toxicology usually tests at higher levels than the populace routinely is exposed to, it reverts to mostly linear extrapolative models that express the risks of exposure, irrespective of dosages, only. However, as we will explicate in two examples, depending on dosages, it is less easy to separate risks and benefits than current toxicological research and regulatory efforts suggest. The same chemical compound, in the final analysis, is represented within the boundaries of both amplitudes, that is, show a biphasic, hormetic, dose-response. This is notable, as low-level exposures from the food-matrix are progressively more under scrutiny as a result of increasing analytical capabilities. Presence of low-level concentrations of a chemical in food is a regulatory proxy for human health, but in light of this hormetic dose-response objectionable. Moreover, given that an ecological threshold probably holds for most, if not all, man-made (bio)organic chemicals, these will be found to be naturally present in the food matrix. Both aspects require toxicology to close the gap between reductionist models and its extrapolative deficiencies and real-life scenarios.
Jaap C Hanekamp; Aalt Bast; Jan Hjm Kwakman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-07-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Dose-response : a publication of International Hormesis Society     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1559-3258     ISO Abbreviation:  Dose Response     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-28     Completed Date:  2012-10-02     Revised Date:  2013-05-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101308899     Medline TA:  Dose Response     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  155-76     Citation Subset:  -    
Roosevelt Academy, The Netherlands, University of Massachusetts, and Chemical Food Safety & Toxicity Working Group of the Global Harmonization Initiative.
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