Homeopathy 2015; 104(02): 139-160
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2015.02.002
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2015

Cell sensitivity, non-linearity and inverse effects

Paolo Bellavite
1   Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy
Andrea Signorini
2   Medical Office, Via Molinara 14, 37135 Verona, Italy
Marta Marzotto
1   Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy
Elisabetta Moratti
1   Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy
Clara Bonafini
1   Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy
Debora Olioso
1   Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received22 May 2014
revised27 January 2015

accepted03 February 2015

Publication Date:
23 December 2017 (online)

It has been claimed that the homeopathic principle of ‘similarity’ (or ‘similia’) and the use of individualized remedies in extremely low doses conflicts with scientific laws, but this opinion can be disputed on the basis of recent scientific advances. Several mechanisms to explain the responsiveness of cells to ultra-low doses and the similarity as inversion of drug effects, have again been suggested in the framework of hormesis and modern paradoxical pharmacology. Low doses or high dilutions of a drug interact only with the enhanced sensitivities of regulatory systems, functioning as minute harmful stimuli to trigger specific compensatory healing reactions. Here we review hypotheses about homeopathic drug action at cellular and molecular levels, and present a new conceptual model of the principle of similarity based on allosteric drug action. While many common drugs act through orthostatic chemical interactions aimed at blocking undesired activities of enzymes or receptors, allosteric interactions are associated with dynamic conformational changes and functional transitions in target proteins, which enhance or inhibit specific cellular actions in normal or disease states. The concept of allostery and the way it controls physiological activities can be broadened to include diluted/dynamized compounds, and may constitute a working hypothesis for the study of molecular mechanisms underlying the inversion of drug effects.

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