Homeopathy 2015; 104(02): 116-122
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2015.02.008
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2015

Hormetic effects of extremely diluted solutions on gene expression

Andrea Dei
1   Department of Chemistry, INSTM Research Unit, University of Florence, Via della Lastruccia, 3, 50019 Sesto F.no, Florence, Italy
Simonetta Bernardini
2   Societá Italiana di Omeopatia e Medicina Integrata (SIOMI), Research Unit, Via Orti Oricellari 26, 50123 Florence, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received18 July 2014
revised27 December 2014

accepted19 February 2015

Publication Date:
19 December 2017 (online)

This paper summarizes the results of investigations showing how molecular biological tools, such as DNA-microarrays, can provide useful suggestions about the behaviour of human organisms treated with microamounts of drugs or homeopathic medicines. The results reviewed here suggest firstly that the action of drugs is not quenched by ultra-high dilution and proceeds through modulation of gene expressions. The efficacy of drug solutions seems to be maintained in ultra-highly diluted preparations, a fact which constitutes a challenge to the dogma of quantization of matter.

The second and more important result is that the different gene expression profiles of cell systems treated with the same drugs at different dilutions suggest the existence of hormetic mechanisms. The gene expression profiles of cells treated with copper(II) sulfate, Gelsemium sempervirens and Apis mellifica, are characterized by the same common denominator of the concentration-dependent inversion of gene expression, which can justify at a molecular level the concept of simile adopted in homeopathy.

The main conclusion we draw from these results is that these procedures provide new kinds of information and a tool for disclosing the mechanisms involved in hormetic effects. The application of these effects to modern medicine may allow researchers to conceive unprecedented therapeutic applications or to optimize the currently used ones in the framework of a low-dose pharmacology based on a reliable experimental platform.