Hormesis International

Hormesis is at the heart of our product development. All our food supplements burst with a unique combination of botanicals providing your body with a specific hormetic effect.


Simply put, hormesis means that a suitable dose of external or interal stimuli activates a positive response in your body, such as improvements in the immune system or increase in vitality.

For example ice bathing, where you momentarily expose yourself to extremely cold water, will boost the body’s immune system and blood circulation. In other words, ice bathing provides a hormetic effect. Other similar stimuli are for example fasting, exercise, sauna bathing, sunlight or specific foodstuffs.

Did you know that the working mechanism of vaccinations is similar to hormesis? When vaccination is administered, the body gets a small dose of stimuli which activates its in-built defense mechanisms.

This is a matter of a general stress tolerance reaction in the body’s cells. The response is activated when an appropriate dose of specific stress factors are entering the body. The resulting hormetic reaction means that the cells try to restore the body’s balance, also called homeostasis. Consequently, many functions of your body, such as detoxification, energy production and immune system, are activated.  The key factor here is that the dose of the stress factor is appropriately small and short in duration for it to bring the most beneficial effect for body and mind.

The above diagram depicts typical mild/transient stress factors that trigger adaptive cellular responses, resulting in enhanced health and wellbeing.


Hormesis can be activated in the cells as a result of phytonutrients inherent in food and botanicals. The botanical chemicals found in plants, such as flavonoids, are so called beneficial contaminants. Contaminants refer to all substances except nutrients and the body processes them separately from other nutrients. Botanical polyphenols often refer to compounds that the plant uses to protect itself from environmental harm. The botanicals rich in polyphenols activate the hormetic mechanisms of the body and consequently the body begins to produce its own efficient antioxidant molecules and other protective molecules. Plants contain hundreds of different botanical chemicals which stimulate the body to function more efficiently. This is why NORDIQ Nutrition supplements also contain such an abundance of various botanicals! 


Think purple in grapes or red cabbage. The color pigments found in these colourful plants are rich in polyphenols. The widely researched Mediterranean diet where a lot of vegetables are eaten, contains plenty of polyphenols and other nutrients. It has been found to remarkably decrease the onset of various illnesses, such as memory disorders, depression or cardiovascular diseases. Green tea, blueberries, olive oil, red wine, citrus fruits, hibiscus tea, soya, dark chocolate, curcumin and many other spices and herbs are among the most researched ingredients rich with polyphenols and positive health effects.


To make the most of the health benefits provided by polyphenols and other botanical nutrients, you do not actually need to consume great amounts of them, while it is still recommended to eat your greens and other vegetables every day.  Even small amounts of cleverly selected phytonutrients in daily food supplements may activate the built-in antioxidant and defense mechanisms in the body. We have added an abundance of hormetically effective botanicals to all NORDIQ Nutrition food supplements, such as tumeric, garlic, lingonberry, rosemary, olive leaf, resveratrol of grapes and varieties of cabbages. These carefully selected, hormetically effective and fresh freeze-dried, plant-based powders are an excellent addition to complement your diet. What is more, they are also easily absorbed through the digestive tract. What this means is that you get more than usual from our food supplements. In addition to vitamins, minerals and other bioactive ingredients, your body will be triggered by the botanicals, stimulating it to reach its natural peak condition.

To learn more about hormesis, please refer to the scientific references below.

The hormetic zone

The hormetic zone is essentially the ‘sweet spot’, where the dosage amout offers the most significant beneficial effect. Typically, the dose-response reveals low dose stimulation (i.e. greatest efficacy) and high dose inhibition (reduced efficacy).