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Volume 11 (2011), Pages 568-583
Research Article

Investigation of Arsenic-Stressed Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a Bioassay in Homeopathic Basic Research

1Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Switzerland
2Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland
3Society for Cancer Research, Hiscia Institute, Arlesheim, Switzerland
4Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, University of Oldenburg, Germany
5Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany

Received 29 September 2010; Revised 29 December 2010; Accepted 18 January 2011

Academic Editor: Beate Stock-Schrör

Copyright © 2011 Tim Jäger et al.


This study investigated the response of arsenic-stressed yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) towards homeopathically potentized Arsenicum album, a duckweed nosode, and gibberellic acid. The three test substances were applied in five potency levels (17x, 18x, 24x, 28x, 30x) and compared to controls (unsuccussed and succussed water) with respect to influencing specific growth parameters. Five independent experiments were evaluated for each test substance. Additionally, five water control experiments were analyzed to investigate the stability of the experimental setup (systematic negative control experiments). All experiments were randomized and blinded. Yeast grew in microplates over a period of 38 h in either potentized substances or water controls with 250 mg/l arsenic(V) added over the entire cultivation period. Yeast's growth kinetics (slope, Et50, and yield) were measured photometrically. The test system exhibited a low coefficient of variation (slope 1.2%, Et50 0.3%, yield 2.7%). Succussed water did not induce any significant differences compared to unsuccussed water. Data from the control and treatment groups were both pooled to increase statistical power. In this study with yeast, no significant effects were found for any outcome parameter or any homeopathic treatment. Since in parallel experiments arsenic-stressed duckweed showed highly significant effects after application of potentized Arsenicum album and duckweed nosode preparations from the same batch as used in the present study, some specific properties of this experimental setup with yeast must be responsible for the lacking response.