External Stimuli: New Issue of the DZG Magazine SYNERGIE

Air pollution, noise or microorganisms - our health is influenced by many external factors. The totality of these factors is referred to as the exposome. In the current issue of SYNERGIE, the magazine of the German Centers for Health Research, we show what possibilities research into the exposome offers for the detection and treatment of diseases.


Our environment influences us through various chemical and physical stimuli. These include air pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, viruses and bacteria, chemicals from everyday products and the increasing heat caused by climate change. These stimuli not only affect our barrier organs such as the lungs, skin and gastrointestinal tract, but also have an impact on our entire body.

Exposure to environmental influences can make you ill
Exposome is a term that evolved around 20 years ago in connection with progress in chemical analysis. It describes the total stress to which we are exposed in the course of our lives. This exposure includes all the environmental influences we encounter and how they affect biochemical and metabolic processes in our bodies. It is estimated that two thirds of chronic non-communicable diseases are due to the effects of the exposome.

As a general principle, the factors of the exposome must affect the human body for a long time in order to cause damage. For example, before someone develops diabetes, they must have been exposed to harmful environmental factors for a long time. At the same time, it has been observed that the risk of a heart attack is significantly higher after just a few days of higher concentrations of air pollutants or heat. The good news is that such risks then quickly decrease again.

You can find out more about how the exposome affects our health and how to reduce the risk of illness in the current issue of SYNERGIE.

SYNERGIE – the magazine of the German Centers for Health Research (DZG)
The DZG present current highlights from their research in the SYNERGIE magazine. Interested readers can find out how the work of the DZG contributes to better treatment or even prevention of the major common diseases. The DZG magazine is published twice a year in print.

The online magazine is available here (German only).
SYNERGIE – Das Magazin der DZG (

You can subscribe to SYNERGIE magazine free of charge.
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The German Centers for Health Research – Research for health
The German Centers for Health Research (DZG) are looking for new therapies and ways to prevent diabetes, infections, lung diseases, cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and mental illnesses - so that patients feel better. Seven centers in 104 partner institutions in Germany are working on it.

Further information:
DZG – German Centers for Health Research