One of the primary benefits of superoxide dismutase is to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Superoxide dismutase benefits many diseases associated with chronic inflammation, as excess inflammation underlies many health problems. Optimal superoxide dismutase levels are critical for reducing health problems related to increased inflammation such as aging, diabetes and arthritis.
Superoxide dismutase is one of the top antioxidant enzymes that helps to break down harmful oxygen molecules that cause free radical damage. It is a potent antioxidant that helps protect against oxidative stress in the body.
As the body ages, SOD levels often drop, making people more prone to oxidative stress and all the various diseases associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation due to weakened antioxidant defenses.
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Increased levels of oxidative stress and inflammation are associated with many diseases, including:
- neurodegenerative diseases
- rheumatoid arthritis
- and even cancer
Maintaining the internal antioxidant defense is crucial to protect against the build-up of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
The superoxide dismutase enzymes play a critical role in reducing oxidative stress by breaking down reactive oxygen species (ROS). Excessive levels of ROS cause tissue damage and excess inflammation.
What is Superoxide dismutase?
Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that breaks down the superoxide free radical (O₂⁻) into molecular oxygen (O₂) and hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂)
The superoxide free radical is a by-product of oxygen metabolism. The health benefits of superoxide dismutase breaking down superoxide radicals include:
preventing the denaturation of enzymes
prevents oxidized lipids
prevents fragmented DNA
The SOD enzyme must break down the superoxide free radical to prevent damage caused by oxidative stress.
Superoxide dismutase benefits to reduce oxidative stress
A primary benefit of superoxide dismutase is reducing oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons, such as superoxide free radicals.
The superoxide free radical needs to be broken down by the superoxide dismutase enzyme; otherwise, oxidative stress will build up in the body.
The superoxide free radical is broken down into molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, but the hydrogen peroxide still needs to be reduced further by glutathione into water. Glutathione is another crucial antioxidant produced by the body to combat excess inflammation.
Antioxidants are molecules that scavenge free radicals in the body by donating an electron to make them less reactive. Antioxidants are found in fruit and vegetables, which is why a high plant-based diet rich in antioxidants plays a crucial role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Blueberries are one of the top antioxidant-rich fruits that squelch free radicals.
What causes oxidative stress?
Inflammation and oxidative stress are natural defenses in response to pathogens such as viral or bacterial infections, injury to tissues, exposure to allergens that stimulate an inflammatory immune reaction, and toxic chemicals.
As part of the body’s immune response, immune cells such as lymphocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils release superoxide free radicals and hydrogen peroxide to fight pathogens.
As a result of fighting infections, oxidative stress and inflammation levels are increased and need to be broken down by antioxidants in the body, such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione, so that these free radicals do not continue to cause tissue damage.
Oxidative stress is also produced as a result of the mitochondria using oxygen to make ATP (energy) in the body. The manganese superoxide dismutase enzyme is located in mitochondria to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage.
The benefits of superoxide dismutase are far-reaching due to the role of SOD in protecting the mitochondria. Having healthy mitochondria is crucial for optimal health in the body. We rely upon the mitochondria to make energy so that all the processes in the body can be carried out.
Superoxide dismutase and aging
Superoxide dismutase is considered an anti-aging enzyme and prevents skin aging by promoting collagen production. The accumulation of oxidative damage is a cause of aging, especially when the mitochondria are the main target of attack from reactive oxygen molecules.
Due to superoxide dismutase’s antioxidant benefits and ability to reduce harmful free radicals in the skin, it is used in many skincare products to prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. It also helps with wound healing and protects against sun damage and other signs of aging.
Superoxide dismutase benefits for rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints and is characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints. Increased oxidative stress and low antioxidant status, including low superoxide dismutase levels is a critical part of the development of arthritis.
Low superoxide dismutase activity has been found to be deficient in people with arthritis. The administration of liposomal superoxide dismutase has been shown to have a positive effect in the treatment of arthritis.
Superoxide dismutase and diabetes
Research that I find fascinating is the link between increased reactive oxygen species and weakened antioxidant defenses. Even though I lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet, in the past, I have had symptoms of insulin resistance and mild gestational diabetes. I also have SNP’s in the SOD enzyme, which means I likely have reduced levels of SOD.
Increased oxidative stress plays a significant role in the development of diabetes, and persistent hyperglycemia stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species via various sources. According to research, the overproduction of reactive oxygen species inhibits an important enzyme in the glycolytic pathway leading to the accumulation of glucose that needs to be used in alternative pathways of glucose metabolism along with more advanced glycation end products being produced.
In a study in diabetic animals, superoxide dismutase has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the liver. Extracellular superoxide dismutase has also been shown to protect against the progression of diabetic nephropathy.
Testing for SNPs in the SOD enzyme
Through using Strategene DNA testing, I was able to run my genetic report. I discovered that I am homozygous in the MnSOD SNP, which means I have a decreased ability to neutralize these superoxide free radicals that leads to inflammation when elevated.
One of my health concerns that I could never figure out was having inflammation in my very reactive skin, which would sunburn easily, and turn red when touched with a ruddy appearance in my face.
Seeing how I am prone to excess oxidative stress and inflammation just through the necessary metabolism of the mitochondria making energy, made a lot of sense to me.
I am also prone to inflammation in my joints, which is associated with increased oxidative stress and low antioxidant status. Low superoxide dismutase levels have been found in people who have rheumatoid arthritis.
Knowing this means it is increasingly important for me to eat an antioxidant-rich diet and foods high in superoxide dismutase to protect against reactive oxygen species such as the superoxide free radical.
Manganese is the co-factor for the MnSOD enzyme to function. Ensuring that enough manganese is obtained and absorbed through the diet is needed to help the SOD enzyme fight free radicals.
Blackberries are one of the richest sources of manganese. This blackberry beet smoothie is fantastic for supporting the SOD enzyme and reducing inflammation.
Identifying what is causing inflammation and immune reactions such as gut infections, food sensitivities, leaky gut, and SIBO are also essential components to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Superoxide dismutase supplement benefits
The primary benefit of superoxide dismutase supplements is to boost antioxidant activity and reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation is a critical part of healing the body, and many health problems, as excess inflammation causes tissue damage.
Inflammation is not all bad, as it is required for an immune response to kill pathogens, but ongoing excess inflammation is damaging and must be kept in check with antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase.
Supplementing with superoxide dismutase can be beneficial for anyone with SNPs in the MnSOD gene. Someone with low antioxidant activity and increased levels of oxidative stress can also benefit from a superoxide dismutase supplement, as the SOD enzyme is one of the body’s primary antioxidants to protect against free radical damage.
The oral administration of superoxide dismutase has many benefits associated with decreased oxidative stress that is linked to aging, diabetes, and arthritis. Boost your body’s antioxidant defenses and reap all the superoxide dismutase benefits when you take a high-quality SOD enzyme supplement such as the one by Seeking Health.