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Superoxide Dismutase, the Enzyme of Youth

I have occasionally noticed that some people who eat a wholesome diet and live a healthy lifestyle age prematurely. I have also occasionally noticed other people who eat an unhealthy diet and live an unhealthy lifestyle seem to age gracefully. And I believe the key role in the aging process of both situations is genetics, more specifically enzyme levels, and in particular an enzyme called superoxide dismutase.

hands_old_woman_wrinkles_sweater_picLevels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes can vary greatly in individuals. Optimal levels of SOD may be one of the keys to aging slowly and gracefully and living to a ripe old age.

Superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant enzyme found in almost all living cells. It has the largest catalytic efficiency of any known enzyme. Catalytic efficiency means that it creates a more efficient and quicker chemical reaction.

SOD enzymes destroy harmful free radicals inside our bodies that are formed from stressful events and also destroy those free radicals formed during normal metabolic cell processes. Scientists have discovered that as humans age, SOD levels drop while free radical levels increase.

Superoxide Dismutase acts enzymatically to repair cells and reduce the damage done to them by superoxide, the most common free radical in the human body.

SOD enzymes are dependent on minerals, especially zinc, copper, and manganese. If we run low on any of these minerals, it could lead to a deficiency of SOD inside our bodies. So you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough high quality minerals.

grass_green_picEven plants manufacture and use these same SOD enzymes to protect themselves from being oxidized by reactive oxygen species (ROS). [1]

SOD is currently being used to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis and other joint conditions, burn victims, prostate disorders, Parkinson's disease, and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Some SOD products are extracted from animals. There is reason for concern about contamination from diseased animals because heat sterilization of these enzymes would also render the enzymes inactive. Plant sources are always a better choice when it comes to enzymes.

SOD is found in wheatgrass, barley grass, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and other green plants. Yet another benefit of consuming nutrient rich green food!

Two of the top selling brands of cold processed green superfoods—Sunwarrior and Garden of Life—were recently tested for their SOD content. The results were as follows. Anything over 500 MFU/g is really good. (MF unit stands for McCord-Fridovich, which is the international unit for SOD measurement. MFU/g stands for the number of mf units per gram.)

greens-bothOrmus Supergreens Natural: 902 MFU/g

Ormus Supergreens Peppermint: 646 MFU/g

Garden of Life greens: 539 MFU/g

I have personally been using Ormus Supergreens for the last several years. I really enjoy the way it tastes, but more importantly I love the way it makes me feel! Perhaps it’s not just the super high nutrient levels and the chlorophyll but the high SOD levels that make me feel so awesome after I consume it!

Craig B Sommers, ND, CN

[1] Jump up to:a b Alscher RG, Erturk N, Heath LS (May 2002). "Role of superoxide dismutases (SODs) in controlling oxidative stress in plants". J. Exp. Bot.53 (372): 1331–41.

[2] Heinrich, Peter; Georg Löffler; Petro E. Petrides (2006). Biochemie und Pathobiochemie (Springer-Lehrbuch) (German Edition). Berlin: Springer. p. 123. ISBN 3-540-32680-4.

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