Welcome to More Than Healthy as we continue to share our weekly health tips. We’re talking about Tip #91, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and your health. To watch our weekly Video Tip, click this link. To listen to the audio podcast, click on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
What is SOD?
If you’ve never heard of Superoxide Dismutase – or SOD – you’re not alone. Most people haven’t. Carla learned about it in functional nutrition school. SOD is an antioxidant enzyme that’s found in all living cells within the body.
It’s crazy that most of us have never heard of it because it’s one of the most crucial antioxidants made within the body. SOD plays a significant role in fighting free radical damage and inflammation.
What does SOD do?
We talk a lot about the connection between inflammation and antioxidants here at More Than Healthy. SOD is a powerful enzyme that works to speed up chemical reactions in the body. It plays a critical role in reducing inflammation that’s associated with the formation of many life-threatening diseases.
I probably had a deficiency in this when I was dealing with neuropathy, all my gut issues, my arthritis, and my cancer. Those are all diseases that can be caused by too much inflammation. With inflammation in your body, your immune system is always on high alert, trying to deal with it. So when other issues come along, like cancer cells, your immune system is too overloaded to properly fight them.
Superoxide Dismutase is a powerful anti-inflammatory
But here’s the good news: When you have the right amount of the superoxide dismutase enzyme in your body, it is an anti-inflammatory agent. And research shows very encouraging results, proving that SOD is effective in treating both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.
One study showed that when SOD levels were measured in patients with chronic inflammation, their enzyme activity was significantly lower compared to healthy individuals.
Along those same lines, when we’re deficient in SOD, we can increase oxidative stress in the body. Like many things we’ve discussed in past videos, it’s a balancing act. When antioxidant levels in the body are lower than those of free radicals, we face major health concerns.
Do we actually need free radicals?
You might be surprised to learn this, given all the bad press free radicals get, but we need free radicals for proper immune function. They are naturally produced as byproducts of cellular reactions, breathing oxygen, and metabolizing foods. Free radicals are produced by the liver for detoxification and to destroy damaged cells, bacteria, and viruses.
The problem with free radicals is that they constantly want to react with cells in order to steal one of their electrons. These previously well-functioning cells become unstable, because they are now missing an electron. This creates a chain reaction within the body and produces even more free radicals.
What is oxidative stress?
Ultimately, an abundance of electron-hungry free radicals can destroy healthy cells and tissues, harming and aging our bodies over time. This is referred to as oxidative stress. The higher the number of free radicals in the body, the higher the rate of many degenerative diseases and signs of aging.
Superoxide Dismutase plays an important role in preventing, minimizing, and/or slowing down these diseases and signs of aging. Research shows that SOD plays a vital role in the antioxidant defense against oxidative stress in the body.
Additional benefits of Superoxide Dismutase
Another benefit of the right amount of SOD is it can boost skin health, and who doesn’t want that? It’s put in skin creams to reduce free radical damage to the skin and lower signs of aging. Studies show that SOD actually binds directly to collagen. This means it is a first line of defense in protecting your skin from oxidative damage.
Additionally, SOD’s antioxidant effects can help wound healing, soften scar tissue and protect skin against UV rays.
Studies show that the right amount of SOD can help fight cardiovascular-related diseases like high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and diabetic complications.
I am interested in absolutely anything that can help protect me from neurological decline as I age. Studies show that higher amounts of SOD in the brain help prevent memory deficits and amyloid plaque formations – the telltale sign of Alzheimer’s.
Superoxide Dismutase is considered a “diagnostic biomarker” for early detection of autism. That’s because studies show that children with autism had significantly lower levels of SOD in their blood.
Superoxide Dismutase can help fight cancer, too.
I was really interested in a study in Free Radical Biology & Medicine that showed high levels of SOD inhibit tumor growth and metastasis, indicating its role as a tumor suppressor.
Since I’ve had lots of tumor cancers in the past, I’m always looking for ways to prevent them from coming back. New studies reveal that SOD inhibits the initial formation of tumor cells in the body. I think everyone would be interested in anything that can prevent tumor formation!
How can I get more Superoxide Dismutase naturally?
Here at More Than Healthy, we always recommend trying to get your vitamins and minerals from healthy foods first. There are many wonderful, delicious foods that have high levels of SOD. Check out this list:
- Brussel sprouts
- Barley grass
- Mustard leaves
- Honeydew melon
- Pumpkin seeds
Those are all foods I like, so it’s easy for me to add them to my diet. However, if you find those are foods that you struggle with or if you eat them and you’re still low on SOD, then we can suggest a supplement for you. It’s from Optimal Health Systems, and it’s called Optimal Acute. It has copper, zinc, and manganese, all minerals that have been shown to increase SOD and decrease inflammation.
We can wholeheartedly recommend OHS products, as they are produced from whole foods. Your body can utilize these vitamins and minerals much more efficiently and effectively than a synthetic supplement.
How can I know if I’m low in Superoxide Dismutase?
With just a few strands of your hair, you receive a full report looking at toxins, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, electromagnetic frequency exposure, chemicals, radiation, parasites, immune factors, and foods you should avoid.
Our hair analysis also includes a 15-minute consultation with Carla to review the results and recommend 3 or 4 things you can do to help improve your health.
Go to our website to learn more. You can schedule a local hair analysis or order it online to be mailed to you today.
Want to learn more about Superoxide Dismutase?
Do you have any questions about this important antioxidant? You can ask us on our social media pages on Facebook or Instagram (@morethanhealthyliving) We try to respond to all questions.
We’d love to become your health coaches as you work to become “more than healthy” and achieve optimal health. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next week.
Note: Remember, we’re not doctors. We’re sharing with you what’s worked for us on our health journey. You will want to consult your doctor before significantly changing your diet and supplementation.