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Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is a naturally occurring detoxification enzyme which provides important antioxidant defence in the body. Superoxide dismutase converts superoxide (02-) to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide can also lead to dangerous hydroxyl radicals, thus superoxide dismutase co-operates with other enzymes such as catalase and glutathione peroxidases to inactivate hydrogen peroxide. The conversion of superoxide to hydrogen peroxide means that superoxide is prevented from exerting oxidative damage to cells and surrounding tissue.
Superoxide dismutase relies on such trace minerals as copper, zinc, and manganese in order to function. Copper-SOD for example is important for regulating vascular levels of superoxide; Manganese-SOD is activated during acute inflammation. Superoxide dismutase deficiency is associated to such diseases as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (familial dominant form) and Alzheimer's disease.
Melons, including honey dew, casaba and cantaloupe, contain the SOD enzyme. Wheat, corn and soy sprouts also have high concentrations of SOD. However, stomach acids and digestive enzymes easily destroy the SOD molecule, leaving effectively no SOD to enter the bloodstream.
The main uses for superoxide dismutase include:
- Osteoarthritis, 
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Premature Infants
- Senile Cataracts
The recommended dosages have not yet been established. To determine what your specific requirements are talk to your naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional.
- Oral doses are not effective as they do not reach tissues.
- SOD may be prescribed as an injection for certain conditions.
The safety precautions of Superoxide dismutase include:
- Injections with superoxide dismutase may lead to anaphylactic shock in some individuals. Symptoms include immediate and severe itching, paleness, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and coma.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Not recommended without medical supervision.
- Pizzorno Joseph E, Murray Michael T (1999) Textbook of Natural Medicine, Elsevier.
- Scott JL, Gabrielides C, Davidson RK, Swingler TE, Clark IM, Wallis GA, Boot-Handford RP, Kirkwood TB, Taylor RW, Young DA (Aug 2010) Superoxide dismutase downregulation in osteoarthritis progression and end-stage disease. Ann Rheum Dis;69(8):1502-10.
- Gammer W, Brobäck LG (1984) Clinical comparison of orgotein and methylprednisolone acetate in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Scand J Rheumatol;13(2):108-12.
- Davis JM, Parad RB, Michele T, Allred E, Price A, Rosenfeld W (Mar 2003) Pulmonary outcome at 1 year corrected age in premature infants treated at birth with recombinant human CuZn superoxide dismutase. Pediatrics;111(3):469-76.