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  Superoxide Dismutase  
 
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Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an antiinflammatory, antioxidant enzyme produced by the body that protects against joint inflammation. Although SOD has been sold as a supplement, animal research shows that oral SOD is destroyed by the digestive system before it can repair damaged joints. Responsible scientists presume the same is true for humans, and there remains no evidence supporting the use of oral SOD supplements. Additional research with enteric-coated tablets of active SOD may provide new routes of administration in the future for use in inflammatory disorders.

Nevertheless, three minerals are needed by the body to make its own SOD: zinc, copper and manganese. Deficient levels of copper and manganese will lower SOD levels in animals. Moreover, copper-deficient humans have low SOD levels which increase with copper supplementation. Supplementing copper in patients with rheumatoid arthritis has also been reported to increase SOD levels.
 

 
 

Superoxide Dismutase can help with the following:
 
 
Autoimmune  Crohn's Disease
 A study from France demonstrated the use of an antioxidant called superoxide dismutase and desferoxamine (an iron chelating drug) which allowed 82% of severe Crohn's patients to go into remission.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Rheumatoid Arthritis
 In a Danish study, arthritis patients were treated with injections of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme containing copper (or manganese and zinc) that is found within the cells. Many obtained relief from symptoms such as joint swelling, pain and morning stiffness.
 
 


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GLOSSARY

Anti-inflammatory:  Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.

Antioxidant:  A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Copper:  An essential mineral that is a component of several important enzymes in the body and is essential to good health. Copper is found in all body tissues. Copper deficiency leads to a variety of abnormalities, including anemia, skeletal defects, degeneration of the nervous system, reproductive failure, pronounced cardiovascular lesions, elevated blood cholesterol, impaired immunity and defects in the pigmentation and structure of hair. Copper is involved in iron incorporation into hemoglobin. It is also involved with vitamin C in the formation of collagen and the proper functioning in central nervous system. More than a dozen enzymes have been found to contain copper. The best studied are superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome C oxidase, catalase, dopamine hydroxylase, uricase, tryptophan dioxygenase, lecithinase and other monoamine and diamine oxidases.

Enzymes:  Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.

Manganese:  An essential mineral found in trace amounts in tissues of the body. Adults normally contain an average of 10 to 20mg of manganese in their bodies, most of which is contained in bone, the liver and the kidneys. Manganese is essential to several critical enzymes necessary for energy production, bone and blood formation, nerve function and protein metabolism. It is involved in the metabolism of fats and glucose, the production of cholesterol and it allows the body to use thiamine and Vitamin E. It is also involved in the building and degrading of proteins and nucleic acid, biogenic amine metabolism, which involves the transmitting of nerve impulses.

Mineral:  Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:  A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).

SOD:  Superoxide Dismutase. An antioxidant enzyme which helps protect cells from free-radical damage.

Zinc:  An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.