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S.O.D, Antioxidant Which Could Slow Aging Process June 11, 2009

Posted by Matt Brown in Longevity.
Tags: , ,

Here’s an interesting article about an enzyme that may be an important factor in the fight against aging.  Superoxide dismutase (S.O.D, a rather amusing acronym)  is an important antioxidant that is produced in the body and helps eliminate the dangerous free radicals that we all hear so much about.

For those of you who don’t know free radicals are basically ions (oxygen ions being the most commonly talked about) that have lost an electron, usually during aerobic glycolisis when oxygen is used to produce energy.  Since they lack an electron these free radicals roam around the body searching for cells to steal one from.  In doing so they damage whatever part of the cell they took it from which can be very dangerous if they happen to take one from your DNA, damaged DNA being the main cause of cancer.  Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the free radicals by sharing one of their electrons, thus removing the danger.

S.O.D. is important for a few reasons.  One, it is an antioxidant which as we’ve already established is something you want in your body.  Two, it is produced by the body rather than being taken in from food.  According to the article “[internally produced] enzymes are vastly more potent than dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin C. S.O.D., for example, is 3,500 times more potent than vitamin C at reducing superoxide radical.”  Three, there seems to be some evidence that the amount of S.O.D your body produces is correlated with longevity.  Animals with large amount of S.O.D have longer lifespans than those with smaller amounts.

Unfortunately like most things in your body the production of S.O.D decreases with age.   As such researchers are attempting to find a way to keep levels of the antioxidant at youthful levels.  The article lists a few scientists who are working on a solution, though there products seem to fall under the category of promising, but not quite there yet.




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