Put simply, superoxide dismutase (SOD) is the bodies most powerful antioxidant. More technically, it is a biological catalyst that helps nullify (dismutate) a highly reactive oxygen compound named superoxide. It is considered one of the body’s most powerful defence mechanisms, playing a vital role in reducing the oxidative stress that leads to many diseases, and of course aging.
Supplementing superoxide may be one of the most powerful things you can do to protect your body against serious disease and the ravages of time but it is notoriously difficult to absorb. We believe marine phytoplankton to be one of the most promising and powerful food sources of SOD and it’s total bio-availability make it a unique wholefood source of SOD. This article will explain why.
What are the food sources of Superoxide Dismutase ?
- Marine Phytoplankton
- Melons such as Casaba, Honeydew and Cantaloupe
- Cruciferous Vegetables.
- Polyphenol-rich tea (ref)
- Essene or Sprouted Wheat, Sprouted Soy or Sprouted Corn
- Goji Berries
- Black Chokeberry Extract
- Curcuminoid-piperine combination (Turmeric/Black Pepper)
How to Increase Your Levels of SOD?
Although the food sources listed above do contain SOD, actually getting it where it’s needed is no mean feat. This delicate compound is destroyed by stomach acid so, although there are commercial supplements on the market (mostly from melon) it is rendered almost entirely useless when taken orally. While several companies have worked hard to coat their capsules in something which can withstand the acidic environment of the digestive tract, the efficacy of these is unproven.
In this scenario, marine phytoplankton offers a delivery mechanism for SOD which makes it groundbreaking.When you drink phytoplankton mixed in water, it enters the stomach without triggering the production of hydrochloric acid. At that point, the plant’s tiny cell size means it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Added to which, the levels of superoxide dismutase in phytoplankton are reputedly amongst the highest in the natural world making it a truly powerful source of SOD supplementation.
Superoxide Dismutase Deficiency
Scientific studies demonstrate that a deficiency of SOD would have critical health implications, leading to a range of the most serious diseases and ultimately death. One experiment in which mice were genetically engineered not to be able to produce the SOD2 gene showed them dying of oxidative stress in as little as 10 days. Several studies actually make a direct correlation between the levels of superoxide dismutase a human is able to sustain and their longevity (ref). It is becoming increasingly clear that the better a species is able to protect itself against the toxic byproducts of metabolising oxygen, the longer it can survive.
Why Does Marine Phytoplankton Contain so much SOD?
Microalgae have evolved in generally highly saline environments. In response to the environmental conditions in which they live, microalgae such as phytoplankton produce particular enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase as a way of surviving (ref). As humans looking to prolong and improve our quality of life, these ancient survival techniques formed over millions of years are real gifts. A spoonful or two of phytoplankton per day may have the ability to substantially boost your SOD levels in a way previous generations could never have imagined.