The information on this website is not a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a qualified, licensed professional.
A Canary's Eye View — Supplements
A Canary's-Eye View
Metabolic Basis


Other AltMed
What's New
CHC Home
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)


A fundamental defense against oxidation in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen. In the mitochondria, protects their energy-supply function. Essential for production of fibroblasts (skin-building cells).

Useful for

  • Treating
    • inflammatory diseases and conditions, including
      • arthritis, urinary disorders, prostate problems, corneal ulcers,
      • inflammatory bowel disease
    • long-term damage from exposure to smoke and radiation
  • Preventing prevent side effects of cancer drugs.
  • (Topically)
    • promoting healing of various skin problems: facial wrinkles, scar tissue, wounds and burns, abnormal pigmentation.
    • protection against harmful UV rays.


  • Biosynthesis: human SOD requires
    • Vitamin C
    • either
      • manganese, in the mitochondria
      • copper and zinc, in cytoplasm.
  • Dietary sources: barley grass, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants.


  • One form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease) - is due to a mutated gene SOD1 which fails to function adequately.
  • Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy-21, in contraxt results from overexpression of gene SOD1
  • Zinc-deficient CuZnSOD has been observed in vitro not only failing to function as an antioxidant, but instead behaving like a pro-oxidant compound, resulting in cell death like that of Alzheimer's. See
    • Estevez, A. G. et al. Induction of nitric oxide-dependent apoptosis in motor neurons by zinc-deficient superoxide dismutase. Science 286: 2498-2500, 1999.
    • Bush, A.I., The metallobiology of Alzheimer's disease. Trends Neurosci 26(4):207-14, 2003
    • Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase: A Key Player in the Antioxidant Defense System, by Genevieve Houston-Ludlam. A term paper written for Genetics BSCI 230, Spring 2003, at the University of Maryland.


SOD must be absorbed without being broken down by stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Various attempts to overcome this obstacle have been devised; none have much research yet showing effectiveness:

  • oral:
    • Frequently bound to a wheat protein, gliadin, which protects the SOD
    • Enteric-coated pills
  • sublingual
  • transdermal applications (creams)
  • injection, with
    • the (patented) drug version, Orgotein
    • a lipid-encapsulated injectable form, LipSOD
  • inhalation

My experience

My Liver Detoxification Profile showed SOD low, and my Detoxigenomics Profile showed I have polymorphisms on both chromosomes of gene SOD2, (location A16V) in the Mitochondria.

For More Information

Please note

I am not advising anyone to do what I'm doing. Your body may react entirely differently from mine. I am not a doctor, and do not know enough about these supplements to recommend them.

copyright © 2008 by Catherine Holmes Clark. Last updated 13 July 2008