Antioxidant 3,500 times more powerful than vitamin C – Cancer Defeated

Antioxidant 3,500 times more powerful than vitamin C

By Lee Euler / September 17, 2017

I write a lot about antioxidants, and especially the ones that come from fruits and vegetables. But your body is already equipped with the most powerful antioxidant there is: Superoxide dismutase, or SOD (considered 3,500 times stronger than vitamin C). It’s an enzyme that helps remove toxic materials from your body.

Not only does this antioxidant help in the prevention of cancer, it also helps keep your heart in good shape and maintains healthy blood vessels, not to mention easing the pain of everything from arthritis to burns to inflammatory bowel disease.

And if you’re hoping to live past 90, SOD is something you want to have a lot of. Research shows that most people who live into their nineties have notably high levels of SOD.

It’s been two years since I last touched on SOD, and so many new findings have emerged, I need to bring you up to date. . .

Continued below…

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Yet once you hit your forties, your body’s levels start to decline rapidly. By the time you’re 60, they’ve dropped by nearly HALF!

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Can SOD be too much of a good thing?

One of the main benefits of SOD is the way it protects you from superoxide, which creates free radicals and may promote the creation of cancer cells. Superoxide is a byproduct of the energy-creation process that takes place in your body, so you have an abundance of it. And to keep it in check, your body generates superoxide dismutase—SOD.

The SOD you have inside of you is meant to break down your existing superoxide material into nontoxic hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. Once that step is complete, your body is already equipped with catalase, an enzyme that breaks hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.

SOD helps you fight off thousands of attacks by free radicals every day. Some of those come from your naturally occurring levels of superoxide, some come from your environment (like car exhaust, chemical cleaners, or a whiff of someone’s cigarette smoke). The process of breaking superoxide down into harmless elements is known as dismutation.

Mammals have three distinct types of SOD, known as SOD1, SOD2, and SOD3. Thanks to recent research, there’s a growing body of evidence that each type of SOD plays a different role in human cancer—though they all carry out the same enzymatic reaction of superoxide dismutation.

  • SOD1 is something of a paradox in that it increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, which are believed to cause oxidative DNA damage and promote carcinogenesis. An overexpression of SOD1 has even been observed in lung and mammary carcinomas. Yet it still fights off free radicals that are on their way to becoming cancer.
  • SOD2 is best thought of as a tumor suppressor. SOD2 also helps maintain the integrity of your mitochondria, the energy factories in your cells. SOD2 protects mitochondrial DNA against oxidative (free radical) damage.
  • SOD3 is the least well understood of the three; we know it reduces cancer levels in humans. An abundance of SOD3 in pancreatic cancer cells reduces their growth and invasiveness, while a shortage of SOD3 cells in the same area means a poor prognosis. That doesn’t tell us how it works, but at least tells us that it does work.

At this point, researchers are confident SOD3 in particular has life-supporting characteristics, but whether it increases or decreases cancer cell proliferation depends on how it’s administered. This has led some scientists to conclude it would not make an ideal cancer drug, as some used to think. Many now think it might be more suitable as a tumor suppressor.

But here’s an interesting twist… Last year, scientists from the National University of Singapore discovered that SOD2, also known as manganese superoxide dismutase, plays a role in whether breast cancer cells become aggressive and invade other parts of the body.

This finding was built on the earlier discovery that triple negative breast cancer patients have significantly higher levels of SOD2. So by suppressing SOD2 expression in triple negative breast cancer patients, it may be possible to make the tumor cells less aggressive and more sensitive to other treatments. This remains to be proven, and also note that triple negative breast cancer is fairly rare.

What to make of all this

Confused? I am. It seems like there’s now a lot of muddle surrounding what used to seem like a beneficial substance made by our own bodies.

If it confuses you that SOD can both hurt and help cancer cells, think of it like water on grass. Too much water in the early stages of newly planted grass will drown and kill it. But an abundance of water on established grass will prompt it to grow even faster.

In any case, it’s not like you can really supplement with SOD. The known way to increase your natural SOD levels is by eating certain healthy foods, and I’m confident that is NOT going to increase your cancer risk.

The risk that some types of SOD might support already-existing cancer is mostly a factor in trying to decide if huge amounts of the molecule – probably administered by IV – should be given to cancer patients. I don’t know of any doctor who’s doing this, so it’s probably moot.

Meanwhile, the trick with SOD is to get an adequate supply in your body before cancer even manifests. The evidence we have is that healthy eating leads to healthy SOD levels and – as all the evidence shows – longer life.

Boost SOD levels naturally

One of the biggest challenges we all face is that SOD levels drop as we age, which makes it harder to get rid of the toxins in our bodies. Think about it: People going into their late thirties and older tend to get sick more often and begin to show signs of aging. It just so happens that SOD levels first begin to drop in your thirties.

This isn’t to say that lower SOD is the magical cause of aging, but it’s likely one of the causes.

We know at present that women have higher rates of SOD than men, which may explain why they live longer. Again, not proven – but an interesting theory.

The good news is, you can build up your SOD levels by eating whole foods and supplementing with vitamins and minerals. Green vegetables appear to make a difference in SOD levels (think broccoli and Brussels sprouts), as do vitamin C and copper. Wheat sprout extract is also supposed to help raise SOD levels.

There are synthetic versions of SOD available. You can get it via injection, or as a supplement, or even in topical cream form. None of these is ideal, though, as absorption into the body is limited. For example, your stomach acid destroys most ingested SOD before it even hits your bloodstream.

Unless there is a specific medical reason for these supplements, I think I’d wait for further research on all three types of SOD and what they do, and meanwhile keep my SOD levels (and everything else) healthy by good food, sleep, exercise and stress reduction.

Our last issue took a close look at an ingredient that’s common in quite a few prostate supplements. Does it really help with enlarged prostate, not to mention prostate cancer? If you missed the article, it’s running again just below.

Best regards,

Lee Euler,

“Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.” Terry D. Oberley. July 2004, 6(3): 483-487.
“Expanding roles of superoxide dismutases in cell regulation and cancer.” By Meixia Che, et al. HHS Author ManuscriptsPMC4724522.
“Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase: Growth Promoter or Tumor Suppressor?.” Mikko O. Laukkanen. IRCCS SDN, Via Comunale Margherita 484-538, 80131 Naples, Italy.
“Manganese Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase Genetic Polymorphisms, Activity Levels, and Lung Cancer Risk in Chinese in Hong Kong.” Author links open the author workspace.James C.Ho, et al.
“Scientists discover the ‘switch’ that makes breast cancer cells aggressive.” Science Daily News, 1 November 2016.
“Superoxide dismutase 2 gene and cancer risk: evidence from an updated meta-analysis.” By Sang Wook Kang. Int J Clin Exp Medv.8(9); 2015PMC4658836.
“Superoxide dismutase promotes the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of pancreatic cancer cells via activation of the H2O2/ERK/NF-κB axis.” By Wei Li, et al. International Journal of Oncology. Published online on: March 27, 2015
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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