The SOD2 is an important gene the people should check up.

If you want to check what you have, you need to order your 23andme.

If you want to interpret your genes, you can use SelfDecode.

About Superoxide Dismutase 2 (SOD2)

Superoxide dismutases are enzymes that transform the superoxide (O2−) radical into either ordinary oxygen (O2) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

Superoxide is produced as a by-product of oxygen metabolism and, if not regulated, causes many types of cell damage. Hydrogen peroxide is also damaging, but less so, and is degraded by other enzymes such as catalase. Thus, SOD is an important antioxidant defense in nearly all living cells exposed to oxygen.

This protein plays a protective role against oxidative stress, ionizing radiation, and inflammatory cytokines.

There are three forms of SOD: SOD1, SOD2, and SOD3.

SOD1 is located in the cellular fluid, SOD2 in the mitochondria, and SOD3 outside the cell.

Superoxide is one of the main reactive oxygen species in the cell. As a consequence, SOD serves a key antioxidant role.

So SOD2 (also called MnSOD) transforms superoxide produced by your mitochondria into the less toxic hydrogen peroxide and oxygen.

This function allows SOD2 to clear mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and confer protection against cell death.

Mutations (not variations) in the SOD2 gene have been associated with idiopathic cardiomyopathy (IDC), sporadic motor neuron disease, and cancer.

Mice lacking Sod2 die shortly after birth, amid massive oxidative stress (R).

However, mice 50% deficient in Sod2 have a normal lifespan and minimal defects but do suffer increased DNA damage and increased the incidence of cancer.

In flies, overproduction of Sod2 has been shown to increase lifespan by 20%.

The Positives and Negatives of Superoxide Dismutase 2

Superoxide has a few very positive functions in the body: clearing infections, cellular communication, creating new mitochondria and destroying tumors.

However, superoxide is damaging, and every chronic disease has too much oxidative stress as a contributory cause.

In the modern environment, overall, having a high producing version of SOD2 will be better so that you have less superoxide.  But there’s a tradeoff.

Overproduction of SOD2 has been linked to increased invasiveness of tumor metastasis – presumably because superoxide is needed to kill cancer. (R) On the other hand, increased superoxide will cause DNA damage and start cancer.

SOD inhibits bacterial clearance (R).

SOD2 Genes: Do You Have High or Low SOD2?

The SOD2 gene has a bunch of SNPs from 23andme.

Most important SOD2 SNP:

  1. RS4880 (SOD2) GG

Other SOD2 SNPs:

  1. RS10370 (SOD2) TT
  2. RS2758331 (SOD2) AA
  3. RS2758339 (SOD2) CC
  4. RS2758346 (SOD2) TT

My Experience With SOD2 SNPs

The GG genotype is much more common in my brain fog clients because brain fog is most commonly a result of oxidative stress.

People who have AA tend to have a lot of other bad genes or might have an infection – because having less superoxide in this cause might not be beneficial.

Top Fixes if You Have Low SOD2 Levels

How to Increase SOD



Since studies often don’t distinguish what kind of SOD something increases, I just list them all here.

Most herbal supplements increase SOD, but here’s some that I happened to have references for……

Supplements That Decrease Superoxide

Hormones That Reduce Superoxide

Hormones That Increase Superoxide

You should be aware that the following hormones increase superoxide.  They need to be balanced.


You should make sure your breathing is good.  Sleep apnea or intermittent hypoxia can cause excess superoxide (R).

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics


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