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 as a key antioxidant.
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 .
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 . On the other hand, increased superoxide will cause DNA damage and start cancer.
SOD inhibits bacterial clearance .
SOD2 Genes: Do You Have High or Low SOD2?
The SOD2 gene has a bunch of SNPs from SelfDecode.
Most important SOD2 SNP:
Other SOD2 SNPs:
My Experience With SOD2 SNPs
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
- PQQ is a powerful superoxide scavenger .
- Curcumin .
- Grape Seed Extract . Grapeseed extract is a cheap but powerful phytochemical that combats oxidative stress.
- Molecular hydrogen .
- MitoQ – MitoQ is the best fix because it scavenges superoxide directly in the mitochondria.
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…
- Pathways: PGC-1a (SOD2), PPAR gamma (SOD2) , SIRT3 (SOD2) 
- Nicotinamide Riboside (by increasing NAD+)
- Fish oil (SOD1) 
- LLLT (SOD1)
- Molecular Hydrogen (39% in diabetics) 
- EGCG 
- Zinc (13)
- Tempol (SOD mimetic)
- Copper (SOD and SOD1) 
- Manganese [15, 16]
- Phosphorus 
- Curcumin (SOD1, SOD2) [5, 18]
- Lutein (SOD2) 
- Acetylcholine/Alpha GPC 
- Resveratrol (SOD) 
- Honey (SOD) 
- Ellagic acid (SOD) 
- Fennel 
- Carnitine 
- Lycopene 
- Malic acid 
- Dandelion 
- Histidine 
- Glycine (in alcohol injury) 
- Garlic 
- Other: IL-1a (MnSOD) , TNF (MnSOD) , IFNy 
Supplements That Decrease Superoxide
- Calorie Restriction (in the hypothalamus)
- Uric acid (SOD1+SOD3) 
- PQQ 
- MitoQ (ubiquinone reacts with superoxide)
- Nicotinamide Riboside 
- Molecular hydrogen 
- C60 (by uncoupling) 
- Garlic 
- Bilberry Anthocyanins 
- Inositol 
- L Plantarum  (prevents damage from O2-) 
- Ursolic acid 
- Myricetin 
- Spirulina (NADPH Oxidase inhibitor), Xanthine oxidase (-).
Hormones That Reduce Superoxide
- Melatonin 
- Pregnenolone 
- Progesterone (CuZnSOD )  and Progestin (SOD2, SOD1) [45, 43]
- DHEA 
- Cortisol /Glucocorticoids 
- Testosterone 
- Estrogen 
- Androstenedione 
- DHT 
- IGF-1 – unrelated, but superoxide will make you more resistant to IGF-1 .
Hormones That Increase Superoxide
You should be aware that the following hormones increase superoxide. They need to be balanced.
- Thyroid hormones [52, 53] Helps kill bacteria 
- Growth Hormone (HGH) 
- Prolactin 
- Chronic Estrogen (birth control, HRT) 
You can analyze your SOD gene with SelfDecode.
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