Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier - The Best Alternative Medicine

The Best Alternative Medicine
order now at Amazon.com

New Medicine: Complete Family Health Guide
bypass navigation
Sound Mind, Sound Body
bypass navigation
Stress Free for Good
Resources for Specific Conditions
Latest Research You Can Use

About Dr. Pelletier
Contact Dr. Pelletier
Corporate Health Improvement Program (C H I P)
P R Photos
TV Appearances and Interviews
Site Map

| print page

Superoxide Dismutase (SOD): Supplements, What Works

Superoxide dismutase, or SOD, is an extremely potent antioxidant that protects cells against damage from free radicals. It is one of the three main antioxidant enzymes found in our cells.

Human clinical studies of SOD are still at a very early stage, but some researchers claim it slows the aging process and has potential in treating Alzheimer's disease.

SOD supplements are sold in oral form, but consumers should be aware that oral SOD products are completely destroyed in the gut. Benefits of SOD come from injectable forms.

  • Skin problems and postradiation damage. Although research is limited, a promising application of SOD is for severe skin diseases and radiation damage either from prolonged sun exposure or due to radiation treatment. One researcher, Michelson, has found SOD useful in treating various skin disorders, including a very severe case of scleroderma, an autoimmune disease. He also treated severe postradiation damage with two injections weekly for three months, with substantial improvement evident in two weeks. French and Japanese researchers have also reported positive results in treating scleroderma.


  • Arthritis. SOD injections are used in Europe to treat musculoskeletal inflammation and osteoarthritis. Bovine SOD, injected into the joint, has been found beneficial in controlled double-blind studies in treating osteoarthritis of the knee. However, treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has been disappointing, according to Flohe in 1988.


  • Reperfusion or restoration of blood flow damage. As with coenzyme Q10, SOD is being investigated for its ability to protect against free radical damage, reducing injury to the brain and other organs caused by reperfusion, oxygen deprivation, drops in blood pressure, and increased cranial pressure after trauma.

Based on a 1993 study by Marzi of patients with multiple injuries, SOD helped to mitigate cardiovascular and lung failure, and reduced intensive care treatment and inflammation.

In a 1993 study of patients with severe head injuries, Muizelaar found that far fewer patients on high dosages of SOD died or lapsed into a vegetative state. Lower dosages did not help.

While SOD has shown exciting potential in this specialized medical application, results are not yet conclusive.

  • Anti-aging. Despite claims, there is no evidence that SOD delays aging in humans. However, in animals, when both SOD and catalase are increased, maximum life span is significantly increased, according to a 1994 literature review by Warner.

Overall, SOD research is intriguing, but there is no form of SOD available to the public that will raise levels of SOD in the cells. It is much too early to recommend any use of SOD as an oral supplement, although it may have applications in specific medical treatments.





Return to Excerpts List



Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.


Return to Top


Unless otherwise indicated, Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier. All Rights Reserved.
Web Design by Almost Everything Communications