While the name in itself may be quite a mouthful, Superoxide Dimutase (SOD) is a revitalizing and skin rejuvenating enzyme that you should be getting mouthfuls of! SOD serves as a free-radical scavenger and neutralizer that reduces the rate of cellular destruction.
A key factor in the production of skin-building cells, this super enzyme occurs naturally within the body, and is found in both the dermis and the epidermis (the top two layers of the skin), yet as with a majority of other protective compounds found within the body, SOD levels decrease with age, thus leaving us more susceptible to disease and the signs of ageing. However, not all is lost as SOD can be found within foods such as cantaloupe, wheatgrass, barley grass, broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts.
Despite the fact that oxygen is necessary to live, according to Andrea Pennington M.D. “Simply breathing in oxygen we create unstable molecules called free radicals, which are responsible for the visible and invisible signs of aging.
Environmental factors that stimulate free-radical production include UV rays, radiation, cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, and pesticides. We also cause free-radical damage by not getting enough rest or sleep, not properly managing our stress responses, and not eating healthfully. Free radicals can damage the very DNA of your skin cells (and every other cell in your body) and destroy the collagen and elastin that provide tautness and elasticity to skin.”
The skin is in a constant state of renewal and rejuvenation—sloughing off dead cells, repairing damaged cells, and disarming free radicals, and due to its constant activity it often suffers more attacks from damaging free radicals, the most damaging free radical being superoxide. Superoxide exists in abundance within the body, as it is formed as a by-product of the use of oxygen. Because these molecules exist in such vast quantities, the body naturally produces SOD to combat and neutralize them.
As previously suggested, due to its vulnerability the skin requires a steady and good supply of SOD, as it so frequently exposed to free-radical inducing elements and engaged in the process of making and unmaking itself. SOD has also, within recent studies, shown to be remarkably beneficial when used to treat inflammatory conditions (i.e. IBS, colitis, burns, arthritis, and injuries), and may also aid in the reduction and prevention of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of oxidative damage.