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* An antioxidant
* Also known as SOD
Superoxide Dismutase is an antioxidant naturally found in the body, and is a part of a class of "enzymes that catalyze the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. It is also found in barley grass, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants. As such, they are an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen," like skin cells (Wikipedia). Superoxide Dismutase overpowers the damaging reactions of superoxide, and protect the cell from superoxide (the most common free radical in the body) toxicity; it has the fastest turnover number of any known enzyme. Superoxide Dismutase is used in cosmetics and personal care products as an anti-aging ingredient and antioxidant because of its ability to reduce free radical damage in the skin, therefore preventing wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, help with wound healing, soften scar tissue, protect against UV rays, and reduce other signs of aging.
Studies have shown that Superoxide Dismutase can serve as an anti-inflammatory as well, and can also prevent precancerous cell changes. Natural Superoxide Dismutase levels in the body drop as the body ages, and applying this ingredient topically is thought to replace some of these natural antioxidants that are slowing in productoin, according to VitaminStuff.com. Superoxide Dismutase has also been used to treat arthritis, prostate problems, corneal ulcers, burn injuries, inflammatory diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and long-term damage from exposure to smoke and radiation, and to prevent side effects of cancer drugs. Vitamin C and copper are necessary to make this natural antioxidant.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
The Cosmetics Database finds Superoxide Dismutase to be a low hazard ingredient, and only notes concerns regarding cancer, because in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results. However, because this ingredient is produced in the body and is found naturally in vegetables and grains, it is generally considered safe for topical use or ingestion. No studies were found that reported any negative side effects from Superoxide Dismutase.
Recommended Products with Superoxide Dismutase:
Astara Age Defying Complex ($85); Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop); Kenneth Mark MD Antioxidant Cream with Astaxanthin ($120 in the shop)