Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) – The Good – Superoxide – The Bad – Disease – The Ugly

We can’t live without oxygen. Our cells rely on oxygen as the final acceptor of electrons in respiration, allowing us to extract far more energy from food than would be possible without oxygen. But oxygen is also a dangerous compound. Reactive forms of oxygen, such as superoxide (oxygen with an extra electron), leak from the respiratory enzymes and wreak havoc on the cell. This superoxide can then cause mutations in DNA or attack enzymes that make amino acids and other essential molecules. This is a significant problem: Continue reading

Free Radicals in the Body – Oxidative Stress and the Antioxidant Response

The basic science of oxidative stress and the antioxidant response is not in contention, what is an effective antioxidant is. When the body breaks food down into energy, it generates a by-product known as free radicals. Also present in food itself, the air we breathe and the sun we worship, free radicals are a broad class of chemicals with the potential to exert significant damage. By ‘stealing’ electrons from nearby molecules, free radicals in the body may tamper with DNA and impede normal cell function. Continue reading