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The first orally absorbable, all vegetarian Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) supplement, GliSODin, may reduce the loss of cognitive function linked to stress, according to a newly published study of animals from Japan. Mice fed the powerful-antioxidant supplement experienced lower levels of oxidative stress and performed better in a maze-memory, mental-function test after supplementation with the SOD supplement, according to results published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.
Animals fed vitamin E also experienced lower levels of oxidative stress caused by stress, as measured by lowered levels of lipid peroxidation, but no beneficial effects were observed in terms of the vitamin E-supplemented animals’ spatial learning, according to researchers led by Sanae Nakajima from the Nippon Medical School in Kawasaki.
SOD has a different mode of action to vitamins. Dubbed ‘the enzyme of life’ when first discovered in 1968, it is the first antioxidant mobilised by the cell and major organs such as the brain or heart for defence. It is thought to be more powerful than antioxidant vitamins as it activates the body's production of its own antioxidants, including Catalase and Glutathione Peroxidase. GliSODin, the combination of SOD extracted from cantaloupe melon and wheat gliadin, is patented and trademarked.
The researchers divided male C57BL/6 mice divided into four groups; the first group acted as the control, and were fed a normal diet and housed in normal cages. The second group was fed the normal diet, but restrained in a case to induce stress. The third and fourth groups were also restrained but had their diets supplemented with vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol acetate at 88mg per 100 g of diet) and GliSODin (125mg per 100 g of diet), respectively. After five weeks, the researchers report that both the vitamin E and SOD groups had lower blood levels of a compound called 4-hydroxy-2-noneral (4-HNE), a marker of lipid peroxidation, and therefore oxidative stress. Lipid peroixidation is a measure of how the tissues in our bodies is being affected and deteriorated by free radicals. Mice supplemented with SOD showed greater spatial learning memory, added the researchers.
Looking at the brain physiology and biochemistry, the researchers noted that the SOD group had fewer cells linked to better brain function destroyed by the lipid peroxidation. This is related to the development of new neurons in the hippocampal region of the brain, they added. In other words the nerve tissue in the hippo campus was much healthier and able to repair itself due to GliSODin supplementation and the hippocampus has everything to do with memory, learning and recall. “These finding suggests that GliSODin prevents stress-induced impairment of cognitive function and maintains neurogenesis in the hippocampus through antioxidant activity,” concluded the researchers. The study is published online ahead of print in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.