Authors: F J Menvielle-Bourg
Oxydative stress, the natural consequence of the oxygen metabolism, is normally controlled by antioxydant endogenous defence systems.When these prove to be insufficient, cellular lesions develop that result in ageing but also in some pathological processes. The powerful natural antioxydant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) acts at the very source of the chain reaction resulting in reactive types of oxygen and therefore constitutes the first and one of the main links of the defence process against free radicals.Unfortunately, due to the fragility of its molecular structure, non-protected SOD is inactivated in the digestive tract. Thanks to a coupling process with gliadin, a protein extracted from wheat, a SOD of vegetable origin (melon extract rich in SOD) is now available orally. Several in vivo studies on animals as well as a clinical trial using healthy volonteers confirmed the preservation of the antioxydant activity of the SOD enzyme after oral administration; an action moreover combined with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.