Did you ever wonder why some people “look their age” and others don’t?
As one of the country’s first board-certified anti-aging doctors, this question has been on my mind for a long time.
Moisturizers and a good diet can help. But there are many exceptions to the rule. And you probably know a few at both end of the scale.
The “lucky” ones may even smoke, drink and eat junk food – and they still don’t look their age. Other folks take great care of themselves, but they look much older than their years.
One reason for these great differences is your body’s master antioxidant, superoxide dismutase – better known as SOD.
Folks who age gracefully often have more of this potent antioxidant than others.
Animal studies suggest higher levels of SOD may be key to increasing your “healthspan.” That is, putting off the signs and sicknesses usually linked to aging.
Boosting SOD has helped them deal with physical stress… and even increased their average lifespan.1
When it comes to anti-aging, SOD is especially important for your skin.
You probably know exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) light causes skin damage. Scientist estimate 80% of the free radicals triggered by sources outside your body come from UV light. And UV rays create a lot of especially nasty free radicals, called superoxide radicals.
Ordinary antioxidants aren’t much use against these superoxide radicals. Only SOD is strong enough to really mop them up.
And since most of the damage UV does is in your skin, SOD is your skin’s best defense.
If you’re one of the lucky few, your body makes lots of SOD, and you’ll make your friends jealous for years. But if your body makes less SOD, your skin will show the signs of aging faster.
To make matters worse, your body makes less SOD as you age. So your skin has less of a defense against drying, wrinkling and other signs of age just when you need the support most.
Aging and lower SOD levels are connected because your body needs zinc to make SOD – and many mature adults don’t get enough zinc. And even when they do, most of them don’t absorb it well.2
Now, you may be thinking: “Why not just take a supplement containing SOD?”
The problem is that SOD is a delicate molecule. It can’t survive the trip through your digestive system. So you could eat SOD all day, and it wouldn’t help.
Until recently, that was a serious problem. Then I heard about research being done in France.
Farmers there noticed some types of cantaloupe spoiled much more slowly than others. In fact, they remained edible three to four times longer.
It turned out these melons had much higher levels of SOD than those that spoiled faster.
After years of study, French scientists discovered a protein they could combine with the SOD from these melons. And when they coated this combination, it survived digestion.
The result is a form of SOD your body can digest and use.
Just 50 mg. appears to be enough to provide significant skin defense. To get the anti-aging benefits of this absorbable form of SOD, look for supplements which contain GliSODin.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Huang, X.-F., et al, “Effects of four superoxide dismutases (SODs) from different sources on the lifespan, fecundity and tolerance to environmental stress of Drosophila melanogaster,” Acta Entomologica Sinica. 2013; 56(7): 765-771.
2. Getz, L., “Zinc Deficiency in Older Adults” todaysgeriatricmedicine.com.