Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 30, Issue 11, pp 2718–2728 | Cite as

Superoxide Dismutase Administration, A Potential Therapy Against Oxidative Stress Related Diseases: Several Routes of Supplementation and Proposal of an Original Mechanism of Action

  • Julie Carillon
  • Jean-Max Rouanet
  • Jean-Paul Cristol
  • Richard Brion
Expert Review


Oxidative stress, involved in many diseases, is defined as an impaired balance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and antioxidant defences. Antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) play a key role in diminishing oxidative stress. Thus, the removal of ROS by exogenous SODs could be an effective preventive strategy against various diseases. The poor bioavailability of exogenous SODs has been criticized. However, improvements in SOD formulation may overcome this limitation and boost interest in its therapeutic properties. Here, we provide a review of animal and human studies about SODs supplementation in order to evaluate their therapeutic value. Protective effects have been observed against irradiation, carcinogenesis, apoptosis and neurodegeneration. SODs administration has also been reported to alleviate inflammatory, infectious, respiratory, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and genitourinary and fertility disorders, raising the question of its mechanism of action in these diverse situations. Some authors have shown an increase in endogenous antioxidant enzymes after exogenous SODs administration. The induction of endogenous antioxidant defence and, consequently, a decrease in oxidative stress, could explain all the effects observed. Further investigations need to be carried out to test the hypothesis that SODs supplementation acts by inducing an endogenous antioxidant defence.


bioavailability endogenous antioxidant defence formulation inflammation 



Hydrochloride 2,2′-azobis-2-amidinopropane


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome


Antioxidant response element




Copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase


Divinyl ether and maleic anhydride


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Extracellular-superoxide dismutase


Iron-superoxide dismutase


Feline immunodeficiency virus


Glutathione peroxidase


Hydrogen peroxide


Human immunodeficiency virus


Hydroxyl radical


Manganese-superoxide dismutase


Transcription factor nuclear-factor-E2-related factor


Superoxide anion radical




Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Carillon
    • 1
  • Jean-Max Rouanet
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Cristol
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard Brion
    • 3
  1. 1.Nutrition & Métabolisme, UMR 204 NutriPass Prévention des Malnutritions et des Pathologies AssociéesUniversité Montpellier 1-2MontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Département de Biochimie Centre Hospitalier Universitaire MontpellierUniversité Montpellier 1MontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Centre CAPIO-BAYARD, Service de CardiologieVilleurbanneFrance

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