Superoxide Dismutase As a Marker of Mood

Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that acts as an antioxidant in cells. Superoxide dismutase is present in humans in two forms. One form uses manganese as a cofactor and one form uses copper and zinc as cofactors. The superoxide dismutase enzymes play a key role in neutralising the superoxide radical, and thus protect the cells from free radical damage. Evidence suggests that elevated blood levels of the zinc and copper form of superoxide dismutase may occur in individuals with anxiety, and this could be used as a marker to identify the disorder. Oxidative stress is known to be elevated in individuals with mood disorders, largely because free radicals are generated as a by-product of inflammation, and inflammation in a primary cause of the brain changes that lead to anxiety and depression. This suggests that individuals suffering from anxiety may have elevated levels of superoxide dismutase in their blood in response to increased levels of oxidative stress, as a result of the pathogenesis of their disorder.

antioxidants mood anxiety depression

As superoxide dismutase may be involved in the body’s reaction to mood disorders, optimal intakes of zinc and copper should be maintained to optimise enzyme function. Evidence suggests that some dietary polyphenols have both anxiolytic and antioxidant effects, and this also makes them beneficial to ­anxious subjects. A diet high in polyphenol antioxidants and essential minerals is therefore a good strategy to treat anxiety related disorders.

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, protect Yourself


Russo, A. J. 2010. Increased Serum Cu/Zn Superoxide dismutase in individuals with anxiety. Proteomics Insights. 3: PRI-S5180

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
This entry was posted in Antioxidant, Anxiety, Copper, Depression, Mood, Superoxide Dismutase, Zinc. Bookmark the permalink.