SOD supplement may protect against exercise-related inflammation

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: C-reactive protein, Antioxidant

A superoxide dismutase (SOD) supplement, GliSODin, may reduce levels of inflammatory markers produced during strenuous exercise, says a new study with members of the Polish National Rowing Team.

A daily dose of 500 milligrams of the SOD supplement was associated with a reduction in levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a well established marker of inflammation, whereas CRP levels increased significantly in the placebo group, according to findings published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism​.


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 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 by Paris-based Isocell. In North America PL Thomas distributes the ingredient.

“To the best of our knowledge, it is the first study to investigate the results of supplementation with melon extract on changes in redox parameters induced by exercise,”​ wrote the researchers from the University School of Physical Education in Poznan in Poland.

“Despite increasing activity of some antioxidant enzymes (SOD), GliSODin failed to prevent oxidative damage resulting from acute exercise of high intensity in our study population.

“In contrast, we observed decreased CRP levels after supplementation with GliSODin, which suggests that melon extract may have anti-inflammatory effects in intensively training athletes,”​ they added.

Study details


The Polish researchers recruited 19 members of the Polish National Rowing Team and randomly assigned them to receive either a daily 500 mg dose of GliSODin or placebo for six weeks. Blood samples were taken before, immediately after, and 24 hours after a 2,000 meter maximum-effort test on a rowing ergometer.


Results showed that the rowers who took the supplements displayed a significant increase in SOD activity in their blood, compared with placebo, but there were no differences between the groups in terms of measures of oxidative stress, as measured by TBARS.


CRP levels were significantly reduced in the supplementation group, but not in the placebo group, said the researchers. However, there was no evidence of muscle damage as a result of exercise in either of the groups.


“In conclusion, supplementation with an extract rich in SOD activity promoted antioxidant status and protected against increased inflammation in the serum of professional rowers but had no effect on oxidative damage induced by exhaustive exercise,”​ wrote the researchers.




The results were welcomed by Francois Vix, president of Isocell, who said that the “C-reactive protein level differences between GliSODin protected subjects and the placebo group were quite remarkable, with CRP being an important measure of muscle inflammation.”


Paul Flowerman, president of PL Thomas, supported Vix’s words, adding that the new study “adds to an already considerable body of human trials demonstrating that GliSODin has an important place in sports nutrition and immune health.”


Source: International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
 2011, 124-134
 “Effects of Oral Supplementation With Plant Superoxide Dismutase Extract on Selected Redox Parameters and an Inflammatory Marker in a 2,000-m Rowing-Ergometer Test”
 Authors: A. Skarpanska-Stejnborn, L. Pilaczynska-Szczesniak, P. Basta, E. Deskur-Smielecka, D. Woitas-Slubowska, Z. Adach

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