Health Library Home>Natural & Alternative Treatments>Herbs & Supplements>Article

Superoxide Dismutase


Superoxide dismutase is as an antioxidant in the body that helps slow damage to cells. It has been used to promote heart health and prevent signs of aging. Superoxide dismutase has also been used to and ease swelling and pain in the joints and muscles. It can be taken as a pill. It can also be injected into the bloodstream, muscles, and joints by a healthcare provider.


There are no advised doses for superoxide dismutase.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Stress and fatigue —may ease these symptoms D1, D2

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Chronic lung disease in preterm infants B1
  • Chronic neck pain C1
  • Cardiovascular disease in people with chronic kidney disease A1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take superoxide dismutase in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Cardiovascular Disease

A1. A1. Jun M, Venkataraman V, et al. Antioxidants for chronic kidney disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;10:CD008176. \

B. Chronic Lung Disease in Preterm Infants

B1. Suresh GK, Davis JM, et al. Superoxide dismutase for preventing chronic lung disease in mechanically ventilated preterm infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(1):CD001968.

C. Chronic Neck Pain

C1. Letizia Mauro G, Cataldo P, et al. α-Lipoic acid and superoxide dismutase in the management of chronic neck pain: a prospective randomized study. Drugs R D. 2014;14(1):1-7.

D. Stress and Fatigue

D1. Houghton CA, Steels EL, et al. Effects of a gliadin-combined plant superoxide dismutase extract on self-perceived fatigue in women aged 50-65 years. Phytomedicine. 2011 Apr 15;18(6):521-526.

D2. Carillon J, Notin C, et al. Dietary supplementation with a superoxide dismutase-melon concentrate reduces stress, physical and mental fatigue in healthy people: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrients. 2014 Jun 19;6(6):2348-2359.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 3/27/2020