We have discussed Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1), an enzyme mapped to the Down syndrome critical region of Chromosome 21. It is over expressed in most tissues, including the brain, by as much as 51%. Because this gene is over expressed it is completely out of balance with the two enzymes that work with it, Catalase and Glutathione peroxidase. This results in the creation of the hydroxyl free radicals. Because SOD1 is over expressed, it causes far more damage by oxidation than you would expect in a non DS person who smokes, consumes excess alcohol and works in a chemical plant. When you think of oxidation, think of rust that literally dissolves metal. This is the effect of free radicals on the human cell. This process must be stopped in DS. Oxidation destroys neurons as well as all other cells and contributes greatly to illness, cognitive decline and ultimately plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease and shortens the lifespan.
At present we cannot down regulate SOD1 but there are many things we are able to do. We add antioxidants in a combination to attack known forms of free radicals. We increase Glutathione, the body’s main detox and anti oxidant agent and we use an SOD1 mimic to scavenge Superoxide where the enzyme fails. PQQ is a Superoxide scavenger. Where SOD1 fails to breakdown Superoxide it leaves an excess. This excess over powers Catalase and Glutathione peroxidase which would normally change it to water and oxygen. But because these enzymes are out of balance excess Superoxide reverts to the hydroxyl free radical, probably the most destructive free radical known to science.
We can also upregulate Catalase and Glutathione peroxidase but not to the level of Superoxide Dismutase. Still, by using the blend of antioxidants found in Nutrivene, upregulating Catalase and Glutathione peroxidase and utilizing PQQ to scavenge Superoxide, we can successfully prevent oxidative damage.
Many things are marketed as antioxidants. However, very few are suitable for use with Down syndrome. Most are not truly antioxidants but elevate Super Oxide Dismutase. This results in even greater imbalance in the antioxidant triad and actually makes matters far worse.
Have you seen the old commercial where an egg is fried? First it shows a raw egg -“”This is your brain”” then the egg is dropped into hot grease “”This is your brain on drugs””. The following video demonstrates what occurs during oxidation. “”This is your child’s brain without TNI.”””
VIDEOS – NOTE: The product mentioned in the following video is unsuitable for use with Down syndrome.