Melon extract eases stress: Study

By Anne Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Melon extract eases stress: Study

Related tags Superoxide dismutase

A new 12-week clinical study has strengthened evidence that melon-derived superoxide dismutase (Sod) supplements can help reduce stress and fatigue and improve cognitive performance.

Volunteers taking proprietary Sod-B Extramel supplements in the trial reported a reduction of stress and physical fatigue, as well as an improvement of cognitive performances and overall life quality.

Results of the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of 61 people have just been published in the journal Nutrients​.

Volunteers were divided into two groups, with 29 given a placebo and 32 an oral supplement of Sod-B Extramel (140 IU Sod/day).

The volunteers were tested three times: Before supplementation, 28 days after the supplementation and 84 days after the supplementation. 

Stress Relief

The group taking Sod-B Extramel reported an 8.8% reduction of stress, 9.4% reduction in physical fatigue, as well as, 13.9% improvement of cognitive performances and 6.4% in overall life quality. Well-being parameters were evaluated by five validated psychometric evaluation scales, including questionnaires.

The report concluded that Sod-B supplementation appeared to be an effective way to reduce stress and fatigue, possibly due to enhancement of endogenous antioxidant defence and the subsequent reduction of oxidative stress in participants.

Sod-B Extramel is a proprietary coated freeze-dried melon juice concentrate from French supplier Bionov, that is highly concentrated in superoxide dismutase. It is sourced from a specific variety of Cantaloupe melon (Cucumis melo​. L)

Sébastien Le Quéré, products manager at Bionov told Nutraingredients: “Sod-B Extramel is already on the market, and numerous nutritional products have already been formulated with this ingredient. This second major clinical study represents an efficient communication and business booster, by confirming the efficiency of Sod-B Extramel in the improvement of daily performances.”

The influence of Sod-B Extramel from Bionov was previously assessed in a pilot study, over 28 days which showed beneficial effects (Nutr. J. 2009, 8, 40​). This second trial looked at the effects over a longer period of 84 days (12 weeks).

The Bionov Sod-B Extramel product is available with different coatings and is adapted for nutritional applications, dried formulations such as capsules, tablets, pills, as well as for instant drink applications such as sticks, sachets and syrups.

The trial was also supported by French cosmetics company Seppic.



2014, 6(6), 2348-2359; doi:10.3390/nu6062348

Dietary Supplementation with a Superoxide Dismutase-Melon Concentrate Reduces Stress, Physical and Mental Fatigue in Healthy People: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial’

Authors: Julie Carillon, Claire Notin, Karine Schmitt, Guy Simoneau and Dominique Lacan 

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Bionov Answer

Posted by Sébastien Le Quéré,

Enzymes, such as SOD, are measured by enzymatic Units (U). One U is defined as the amount of the enzyme that produces a certain amount of enzymatic activity. The daily dosage of SOD B Extramel® is 140 U SOD/day as indicated in the publication.

Firstly, as a protein and especially an enzyme, the SuperOxide Dismutase (SOD) has to be protected from gastric acidity after an oral administration. Bionov has developed specific patented coatings, which enable to protect the SOD enzymatic activity from the gastric acidity and its degradation by digestive enzymes. Bionov has demonstrated that SOD is preserved from the gastric acids thanks to the coating, allowing its progressively release along the intestinal tract. This has been demonstrated especially by a specific coating formulated with palm oil (RSPO).

Secondly, SOD B, even coated, is not bioavailable. However, once in the intestinal tract, Bionov has largely demonstrated, through 4 major recent scientific publications that an oral SOD B supplementation leads to the stimulation of endogenous antioxidant enzymes expression (SOD, Catalase, Glutathione Peroxidase) in targeted tissues (Carillon et al. 2013 Mol Nutr Food Res, Carillon et al. 2013 Free Rad Bio Med ; Carillon et al. 2013 Pharm Res ; Carillon et al. 2014 Int J Food Sci Nutr). This mechanism of action has already been demonstrated at a human daily dosage of 140 U SOD/day, i.e., the daily dosage of SOD B Extramel® in the present publication. This induction probably involves the stimulation of the ARE/Nrf2 pathway, known to induce antioxidant enzymes synthesis in the intestinal tract.

Thirdly, it is well and largely scientifically established that a psychological stress and oxidative stress are closely linked. Strong evidences have demonstrated that the glucocorticoids, released following a stress response, increase the toxicity of oxygen radical generators, and stimulate the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (McIntosh et al. 1998 ; Epel et al. 2004 ; Bouayed et al. 2009). An increase in oxidative damages, including mitochondrial DNA alterations and lipid peroxidation, is further observed, which results not only from an increase in ROS, but also from a decrease in antioxidant capacities, particularly in SOD (Manoli et al. 2007 ; Sato et al. 2010). An antioxidant supplementation, and especially a restoration of SOD, CAT and GPx levels, is therefore an efficient approach to prevent psychological stress consequences (Liu et al. 1994).

According to its strong scientific background, and thanks to a scientifically demonstrated mechanism of action, an oral SOD B Extramel® supplementation (140 U SOD/day) is efficient in the relief of stress and the improvement of physical and cognitive performances. Its efficiency is supported by two randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical study. The last one has just been published in the journal Nutrients, which is a high relevant international Human Nutrition Journal recognized by its high impact factor (2.072).

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Follow Up

Posted by Garfield,

Ok, skimmed th study and they did say 140 U/day so the author of the article screwed up. They also did spell out the method used to determine activity.

So all good so far.

Unfortunately, this is still junk science for the following reasons:
1) According to the study authors, the SOD is coated with Palm Oil to protect against digestive enzymes. This is nonsense. Enzymes are substrate specific so unless there is an enzyme that targets SOD this protection is superfluous.

The thing that the SOD needs protection from is stomach acid and Palm Oil is no help in that regard. In short there is no way it survives the stomach acid digestive process.

2) Next even SOD that is protected from stomach acid has a half-life of 15 minutes when taken orally - unless addition engineering is done - none of this engineering is done with this particular SOD. So even if it had survive stomach acid (which it won't) first pass clearance will remove everything that get absorbed by the small intestines in short order. In short the bio-availability of orally consumed standard SOD is a joke anyone thinking that they will gain any advantage using such products should think again.

3) The authors are confusing Psychological Stress and Oxidative Stress. Oxidative Stress is a physiological condition.

SOD works on Oxidative stress not psychological stress, therefore whatever they are measuring in those results have absolutely nothing to do with the SOD. In short this is junk science, since the materials are suspect and the null hypothesis cannot be tested using this particular material.

I wonder what kind of peer review this Journal conducts for them to publish something so weak.

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What is 140 IU/day SOD?

Posted by Garfield,

There is no such thing. Ensymes are not measured in International Units, they are not vitamins. Also, its important, especially for SOD for the activity measuring method to be delineated since they are not all compatible with each other. If these are not outlined in the study and the oral supplement is not enteric coated then this would be trash science.

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