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re: Peroxide/Superoxide


From what I remember and from checking into the scientific literature,
superoxide is O2 with an extra electron designated O2-.  It is a
molecule produced during normal cellular processes in organisms.  It is
part of a family of molecules known as oxygen free radicals.  Both
superoxide and hydrogen peroxide are toxic to both prokaryotic (e.g.
bacteria) and eukaryotic (e.g. mammals).  White blood cells in your body
release H2O2 to destroy bacteria upon infection.  Both bacteria and
mammals have mechanisms to detoxicify O2-, which is carried out by an
enzyme family known as the superoxide dismutase (SOD).  These enzymes
convert O2- into H2O2 and O2.  Now H2O2 is toxic so this is further
broken down by the catalase enzymes.  See the following reference for
more info www.zool.canterbury.ac.nz/freeradicals.htm.

By the way how do I respond to someone on the message board and have my
response be part of a thread instead of creating a new thread.  I have
been trying to figure this out.