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Biological Aspects of Selenium in Farm Animals
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 Title & Authors
Biological Aspects of Selenium in Farm Animals
Kim, Y.Y.; Mahan, D.C.;
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In 1957, Schwarz and Foltz discovered that selenium (Se) was an essential trace mineral and nutritionists then started extensive studies to figure out the metabolic function of this element which has been called as toxic mineral. The discovery that glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) contained Se demonstrated a biochemical role for Se as an essential trace element. The major physiological function of Se containing GSH-Px is thought to maintain low levels of and other hydroperoxides in the cell to prevent tissues from peroxidation damages. It is known that the GSH-Px activity is increased when animals were fed high dietary levels of Se. Chemical properties of Se have much in common with sulfur (S) therefore Se would follow the sulfur pathways in its metabolism in animal body. Two sources of Se are available for supplementation of Se in animal feed. Inorganic Se can also exist in selenide (-2), elemental (0), selenite (+4) and selenate (+6) oxidation state with other minerals. When sulfur in S containing amino acids is replaced by Se, organic Se can be made and named "eleno"prior to the name of S containing amino acid, i.e. selenomethionine. Selenium deficiency affects humans as well as animals and dysfunctions such as exudative diathesis, retained placenta, mastitis, liver necrosis, Keshan disease, numerous diseases and cancer. From several centuries ago, Se toxicity was recognized in various animal species and much of the current toxic Se levels has been established largely based upon the controlled toxicity studies used inorganic Se. Toxic effects of Se in animal result in reduced feed intake, growth retardation, ataxia, diarrhea, alopecia and sloughing of hooves. However, several experiments demonstrated that Se deficiencies or toxicities were varied by dietary Se levels and sources. Recent studies demonstrated that the incidence of colorectal and prostate cancer was reduced by approximately 50% when humans consumed 200 of Se daily.
Selenium (Se);Antioxidant;GSH-Px;
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