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Selenium in Food Chain and Animal Nutrition: Lessons from Nature -Review-

  • Lyons, M.P. (Alltech, Inc.) ;
  • Papazyan, T.T. (Alltech Russia) ;
  • Surai, P.F. (Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow)
  • Received : 2006.10.08
  • Accepted : 2007.02.07
  • Published : 2007.07.01

Abstract

Selenium is considered to be one of the most controversial trace elements. On the one hand, it is toxic at high doses and there is a great body of information related to environmental issues of Se contamination. On the other hand, Se deficiency is a global problem related to an increased susceptibility to various diseases of animals and humans and decreased productive and reproductive performance of farm animals. Optimisation of Se nutrition of poultry and farm animals will result in increased efficiency of egg, meat and milk production and even more important, will improve quality. From the data presented in the review it is clear that the main lesson which we have to learn from nature is how to use organic selenium in animal and human diets. Selenium-enriched yeast (Sel-Plex) is the result of such a lesson and it is just a matter of time before animal nutrition moves completely from using ineffective sodium selenite to organic selenium. Other lessons from nature will follow. Recent advances in genomics and proteomics, in association with descriptions of new selenoproteins, will be a driving force in reconsidering old approaches related to Se nutrition. Probably 90% of all Se research has been conducted with sodium selenite and we now understand that the natural form of selenium is different. The main advances in Se status assessment and Se requirements were established based on the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), an enzyme which for many years was considered to be the main selenoprotein. Recently it was discovered that it is only one of at least 25 various selenoproteins. Se research and practical applications are developing quickly and they are very exciting and promising.

Keywords

Selenium;Selenomethionine;Se-yeast;Nutrition;Poultry;Farm Animals

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