Selenium deficiency: a widespread problem

17-06-2008 | |

Leading selenium specialists meeting in Prague this week have concluded that humans and animals alike across Europe typically fall short of the optimal dietary intake of the nutrient selenium.

Speaking at Alltech’s annual European Selenium Conference: “Selenium in
animal and human health – Nutrition inspired by nature”, the experts emphasised
the detrimental effect that this deficiency can have on health.”We hear that
selenium is important – that is not enough – it is essential” said Professor
Gerhard Schrauzer of the University of California, San Diego,

Potential solution
While speakers concurred that
selenium supplementation could provide a potential solution, inorganic selenium
salts are not the solution due to their low ‘bioavailabilty’ and sustainability
in the body. Research comparing organic selenium supplementation, in the form of
Sel-Plex®, (Alltech’s organic selenium produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM
I-3060) to selenite supplementation in the diets of ruminants, pigs and poultry
was presented.

“Compared to selenite, Sel-Plex resulted in an extra 4.5
chicks per hen. In breeders, Sel-Plex resulted in more uniform chick weights and
length. Over 36 trials in breeders, replacing selenite with Sel-Plex gave an
average of 35 g/bird more and FCR (Feed Conversion Rate) was reduced by 6
points” said Dr. Peter Spring, Swiss College of Agriculture,

Pig diets
Irish consultant, Dr. Wallace
Henry, found similar results in pig diets, “Changing from selenite to Sel-Plex
in sow diets gives between 0.57 – 0.72 extra weaned pigs per annum – that’s 645
pigs per 1000 sows. Pigs from sows fed Sel-Plex are also heavier at weaning by
0.5 kg.”
“Cows fed Sel-Plex tend to produce a much greater amount of
seleno-protein P. In beef, Sel-Plex increases the GSH-Px in the tissue that
enhances oxidative stability”, according to Dr. Darren Juniper, Reading
University, UK.

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