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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2003;16(3): 435-444.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2003.435    Published online January 1, 2003.
Biological Aspects of Selenium in Farm Animals
Y. Y. Kim, D. C. Mahan
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 H2O2 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
Keywords: Selenium; Antioxidant; GSH-Px
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