Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Selenium and vitamin E: overview

Contributor(s): Nigel Kendall , John Tulloch

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Background

  • Selenium has been well documented as an essential nutrient, ie it is required by the body, but cannot be synthesised by the animal. 
    • Animals receiving mineralized feed are more likely to suffer from over supplementation than under supplementation. 
    • Grazing animals are more likely to be at risk of deficiency. 
    • Selenium is a constituent of the tri-iodothyronine deiodinase enzyme which converts the storage T4 into the biologically active T3 therefore selenium deficiency will result in depressed thyroid function.
  • Vitamin E is also an essential nutrient:
    • Vitamin E is comprised of saturated α, β, χ, δ - tocopherols. The α form is most common and is also the most biologically active.
      • The unsaturated α-tocotrienol also has vitamin E activity.
    • Young grass is a better source of vitamin E, compared to mature herbage as vitamin E is in the leaf rather than the stem. 
    • Vitamin E is reduced in both ensiled and dried conserved forages (~90% loss in hays). 
    • Synthetic sources of Vitamin E are often added to diets and other forms of supplementation.
  • Vitamin E shares a sparing relationship with selenium due to the common antioxidant role.

Selenium - vitamin E interactions/synergy

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Selenium/Vitamin E deficiency

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Selenium/Vitamin E requirements

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Status analysis

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Selenium/Vitamin E toxicity

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Selenium/Vitamin E supplementation

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bone P A & Kendall N R (2011) How to determine on farm forage mineral problems. Cattle Practice 19, 133-136.
  • Williams J R, Williams N E & Kendall N R (2017) The efficacy of supplying supplemental cobalt, selenium and vitamin B12 via the oral drench route in sheep. Livestock Science 200, 80-84.

Other sources of information

  • Kendall N R & Bone P (2018) Farm and laboratory assessment of mineral availability in ruminants. In: Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition 2015 (Eds Garnsworthy P C & Wiseman J) In Press.
  • NRC (2016) Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle.
  • Kendall N R & Bone P A (2014) Sheep mineral supplements: what do they do and when should they be used? Animal Health Advisor August 6-8.
  • Kendall N R  (2014) Understanding and advising on the need for mineral supplements in livestock. Animal Health Advisor June 12-13.
  • Kendall N R (2008) Choosing right strategy for large animal mineral supplementation. Veterinary Times 10th March 30-31.
  • NRC (2005) Mineral Tolerance of Animals.
  • NRC (2001) Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle.
  • Underwood & Suttle (1999) The Mineral Nutrition of Livestock.


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