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Organic selenium supplementation increased selenium concentrations in ewe and newborn lamb blood and in slaughter lamb meat compared to inorganic selenium supplementation

Steen, Arvid; Strøm, Turid and Bernhoft, Aksel (2008) Organic selenium supplementation increased selenium concentrations in ewe and newborn lamb blood and in slaughter lamb meat compared to inorganic selenium supplementation. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 50 (7), pp. 1-4.

[thumbnail of 1751-0147-50-7.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: http://www.actavetscand.com


Selenium is part of the antioxidant defence system in animals and humans. The available selenium concentration in soil is low in many regions of the world. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of organic versus inorganic selenium supplementation on selenium status of ewes, their lambs, and slaughter lambs.
Ewes on four organic farms were allocated five or six to 18 pens. The ewes were given either 20 mg/kg inorganic selenium as sodium selenite or organic selenium as selenized nonviable yeast supplementation for the two last months of pregnancy. Stipulated selenium concentrations in the rations were below 0.40 mg/kg dry matter. In addition 20 male lambs were given supplements from November until they were slaughtered in March. Silage, hay, concentrates, and individual ewe blood samples were taken before and after the mineral supplementation period, and blood samples were taken from the newborn lambs. Blood samples from ewes and lambs in the same pens were pooled. Muscle samples were taken from slaughter lambs in March. Selenium concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry with a hydride generator system. In the ANOVA model, selenium concentration was the continuous response variable, and selenium source and farm were the nominal effect variables. Two-sample t-test was used to compare selenium concentrations in muscle samples from the slaughtered lambs that received either organic or inorganic selenium supplements.
In all ewe pens the whole blood selenium concentrations increased during the experimental period. In addition, ewe pens that received organic selenium had significantly higher whole blood selenium concentrations (mean 0.28 μg/g) than ewe pens that received inorganic selenium (mean 0.24 μg/g). Most prominent, however, was the difference in their lambs; whole blood mean selenium concentration in lambs from mothers that received organic selenium (mean 0.27 μg/g) was 30% higher than in lambs from mothers that received inorganic selenium (mean 0.21 μg/g). Slaughter lambs that received organic selenium had 50% higher meat selenium concentrations (mean 0.12 mg/kg wet weight) than lambs that received inorganic selenium (mean 0.08 mg/kg wet weight).
Organic selenium supplementation gave higher selenium concentration in ewe and newborn lamb blood and slaughter lamb meat than inorganic selenium supplementation.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:MineralSIP; organic selenium, lamb, ewe, inorganic selenium, blood, slaughter lamb
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Norway > NVH - Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Norway > NVI - National Veterinary Institute
Deposited By: Strøm, Turid
ID Code:15238
Deposited On:27 Jan 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:38
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:doi:10.1186/1751-0147-50-7

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