2022 journal article
The health benefits of selenium in food animals: a review
Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral important for the maintenance of homeostasis in animals and humans. It evinces a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and potential antimicrobial capacity. Selenium biological function is primarily achieved by its presence in selenoproteins as a form of selenocysteine. Selenium deficiency may result in an array of health disorders, affecting many organs and systems; to prevent this, dietary supplementation, mainly in the forms of organic (i.e., selenomethionine and selenocysteine) inorganic (i.e., selenate and selenite) sources is used. In pigs as well as other food animals, dietary selenium supplementation has been used for improving growth performance, immune function, and meat quality. A substantial body of knowledge demonstrates that dietary selenium supplementation is positively associated with overall animal health especially due to its immunomodulatory activity and protection from oxidative damage. Selenium also possesses potential antiviral activity and this is achieved by protecting immune cells against oxidative damage and decreasing viral replication. In this review we endeavor to combine established and novel knowledge on the beneficial effects of dietary selenium supplementation, its antioxidant and immunomodulatory actions, and the putative antimicrobial effect thereof. Furthermore, our review demonstrates the gaps in knowledge pertaining to the use of selenium as an antiviral, underscoring the need for further in vivo and in vitro studies, particularly in pigs.