Sel-Plex

Why is selenium important?

Selenium, like vitamin E, has a central role in the animal’s immune system and serves as a major nutrient involved in the antioxidant system. There are over 25 different enzymes and proteins in the body that require selenium, the most well-known being glutathione peroxidise (GSH-Px seen on blood profile reports)

Selenium reserves in cattle are often at their lowest around calving and selenium inadequacy has been linked to diseases, such as retained placenta, metritis, increased mastitis cases, iodine deficiency and poor reproductive performance.

What is Sel-Plex?

Inorganic selenium is usually fed as sodium selenite or selenate. This is altered by rumen bacteria to a form that can’t be absorbed. Sel-Plex is the same form of selenium that is found in plants and animals. The selenium in Sel-Plex is found in amino acids such as seleno-methionine (SeMet) and this is the storage form of the element in the body.  In the animal SeMet, is converted to seleno-cysteine (SeCys), a highly active form, rapidly utilised to produce the selenium proteins used in metabolism and immunity.

These are both now considered essential amino acids. Sel-Plex takes advantage of the yeasts’ ability to accumulate selenium as SeMet. Feeding selenium as Sel-Plex provides this crucial trace mineral in the form the body (SeMet) is most able to actively absorb, store and utilise.

What effects might be seen?

Trials using Sel-Plex have usually replaced all the inorganic sodium selenite with Sel-Plex.  Sel-Plex is well-known to be more bioavailable than sodium selenite (Juniper et al., 2006) and safer (Juniper et al., 2008). Supplementation with Sel-Plex in dairy cows has shown:

  • Improved uptake and retention of selenium in tissues (Knowles et al., 1999)
  • Increased neutrophil function and lower SCC (Ibeagha et al.; 2007, Silvestre et al., 2007)
  • Decreased endometritis and improved fertility (Silvestre et al., 2007)
  • Increased milk selenium concentration (Heard et al., 1999; Givens et al., 2001)
  • Increased colostral selenium and improved calf selenium status (Pehrson et al., 1999; Guyot et al., 2007)
  • Increased GSH-Px activity (Juniper et al., 2008)
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