Burning questions behind the selenium supplementation trend
Known as an antioxidative microelement essential for body development, muscle, reproductive and immune function in horses. Selenium is not produced by horses and must be acquired through feed, whereas according to NRC (2007) total nutritional requirement is0.1 mg se/kg ration.
Selenium deficiencies are common and known to cause diseases and dysfunctionsincluding; myopathy, ischaemic heart disease, asthma and cancer. Though may be corrected by dietary supplementation, as a microelement - it should be supplied in appropriate limited proportions, due to the hightoxicity of excessive amounts.
This study aimed to determine and compare the serum content of selenium in horses in relation to the feeding season. Blood samples were collected in fall and spring from 10 horses of different breeds and kept in similar conditions. Horses received different meal compositions which differed between samplings. While 6 individuals received different types and unknown amounts of selenium supplementations. Study results showed an expected elevation of blood serum selenium content in the supplemented individuals which varied between sampling times.
Expert opinion by Shirley Ferber
The importance of selenium to equine health is undisputed. However, this study methodology lacks credibility. With an insufficient sample size and countless neglectedvariables for significant conclusions, primarily daily ration differences between seasons, as well as unknown selenium supplementation amounts and methods. While recent studies on the subject are scarce, I believe it should be further methodically researched. Meanwhile, please consult a Nutritionist or Vet to avoid perilous unfounded supplementation of selenium.
> From: Wyganowska et al., Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, 27 (2017) (2017-1448). All rights reserved to Pakistan Agricultural Scientists Forum. Click here for the online summary.