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Bio-efficacy of hydroxy-selenomethionine as a selenium supplement in pregnant dairy heifers and on the selenium status of their calves

Juniper, D. T., Rymer, C. and Briens, M. (2019) Bio-efficacy of hydroxy-selenomethionine as a selenium supplement in pregnant dairy heifers and on the selenium status of their calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 102 (8). pp. 7000-7010. ISSN 0022-0302

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3168/jds.2018-16065


This study aimed to determine the effects of supplementing pregnant heifers with the organic selenium source 2-hydroxy-4-methylselenobutanoic acid (HMSeBA) during last eight weeks of pregnancy on dam and calf Se status. A total of 42 in-calf heifers were recruited to the study and randomly allocated to one of three treatments; a negative control (Con), sodium selenite (NaSe) or HMSeBA. Animals were blocked by body weight, body condition score, and expected calving date prior to treatment allocation. Following enrollment all animals underwent a seven week wash-out period after which they received their respective supplements, topped dressed daily onto a basal diet for the last eight weeks of pregnancy. Heifer blood samples were taken at weekly intervals from enrollment until two weeks before expected calving date, and as soon as possible after calving for determination of whole blood glutathione peroxidase activity (GSH-Px) and plasma selenium (Se) and malondealdehyde (MDA) concentrations. Selenized amino acids were determined in plasma samples taken at three weeks pre-calving. A colostrum sample was taken as close to parturition as possible for determination of colostrum total Se, selenized amino acid, and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration. Calves were blood sampled as close to birth as possible for determination of whole blood GSH-Px activity and plasma Se and MDA concentration. Differences in whole blood GSH-Px activity did not become apparent until calving; GSH-Px activity was lowest in Con heifers (P < 0.05) but similar between NaSe and HMSeBA. Plasma Se was lowest in unsupplemented heifers and greatest in those supplemented with HMSeBA (P < 0.001) and this was attributable to greater selenomethionine concentrations in the plasma of HMSeBA heifers (P < 0.01). Colostrum Se was lowest in Con heifers and greatest in HMSeBA (P < 0.001), the greater Se concentration of HMSeBA heifers was attributable to a greater proportion of total Se comprising selenocysteine (P = 0.061), the reason for this is not known. There was no effect of supplementation on colostrum IgG concentration. Plasma Se was lowest in those calves born to Con heifers and greatest in those born to HMSeBA heifers (P < 0.001). There were no effects of treatment on calf whole blood GSH-Px activity or plasma MDA concentration. The enhanced Se status associated with HMSeBA supplementation is likely a consequence of selenomethionine supply and may confer benefits to both the dam and her calf post-partum.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Animal Sciences > Animal, Dairy and Food Chain Sciences (ADFCS)- DO NOT USE
ID Code:82965
Publisher:American Dairy Science Association


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