Podcast: Understanding selenium

19-01-2022 | |
Podcast: Understanding selenium

This 42nd episode of the Real P3 podcast is the first in a new series of educational segments. This episode features Dr Darlene Bloxham from Adisseo. She discusses oxidative stress with Dr Bradley, the role of selenium, and getting the most consistent response with selenium through selecting the right source.

The Real P3 podcast series is an initiative where pork professionals from around the globe share their thoughts, insights and solutions to their day-to-day challenges in the pig farming and production industry.

Dr Bloxham discovered her love for research in livestock during her undergraduate education at The Ohio State University. She attended the University of Georgia and went on to complete her PhD on ingredient analysis. She became a nutritionist in Iowa where she fed 30,000 sows a year and all the pigs that came from those sows. For the last 18 months she has been in the role of technical service manager at Adisseo.

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is a normal and natural process whereby free radicals ultimately damage tissues and organs and therefore negatively impact animal performance. Dr Bloxham explains how a pig uses selenium to support an antioxidant cycle that uses vitamin E and vitamin C to combat this process of oxidative stress in a controlled way that will not damage tissues.

A biological toolkit

She discusses the 3 forms of selenium, where they come from and what they are best used for. She also shares her knowledge on organic versus inorganic versus chemically-derived selenium. Dr Bloxham also highlights setting up a “biological toolkit” for the animal for stress events that we know are going to happen – whether farrowing or weaning, etc. – so that they can get through those stress events quicker.

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Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist