Thursday, March 21, 2013

Selenium Function in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 27, 2013

Selenium, an essential nutrient as well as an environmental toxicant, is best known as a component of the selenium-dependent enzyme glutathione peroxidase. As part of the cellular defense system, selenium, like vitamin E, functions much as a biological antioxidant, and indeed there are a number of deficiency symptoms of selenium that may be partially corrected by vitamin E and vice versa.

The antioxidant defense system allows for the trapping of free radicals and superoxides, which cause oxidative damage to lipid membranes. Simply put, glutathione peroxidase converts reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione and destroys peroxides by changing them to harmless alcohols. This conversion of the peroxides prevents them from reacting with lipid membranes and causing loss of membrane integrity.

Exercise causes increased oxygen delivery to the tissues and oxidation of energy substrate resulting in the generation of reactive oxygen byproducts, peroxides...

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