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Food for thought: nano-selenium in poultry nutrition and health

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2020

Peter F. Surai*
Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora 6000, Bulgaria Department of Hygiene and Poultry Sciences, Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology named after K.I. Skryabin, Moscow 109472, Russia Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Szent Istvan University, Godollo H-2103, Hungary Vitagene and Health Research Centre, Bristol BS4 2RS, UK Saint Petersburg State Academy of Veterinary Medicine, St. Petersburg 196084, Russia
Ivan I. Kochish
Department of Hygiene and Poultry Sciences, Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology named after K.I. Skryabin, Moscow 109472, Russia
Author for correspondence: Peter F. Surai, Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora 6000, Bulgaria. E-mail:


In recent years, nanoparticles have become a fashionable subject of research due to their sizes, shapes, and unique intrinsic physicochemical properties. In particular for the last 5 years, nano-Se has received tremendous attention in terms of its production, characteristic, and possible application for poultry/animal science and medical sciences. Indeed, Nano-Se is shown to be a potential source of Se for poultry/animal nutrition. However, there is an urgent need to address the questions related to nano-Se absorption, assimilation, and metabolism. It is not clear at present if major biological effects of nano-Se are due to Se-protein synthesis, direct antioxidant/prooxidant effects, or both. It is necessary to understand how metallic nano-Se can be converted into H2Se and further to SeCys to be incorporated into selenoproteins. The aforementioned issues must be resolved before nano-Se finds its way to animal/poultry production as a feed supplement and clearly this subject warrants further investigation.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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