As counteract against deficiency in livestock, dietary treatments are supplemented with selenium (Se), usually as the inorganic form sodium selenite (SS). Since Se is considered as toxic as well as an essential element, SS is added to prevent an increase of Se in edible chicken parts. However, in many countries, populations suffer from suboptimal Se intake and even Se deficiency, by increasing the use of organic Se sources such as Se‐enriched yeast or wheat in animal feed, there will be a subsequent increase in meat and egg products for human consumption. One could argue that the chickens do not need the extra pool of Se in muscles, as the inorganic form will be sufficient to meet the chickens Se requirements. Since the feed is fortified with selenite, the chickens will always have adequate access to the essential trace element. However, global gene set functional enrichment analysis revealed statistically significant enrichment of a number of biological processes that were dependent on the Se feed sources, such as cell growth, organ development and protein metabolism in favour of organic Se.
Part of the book: Poultry Science