Tips On Selenium Supplementation
Having mentioned the importance of selenium in the diet, I would like to bring up a few important points about supplementing this essential nutrient.
Having practiced in a selenium deficient region for almost 20 years, I can say the problem is real. We often test horses who are on high quality forage but no supplements that are low in blood selenium levels. Horse owners in such regions as the PNW will likely need to address deficiencies, especially if the horses are used for riding or breeding purposes.
When choosing a supplement, look for organic selenium yeast as it provides the more stable and absorbable form. Selenium’s important role as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage is dependent on Vitamin E. Therefore, the horse must receive adequate amount of vitamin E. This is important for all horses, especially those who are stabled or on dry lots as fresh green pasture is the main dietary source of vitamin E.
If you are adding selenium to your horse’s diet it is important to consider balance with other trace elements. This is often overlooked when selenium is simply added to the diet on top of other basic supplements. I learned about the details of this when we created Meganutril Ultra. We loved the results we were getting from the Meganutril but we knew we needed a practical basic supplement that could accommodate all horses in our selenium deficient area. We asked Klaus to create that for us by adding more selenium to the original Meganutril product. I expected it to be a matter of adding the selenium and increasing the level of vitamin E. I was wrong. Klaus and the scientists at Miavit adjusted all the other ingredients to optimize the new supplement and to accommodate the higher selenium.
In addition to vitamin E, vitamin C is another important, and sometimes under recognized teammate for selenium when it comes to antioxidant effects and preventing cell damage. Horses with high workloads can benefit from the addition of vitamin C in a pH neutral form.