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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EVALUATION OF MATERNAL AND PATERNAL GERMPLASM FOR INCREASING EFFICIENCY OF SHEEP IN WESTERN RANGELAND PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research

Title: Enhancing nutritiousness of lamb meat and preventing selenium deficiency.

Authors
item TAYLOR, JOSHUA
item Lewis, Gregory

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 2009
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Lamb meat is a naturally flavorful and nutritious product. Our research indicates that feeding a specific wheat-milling coproduct, which is a natural part of cereal grains, will enhance the nutritiousness of lamb, potentially add monetary value to lamb, and prevent selenium deficiency. Selenium is an essential micromineral, and selenium supplementation may reduce the incidence of certain human diseases. In livestock, selenium supplementation reduces the incidence of nutritional myopathy. Using grains from seleniferous soils, we isolated a wheat-milling coproduct that contained 37% more selenium than did the parent, high-selenium grain. A 100-g portion of uncooked meat from lambs fed selenium-enriched coproduct for 14 days contained > 70% of the daily selenium requirement for humans, and 100 g of uncooked meat from lambs fed selenium-enriched coproduct for 28 days will contain > 100% of the daily human selenium requirement. When ewes were fed selenium-enriched coproduct from mid- to late pregnancy, or when ewes were fed the coproduct during the first 21 days of lactation, skeletal muscle in their lambs was enriched with selenium, compared with lambs from control ewes fed sodium selenite. Milk from the enhanced ewes contained 7 times as much selenium as did milk from controls. Because of the degree of selenium enrichment achieved during pregnancy and lactation, the ewes and their nursing lambs grazed marginally selenium-deficient lands for almost 1 year without a need for supplemental selenium. Selenium-enriched milling coproducts can be used to create selenium-enriched sheep products for human consumption and eliminate the risk of selenium deficiency in sheep.

Technical Abstract: Lamb meat is a naturally flavorful and nutritious product. Our research indicates that feeding a specific wheat-milling coproduct will enhance the nutritiousness of lamb, potentially add monetary value to lamb, and prevent Se deficiency. Selenium is an essential micromineral, and Se supplementation may reduce the incidence of certain human diseases. In livestock, Se supplementation reduces the incidence of nutritional myopathy. Grains from seleniferous soils may contain from 3 to 20 times as much bioavailable Se, in selenomethionine, as do grains from soils with adequate Se availability. Metabolically, selenomethionine (C5H11NO2Se) and methionine (C5H11NO2S) are used interchangeably. To determine whether grains from seleniferous soils will enhance the nutritiousness of lamb meat and satisfy Se requirements, we isolated a wheat-milling coproduct that contained 37% more Se than did the parent, high-Se grain. A 100-g portion of uncooked meat from lambs fed Se-enriched coproduct for 14 d contained > 70% of the daily Se requirement for humans, and, based on our other work, 100 g of uncooked meat from lambs fed Se-enriched coproduct for 28 d should contain > 100% of the daily human Se requirement. When ewes were fed Se-enriched coproduct from mid- to late pregnancy, or when ewes were fed the coproduct during the first 21 d of lactation, skeletal muscle in their lambs was enriched with Se, compared with lambs from control ewes fed sodium selenite. Milk from the enhanced ewes contained 7 times as much Se as did milk from controls. Because of the degree of Se enrichment achieved during pregnancy and lactation, the ewes and their nursing lambs grazed marginally Se-deficient lands for almost 1 yr without a need for supplemental Se. Even though we fed the Se-enriched coproduct to deliver 5 to 10 times the daily Se requirement, no signs of Se toxicity were detected in lamb fetuses, neonatal lambs, pregnant ewes, lactating ewes, or finishing lambs. We conclude that Se-enriched milling coproducts can be used to create Se-enriched sheep products for human consumption and eliminate the risk of Se deficiency in sheep.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014