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Br Poult Sci. 2012;53(6):817-27. doi: 10.1080/00071668.2012.751523.

The role of selenium in cadmium toxicity: interactions with essential and toxic elements.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Physiology and Feeding, Faculty of Animal Science and Aquaculture, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece.


1. The study was part of a project designed to investigate if organic selenium (Se) can ameliorate the toxic effects of cadmium (Cd). The main objective of the present study was to investigate, in the chicken, the interactions between Se, Cd and the following elements: Sb, Ca, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, V and Zn. 2. A total of 300 1-d-old chickens (broilers) were randomly distributed among 4 dietary treatments with 5 replicate pens per treatment. In T1, chickens were fed on a diet with 0·3 mg/kg added Se, without added Cd. In T2, chickens were fed on a diet with 0·3 mg/kg Se and 10 mg/kg Cd. In T3, chickens were fed on a diet with 0·3 mg/kg Se and 100 mg/kg of Cd added and in T4 treatment, chickens were fed on a diet with 3 mg/kg Se and 100 mg/kg Cd added. Se was added as Se-yeast. Cd was added as cadmium chloride (CdCl₂). On d 28 and 42, two chickens per replicate pen were killed for collection of whole blood, liver, kidney and breast muscle samples. Samples were analysed by ICP-MS. The data were analysed using a multivariate linear model. 3. While low Cd concentrations in the diet led only to an increase of Cd concentration in the examined tissues, addition of high concentrations of Cd increased the concentration of Cd, Cu, Sb and V and decreased that of Se, Mn and Fe. Addition of high Se concentrations did not significantly reduce Cd concentration. 4. Prior to model application, correlations of 78 elements were noted, while after model application 39 correlations were noted. Most notably, Cd was correlated with Ca, Co, Cu and Mg, while Se was correlated with Mn. 5. The present study revealed several correlations between essential, probably essential and toxic elements illustrating the importance of the balance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants.

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