RESEARCH ARTICLE


Chicken Meat Rich in Selenium and Omega-3 Fatty Acids



Anna Haug1, *, Olav A. Christophersen2, Trine Sogn3
1 Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1432 Ås, Norway
2 Ragnhild Schibbyesvei 26, 0968 Oslo
3 Department of Soil and Plant Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1432 Ås, Norway


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© 2011 Haug et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O.Box 5003, 1432 Ås, Norway; Tel: +47 64 96 51 72; Fax: +47 64 96 51 01; E-mail: anna.haug@umb.no


Abstract

The concentration of selenium (Se) in food is in many countries too low and the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids too high implying more non-communicable diseases, e.g. cancer, cardiac disease, impaired immune defense, pain, enhanced non-infectious inflammatory response. Meat from animals supplemented with Se and omega-3 fatty acids makes a good source of these nutrients in human nutrition. The worldwide demand for several nutrients is increasing, and food with optimal composition is required. The objective of the present study was to produce chicken meat especially high in Se and with a favorable ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Sixty newly hatched chickens were fed wheat-based diets containing 40 g rapeseed oil/kg, 10 g linseed oil/kg and varying amounts of selenium enriched yeast for three weeks, resulting in meat with a favorable ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and with selenium concentration ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 mg/kg. This meat would be expected to give health benefits both in prophylactic and therapeutic contexts. It represents a better strategy for increasing the intake of Se and very long chain omega-3 fatty acids at a population basis rather than relying on Se supplements or only on fish resources that are already overexploited and can not cover EPA and DHA requirements (for ensuring optimal health) for more than a fraction of the world’s total population. The meat from the highest Se supplementation treatment groups might be useful for some groups of patients (e.g. with ischemic pain) who might benefit from especially high Se intake.

Keywords: Chicken, meat, selenium, fatty acids, health.