Chicken Meat Rich in Selenium and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The Open Agriculture Journal 14 Oct 2011 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501105010030


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.
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