A new book describing the importance of selenium in the diet — for both humans and animals — is available.

Author Peter Surai, visiting professor of nutritional biochemistry at the Scottish Agricultural College, cites these take-home messages from the book:

  • Cows do not get enough selenium in their diets, generally speaking. Surai says this is somewhat intuitive, because when the selenium levels in cows’ diets increase to optimal levels, the cows’ health status improves. For instance, they have lower incidence of mastitis and lower somatic cell counts. “These are things a dairy farmer can see,” he says.
  • The selenium must be organic, he says. Organic selenium sources are more biologically available and better utilized by the dairy cow than inorganic sources. Be sure to look at the feed label. If it says selenium yeast, it’s organic; if it says, sodium selenite, it’s inorganic. 

For more information:

Surai’s book, “Selenium in Nutrition and Health,” is available from Blackwell Publishing Professional, 2121 State Ave., Ames, Iowa 50014, phone: (800) 862-6657.
Or, go to the Web site www.blackwellprofessional.com