Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in body fat depots, plasma lipoproteins, and cell membrane phospholipids, where it serves as an important antioxidant. Selenium (Se) fulfills an antioxidant role as a component of glutathione peroxidases (GSHPx). Se is widely distributed in the body, but the most labile reservoir is in the liver. It is found in body tissue principally as selenomethionine (SeMet) or as selenocysteine (SeCys), the latter found in GSHPx. Both nutrients are discussed together because of their related functions and similar deficiency signs. However, Se and vitamin E each have unique metabolic roles, and the factors that alter the oxidative state of an animal may differentially affect their dietary needs.
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