Vitamin E and Selenium

The primary role of vitamin E in nutrition is to protect cell membranes from peroxidative damage, whereas Se is an integral component of glutathione peroxidase. Vitamin E and Se also play an active role in the host's response to infection. Vitamin-E and Se supplementation in excess of minimal requirements may increase both innate and acquired immunity and offer protection against certain pathogens such as influenza. However, feeding a vitamin E level 50 times the NRC requirement did not afford pigs protection from the effects of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection on growth performance, cytokine production, or certain hematological traits (e.g., white blood cell counts). Nonetheless, vitamin E reduces the production of certain inflammatory cy-tokines and inhibits some behavioral signs of sickness. Thus, in certain instances vitamin-E supplementation may be beneficial.

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