INTERVIEW: Adisseo Pursues Research of Hydroxy-Selenomethionine Benefits



13 February 2018 – Selenium was discovered 200 years ago. Over the years, acquired knowledge and expertise have made this metalloid a recognized nutritional element for all animals and humans. Adisseo started working on selenium in 2008, and developed a new form of pure organic selenium: hydroxy-selenomethionine (OH-SeMet) in 2014, which company sells under the brand name Selisseo®. Over the years, Adisseo has furthered its understanding of the biological role of selenium, and particularly its implication on oxidative balance, immunity and quality of end-products.

Adisseo’s research shows that OH-SeMet is more bioavailable compared to inorganic selenium or seleno-yeast. According to the company, such bioavailability results in better antioxidant status, higher immune response and improved meat and egg quality.

Feedinfo News Service recently spoke to Dr. Pierre-André Geraert, Adisseo’s Director Scientific Marketing to get a better understanding of the role organic selenium can play in animal nutrition and health and how beneficial hydroxy-selenomethionine really is.

[Feedinfo News Service] Dr. Geraert, can you provide us some background about the creation of your selenium product?

[Pierre-André Geraert] 10 years ago, we launched the Rhodimet® Research Grants devoted to stimulate research in sulphur amino acids and their metabolism. An interesting output of that program was the implication of methionine and cysteine in the antioxidant metabolism. A research team conducted by Prof. J Buyse from Leuven University demonstrated that OH-Met was generating more Cysteine (Cys) than Methionine (Met), leading to more glutathione produced and thus more antioxidant potential than Met. This glutathione appeared to be the key structure involved in antioxidant mechanism through the glutathione peroxidase, a selenoprotein. Moreover, Met appeared to be the only amino acid having its own specific regeneration system based also on a selenoprotein, the Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase B. It thus looked obvious that Selenium (Se) was intimately linked to the antioxidant potential of sulphur amino acids.

A pure organic selenium source, OH-SeMet (or HMSeBA), originally developed for humans raised our interest. A preliminary trial based on 100 mg of product led us to be excited by its potential and to create an innovative project in Adisseo. As the knowledge on the purity of the different organic selenium sources was rather scarce, lots of efforts were conducted to better understand the weaknesses and benefits of Se sources. After 5 years of intense and stimulating research conducted within Adisseo and in partnership with the best international laboratories on the topic, Selisseo® was launched at the European Poultry Conference in Stavanger in June 2014.

[Feedinfo News Service] What kind of studies did you perform to assess the efficacy of OH-SeMet?

[Pierre-André Geraert] The efficacy of OH-SeMet has been demonstrated across several species: broilers, layers, breeders, piglets, sows, fattening pigs, ruminants, and aqua. We have run a large number of trials, and recently the meta-analysis of the poultry data has been presented (PSA 2017). It confirms the higher bioavailability of OH-SeMet through greater tissue Se deposition, compared with other selenium sources. A rapid and easy test has even been developed to assess bioavailability of different selenium sources, using day-old chicks (Couloigner et al., 2015). All sources of Se can then be compared with reproducible results showing that pure forms of organic Se (SeMet or OH-SeMet), are the only 100% organic forms giving the highest value. The test also allowed to compare different Se-yeasts including the ones not based on Saccharomyces but Torula. The latter appeared equivalent to a 30% SeMet containing Se-yeast. This rapid test has been confirmed through lots of further in vivo trials including finishing broilers, turkeys, pigs, layers and breeders.

Moreover, our studies showed that seleno-yeasts were highly variable in their content of SeMet, the only organic efficient part of their Se content. Indeed, by comparing various Se-yeasts products, Simon et al. (2013, WPSJ) demonstrated that the difference in efficacy could only be explained by their content of SeMet. The SeCys content, which is often claimed by seleno-yeasts producers as a bioavailable source of Se, was demonstrated not to be more efficient than sodium selenite (Deagen et al., 1987, JNut.). Adisseo recently decided to conduct again a fundamental work to demonstrate the efficacy of the various organic forms: SeMet, OH-SeMet, SeCys, MeSeCys. This research showed once again that SeCys and its homologous were not more efficient than inorganic selenium. The SeCys that is effectively utilized by animals is synthesized in the cells thanks to a de novo genetically controlled process transforming Selenide into SeCys. The unique way to have the best bioavailability is to provide 100% SeMet, which only pure source of SeMet and OH-SeMet can do.

Further studies were done on antioxidant and immune responses in various situations showing the higher potential of a more bioavailable form of organic Se. Meat quality parameters, drip losses and meat color stability were also improved with OH-SeMet. In all animals, the two forms of Se found in the tissues are SeMet and SeCys. While SeMet is deposited as Met in the proteins, SeCys is the key amino acid in the catalytic site of the Selenoproteins, such as GPx, Thioredoxin Reductase, MSR, Deiodinase and many others. The specific metabolism of OH-SeMet demonstrated higher SeCys thus selenoprotein activity in all species and tissues, confirming its strongest antioxidant potential than SeMet.

[Feedinfo News Service] How will Adisseo further develop its knowledge about the biological role of selenium?

[Pierre-André Geraert] To further understand the biological role of Selenium, Adisseo has devoted lots of efforts on following the expression of all the selenoproteins. It has thus been demonstrated and presented at the last Oxidative Stress session during the PSA 2017 in Orlando that OH-SeMet had a strongest effect on expression of various selenoproteins in broilers compared to Se-yeasts or mineral Se (Lei et al., 2017). To investigate further the benefits of a pure organic Se source, we are currently measuring biological markers that could be more relevant for evaluation of oxidative stress and immunity and showing the benefits of pure sources of organic Se.

[Feedinfo News Service] How can OH-SeMet contribute to a better animal production?

[Pierre-André Geraert] Animals continue to experience oxidative stress situations through their intense metabolism. They are indeed eating a lot and have thus to metabolize a huge amount of feed leading to generating lots of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The last oxidative stress session organized during the PSA 2017 explored the diverse components of the oxidative metabolism and further emphasizes the need to balance the pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants to guarantee the best feed efficiency (Bottje et al., 2017; Lilburn et al., 2017, Surai et al., 2017, Lauridsen, 2017). The ROS produced by the intense oxidative metabolism may have detrimental effects on lots of biological functions. Animals have thus to be helped to cope with such situations. Improving the antioxidant balance appears to be key to express the genetic potential of high-producing animals. Dietary supplementation with OH-SeMet has shown improvement in the anti-oxidant status of the animals. The development of relevant biomarkers will help to evaluate the benefits of such OH-SeMet. The last benefit of OH-SeMet strongly demonstrated is on the quality of the end-products. Enriching the tissues (meat, egg and milk) in Se may have a strong interest in Se-deficient countries. Moreover, OH-SeMet has shown an interesting potential on improving the stability of the meat color, reducing the evolution toward the degradation of the myoglobin pigmentation for the red parts such as thigh and drumsticks in broilers, reducing the drip losses and lipid oxidation of the meat.


Dr. Pierre-André Geraert Director – Scientific Marketing Adisseo