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publicado em 02/10/2011 às 13h25:00
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Cattle feed enriched with selenium produces milk with antioxidant properties

Researchers from USP added sunflower oil with organic selenium and vitamin E in the diet of animals

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After adding sunflower oil organic selenium and vitamin E to the diet of cows, a group of researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) studied the effect not only on animals but also in children who consumed milk. The results showed that, besides bringing benefits to the health of cows and increase milk production, feed enriched improved product conservation and increased levels of selenium and vitamin E in the blood of children who consumed milk supplemented.

The work, which had apoio da Fapesp in the form of Research Grants - Regular, was led by Marcus Antonio Zanetti, professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Food Engineering (FZEA) USP, in Pirassununga (SP).

The other author of the paper, Arlindo Neto Saran had bolsa de pós-doutorado FAPESP, and during his research in 2010 was hired as a teacher of FZEA.

According to Zanetti, the pioneering study is by its shape, by associating the area of ​​animal husbandry and nutrition survey on the effects of the product on human health. The study was conducted in partnership with researchers at the Agency Paulista Agribusiness Technology (APTA) in Ribeirão Preto (SP).

Many studies have been done on the possibilities of changes in animal feeding in order to improve, in theory, the quality of products for human consumption. But our work has taken a step further, comparing the effect of the product enriched in the milk, and assess whether it really is better for human health, said Zanetti Agency FAPESP.

Known to have antioxidant effects, selenium is an important mineral to combat free radicals. According to Zanetti, studies in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of USP proved that the Brazilian diet is deficient in the mineral - with the exception of the North, where there is high consumption of stop-nut, rich in selenium. Vitamin E was combined with the mineral to have complementary antioxidant effects.

Cardiovascular diseases are considered the major public health problems and milk, rich in various nutrients, is often related to them by their proportion of saturated fatty acids and the cholesterol content, he noted.

Sunflower oil was used as a source of fat to enrich the feed in order to combine their action to the antioxidant effects of selenium and vitamin E in physical and chemical composition of milk.

The oil has the function of changing the profile of fatty acids in milk, improving the product from the standpoint of nutrition. In addition, it enhances the effect of antioxidants, said Zanetti. This profile change shortens the life of the milk, which can spoil more quickly. But take care of antioxidants reverse this effect.

In the experiment, 24 cows were used divided into four types of treatment. A control group received ordinary diet, the second group received diet with added 2.5 milligrams of selenium and 1,000 IU of vitamin E daily. The third group was given feed with added 3% sunflower oil and the fourth group consumed the diet with the addition of sunflower oil with 2.5 mg of selenium and 1,000 IU of vitamin E daily.

We measured the daily intake and milk production of animals and milk samples were collected weekly for analysis of fat, protein, lactose, calcium, phosphorus, total solids and somatic cell count. The milk obtained from each treatment was pasteurized and placed in your container. Also included is a treatment with skim milk, he said.

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The milk was provided to children from first to fourth grade who remain full-time Professor at the School Stela Stefanini Bacci in the town of Casa Branca (SP). We recruited 100 individuals previously screened through clinical examination and laboratory and identified as healthy.

Children from 7 to 10 years old, underwent anthropometric and biochemical assessments of blood, made in clinical laboratory. The blood samples were performed by a medical team, said Zanetti.

Several results were obtained. Hansen said the benefits of enriched diet were first observed in animals. The inclusion of sunflower oil with added vitamin E and selenium brought beneficial effects to health of the mammary gland of cows, resulting in a lower incidence of subclinical mastitis, higher average milk production, lower intake of dry matter content and lower fat in milk, he said.

In addition, supplementation of cows with selenium and vitamin E was effective in improving the concentration of selenium and vitamin E in serum and significantly increased the concentration of the two antioxidants in milk produced by animals. Antioxidants, in turn, improved the ability to preserve milk.

Supplementation with sunflower oil in the diet of cows on the other hand, significantly altered the fatty acid profile in milk. One of the most notable effect was to increase the content of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the product, he said.

For children, those who received milk from cows supplemented with selenium and vitamin E had higher concentrations of antioxidants in blood plasma. With the addition of vitamin E in the diet, we observed a 33% increase in serum vitamin E in the blood of children, the teacher told the FZEA-USP.

Children who consumed milk from cows that received only the sunflower oil in the diet had the added vitamin E content increased even more: 45%. This was because the oil enhances the absorption of vitamin E, said.

However, children who drank skim milk had a reduced level of vitamin E by 15% in the control group. Children who drank milk from cows supplemented only with selenium and vitamin E had an increase of selenium in the blood of 160% in the control group. In children who drank milk from cows supplemented with selenium sunflower oil varied little, increasing by 4%. But those who drank skim milk, selenium decreased by 20%, he said.

The conclusion is that the milk produced by cows whose diet was enriched with selenium, vitamin E and sunflower oil increased the levels of antioxidants and CLA in the body of children, which, according to Zanetti, brings health benefits.

Unfortunately we have enriched milk in Brazil. It would be beneficial that it was produced and placed on the market - especially since we know that selenium is scarce in the diet of our population. In addition, the enrichment process is not expensive, he said.

Source: FAPESP
   Palavras-chave:   Sunflower oil    Selenium    Vitamin E    Feed    Cow    University of São Paulo    USP    Milk    Antioxidant   
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