Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



During recent times, many efforts have been extended to investigate the metabolism of selenium compounds-in microorganisms, animals and plants. Several investigators (1-3) have proposed some hypothetical metabolic pathways for selenium. However, the role of selenium in the life function of animals remains unknown. Liver necrosis, as induced by the feeding of a Torula yeast diet which is unsupplemented with vitamin E and selenium, is known to be a fatal symptom in rats (4-6). The addition of either vitamin E or selenium to the diet is associated with the prevention of this condition. Schwarz (7) has suggested that vitamin E and selenium play their effect on the same syndrome by acting on alternate pathways of one stage in energy metabolism, thus enabling either substance to promote the over-all reaction. Tappel (8) has proposed that either substance acts to stabilize unsaturated lipids in the intact animal, i.e. as antioxidant in preventing lipid peroxidation and accompanying cellular damage. The report that the necrogenic syndrome may occur when rats are fed a diet low in polyunsaturated fat (9) does not appear to support the explanation offered by Tappel.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Selenium -- Physiological effect.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University