The toxicity and bioavailability of selenium is dictated by the molecular form, concentration, and the capacity of an organism to metabolize the selenium in a useful manner or detoxify it. There are many parts of the world that have selenium deficiencies which necessitate augmentation of the diet with viable sources of selenium, particularly cattle feed, which is typically in the form of selenized yeast. In other circumstances, selenium is introduced in excess to the environment causing mutations and mortality in fish and birds. In both of these cases, the importance of knowing more than just the total selenium concentration is of paramount importance.
Many assumptions can be made regarding biomolecular transformation in organisms that are later proven faulty by empirical data. Brooks Applied Labs has developed specialized, proprietary analytical methods to support the discrete quantitation of both inorganic (selenite and selenite) and organic forms of selenium (more info on our Selenium webpage). This can be especially useful for applications using biological media to remove selenium from wastewaters. Under those conditions, monitoring specific biomarkers can prove invaluable in understanding the health of bacteria colonies and causality for performance issues.
Beyond supporting selenium speciation analyses for yeast, birds, fish, and a plethora of other organisms, BAL has also partnered with a number of research scientists and pharmaceutical companies to investigate the application of selenium compounds for cancer prevention and treatment. Selenium is known to form the antioxidant analogue of glutathione, which is one reason why the number of investigations focusing on selenium treatment has increased significantly in the past decade. Whether it is a pharmacokinetics project or focused tissue bioaccumulation study, BAL has experience and knowledge to support the endeavor.
Application of our analytical methods for selenium speciation analysis of a wide variety of tissue matrices negates the need to make assumptions and ensures decisions are based on sound and defensible data. Contact us today to identify how partnering with BAL can help you meet your current and future analytical needs for research and clinical testing.