Review: Bioavailability of trace elements in farm animals: definition and practical considerations for improved assessment of efficacy and safety

Currently, the authorisation procedure of trace elements as feed additives in the European Union according to Regulation (EC) No. 1831/2003 does not consider the bioavailability of trace element sources. This manuscript provides framework conditions for in vivo experiments that aim to estimate differences in the relative bioavailability between supplements of essential trace elements. Framework conditions encompass necessary technical information on the test substance, the experimental design and diet composition as well as the suitability of status parameters that allow for relative comparisons of regression variables. This manuscript evolves recommendations for researchers to conduct solid and reliable experiments on the matter as well as decision makers to interpret the value of studies submitted with authorisation applications regarding a certain trace element supplement.


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