Anti-cancerous properties in Selenium could significantly lower bowel cancer risk, an Australian study has found.
Selenium, a mineral found in many foods including seafood, grains and eggs, is known to boost the body’s antioxidant processes to play a range of other beneficial roles, according to AAP report.
One such function is enhancing the triggering of “apoptosis” - a vital process that allows cells to kill themselves if they detect an error, researcher Graeme Young was quoted in the report as saying.
“When a cell realises that something has gone wrong, it can trigger its own death so the cell doesn’t become a problem,” Mr. Young, head of Flinders Centre for Cancer Prevention and Control at Adelaide’s Flinders University, said.
“What the selenium does is just make the cell better at perceiving that it has to kill itself.”
Selenium had yet another beneficial role, Young said, as it was also thought to reduce damage to DNA—making cells less prone to “misbehaving” in the first place.
“When we put it all together, selenium looks a potentially useful agent when it comes to reducing our risk of getting a range of different cancers,” he said.
His last year’s study found that mice fed extra selenium lowered incidence of bowel cancer by 60 per cent.