London: The body uses selenium, a mineral vital for good health, to make `selenoproteins` which protect cells from damage. The mineral`s consumption cuts down chances of developing pancreatic cancer, says a UK study.Experts say that depleting soil selenium levels, thanks to intensive farming methods and fertilisers, are affecting the food chain, diets and the risk of disease.Last week, researchers at the University of East Anglia found people who eat large amounts of the mineral, along with vitamins C and E, are 67 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer.Previous research has shown that in old age a good selenium intake helps enhance brain function, so that cognition remains sharp and active, the Daily Mail reports.The richest food sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, kidney, liver and fish, but the foods that make the largest contribution to our selenium intake - because we eat proportionately more of them - are cereals, bread, meat and poultry.
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