Purple potatoes may help ward off colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, according to recent research at Pennsylvania State University. Experiments were conducted on pigs, which have a digestive system similar to humans, according to the researchers. Compared to the control group, pigs fed a high-calorie diet had higher levels of colonic mucosal interleukin-6 (IL-6), a protein linked to the growth of cancer cells. However, pigs fed the high-calorie diet supplemented with purple potatoes had IL-6 levels six times lower the control group.
Understanding how these compounds work on a molecular level could be an initial step toward finding treatments for people with cancer, the researchers said. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.