Could a little color change your life?
Cancer is a growing issue around the world. Although there has been a 20% decline in cancer death from 1991 to 2010, (as reported by the American Cancer Society) there still much more to be learned about disease. But what if there was something we could do now to help our chances of fighting back this complex and deadly disease? New research provided by Jairam K.P. Vanamala (associate professor of food sciences, Penn State and faculty member, at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute) suggests that properties found in baked purple fleshed potatoes might aid stifling the growth of cancer.
Cancer stem cells are similar to the roots of the weeds. You can hack away at the weed all day, but as long as the roots are still there, the weeds will continue to grow back. In the same way, if the cancer stem cells are still present, the cancer can still grow and spread. In his study, Vanamala reported that baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer’s stem cells.
The mice were given an amount of baked potatoes that in human portion size would be one large purple-fleshed potato per day. “Potatoes contain resistant starch, which serves as a food for the gut bacteria, that can covert to beneficial short-chain fatty acids such as butyric acid,” Vanamala said. “The butyric acid regulates immune function in the gut, suppresses chronic inflammation and may also help to cause cancer cells to self-destruct.”
Vanamala added that in addition to resistant starch, the same color compounds that give potatoes, as well as other fruits and vegetables, a rainbow of vibrant colors may be effective in suppressing cancer growth. Because cancer is such a complex disease, when you eat from the rainbow, instead of one compound, you have thousands of compounds, working on different pathways to suppress the growth of cancer stem cells.
So take a look at how something as simple as incorporating a couple of more colors into your diet can have a staggering effect on your over all health. How many colors will you have today?
Written by Charlie Marquez
Sourced from The Empire State Tribune