A Colorful Whole Food Diet Can Help Prevent Colon Cancer and IBS

Previously, scientists have found that colorful compounds in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer when these concepts were tested on mice. We don’t advocate animal testing, but note that researchers decided to take the theories to pigs. Not only are their digestive systems eerily similar to humans, but they can eat just about anything.

When an international team of researchers gave pigs three differing diets: one standard, one higher calorie/fat, and a high-fat/inflammatory diet, they garnered amazing results after also feeding the pigs with the worst diet some healthy, purple potatoes (raw and baked).

There was a standard diet with 5 percent fat; a high-calorie diet, with 17 percent added dry fat pkus 3 to 4 percent added endogenous fat; and the high fat/high calorie diet supplemented with purple-fleshed potatoes.

Penn State reports:

In the study, pigs that were served a high calorie diet supplemented with purple-fleshed potatoes had less colonic mucosal interleukin-6 — IL-6 — compared to a control group. IL-6 is a protein that is important in inflammation, and elevated IL-6 levels are correlated with proteins, such as Ki-67, that are linked to the spread and growth of cancer cells, said Vanamala, who also is a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute.

Amazingly, the expression of IL-6 was six times lower in pigs that ate the purple potato-enhanced feed compared to the control group. That means, despite the dismal diet, just the addition of purple foods created a cancer-fighting meal.

According to the researchers, who reported their findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, eating whole foods that contain macronutrients — substances that humans need in large amounts, such as proteins — as well as micro- and phytonutrients, such as vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids, may be effective in altering the IL-6 pathway.

RELATED: http://www.healthyfoodstyle.com/

The almighty purple potato was chosen for this study for its rich, bioactive anthocyanins and phenolic acids that were previously linked to cancer prevention (and fighting obesity). But the researchers emphasize that other colorful fruits and vegetables propel similar results.

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