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This Natural Cancer-Fighter Should be on Your Dinner Plate

By Lee Euler / January 16, 2019

By now, it’s no big news that one of the best ways to lower your risk of cancer is to reduce inflammation in your body. When chronic inflammation gets rolling, immune cells can create conditions that encourage cells to go rogue. They start to multiply out of control and form tumors.

Many of the most popular foods cause inflammation and promote cancer. Our predilection for fast food, sugary deserts, fried treats and factory-made snacks has been shown to rev up inflammation.1

There’s another way: Eat anti-inflammatory foods –the fruits and vegetables proven in studies to drop inflammation, not spur it on.

One food that’s been shown to be especially beneficial? The purple potato.

By now, it’s no big news that one of the best ways to lower your risk of cancer is to reduce inflammation in your body. When chronic inflammation gets rolling, immune cells can create conditions that encourage cells to go rogue. They start to multiply out of control and form tumors.

Many of the most popular foods cause inflammation and promote cancer. Our predilection for fast food, sugary deserts, fried treats and factory-made snacks has been shown to rev up inflammation.1

There’s another way: Eat anti-inflammatory foods –the fruits and vegetables proven in studies to drop inflammation, not spur it on.

One food that’s been shown to be especially beneficial? The purple potato.

Purple prevention

As Penn State researcher Jairam K.P. Vanamala points out, “What we are learning is that food is a double-edged sword. It may promote disease but it may also prevent chronic diseases like colon cancer. For example, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds.”

Dr. Vanamala’s research has shown that nutrients in purple potatoes can help the body protect itself from excessive inflammation and serious disease. In their tests, he and his colleagues set out to examine exactly how the compounds in purple potatoes interact with intestinal cells to hold back the development and spread of colon cancer.

Studies show the risk of colon cancer climbs when a protein called IL-6 (interleukin-6) is released in the digestive tract. IL-6 leads to the accumulation of other proteins that stimulate the formation and growth of cancerous tumors.

But in the Penn State study, purple potatoes were found to cut the level of IL-6 in intestinal cells by more than 80 percent.2

Dr. Vanamala also notes that in fighting rheumatoid arthritis doctors often prescribe drugs that act against IL-6 and keep immune cells from being active and causing inflammation. But as you might expect, there’s a price to be paid for using drugs to suppress immunity – they increase the patient’s risk of serious infections.3

Those infections are not a danger with eating purple potatoes.

Promote healthy bacteria

A big benefit of purple potatoes is also found in a special type of starch they contain – a variety called “resistant” starch. We’ve written about it in these pages before. This starch resists digestion by the enzymes secreted in the digestive tract – that’s why it’s called resistant.

As a result, when you eat a resistant starch and it enters the colon without being fully digested, it’s fermented by the probiotic bacteria that live there. When these “friendly” bacteria ferment the starch, they produce what are called short-chain fatty acids, which help the walls of the intestine stay healthier. They allow the intestines to absorb extra nutrients and they help the cells fight off pathogens.4

And these fatty acids also lower the risk of colon cancer. They cause epigenetic effects in intestinal cells that make them less likely to become cancerous.5 An epigenetic effect means some outside influence – in this case, the resistant starch – has the power to turn certain genes on or off.

And there’s another big benefit: These fatty acids may increase the survival chances of people being treated for cancer.

According to researchers at the University of Michigan, their studies indicate that when resistant starch helps to increase the amount of the short-chain fatty acid called butyrate in the digestive tract, it may render bone-marrow transplants more successful in people being treated for leukemia and lymphoma.

The scientists point out that up to half of the people who get a bone marrow transplant experience significant damage to their digestive tract when immune cells from the transplanted tissue attack the recipient’s body. But in lab tests, it seemed short chain fatty acids formed from resistant starch could reduce the chances of this sort of injury.

“If the GI gut lining can remain healthy and strong, it can resist the attack by the donor immune system and hopefully prevent graft vs. host disease,” says researcher Pavan Reddy.

Another reason to eat colorful fruits and vegetables

Long-time readers of this newsletter know that colorful fruits and vegetables are especially good to eat because the same compounds that give them color are also the source of powerful health benefits.

The pigment that makes purple potatoes purple is no exception. It’s the result of a natural chemical that’s an anthocyanin – a class of pigments that plants use in flowers to appeal to bees and other pollinating insects. In fruits, these colors are meant to attract animals to eat them and disperse their seeds.

In addition, anthocyanins are used by plants in their chemical defenses – in some cases, protecting against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays..

In the human body, anthocyanins have been found to directly fight against cancer in several important ways. . .

  • Their antioxidant effects can protect cell membranes from damage, shrink the chances of DNA mutating into cancerous form, reduce the harm from environmental toxins and interfere with cellular signals that would otherwise help tumors spread and invade organs.6
  • They can chelate (bond with) potentially harmful minerals and help the body eliminate them.7
  • Their chemical properties stimulate cells to produce and deploy more of their own antioxidant defenses.8

Luckily for us, purple potatoes also contain another potent antioxidant that can fight against cancer – chlorogenic acid. The potato plant uses this mild acid to discourage insects from eating it.

But for us, chlorogenic acid is another weapon in our anti-cancer arsenal.

One of its benefits: A study in Japan shows that it limits the ability of cancer cells to reproduce. Plus, although chlorogenic acid is a beneficial antioxidant for normal cells, apparently it increases the oxidative stress on cancer cells in ways that encourage them to self-destruct via the process known as apoptosis.9 And lab tests in Asia show that this compound found in purple potatoes has the power to spur immune cells to attack cancer cells, devouring and consuming them.10

In addition, researchers have demonstrated that chlorogenic acid — which is also contained in coffee — may help prevent diabetes, keep weight down and fight inflammation.11Tests in Asia show it may even help your brain work better.12 That could be why decaf coffee can still perk you up even though most of the caffeine has been removed.

In my experience, not every supermarket sells purple potatoes. But I’ve got one upscale market near me that often has them in stock. I find that it’s definitely worth driving the extra few blocks to buy them.

Best regards,

Lee Euler,
Publisher

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5517083/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286316303795
  3. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/51/5/769/1804988
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756104/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29317660
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582525/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561507/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651059/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28875417
  10. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2013/617243/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28391515
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213760/
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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