Purple Sweet Potato Means Increased Amount Of Anti-cancer Components

Nutrition — By on July 1, 2009 at 7:39 am

A Kansas State University researcher is studying the potential health benefits of a specially bred purple sweet potato because its dominant purple color results in an increased amount of anti-cancer components.

K-State’s Soyoung Lim, doctoral student in human nutrition, Manhattan, is working with George Wang, associate professor of human nutrition at K-State, to understand the pigment effects of a Kansas-bred purple sweet potato on cancer prevention.

Lim said purple sweet potatoes have high contents of anthocyanin, which is a pigment that presents the purple color in the vegetable. The pigment can produce red, blue and purple colors depending on the source’s chemical structure, such as in foods like blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage.

She said anthocyanins have been epidemiologically associated with a reduced cancer risk, but the anti-cancer ability of the purple sweet potato has not been well investigated.

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