In fact, the levels of IL-6 were six times lower in the pigs that ate purple potatoes, compared to the ones in the controlled groups.
"What we are learning is that food is a double-edge sword — it may promote disease, but it may also help prevent chronic diseases, like colon cancer," co-author Jairam K.P. Vanamala said in a statement.
»RELATED: Hair dyes and chemical relaxers linked to breast cancer
While researchers only used purple potatoes for the study, they believe other colorful fruits and vegetables may have similar effects.
"For example, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant compounds," said Vanamala. "We use the purple potato as a model and hope to investigate how other plants can be used in the future."
Scientists have not tested their methods on humans, but a pig’s digestive system is very similar to that of a human.
“Our results highlight the importance of IL-6 signaling in diet-linked induction/prevention of colonic inflammation/cancer,” the study read, “and demonstrate the potential of a food-based approach to target IL-6 signaling.”
»RELATED: Study: Cancer partly caused by bad luck