sweet potatoes

Studies have not established the effect of sweet potatoes on breast cancer

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The vegetable is a rich dietary source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and also contains significant levels of vitamin B6, manganese and some copper. Sweet potatoes have a relatively high glycemic index.

Cancer-related effects of eating sweet potatoes

The high carotenoid and phenolic content of sweet potatoes make them a candidate for possible chemoprevention of cancer, however very few studies have been undertaken to evaluate this potential. Purple sweet potatoes (most commonly consumed in Hawaii and parts of Asia), which have high levels of anthocyanidins, have been found to induce apoptosis of human colon cancer cells. Consumption of sweet potato was associated with decreased risk of kidney cancer in one Japanese study and decreased risk of gallbladder cancer in an Indian study. Vitamin A-related components of sweet potatoes have been found to reduce cancerous and precancerous conditions of the uterine cervix. No relevant population studies have been undertaken with respect to sweet potato consumption and breast cancer risk.

Additional comments

The yams sold in U.S. supermarkets are orange-colored sweet potatoes. The true yam is an African and Asian root vegetable belonging to the Dioscoreae family and is only distantly related to sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes also are not closely related to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). The intensity of a sweet potato's yellow or orange flesh color is correlated with its carotenoid content and the antioxidant activity of its skin is much higher than the flesh. However, since the exterior may be treated with dye or wax (which cannot be washed off), eat the skin only of organic sweet potatoes.

Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) or wild Mexican yam, a perennial vine that is used in some women's herbal treatments, is not a variety of sweet potato.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on sweet potato.

Tags: betaCarotene, carotenoid, glycemicIndexLoad, inflammation, sweetPotato, vitaminA, vitaminB6, vitaminC

Selected breast cancer studies

Anthocyanins potentiate the activity of trastuzumab in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2‑positive breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo Effects of cooking techniques on vegetable pigments: a meta-analytic approach to carotenoid and anthocyanin levels Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam: a rich source of lipophilic phytochemicals Functional Characterization of Dihydroflavonol-4-Reductase in Anthocyanin Biosynthesis of Purple Sweet Potato Underlies the Direct Evidence of Anthocyanins Function against Abiotic Stresses Dietary compared with blood concentrations of carotenoids and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies Anthocyanin changes in the Korean purple-fleshed sweet potato, Shinzami, as affected by steaming and baking Constituents in purple sweet potato leaves inhibit in vitro angiogenesis with opposite effects ex vivo Antioxidant Activity of Flavonoids from Sweet Potato Vines In Vitro Retention of carotenoids in orange-fleshed sweet potato during processing Inhibition of proliferation by agricultural plant extracts in seven human adult T-cell leukaemia (ATL)-related cell lines Distribution of phenolic compounds and antioxidative activities in parts of sweet potato (Ipomoea batata L.) plants and in home processed roots Anticancer Activities of an Anthocyanin-Rich Extract From Black Rice Against Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo Circulating Carotenoids, Mammographic Density, and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer Longitudinal Biological Exposure to Carotenoids Is Associated with Breast Cancer-Free Survival in the Women's Healthy Eating and Living Study Plasma Retinol and Prognosis of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Patients Micellar oleic and eicosapentaenoic acid but not linoleic acid influences the β-carotene uptake and its cleavage into retinol in rats Potential Chemopreventive Properties of Extract from Baked Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam. Cv. Koganesengan)

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