Tags: vitamin A skin cancer melanoma | melanoma and vitamin A | ways to reduce melanoma risk

Vitamin A Slashes Melanoma Risk

Friday, 02 Mar 2012 12:33 PM

Women who take vitamin A supplements sharply reduce their risk of developing melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer. A six-year study, which was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that women who took the largest doses were 60 percent less likely to develop melanoma.
MSNBC reports that researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. studied 59,000 people who had never taken vitamin A and 5,800 who had been taking it for 10 years. There were 506 cases of melanoma in the group that didn't take vitamin A and only 28 cases among the group that had taken the vitamin. The protective effect was stronger in women than men.
"This is promising evidence that in addition to sun protection, there's another option that can help prevent melanoma," Dr. Mary Gail Mercurio, a dermatologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told MSNBC news. Mercurio was not involved with the study.
But don't grab a bottle of vitamin A and swallow a handful — it's toxic in high doses (more than 2,800 mcg) and can cause bone loss and birth defects. Currently, the RDA is 700 mcg for adult women and 900 mcg for adult men. "We don't know yet the optimal dosage," Mercurio said. "Further studies will clarify how much vitamin A in the form of a supplement would be of benefit for melanoma prevention."
Vitamin A is found in many foods, including carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, and spinach. It helps keep vision sharp (like mom said — eat your carrots), boosts immune function, and is important in reproduction.
To read the entire MSNBC story, go here.

© HealthDay

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Women who take vitamin A supplements sharply reduce their risk of developing melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer.
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Friday, 02 Mar 2012 12:33 PM
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