A recent study shows that people who take vitamin A supplements might be cutting their risk of developing skin cancer melanoma.
The study appeared in the Journal of Investigative Dermatologyand collected data on almost 70,000 people participating in a study on vitamins and lifestyle in Washington state. After about five years of follow-up, 566 people had developed melanoma.
Taking vitamin A (retinol) supplements was associated with a forty percent reduction in risk of developing melanoma, according to the study results.
However, while the study uncovered an association between retinol supplementation and melanoma risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. In addition, no relationship was seen between melanoma risk and vitamin A in the diet. Beneficial effects appeared to be limited to retinol but not to other forms of vitamin A called carotenoids. Supplements may have an additional benefit but they don’t replace a healthy diet, the study authors said.