Vitamin A May Fight Skin Cancer: Study

Supplement pills reduced risk, particularly in women
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 1:55 PM CST
Vitamin A pills may reduce your risk of skin cancer.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you're worried about getting skin cancer, maybe some vitamin A supplements are in order; a new study has shown that people taking them were 60% less likely to develop melanoma. The study, which was published today in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, followed 59,000 people for six years, LiveScience reports. Of the 5,800 taking regular vitamin A supplements, only 28 got melanoma—compared to 506 among those who had never taken it.

The effect was especially strong among women, who researchers say may have more natural antioxidant protection than men. Those who had taken supplements in the past but weren't taking them regularly anymore saw no benefit. "This is promising evidence that in addition to sun protection there's another option that can help prevent melanoma," one dermatologist not involved with the study said. But "there are limits to how much vitamin A a person can consume," she warned—it can be toxic in doses above 2,800 micrograms. (Read more melanoma stories.)

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