Retinol Supplementation May Lower Melanoma Risk

High-dose retinol supplementation associated with a 26 percent lower risk of melanoma

MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Retinol supplementation is associated with a lower risk of melanoma, according to research published online March 1 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Maryam M. Asgari, M.D., M.P.H., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues evaluated data from 69,635 adults who participated in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study to determine whether there was an association between dietary and supplemental vitamin A and carotenoid intake and melanoma risk.

In the 5.84 years of follow-up, the researchers identified 566 incident melanomas. Baseline use of retinol supplements correlated with a significant decrease in the risk of melanoma (hazard ratio [HR], 0.60). Compared with nonusers, adults who took high-dose retinol supplements (>1,200 µg per day) had a significantly lower risk of melanoma (HR, 0.74), particularly in areas of the body exposed to the sun. Dietary or total intake of vitamin A or carotenoids, however, was not associated with a reduced risk of melanoma.

"Our data, which are based on a large prospective cohort, suggest that retinol intake from individual supplements is associated with a reduction in risk for melanoma, especially among women. Our findings suggest that vitamin A supplementation may hold promise as a chemopreventive agent for melanoma," the authors write.

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