New study shows vitamin A key to preventing melanoma

Another reason to get your vitamin A: A recent study showed that people taking a vitamin A supplement were 60 percent less likely to develop melanoma.

The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in March, followed nearly 70,000 adults for six years. At the end of the study, 566 had developed melanoma; 506 of those had never taken vitamin A supplements. Among the 5,800 people who were currently taking vitamin A (and had used it regularly over the previous decade), there were only 28 cases.

The study also showed that vitamin A’s protective effects are more pronounced in women than men, possibly because women have more natural antioxidant protection in their skin than do men.

It’s important to note the study found that the melanoma risk was most reduced for participants who took high doses of the vitamin. But experts warn that there are limits to how much people should consume, since too much vitamin can lead to birth defects, liver problems and bone loss. The current RDA for vitamin A is 700 mcg for adult women and 900 mcg for adult men. Vitamin A is also found in foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, milk and eggs.

Of course, vitamin A consumption is just one step in reducing melanoma risk. Proper sun protection is also vital to avoiding skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 76,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year, leading to more than 9,000 deaths. So limit sun exposure, and protect yourself with good mineral sunblock from Pharmaca!

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