A new study suggests that a diet rich in vitamin A may help lower the risks of skin cancer.
Vitamin A provides antioxidants that can combat carcinogenic free radicals.
People who are consuming more food and supplements that are high in vitamin A could lower their risk of having cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, by 17 percent. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second-most-common type of skin cancer that can affect people with fair skin color.
Eunyoung Cho, associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University and the study’s lead author said, “These findings just add another reason to have a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables.”
The research involved data from about 125,000 Americans who participated in two large, long-term observational studies. The volunteers’ average age was in the early 50s and the majority had no prior history of cancer and completed the dietary reports multiple times.
Information about the participants’ hair color, the number of severe sunburns they had in their lifetime, and any family history of skin cancer were asked in the research. The study, however, did not probe the participants’ avoidance of mid-day sun, which is known to be a major risk factor for skin cancer.
Subsequent analysis, a total of 3,978 cases of squamous cell carcinoma were reported and verified within the 24- or 26-year follow-up periods.