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Vitamin A Linked to Skin Cancer Reduction

Whether you live in a sunny or cloudy climate, it is important to protect yourself from the potentially damaging effects of getting too much sun. Did you know you can make changes to your diet that could help lower your risk of skin cancer?

That's the news from researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Their study—published on March 1, 2012 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology—suggests that vitamin A intake could be associated with a significant reduction in incidences of skin cancer.

The study included 69,635 individuals who were participating in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study. During an average 5.84 years of follow up, 566 participants had developed melanoma.

The researchers found that a reduced risk of melanoma (up to 40%) was associated only with supplements of vitamin A in the form of retinol. No relationship between dietary vitamin A and melanoma risk was found. They also found that the protective effects were stronger in women than in men.

Retinol is vitamin A in its purest and most active form. Previous studies have associated it with creating stronger, healthier skin cells, the stimulation of collagen protection and acne management. Retinol is found naturally in animal sources such as liver, kidney, eggs and dairy products and is also available in supplement form.

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