Vitamin A and Melanoma Risk


OAKLAND, Calif.—According to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, no association of melanoma risk with dietary or total intake of vitamin A or carotenoids was found; but more interesting is researchers found retinol supplementation may have a preventative role in melanoma among women (March 1, 2012).

Laboratory data suggest intake of vitamin A and carotenoids may have chemopreventive benefits against melanoma, but epidemiological studies examining the association have yielded conflicting results. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California examined whether dietary and supplemental vitamin A and carotenoid intake was associated with melanoma risk among 69,635 men and women who participated in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study in western Washington.

After an average of 5.84 years of follow-up, 566 incident melanomas were identified. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of melanoma associated with dietary, supplemental, and total vitamin A and carotenoid intake after adjusting for melanoma risk factors. Baseline use of individual retinol supplements was associated with a significant reduction in melanoma risk (HR: 0.60; 95 percent CI: 0.41–0.89). High-dose (greater than 1,200 μg/d) supplemental retinol was also associated with reduced melanoma risk (HR: 0.74; 95 percent CI: 0.55–1.00), as compared with non-users. The reduction in melanoma risk was stronger in sun-exposed anatomic sites.