A new study elaborated by researchers from Brown University argues that dietary intake of vitamin A can decrease the risk of developing a common type of skin cancer which is classified as squamous cell carcinoma. This particular type of skin cancer is the second most common type of carcinoma encountered in fair-skinned people.
It is well known that vitamin A can contribute to the growth and maturation of skin cells, but its utility in mitigating the risk of skin cancer has remained a controversial subject. Most experts recommend the use of efficient sunblock and avoiding exposure to powerful sunlight as preemptive steps which aim to decrease the number of skin cancer incidents.
The paper mentions that the consumption of fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin A can have positive effects in the long run. During the study, the researchers explored the links between the dietary intake of vitamin A and skin cancer incidents which were observed in the case of two previous studies, one on females and one on males. Data collected from the studies include the dietary habits of the participants, their history of skin cancer, the color of hair, and a family-wide history of skin cancer and severe sunburns.
Approximately 123,000 subjets had a negative history of skin cancer and shared their dietary habits. The color of their skin was white, a trait which made them more vulnerable to skin cancer. Almost 4,000 cases of squamous carcinoma were observed.
Participants were divided into five categories based on their intake of Vitamin A. Patients, which consumed large amounts of food rich in vitamin A had a lower risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. When compared to patients, the lowest intake of Vitamin A the risk was lower by 17%.
The researchers were surprised to discover that even participants with the lowest intake were above the recommended level, which means that the health guidelines may need an overhaul.