Vitamin A May Lower SCC Risk image

Higher vitamin A intake may reduce risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a new study shows.

Researchers culled data from two long-term study groups including nearly 125,000 health professionals in the U.S. to see if intake of vitamin A, through diet and supplementation, affects risk of cutaneous squamous cell cancer (SCC) during a follow-up period of more than 26 years. They found that higher intake of total vitamin A, retinol, and several individual carotenoids, including beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein and zeaxanthin, reduced risk of SCC.

The results were generally consistent between men and women, the study authors point out. That said,  the inverse associations appeared to be more prominent among those with moles and those with burn or blistering sunburn reaction as children or adolescents, the study found.

“This study suggests that increased intake of dietary vitamin A is associated with decreased risk of incident SCC,” conclude researchers who were led by Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D., an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. “Future studies are needed to determine whether vitamin A supplementation has a role in chemoprevention of SCC."

The findings appear in JAMA Dermatology.