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Vitamin A helps to prevent skin cancer

Experiments done on mice suggest that high doses of vitamin A may help prevent an aggressive type of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma.

In a study reported at a meeting of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, researchers compared the effects of injecting melanoma cells on three groups of mice: one fed a normal diet, one fed a high vitamin A diet after injection and one fed a high vitamin A diet 10 days before injection.

The mice whose diets were high in vitamin A were less likely to develop tumors and die, with the greatest protection seen in those who received high vitamin A diets before injection.

The vitamin A appeared to slow the growth of tumor cells, possibly by forming a capsule around the tumor and causing it to progress less rapidly. This study suggests that adequate intake of vitamin A protects against skin cancer.