Can diet lower the risk of skin cancer? As per a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Dermatology, the answer is yes!. Medically known as “Squamous cell carcinoma”, is a common type of skin cancer that occurs in areas which are exposed to sunlight for a longer time, especially face and the head. The squamous cells lie just below the outer surface and function as the skin’s outer lining.
Long exposure to UV rays which are found in sunlight and lights in tanning beds are responsible for causing skin cancer. But then there are cases of cancers developing in areas which are generally not exposed to such harmful rays. This means that other factors like being exposed to toxic materials or a weakened immune system may equally contribute to the risk of skin cancer. Many of the early skin cancer signs can be controlled but when compromised may lead to the development of masses of malignant cells that then become tumors.
Why Vitamin A Is Important?
This vitamin is essential for the healthy growth and maturation of skin cells. It is also known to offer other health benefits which include strengthening the immune system, vision, reproductive health and act as a shield from UV rays. Several types of research have shown that Vitamin A is beneficial in preventing other cancers as well. This, the researchers believe the benefit may come from the fact that how this Vitamin works on a cellular level.
Along with protecting the skin, Vitamin A is very crucial to eye health as it aids in the prevention of night blindness and risk of macular degeneration which leads to blindness.
How Does It Help?
Getting more Vitamin A in one’s diet has significantly lead to a drop in the risk of squamous cell skin cancer. Further analysis also showed that people who maintained a healthy exercise routine along with consumption of Vitamin A rich foods had lower chances of being afflicted. A study that involved around 125,000 people in the US found that the risk of having skin cancer dropped by 15 percent just by ensuring the right amount of intake of the said vitamin.
Few extra servings of Vitamin A rich food can considerably help one fight off skin cancer. Plant-based foods include Vitamin A carotenoids which can be converted into retinol, as well as, other active forms of the vitamin which the body then absorbs. Beta carotene, found in orange-colored food items like carrots, pumpkins, etc, is a common and beneficial source of carotenoids because of its propensity to become more active forms of Vitamin A.
Consult your physician or a dietary expert to understand the amount one must intake as per their age, weight and if any, medical conditions. Avoid consuming supplement pills, other herbal tablets and only opt for fresh vegetables and fruits. Build up a healthy appetite with a regular exercise routine and ensure to protect yourself while venturing out, especially when the sun is at its peak.
These things may seem insignificant when they just are being said, but go a long way in helping you fight off potentially deadly diseases and ailments.