Antioxidant Supplements Do Not Appear to Raise Melanoma Risk

Study finds intake of multivitamins and antioxidants has no impact on incidence of the skin cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Intake of multivitamin and antioxidant supplements, including those containing selenium and beta-carotene, has no impact on the risk of developing melanoma, according to a study in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology. The findings refute those of the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants (SUVIMAX) study, which found antioxidants increased the risk of melanoma four-fold in women.

Maryam M. Asgari, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues conducted a study of 69,671 men and women. The subjects self-reported their intake of supplemental antioxidants, including selenium and beta-carotene as well as multivitamins, during the previous decade, and also completed a melanoma risk factors questionnaire.

Once the researchers adjusted for melanoma risk factors, they found no detectable association between intake of multivitamins and antioxidants and risk of melanoma for either men or women. Intake of selenium or beta-carotene supplements at doses similar to those in the SUVIMAX study also did not increase the risk of melanoma, the investigators discovered.

"The association between the SUVIMAX supplement and melanoma risk in women could be explained by methodological shortcomings," the authors write. "The results of the SUVIMAX study should be interpreted with caution."

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Jane Parry

Jane Parry

Published on August 19, 2009

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