Sunday December 8, 2019

People with High Vitamin A Intake at Lower Risk of Skin Cancer

Vitamin A is known to be essential for the healthy growth and maturation of skin cells but prior studies on its effectiveness in reducing skin cancer risk have shown mixed results

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skin cancer, vitamin a
Vitamin A is known to be essential for the healthy growth and maturation of skin cells but prior studies on its effectiveness in reducing skin cancer risk have shown mixed results. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people who intake high levels of Vitamin A were 17 per cent less at risk of getting a skin cancer as compared to those who ate modest amounts of foods and supplements rich in Vitamin A.

“Our study provides another reason to eat lots of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, is hard to prevent, but this study suggests that eating a healthy diet rich in Vitamin A, in addition to wearing sunscreen and reducing sun exposure, may be a way to reduce the risk,” said Eunyoung Cho, Associate Professor at the Brown University.

Vitamin A is known to be essential for the healthy growth and maturation of skin cells but prior studies on its effectiveness in reducing skin cancer risk have shown mixed results. In the study published in the Journal of American Medical Association Dermatology, the researchers analysed data from two long-term observational studies in which 121,700 US women were followed from 1984 to 2012 and 51,529 US men from 1986 to 2012.

cancer, vitamin A
Participants’ hair colour, the number of severe sunburns they had received in their lifetime and any family history of skin cancer were also taken into account. Pixabay

The research team looked at the diet and skin cancer results of the participants. Between the two studies, around 123,000 participants were white (and thus had a significant risk of developing skin cancer), had no prior history of cancer and completed the dietary reports multiple times.

A total of 3,978 cases of squamous cell carcinoma were reported and verified within the 24 to 26 year follow-up periods. Participants’ hair colour, the number of severe sunburns they had received in their lifetime and any family history of skin cancer were also taken into account.

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After grouping the participants into five categories by their Vitamin A intake levels, the researchers found that people in the category with the highest average daily total Vitamin A intake were 17 per cent less likely to get skin cancer than those in the category with the lowest total Vitamin A intake.

The team also found that the majority of Vitamin A came from the participants’ diets, particularly from fruits and vegetables, rather than from animal-based foods or vitamin supplements. (IANS)

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Study Says that Some of the Deadly Skin Cancers may Originate in Hair Follicles

The study was conducted in genetically engineered mice, with the results confirmed in human tissue samples

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Skin Cancers
The study addresses the stem cells that mature into melanocytes, cells that make the protein pigment melanin, which protects skin by absorbing some of the sun's ultraviolet, DNA-damaging rays causing Skin Cancers. Pixabay

 Some of the most deadly Skin Cancers may start in stem cells that lend colour to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, says a new study.

Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop cancer-causing genetic changes – and in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that unlike their normal counterparts, newly cancerous pigment stem cells then migrate up and out of the follicles to establish melanomas in nearby surface skin before spreading deeper.

The study was conducted in genetically engineered mice, with the results confirmed in human tissue samples.

“By confirming that oncogenic pigment cells in hair follicles are a bona fide source of melanoma, we have a better understanding of this cancer’s biology and new ideas about how to counter it,” said study author Mayumi Ito Suzuki, Associate Professor at New York University.

Skin Cancers
Some of the most deadly Skin Cancers may start in stem cells that lend colour to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, says a new study. Pixabay

The study addresses the stem cells that mature into melanocytes, cells that make the protein pigment melanin, which protects skin by absorbing some of the sun’s ultraviolet, DNA-damaging rays.

By absorbing some wavelengths of visible light, but reflecting others, pigments “create” hair colour.

In a series of elegant steps, the research team established a new mouse model for the study of melanoma, one engineered such that the team could edit genes in follicular melanocyte stem cells only (the c-Kit-CreER mouse).

This capability enabled researchers to introduce genetic changes that made only melanoctye stem cells – and their descendants destined to form melanomas – glow no matter where they travelled.

Able to accurately track a key stem cell type for the first time, the authors confirmed that melanoma cells can arise from melanocyte stem cells, which abnormally migrate up and out of hair follicles to enter the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin.

The team then tracked the same cells as they multiplied there, and then moved deeper into the skin layer called the dermis.

Cancer
Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop Cancer-causing genetic changes – and in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals. Pixabay

Once there, the cells shed the markers and pigment that went with their follicular origins, presumably in response to local signals.

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They also acquired signatures similar to nerve cells (neurons) and skin cells (mesenchymal), molecular characteristics “almost exactly like” those noted in examinations of human melanoma tissue. (IANS)