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Arch Dermatol. 2009 Aug;145(8):879-82. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2009.176.

Antioxidant supplementation and risk of incident melanomas: results of a large prospective cohort study.

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Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA.



To examine whether antioxidant supplement use is associated with melanoma risk in light of recently published data from the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants (SUVIMAX) study, which reported a 4-fold higher melanoma risk in women randomized to receive a supplement with nutritionally appropriate doses of antioxidants.


Population-based prospective study (Vitamins and Lifestyle [VITAL] cohort).


Western Washington State.


A total of 69 671 men and women who self-reported (1) intake of multivitamins and supplemental antioxidants, including selenium and beta carotene, during the past 10 years and (2) melanoma risk factors on a baseline questionnaire. Main Outcome Measure Incident melanoma identified through linkage to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry.


Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate multivariable relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for multivitamin, supplemental selenium, and supplemental beta carotene use. After adjusting for melanoma risk factors, we did not detect a significant association between multivitamin use and melanoma risk in women (RR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.78-1.66) or in men (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.83-1.43). Moreover, we did not observe increased melanoma risk with the use of supplemental beta carotene (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.48-1.56) or selenium (RR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.69-1.41) at doses comparable with those of the SUVIMAX study. Conclusion Antioxidants taken in nutritional doses do not seem to increase melanoma risk.

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