Retinol supplements may help stave off melanoma, according to a new study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Researchers out of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. analyzed melanoma risk among 69,635 study participants with an average age of 62. After about 5 years of follow-up, 566 people developed melanoma. Those participants who took vitamin A via supplements were about 40% less likely to develop melanoma than those who did not. Only supplements lowered melanoma risk, not vitamin A found in foods. This protection was greater in body parts that were exposed to the sun.

Participants benefited when they consumed more vitamin A than would be found in a standard multivitamin. The study authors caution that is way too early to recommend that people take higher doses of vitamin A in the hopes of reducing their melanoma risk.

Source: Journal of Investigative Dermatology