Nutrition: the future of melanoma prevention?

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul;71(1):151-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.01.910. Epub 2014 Mar 20.


Background: Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, having a high metastatic potential and afflicting all age groups. The need for successful preventative measures is particularly urgent as metastatic melanoma is largely incurable. The beneficial role of nutrition and other natural compounds in the prevention and treatment of melanoma has been clearly demonstrated in the past, and is an exciting source for potential therapies in the future.

Objective: We sought to review updates in the current literature regarding new developments in the relationship between nutrition and melanoma risk and treatment.

Methods: Articles in the public domain regarding the impact of diet, grape seed proanthocyanidins, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, lycopene, and fig latex on melanoma were included.

Results: Grape seed proanthocyanidins, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, lycopene, and fig latex have demonstrated clear anticancer effects toward melanoma. The roles of selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin E, however, have been more controversial.

Limitations: None.

Conclusions: The role of natural compounds in the future of melanoma prevention and treatment is promising and one that is worthy of further exploration.

Keywords: melanoma; nutrition; prevention; resveratrol; skin cancer; vitamins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Diet*
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Melanoma / prevention & control*
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Resveratrol
  • Selenium / therapeutic use
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Grape Seed Proanthocyanidins
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Stilbenes
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Selenium
  • Resveratrol
  • Lycopene