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Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Oct;15(8):787-96.

Dietary determinants of circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF binding proteins 1, -2 and -3 in women in the Netherlands.

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Division of Experimental Therapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Epidemiological studies suggest that individuals with elevated plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) are at increased risk of developing cancer. We assessed whether dietary intake of total energy, protein, alcohol, phytoestrogens and related foods, and tomatoes and lycopene was associated with plasma levels of IGF-I and IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) in Dutch women.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in 224 premenopausal and 162 postmenopausal women, aged 49-69, participating in the Prospect-EPIC study in the Netherlands. Diet was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire.


In postmenopausal women, higher alcohol intake was associated with lower plasma IGFBP-1 concentrations (alcohol 1.4 to 20 g/day: 20% decrease in IGFBP-1; p = 0.04), and higher intake of plant lignans was associated with higher IGFBP-1 concentrations (plant lignans 0 to 1 mg/day: 59% increase in IGFBP-1; p =0.02). Higher soy intake was associated with higher plasma IGFBP-2 concentrations in premenopausal women (soy 0 to 2.5 g/day: 3% increase in IGFBP-2; p = 0.04). No independent associations of dietary factors with IGF-I or IGFBP-3 concentrations were observed. However, in premenopausal women alcohol intake was inversely associated with IGF-I and positively associated with IGFBP-3 after mutual adjustment.


In this study population, with limited variation in dietary intake, total energy, protein, phytoestrogens and lycopene were not associated with IGF-I and IGFBP-3. Alcohol was inversely, and some measures of phytoestrogen intake were positively associated with plasma IGFBP-1 or -2 concentrations. The roles of IGFBP-1 and -2 in relation to IGF-I bioactivity and cancer deserve further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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