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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Aug;22(8):1457-63. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0337. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Effects of dietary weight loss and exercise on insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


High levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I may increase the risk of common cancers in humans. We hypothesized that weight loss induced by diet and/or exercise would reduce IGF-I in postmenopausal women. Four hundred and thirty nine overweight or obese [body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m(2)] women (50-75 years) were randomly assigned to: (i) exercise (N = 117), (ii) dietary weight loss (N = 118), (iii) diet + exercise (N = 117), or (iv) control (N = 87). The diet intervention was a group-based program with a 10% weight loss goal. The exercise intervention was 45 minutes/day, 5 days/week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity. Fasting serum IGF-I and IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-3 were measured at baseline and 12 months by radioimmunoassay. Higher baseline BMI was associated with lower IGF-I and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 molar ratio. Although no significant changes in either IGF-I or IGFBP-3 were detected in any intervention arm compared with control, the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio increased significantly in the diet (+5.0%, P < 0.01) and diet + exercise (+5.4%, P < 0.01) groups compared with control. Greater weight loss was positively associated with change in both IGF-I (P(trend) = 0.017) and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio (P(trend) < 0.001) in the diet group, but inversely with change in IGFBP-3 in the diet + exercise group (P(trend) = 0.01). No consistent interaction effects with baseline BMI were detected. Modified IGF-I bioavailability is unlikely to be a mechanism through which caloric restriction reduces cancer risk in postmenopausal women.

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