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

Alina Vrieling, Dorien W. Voskuil, H. Bas Bueno De Mesquita, Rudolf Kaaks, Paul A.H.Van Noord, Lital Keinan-Boker, Carla H.Van Gils, Petra H.M. Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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 2.5g/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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-796
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was financially supported by the World Cancer Research Fund, WCRF, Grant No. 98-04.


  • IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs)
  • diet
  • insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I)
  • lycopene
  • phytoestrogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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