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Circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) have been associated with the risk of several types of cancer. Dietary correlates of IGF-I and IGFBPs are not yet well established. The objective of this study was to assess the association between dietary intake and serum concentrations of IGF-I, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3 in a cross-sectional analysis of 4,731 men and women taking part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Diet was assessed using country-specific validated dietary questionnaires. Serum concentrations of IGF-I, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3 were measured, and the associations between diet and IGF-I and IGFBPs were assessed using multiple linear regression adjusting for sex, age, body mass index, smoking status, and alcohol and energy intake. Each 1 SD increment increase in total and dairy protein and calcium intake was associated with an increase in IGF-I concentration of 2.5%, 2.4%, and 3.3%, respectively (P for trend <0.001 for all) and a decrease in IGFBP-2 of 3.5%, 3.5%, and 5.4% (P for trend <0.001 for all), respectively. There were no significant associations between the intake of protein or calcium from nondairy sources and IGF-I. The results from this large cross-sectional analysis show that either the intake of dairy protein or calcium is an important dietary determinant of IGF-I and IGFBP-2 concentrations; however, we suggest that it is more likely to be protein from dairy products.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology

Publication Date





1333 - 1340


Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK.


Humans, Calcium, Dietary, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Proteins, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3, Body Mass Index, Diet, Linear Models, Prospective Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Age Factors, Sex Factors, Energy Intake, Middle Aged, Europe, Female, Male, Surveys and Questionnaires