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 Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

Publication Date





1333 - 1340


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