Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 51–61 | Cite as

Dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, insulin index, fiber and whole-grain intake in relation to risk of prostate cancer

  • K. Nimptsch
  • S. Kenfield
  • M. K. Jensen
  • M. J. Stampfer
  • M. Franz
  • L. Sampson
  • J. C. Brand-Miller
  • W. C. Willett
  • E. Giovannucci
Original paper



Insulin may play a role in prostate cancer tumorigenesis. Postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses of foods depend importantly on the carbohydrate quality and quantity, represented by glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), fiber and whole-grain content, but are also influenced by intake of protein and other characteristics. The recently developed insulin index (II) quantifies the postprandial insulin secretion, also taking into account these additional characteristics.


We investigated the association between dietary GI, GL, II, fiber, and whole grains and risk of total prostate cancer (n = 5,112) and subgroups of prostate cancer as defined by stage or grade in 49,934 male participants of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Multivariate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression.


Dietary GI, GL, II, or fiber was not associated with risk of total or subgroups of prostate cancer. We observed a positive association between dietary intake of whole grains and total prostate cancer (HR highest versus lowest quintile 1.13, 95% CI 1.03–1.24), which was attenuated after restriction to PSA-screened participants (HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.91–1.17).


These results suggest that long-term exposure to a diet with a high insulin response does not affect prostate cancer incidence.


Glycemic index Glycemic load Insulin index Fiber Whole grains Prostate cancer 



The work in this manuscript was supported by grants CA55075 and CA133891 from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Katharina Nimptsch is recipient of a scholarship within the Postdoc-Programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Nimptsch
    • 1
  • S. Kenfield
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. K. Jensen
    • 1
  • M. J. Stampfer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Franz
    • 1
  • L. Sampson
    • 1
  • J. C. Brand-Miller
    • 4
  • W. C. Willett
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Giovannucci
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NutritionHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Channing Laboratory, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, and ExerciseUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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