Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 907–917 | Cite as

A cross-sectional analysis of the association between diet and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-II, IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-2, and IGFBP-3 in men in the United Kingdom

  • Nicholas J. Young
  • Chris Metcalfe
  • David Gunnell
  • Mari-Anne Rowlands
  • J. Athene Lane
  • Rebecca Gilbert
  • Kerry N. L. Avery
  • Michael Davis
  • David E. Neal
  • Freddie C. Hamdy
  • Jenny Donovan
  • Richard M. Martin
  • Jeff M. P. Holly
Original paper



There is evidence of associations between insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), IGF-II, insulin-like binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2), IGFBP-3, and prostate cancer risk. This study examines the association between dietary factors associated with prostate cancer and serum levels of these peptides.


A cross-sectional analysis of self-reported 12-month dietary intake with serum IGF and IGFBP levels was performed using data from 1,798 subjects screened negative for prostate cancer as part of a UK multicenter trial comparing treatments for this condition. Multivariable linear regression models tested associations of diet with IGFs and IGFBPs.


For a one standard deviation (SD) increase in dairy product and dairy protein intake, IGF-I increased by 5.28 ng/mL (95 % confidence interval: 2.64, 7.92 ng/mL) and 6.02 ng/mL (3.34, 8.71 ng/mL), respectively. A 25 % increase in calcium and selenium intake was associated with an increase in IGF-I of 5.92 ng/mL (3.77, 8.07 ng/mL) and 2.61 ng/mL (1.10, 4.13 ng/mL), respectively. A one SD increase in animal protein was associated with a decrease in IGFBP-2 of 6.20 % (−8.91, −3.41 %), and there was some evidence of an inverse association with dairy protein and calcium. There was no evidence of any dietary associations with IGFBP-3 or IGF-II.


Diet is associated with IGF-I and IGFBP-2 levels in men in the UK, and these peptides warrant further investigation as part of randomized trials of dietary interventions to reduce the risk or progression of prostate cancer. There is no evidence that IGF-II or IGFBP-3 are mediators of dietary associations with prostate cancer.


Insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins Insulin-like growth factor Diet Dairy Prostate cancer Cross-sectional 



The authors would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution of all members of the ProtecT study research group, and especially the following who were involved in this research: Prasad Bollina, Sue Bonnington, Lynne Bradshaw, James Catto, Debbie Cooper, Michael Davis, Liz Down, Gemma Marsden, Andrew Doble, Alan Doherty, Garrett Durkan, Emma Elliott, David Gillatt, Pippa Herbert, Peter Holding, Joanne Howson, Mandy Jones, Roger Kockelbergh, Howard Kynaston, Athene Lane, Teresa Lennon, Norma Lyons, Hing Leung, Malcolm Mason, Hilary Moody, Philip Powell, Alan Paul, Stephen Prescott, Derek Rosario, Patricia O’Sullivan, Pauline Thompson, Lynne Bradshaw, and Sarah Tidball. They would also like to thank the men who participated in this study and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. Val Laundy, Semih Dogan, Li Zeng, Ola Wojtowicz, and Kalina Zdunek performed the IGF assays. This work was supported by World Cancer Research Fund project grant 2011/419 (funding for analysis) and Cancer Research UK project grant C18281/A7062 (funding for IGF assays). The ProtecT study is funded by the UK Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme of the National Institute for Health Research, HTA 96/20/99; ISRCTN20141297. The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Health. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) formed by the Department of Health, the Medical Research Council (MRC), and Cancer Research UK. The NCRI provided funding through ProMPT (Prostate Mechanisms of Progression and Treatment), and this support is gratefully acknowledged. RMM works within the CAITE center, which is supported by the MRC (G0600705) and the University of Bristol. DG, FCH, JD, and DEN are NIHR Senior Investigators. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Trent Multicentre Research Ethics Committee approved the ProtecT study and allied prostate cancer research under the auspices of the Prostate Mechanisms of Prostate cancer and Treatment (ProMPT) study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas J. Young
    • 1
  • Chris Metcalfe
    • 1
  • David Gunnell
    • 1
  • Mari-Anne Rowlands
    • 1
  • J. Athene Lane
    • 1
  • Rebecca Gilbert
    • 1
  • Kerry N. L. Avery
    • 1
  • Michael Davis
    • 1
  • David E. Neal
    • 3
  • Freddie C. Hamdy
    • 4
  • Jenny Donovan
    • 1
  • Richard M. Martin
    • 1
  • Jeff M. P. Holly
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social and Community MedicineUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.School of Clinical Sciences North BristolUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  3. 3.University Department of OncologyAddenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK
  4. 4.Nuffield Department of Surgery, John Radcliffe HospitalUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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