Isolated Isoflavones do not affect the circulating insulin-like growth factor system in men at increased colorectal cancer risk

A. Vrieling, M.A. Rookus, E. Kampman, J.M.G. Bonfrer, C.M. Korse, J. van Doorn, J.W. Lampe, A. Cats, B.J.M. Witteman, F.E. van Leeuwen, L.J. van't Veer, D.W. Voskuil

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Epidemiological studies show that increased insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I concentrations are related to increased colorectal cancer risk. A reduced colorectal cancer risk has been associated with isoflavones, which might affect the IGF-system because of their weak estrogenic activity. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study to investigate the effect of an 8-wk isolated isoflavone supplementation (84 mg/d) on serum concentrations of total IGF-I, free IGF-I, total IGF-II, IGF binding protein (BP)-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3. Additionally, we investigated whether IGF-system component differences were related to concentrations of the more potent estrogenic isoflavone metabolite, equol. Our study population consisted of 37 men with a family history of colorectal cancer or a personal history of colorectal adenomas. Isoflavone supplementation did not significantly affect serum total IGF-I concentrations (relative difference between serum total IGF-I concentrations after isoflavone supplementation and after placebo: ¿1.3%, 95% CI ¿8.6 to 6.0%). Neither free IGF-I, nor total IGF-II, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, or IGFBP-3 concentrations were significantly altered. Interestingly, the change in serum IGF-I concentrations after isoflavone supplementation was negatively associated with serum equol concentrations (r = ¿0.49, P = 0.002). In conclusion, isolated isoflavones did not affect the circulating IGF-system in a male high-risk population for colorectal cancer. However, to our knowledge, this is the first study that suggests isoflavones might have an IGF-I lowering effect in equol producers only. This underlines the importance of taking into account equol status in future isoflavone intervention studies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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