TitleSerum insulin-like growth factor-I levels among women in Hawaii and Japan with different levels of tofu intake.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsTakata, Y, Maskarinec, G, Rinaldi, S, Kaaks, R, Nagata, C
JournalNutrition and cancer
Date Published2006
KeywordsSurveys and Questionnaires

Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) has been proposed as the link between diet and breast cancer risk. Due to their estrogen-like structure, soy isoflavones may affect IGF-I levels in a similar way as exogenous estrogens. In a cross-sectional design, we compared IGF-I levels between women with high and low soy intake. The analysis included 611 pre- and postmenopausal women: Japanese in Japan and Japanese and Caucasians in Hawaii. The subjects had participated in a previous study, were never diagnosed with breast cancer, provided a screening mammogram and a blood sample, and completed validated food-frequency questionnaires. The same laboratory analyzed all serum samples for IGF-I and IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We estimated covariate-adjusted mean IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels by tofu intake. The respective mean IGF-I levels were 213, 257, and 255 ng/ml for Japanese in Japan, Japanese in Hawaii, and Caucasians in Hawaii. Tofu intake was higher in Japan than among Japanese and Caucasians in Hawaii (11.0 vs. 9.4 and 4.9 g/1,000 kcal). Mean IGF-I levels were 11% lower among women in the highest tofu intake category compared with the lowest, but the difference in IGF-I levels between the highest and lowest tofu category was only significant among women in Japan. Inclusion of total energy, total protein, meat, and dairy intake did not materially alter the association between tofu consumption and IGF-I levels. These findings suggest that a diet rich in soy foods and low in meats may be related to lower IGF-I levels, but it is unclear whether soy or other characteristics of diet and lifestyle are responsible for this association.