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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Lavigne, Jackie
item Wimbrow, Heather
item Clevidence, Beverly
item Albert, Paul
item Reichman, Marsha
item Campbell, William
item Barrett, Carl
item Hursting, Stephen
item Judd, Joseph
item Taylor, Phillip

Submitted to: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2004
Publication Date: 12/23/2004
Citation: Lavigne, J.A., Wimbrow, H.H., Clevidence, B.A., Albert, P.S., Reichman, M., Campbell, W., Barrett, J.C., Hursting, S.D., Judd, J.T., Taylor, P. 2004. Effects of alcohol and menstrual cycle on insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

Interpretive Summary: Consumption of alcohol is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, but the reason for this association is unknown. Certain cancers are also related to circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), whereas the binding protein for this factor (IGF binding protein) makes IGF inaccessible to tissues, thus mitigating the role of IGF-I in carcinogenesis. We assessed the effect of alcohol consumption by premenopausal women on serum levels of IFG and IGF binding protein. The women consumed either 0 or 30 g (two drinks) of alcohol daily for three menstrual cycles and then crossed to the other alcohol level for three cycles. Blood samples were collected during the third menstrual cycle of each alcohol treatment with collections occurring during the early, mid and late phases of the cycle. Alcohol ingestion reduced IGF-I concentrations at all phases of the menstrual cycle; the binding protein was unaffected. This is the first study to demonstrate that alcohol decreases plasma levels of IGF-I in premenopausal women. This information will be useful to those scientists who study health consequences of diet in general, and to those who study health consequences of alcohol specifically.

Technical Abstract: Alcohol ingestion and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) have been associated with increased breast cancer risk, the latter primarily in premenopausal women. We investigated whether alcohol ingestion altered IGF-I or its major binding protein (BP), IGFBP-3, in a controlled feeding study in premenopausal women. We also determined whether IGF-I or IGFBP-3 was affected by menstrual cycle phase. Serum was collected from 31 individuals who were randomly assigned to consume either 0 or 30 g (two drinks) of alcohol daily for three menstrual cycles and who then crossed over to the other alcohol level for three cycles. All calories were provided and weight was maintained during the study. For both alcohol levels, serum was collected during the final cycle at early follicular, periovulatory, and luteal phases. Relative to the follicular phase, IGF-I levels increased by 3.3% and 7.6% in the periovulatory and luteal phases, respectively (P for trend = 0.004). Although alcohol ingestion did not affect this increase, it significantly reduced IGF-I concentrations at all phases (9.5%; P < 0.001), whereas IGFBP-3 was unaffected by either menstrual phase or alcohol. This is the first controlled diet study to show that alcohol decreases serum IGF-I in premenopausal women and that IGF-I significantly increases over the course of the menstrual cycle whether or not alcohol is present.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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