Dietary intervention of flaxseed: Effect on serum levels of IGF-1, IGF-BP3, and C-peptide

Susan R. Sturgeon, Stella L. Volpe, Elaine Puleo, Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, Joanna Heersink, Sara Sabelawski, Kristina Wähälä, Carol Bigelow, Mindy S. Kurzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Higher levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) increase cancer risk by stimulating cell proliferation and increasing survival of DNA-damaged cells through antiapoptotic mechanisms. Laboratory studies suggest that flaxseed added to the diet may lower circulating levels of insulin and IGF-1, but there is limited information on the effects of dietary flaxseed on these biomarkers of cancer risk in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of flaxseed supplementation in postmenopausal women on serum levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGF-BP3), and C-peptide, a marker of insulin production. Forty-eight postmenopausal women participated in this 12-wk baseline to postintervention study. Participants were asked to consume 7.5 g per day of ground flaxseed for 6 wk and 15 g per day for an additional 6 wk. No significant changes were observed in blood levels of IGF-1, IGF-BP3, or C-peptide over the study intervention. Flaxseed supplementation did not impact circulating levels of IGF-1, IGF-BP3, or C-peptide. Longer duration of intake may be necessary to observe changes in these biomarkers of cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-380
Number of pages5
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the United States Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (Grant #DAMD17-02-1-0470-1) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (Grant #03B033).


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