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PURPOSE: Circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations have been positively associated with risk of several common cancers and inversely associated with risk of bone fractures. Intakes of some foods have been associated with increased circulating IGF-I concentrations; however, evidence remains inconclusive. Our aim was to assess cross-sectional associations of food group intakes with circulating IGF-I concentrations in the UK Biobank. METHODS: At recruitment, the UK Biobank participants reported their intake of commonly consumed foods. From these questions, intakes of total vegetables, fresh fruit, red meat, processed meat, poultry, oily fish, non-oily fish, and cheese were estimated. Serum IGF-I concentrations were measured in blood samples collected at recruitment. After exclusions, a total of 438,453 participants were included in this study. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the associations of food group intakes with circulating IGF-I concentrations. RESULTS: Compared to never consumers, participants who reported consuming oily fish or non-oily fish ≥ 2 times/week had 1.25 nmol/L (95% confidence interval:1.19-1.31) and 1.16 nmol/L (1.08-1.24) higher IGF-I concentrations, respectively. Participants who reported consuming poultry ≥ 2 times/week had 0.87 nmol/L (0.80-0.94) higher IGF-I concentrations than those who reported never consuming poultry. There were no strong associations between other food groups and IGF-I concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: We found positive associations between oily and non-oily fish intake and circulating IGF-I concentrations. A weaker positive association of IGF-I with poultry intake was also observed. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms which might explain these associations.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Nutr

Publication Date



Diet, Fish, Food, IGF-I, Poultry, Somatomedin C