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The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
We report the effects of total energy intake on the IGF system in two populations with markedly different dietary macronutrient intake and cardiovascular event rate.
Design, subjects and setting
Dietary macronutrient intake was measured in a specific Gujarati migrant community in Sandwell, UK (n = 205) compared with people still resident in the same villages of origin in India (n = 246). Fasting IGF-I, IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-1 and IGFBP-3, insulin and glucose (0 and 2-hour) were measured.
Total energy and total fat intake were higher in UK migrants, as were IGFBP-3 and IGF-I (mean (95% confidence interval): 145.9 (138.1–153.6) vs. 100.9 (94.6–107.3) ng ml-1; F = 76.6, P < 0.001). IGFBP-1 was lower in UK migrants (29.5 (25.9–33.0) vs. 56.5 (50.6–62.5) μg l-1; F = 48.4, P < 0.001). At both sites, IGF-I correlated positively with total energy (Spearman's ρ = 0.45, P < 0.001) and total fat (ρ = 0.44, P < 0.001) as did IGFBP-3 with total energy (ρ = 0.21, P < 0.05) and fat (ρ = 0.26, P < 0.001). Conversely, in Indian Gujaratis, IGFBP-1 fell with increasing total energy (ρ = -0.27, P < 0.001) and fat intake (ρ = -0.26, P < 0.01) but not in UK Gujaratis. Multiple linear regression modelling showed that increasing quartiles of fat intake were associated with higher IGF-I (β = 0.42, P = 0.007) independent of age, body mass index, plasma insulin, fatty acids and 2-hour glucose.
In these genetically similar groups, migration to the UK and adoption of a different diet is associated with marked changes in the IGF system, suggesting that environmental factors profoundly modulate serum concentrations and actions of IGFs.
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