Plasma insulin-like growth factor I levels in rats are reduced by dietary supplementation of flaxseed or its lignan secoisolariciresinol diglycoside

Cancer Lett. 2000 Dec 8;161(1):47-55. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(00)00592-9.


Flaxseed and its lignan secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG) inhibit mammary tumor development in rats. Increased plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) concentrations are associated with increased breast cancer risk. Therefore, the effect of flaxseed (5%) or SDG (1.5 mg/day) supplementation on plasma IGF-I levels was examined in rats treated with or without N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). In MNU-free rats, flaxseed and SDG reduced plasma IGF-I levels, which were inversely related to urinary lignan excretion. Only flaxseed significantly reduced plasma IGF-I concentrations in MNU-treated rats. The anticancer effect of flaxseed and SDG may be related, in part, to reductions in plasma IGF-I.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Butylene Glycols / pharmacology*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Female
  • Flax*
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Lignans / biosynthesis
  • Lignans / urine
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / drug effects
  • Methylnitrosourea / toxicity
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Butylene Glycols
  • Carcinogens
  • Glucosides
  • Lignans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Methylnitrosourea
  • secoisolariciresinol diglucoside