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4 Benefits and Side Effects of Indole-3-carbinol (4 Contraindications To Be Noted)

Indole-3-carbinol has recently been claimed as an anti-cancer health ingredient, what are the benefits of taking kale in empirical medicine? Are there any side effects and contraindications? See text analysis for details.

What is Indole-3-carbinol?

Indole-3-carbinol is an indole compound formed by the enzymatic hydrolysis of sulfur glycoses.

Epidemiological investigations have found that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower) have always been considered healthy, and the key to this is the glucosinolates.

Sulfur glycosomes have a pungent odor and spicy taste, and their main role in plants is to act as a natural insect repellent, and can also reduce the chance of being eaten by herbivores.

Under acidic conditions in the stomach tract, kale undergoes a rapid self-condensation reaction that produces a variety of by-products, one of which is diindolylmethane (DIM), which can enhance the liver’s first-stage detoxification response and are believed to help fight cancer and have received widespread attention.

There is substantial evidence that the anticancer effects of indole-3-carbinol come from the regulation of multiple signaling pathways such as apoptosis, cell cycle progression, hormonal balance, DNA repair, angiogenesis, and multidrug resistance.

In addition, kale is a chemopreventive agent that can fight estrogen-responsive cancers such as breast cancer and cervical cancer, and it acts as a negative regulator of estrogen by inhibiting estrogen receptor signaling and altering cytochrome P450-mediated estrogen metabolism.

What are the benefits of Indole-3-carbinol?


1. Indole-3-carbinol is beneficial for breast cancer prevention

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide (accounting for 25% of all cancers), with more than 150.<> million women diagnosed each year

Since breast cancer is a metastatic cancer, usually metastasized to distant organs such as bone, liver, lung, brain, etc., which is mainly the cause of more difficult to cure, early diagnosis can obtain a good prognosis and a high survival rate (5-year relative survival rate of more than 80%)

A study (in 17 women at high risk of breast cancer) showed that indole-3-carbinol supplementation increased the activity of the foreign body metabolic enzymes cytochrome P450 1A2 and Lymphocyte glutathione S-transferase, and increased the proportion of estrogen metabolites (measured by 2-hydroxyestrone/16alpha-hydroxyestrone). Note 1

Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (1 month, 130 patients receiving anti-breast cancer drugs) showed that oral administration of the active metabolite Diindolylmethane (DIM) brought good changes to estrogen metabolism (2/16α-OHE1) and sex hormone-binding globulin. Note 2

*Conclusion: Oral indole-3-carbinol can help improve estrogen metabolism, but there is still a lack of human evidence for the prevention of breast cancer

2. Indole-3-carbinol improves cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

Cervical cancer, the third most common cancer in women in the world, is caused by progressively worsening lesions within the epithelial area called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) before it becomes aggressive

These cervical precancerous lesions usually do not cause pain or any other symptoms and cannot be detected unless screened

Once cervical cancer develops or invades nearby tissues, the most common symptoms are foul-smelling vaginal discharge, abnormal or intermenstrual bleeding, postcoital bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding, or back pain.

A randomized placebo-controlled trial (12 weeks, 30 patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II-III) noted that oral indole-3-carbinol helped reduce cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and estrogen-active metabolite ratio. Note 3

Another double-blind randomized controlled trial (6 months, 551 patients with low-grade cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions) showed that oral kaulin derivatives (diindolylmethane (DIM)) had no significant effect on preventing lesion progression and promoting human tumor virus (HPV) clearance. Note 4

*Conclusion: Due to inconsistent results, the use of indole-3-carbinol to improve cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is still controversial and needs to be further verified by more studies

3. Indole-3-carbinol improves recurrent respiratory tumors

Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis is a rare throat disease caused by infection with the human tumor virus and can be life-threatening if the trachea and bronchi are involved

Common clinical symptoms of recurrent respiratory neoplasia include hoarseness, cough, wheezing, voice change, chronic dyspnea, suffocation, syncope, etc

Due to its nonspecific clinical presentation, it can easily be mistaken for asthma, acute laryngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, or bronchitis.

A pilot study (mean follow-up of 17 months, in 18 patients with recurrent respiratory neoplasia) suggests that oral indole-3-carbinol (400 mg daily for adults and 10 mg/kg for children) reduces tumor growth rate and associated surgical events, as well as increases estrogen metabolite ratio. Note 5

*Conclusion: Oral indole-3-carbinol may be of positive benefit in improving recurrent respiratory tumors, but more studies are needed to support this due to small sample sizes

4. Indole-3-carbinol improves vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia

Vulval intraepithelial neoplasia is a precancerous lesion that occurs on the vulvar skin of the female external genitalia. It affects women of any age, but is more common under 50 years of age, and untreated may progress to invasive carcinoma of the vulva

Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia may be asymptomatic or present with symptoms such as itching, discomfort, burning sensation in the vulva, or difficulty having sexual intercourse. Clinical examination may reveal red, brown, or white vulvar lesions that may appear as flat or genital warts.

A 6-month study of 12 patients with vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia showed that oral indole-3-carbinol (200 and 400 mg daily) significantly improved clinical symptoms, lesion size, and severity. Note 6

*Conclusion: Indole-3-carbinol may bring positive help to vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, but limited by the small sample size, more studies are needed to confirm its clinical benefit

What are the side effects of Indole-3-Carbinol?

Indole-3-carbinol is safe for most people in moderation, but side effects or adverse effects have been reported as rashes, diarrhea, balance problems, tremors, and nausea, especially at large doses.


Safety precautions (4 contraindications to use)

1. Do not use pregnant women, lactating women, poor liver and kidney function (due to unknown related safety)

2. There have been cases of taking indole-3-carbinol causing a slight increase in liver index (ALT).

3. Do not give drugs that must be affected by liver metabolic enzyme (Cytochrome P450 1A2), which may affect the efficacy of drugs, and related drug names are: clozapine, cyclobenzaprine, fluvoxamine, haloperidol, imipramine, mexiletine, Olanzapine, pentazocine (analgesia), propranolol (propranololol), tacrine, theophylline, zileuton, zolmitriptan

4. Do not combine with antacids, H2 antagonist, and Proton-pump inhibitors, which may affect the effect of indole-3-carbinol.

Where can I buy the highest quality Indole-3-carbinole that is recommended by most people?

NOW Foods, Indole-3-Carbinol, 200 mg, 60 Veg Capsules

(Direct shipping from the United States / Worldwide delivery)

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Product Features:

Supports Cellular Health

With Flax Lignan Extract

Detoxification Support

A Dietary Supplement



General Health

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