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What is indole-3-carbinol?

Indole-3-carbinol is a nonessential nutrient derived from glucobrassicin found in garden cress, mustard greens, Brussels’s sprouts, horse radish, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnip, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. During boiling, more than 50% of glucobrassicin may be lost in cooking water [1]. In the stomach, indole-3-carbinol molecules may pair and form 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM).

Indole-3-Carbinol Supplements

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) supplements without prescription (over-the-counter) are available.

Indole-3-Carbinol Health Benefits

There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE [1,2] about the effectiveness of indole-3-carbinol supplements in the prevention or treatment of cancer (breast, colorectal), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), fibromyalgia, hormone imbalances, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN).

Indole-3-Carbinol Safety: Side Effects, Toxicity

Indole-3-carbinol supplements are LIKELY SAFE for most people, when taken by mouth in appropriate doses. Very high doses can cause nausea, tremor and balance problems [2].

Not enough is known about the safety of indole-3-carbinol supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so women in these periods should avoid them.

Indole-3-Carbinol-Drug Interactions

Indole-3-carbinol may decrease the effects of drugs, such as clozapine, cyclobenzaprine, fluvoxamine, haloperidol, imipramine, mexiletine, olanzapine, pentazocine, propranolol, tacrine, theophylline, zileuton, zolmitriptan or others [2].

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