While supporting estrogen balance, support, and metabolism, I3C is the perfect supplement to meet your needs. I3C, also known as Indole-3-Carbinol, is found within cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and other plants within this family.
It is known for its ability to absorb excess estrogen and its role in liver detoxification. There are has also been growing research in the past few years regarding I3C as a potential treatment for cancer. Although more research needs to be conducted, the results to date have been promising.
What Does I3C Do?
I3C is gaining interest regarding its potential anti-cancer benefits. For starters, I3C is fairly unstable, as its mainly converted into its metabolites DIM and ICZ. These metabolites are then absorbed into the bloodstream. In combination, I3C and DIM are believed to impact cells and tissues in several ways.
First of all, both I3C and DIM are antioxidants, reducing the damage of free radicals. Based on current research, they’ve been shown to inhibit the action of HPS, restrict carcinogens, and prevent certain cancers. While focusing on anti-cancer benefits, both I3C and DIM have been shown to reverse estrogen-driven cancers.
Cancer-Related Benefits of I3C
As mentioned, I3C is believed to play a key role in anti-cancer effects. This has been seen across a wide range of studies and types of cancers. In one study, when mice were given I3C, tumor sized was reduced by 65 percent. Some examples of cancer types that have been reported within studies include:
- Prostate: Induces cell death in cancer cells
- Breast: Induces cell death in cancer cells and inhibits cancer development
- Cervical: A study found that high levels of estrogen protected cervical cancer cells from cell death
- Colon: Inhibits cancer development and induces cell death in human colon cancer cells
- Lung: Inhibits cancer development
- Liver: Inhibits cancer development
- Stomach: Inhibits cancer development
- Uterus: Inhibit cancer development
I3C and Hormone Balancing
Right now, there are both good and bad estrogens at work within your body. Once estrogens complete their role, they must be removed from the body. Typically, estrogen promotes positive effects, supporting tissue growth and female development.
Ideally, once this role the estrogen’s work is done, it should be metabolized and removed. When this does not occur, they hang out in the body and begin to cause health concerns. This is why removing hormones is important and can be achieved through urination or bowel movements or be metabolized by the liver.
There are two pathways regarding liver metabolism and one is carcinogenic while the other is protective. What influences which pathway estrogen takes? Some of the key reasons include:
Low thyroid function: The removal of hormones is negatively impacting when someone suffers from low thyroid function, explaining the link between breast or prostate cancer and hypothyroidism.
Lifestyle and diet habits: When individuals are deficient in B vitamins (particularly B6) or magnesium, this can reduce the liver’s ability to clear estrogen.
Not only do you need to focus on removing carcinogenic metabolites, but also increase the level of beneficial metabolites. When 2-hydroxy (2OHE1) estrogen levels increase (the good metabolites), this is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. When there are higher levels of 16OHE1 (the bad metabolites), there is an increased risk of breast cancer and individuals can experience abnormal growth.
This harmful metabolite is also associated with obesity, high-fat diets, and exposure to chemicals in one’s environment. By following a healthy, balanced diet and reducing your exposure to chemicals, you can essentially influence overproduction of 16OHE1.
When taking I3C or DIM, they help to create more of the good estrogen and less of the bad estrogen. When studied in controlled clinical trials, 300 to 400 mg of I3C daily, increased urinary 2OHE1 and 16OHE1. This means that the body was excreting the bad metabolites and there were signs that the body was creating good metabolites.
Potential Side Effects
I3C is likely safe for most people when used in the right amounts. This is why it’s critical to follow guidelines set out by manufacturers. In some cases, individuals experience skin rashes and small increases in liver enzymes.
When consumed in extremely high doses, users have experienced problems with balance, nausea, and tremors. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please do not use this supplement. If you are taking any medications for your liver, please speak to your doctor before your first dose.
Research generally recommends doses between 200 and 400 mg, although some studies indicate higher levels. You are probably not eating near enough cruciferous vegetables to get enough which is why supplementation is a sensible way to top up.
Always follow the guidelines set out by the manufacturer and speak with your doctor regarding any concerns. Whenever trying a new supplement, it’s recommended to start with the lowest recommended dose to see how you personally react. Gradually, you can then increase your average dose.