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    Other Names:

    1H-Indole-3-methanol, 1H-indol-3ylmethanol, 3-Hydroxymethyl Indole, 3 Hydroxymethyl Indole, I3C, Indole 3 Carbinol, 3-(hydroxymethyl), 3-(hydroxyméthyl), 3 (hydroxymethyl) Indole, 3-Indolylcarbinol, 3 Indolylcarbinol, 3-Indolylmethanol, 3 Indoly...
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    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Overview
    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Side Effects
    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Interactions
    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Overview Information

    Indole-3-carbinol is formed from a substance called glucobrassicin found in vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, turnips, and rutabagas. Indole-3-carbinol is formed when these vegetables are cut, chewed or cooked. It can also be produced in the laboratory.

    People use indole-3-carbinol for conditions such as cancer prevention, systemic lupus erythematosus, tumors inside the respiratory tract, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

    How does it work?

    Researchers are interested in indole-3-carbinol for cancer prevention, particularly breast, cervical and endometrial, and colorectal cancer. Their reason is that diets with higher amounts of fruit and vegetable consumption are associated with a decreased risk of developing cancer. Researchers suspect indole-3-carbinol is one of several vegetable components that might protect against cancer.

    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Abnormal development and growth of cells of the cervix (cervical dysplasia). Early research shows that taking indole-3-carbinol by mouth helps treat cervical dysplasia.
    • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. There is some evidence that long-term use of indole-3-carbinol might reduce tumor (papilloma) growth in people with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Early research shows that taking indole-3-carbinol by mouth does not significantly improve symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus.
    • Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN). . VIN is a precancerous condition of the vulva. Early research shows that taking indole-3-carbinol by mouth might reduce the size of lesions and improve symptoms in people with this condition.
    • Fibromyalgia.
    • Preventing breast cancer, colon cancer, and other types of cancer.
    • Other conditions.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of indole-3-carbinol for these uses.

    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Side Effects & Safety

    Indole-3-carbinol is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine under proper medical supervision. Doses up to 400 mg daily have been used safely for 3-76 months. It can cause side effects such as skin rashes and diarrhea.

    In higher doses, indole-3-carbinol can cause balance problems, tremor, and nausea.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding:There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking indole-3-carbinol if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Children:Indole-3-carbinol is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine under proper medical supervision. Doses of 6-17 mg/kg body weight have been safely used in children and teenagers for 12-76 months.

    INDOLE-3-CARBINOL Interactions What is this?

    Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

    • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with INDOLE-3-CARBINOL

      Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

      Indole-3-carbinol might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking indole-3-carbinol along with some medications that are changed by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking indole-3-carbinol talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

      Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.


    The appropriate dose of indole-3-carbinol depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for indole-3-carbinol. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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    Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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