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Amazing I3C: 8 Reasons Mom Was Right About Eating Your Vegetables

Avatar photo 9 years ago 7 minute read

Moms know what’s best, so they say. We know that’s true. Years of experience will tell you what mothers have been through, which they want to pass on to their children.

healthy eatingHowever, when you were younger, you never really understood the concept of healthy eating.

You probably looked at your mom as an evil person who just wanted you to eat your veggies, even if you didn’t want to eat them.

Now that you’re older, you sort of understand why vegetables are important, particularly the green ones. It turns out that green veggies such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and mustard greens contain a substance that can make cancer, or any other illness bow down.

Yes, this is called Indole-3 Carbinol, or I3C. It can be used for different health issues, such as balancing your hormones and giving your overall health a boost – and more.

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Take a look at eight reasons why I3C-rich vegetables should be a part of your daily diet.

1. I3C Is A Preventive And Therapeutic Treatment For Cancer

CancerDid you know that cancer, regardless of the type, is one of the top killers in the world?

Heart issues may be number one, but the truth is, the Big C has its fair share, too. Chemotherapy is available; however, would you wait to be at that stage of cancer? Of course not, right?

This is where indole-3 carbinol comes in. In a study at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, researchers found out that I3C injected directly into the prostate tumor could hinder its growth.

genesAt the same time, researchers found out that this substance could regulate the genes to control the cell cycle, signal transduction and cell proliferation.

That’s not all. More studies are being conducted, since I3C was found to inhibit the estrogen receptors in breast membranes. As a result, it can reduce breast cancer. In this case, you have to thank the substance’s repair protein, known as BRCA that prevents growth of cancer cells.

This is good news, don’t you think?

2. I3C Supports The Liver’s Detoxification Process

Supports The Liver's Detoxification ProcessThe liver is an important component in your body system. It is the second largest organ, next to your skin.

Your liver plays vital roles involving metabolism, digestion, immunity, and even storage of nutrients inside your body.

Did you know that liver is the only organ in the human body that is capable of regeneration?

In this case, you’re going to need lots of broccoli. Indole-3 carbinol encourages repair and healing when certain portions of your liver are damaged, no thanks to your unhealthy lifestyle. It also promotes normal cellular reproduction to ensure that your body functions properly.

Aside from this, it naturally eliminates toxins stored in the liver, increases your body’s natural hormone metabolism and maintains balance in hormone levels.

cabbageWhat are you waiting for? Go ahead and stock up on broccoli and cabbage. You’ll need that to be healthy.

3. I3C Affects The Metabolism Of Estrogen

Estrogen is a type of hormone that is responsible for your sexual and reproductive development.

It is mainly produced in the ovaries that play a vital role in developing your secondary sex characteristics – pubic hair, breasts and the works. It is also needed during your menstrual period, for bone formation and for practically in every aspect in a woman’s life.

regulate cell growthHence, any slight changes in the estrogen’s level inside your body can spell disaster. Reduction of estrogen levels especially during the menopausal stage can lead to symptoms, such as loss of sex drive, hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

The good news is I3C can regulate cell growth rates and introduce changes to stronger and inflammatory forms of estrogen.

Based on a study published in the Nutrition and Cancer publication, women with breast cancer history took I3C-converted Diindolylmethane, or DIM, for 30 days to check the effects of I3C. Researchers found out that women reported positive changes in estrogen metabolism, which is actually good news.

4. I3C Is Helpful For Those With Fibromyalgia

anxietyFibromyalgia is a chronic condition that comes with muscle pain throughout the body and usually comes with sleep problems, fatigue, anxiety and depression.

There is also a presence of tender points in certain areas in your body, a characteristic that sets it apart from other medical conditions.

Sadly, women are more at risk of getting this condition. The good news is natural treatment is on its way in the form of indole-3 carbinol.

Yes, exercise and massage can help. However, you also need to increase I3C-rich foods to help treat this issue instead of going for expensive treatments and medicines.

5. I3C Can Help Treat Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia
Photo by Nephron / CC BY-SA

Oohh, big word. Also referred to as VIN, this condition is a skin disorder that affects the vulva or the external genital area.

Although this is not a form of cancer, this condition results in abnormal changes in the appearance down there. Still, VIN is a pre-cancerous condition due to the abnormal proliferation of cells.

Thankfully, some brilliant guys from the United Kingdom decided to test the effects of 200 and 400 milligrams of indole-3 carbinol and whether it can treat vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia.

There was no difference between the 200mg and 400 mg group. However, researchers saw changes in the lesion size in their subjects after taking I3C supplements.

At the same time, they noted a significant reduction with improved vulvoscopic appearance down there. Unfortunately, the vulvar areas badly affected did not improve.

Does this mean I3C cannot totally treat VIN? Well, it depends. The bottom line is more studies must be done to determine the effects of indole-3 carbinol on this type of vulva condition.

6. I3C Helps Raise The Right Amounts Of Testosterone

broccoliYes, ladies. It turns out that despite being women, you still need some “T” to boost your sex drive – and more.

However, there will come a time when estrogen and testosterone will fight against each other.

Your body has no choice but to go on a major breakdown, because it doesn’t know who to follow. In this case, indole-3 carbinol can offer its services.

Foods with high indole content, such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts can reduce bad estrogen and keep your T levels at just the right amounts.

eat all your veggiesThis can result in a balance between the two hormones and help reduce unwanted symptoms, such as the lack of sex drive and vaginal dryness.

That’s not all. Mom is right in making you eat all your veggies. Even if you don’t plan to be a weightlifter or a bodybuilder, indole-3 carbinol help you grow big and strong, and healthier, too.

7. I3C Helps Prevent Recurrences Of Respiratory Papillomatosis

human papillomavirusIt is already established that indole-3 carbinol does help in various serious medical conditions.

Aside from the mentioned benefits, there is one rare condition, which I3C can extend its helping hand – recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, or RRP.

It is a disease caused by human papillomavirus or HPV, characterized by wart growth in the upper airway, thereby causing a significant obstruction in the airways or voice change.

Since this condition is rare, there are also limited studies that cover the treatment of RRP. However, there are little evidence that shows indole-3 carbinol supplementation can help prevent the recurrence of this type of condition. Increasing your food intake of broccoli, kale, cabbage and other indole-rich foods won’t hurt, either.

8. I3C Helps Treat Cervical Dysplasia

uterusCervical dysplasia is the abnormal cellular changes on the surface of the cervix, or that lower part of the uterus. The most common cause for this condition is the human papillomavirus, which can spread through sexual contact. Although it can develop anytime, women between 25 to 35 are at higher risk of getting this condition.

Treatment for cervical dysplasia depends on the severity of the condition.

Although mild cases can go away without any treatment, moderate to severe dysplasia can be treated through cryosurgery, surgery to remove any abnormal tissues, or laser therapy.

However, a 12-week study involving women with stage II and III cervical dysplasia showed that a daily dose of 200 mg or 400 mg of I3C found an improvement down there. At the same time, the appearance of the cervix returned to normal, which spells good news, too.

researchHere’s the truth: the use and effects of indole-3 carbinol is still new and requires further research. In fact, human trials recorded several side effects, such as balance problems, skin rashes, nausea, intestinal pain and increases in liver enzymes, among others. At the same time, prolonged use of this substance can lead to tumor-promoting properties.

If you are planning to take I3C supplements or to increase your I3C-rich food consumption, you may do so, but under the close medical supervision of a doctor.

Again, further studies are needed to determine whether Indole-3 carbinol is safe or not.

In the meantime, take it easy on the dosage and avoid consuming this for longer periods. Don’t take it unless you need it. Or if you really want to take I3C, make sure to go as natural as possible to minimize side effects.

Better be safe than sorry, ladies, don’t you think?