Vegetables are the nemesis of childhood everywhere. Whether it is broccoli, carrots, corn or the dreaded spinach, children alike cringe at the thought of eating their vegetables. It seems to be this rite of passage for all adults to make their children succumb to eating all of their vegetables, or else. Or do these parents actually have reasoning behind such torture?
Believe it or not, your mom may be on to something about eating your vegetables. After all, isn’t Popeye crazy for spinach? But what is it about a vegetable that makes it so important? Follow us as we discuss vegetables and why you should start eating more of them.
I3C: The Secret Ingredient
Scientists have found a key ingredient within many different vegetables, and it is this ingredient that holds such important nutrition.
The ingredient called Indole-3-Carbinol, otherwise referred to as I3C. Indole-3-carbinol exists in vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale.
It is important to note that the consumption alone does not guarantee the presence of indole-3-carbinol within the body; instead, the consumption of cruciferous vegetables releases a plant enzyme that works to break down glucobrassicin into indole-3-carbinol.
So, therefore the consumption does lead to the presence of indole-3-carbinol, but it is not automatic or guaranteed.
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Many researchers today have indole-3-carbinol in mind as they attempt to learn more about curing or preventing various types of cancer. Indole-3-carbinol has possible anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, and anti-atherogenic side effects, so it is prominently in the minds of many scientists.
You can take indole-3-carbinol through eating these cruciferous vegetables, but Indole-3-Carbinol can also be taken in a supplement form. While there are many other types of indoles, indole-3-carbinol has the most anticarcinogenic properties displayed as of late.
What Is So Great About I3C?
Scientists are currently conducting research using cultured cells and laboratory animals, as studies using human participants have been inconsistent.
However, the consumption of indole-3-carbinol proves to have the ability to change estrogen metabolism, which could be pivotal in helping to fight cancer.
When applied to rats, trout and mice, the consumption of indole-3-carbinol has led to a decrease in tumor size. Scientists claim this is because indole-3-carbinol creates this stoppage of growth of human reproductive cancer cells; something that scientists are yearning for.
Many studies are hinting at the fact that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, those including indole-3-carbinol, leads to a decreased risk of all types of cancer.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Indole-3-Carbinol?
If you purchase the supplement form of I3C, then you will notice the food label warning to consume food while taking the supplement.
This is because the overabundance of indole-3-carbinol within the body can lead to tremors, nausea, or equilibrium imbalances.
This frequently only occurs whenever food is not present within the stomach, because the metabolism required for I3C requires stomach acids. Therefore, if food is not present then nausea will occur.
Since this discovery is relatively new, it is highly recommended to seek a professional opinion before purchasing a supplement or attempting to battle serious physical conditions on your own.
Even though scientists are still learning how to manipulate indole-3-carbinol, it has undoubtedly proven to have a myriad of various positive side effects for humans. Follow us as we discuss the amazing health benefits of I3C.
1. I3C Can Reverse The Early Stages Of Cervical Cancer
Studies are proving that the early consumption of indole-3-carbinol can reverse cervical cancer if caught early enough.
Scientists claim indole-3-carbinol can reduce estrogen levels and block estrogen receptors, which is important, because some estrogens are damaging, such as 4-hydroxyestrone.
Indole-3-carbinol prevents the damaging types of estrogen from reproducing within the body. A small trial was conducted with participants in taking anywhere from 200 to 400 milligrams of indole-3-carbinol per day for three months. The results demonstrated that eight out of 17 women experienced a reversal in early-stage cervical cancer.
If that is not enough to make women eat more vegetables, then perhaps this next reason will do the trick.
2. I3C Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer
Not only, Indole-3-Carbinol has the power to reverse early stages of cervical cancer, but it can also help to prevent breast cancer.
Since the nutrient is found to increase the production of productive, not damaging, estrogen, it can be considered beneficial for many different reasons.
A small study was conducted and took a group of women with a history of breast cancer in their family tree.
Women who took the supplement form of indole-3-carbinol for thirty days found that they had positive changes in estrogen metabolism as compared to the placebo group within the study. Not only does it appear to be beneficial for cervical cancer but breast cancer, as well.
3. Don’t Worry Guys: Indole-3-Carbinol Helps Prevent Prostate Cancer, Too
Since indole-3-carbinol works to manage estrogen’s metabolism, the presence of indole-3-carbinol helps to prevent and manage prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is technically an estrogen-related condition, so that is where indole-3-carbinol comes into play.
Many consider estrogen to be the “female hormone,” and it is, but this is how prostate cancer is affected by the presence of estrogen. As men age, their testosterone levels decrease.
Once testosterone lacks presence in the body, estrogen levels begin to wreak havoc. Since estrogen and testosterone are both present within males and females, it is just that one is more predominant than the other in the different sexes.
Therefore, the presence of indole-3-carbinol in the body helps to restore the natural balance of testosterone and estrogen for men. In addition to helping prevent and fight prostate cancer, men may also enjoy the benefits of indole-3-carbinol, since it also helps to promote a healthy libido, improve cognitive functioning, protect against cardiovascular diseases, and strengthen the bones.
4. Indole-3-Carbinol Improves Liver Functioning
The liver is the only organ within our bodies that cannot regenerate; therefore, the health of the liver is quite important.
Indole-3-carbinol has proven to help support the liver’s detoxification process as well as reproducing normal cells. Indole-3-carbinol, according to scientists, helps heal and repair the liver when it is damaged.
Since the liver is responsible for ridding the body of all toxins, indole-3-carbinol is proven to help this process. This support boosts the body’s innate ability to maintain normal hormone levels; therefore, anyone suffering from liver damage will benefit from taking indole-3-carbinol whether through supplement form or naturally through cruciferous vegetables.
5. IC3 as a Hormone Stabilizer
The intake of indole-3-carbinol helps stabilize and balance hormone levels. A hormonal imbalance for anyone can prove to be detrimental, so it is pivotal and healthy to maintain proper hormone levels. Here are a few reasons why you should want to keep your estrogen levels balanced:
- Vaginal Dryness: A drop in estrogen can cause vaginal dryness, or vaginal atrophy, which is quite a nuisance, as well as painful.
Vaginal dryness does not only affect a woman’s sex life; vaginal atrophy also makes daily urination and movement painful.
Dryness often leads to itching, which can in turn lead to inflammation and even infection, nothing that any of us want.
- Lowering of Libido: Estrogen levels that go down can lead to a decreased libido. Many people assume that this is natural as we age, but that is simply not true. In fact, many people over the age of sixty, women included, claim that their sex drives rapidly increase.
So, why is it that some women find themselves feeling sexier, and others simply become asexual, uninterested beings? The drop in estrogen is more than likely to blame, so ensure that this does not happen to you by maintaining your estrogen levels.
6. Indole-3-Carbinol Fights Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful condition from which many women suffer. The tissues of the uterus grow outside of the uterine walls as opposed to inside, where they belong.
This condition affects the ovaries, bowels, and general pelvic area, so women suffering from this condition are constantly seeking ways to alleviate the pain.
Indole-3-carbinol helps soothe pain caused by endometriosis. Consuming cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower for days can help fight against the tissues within the body causing women pain.
7. Indole-3-Carbinol’s Anti-Aging Properties
As we age, we strive to find the perfect anti-aging product to help us look and feel years younger—well, look no further. Indole-3-carbinol helps the elderly cope with autoimmunity and the aging process.
The presence of Indole-3-Carbinol within the body helps alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia; in addition to the various types of cancers we mentioned earlier, like breast cancer, cervical cancer and even prostate cancer.
Many claim that indole-3-carbinol holds antioxidant properties that in turn help us feel and look younger.
All antioxidants work to rid the body of free radicals, which are those pesky nuisances that cause wrinkles, stretch marks and blemishes. Therefore, consuming any antioxidant helps skin look younger.
If you are interested in balancing hormones and improving your sexual health in yet another way, there are multiple options for you.
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