- What other names is Indole-3-carbinol known by?
- What is Indole-3-carbinol?
- How does Indole-3-carbinol work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Indole-3-carbinol.
Indole-3-carbinol is used for prevention of breast cancer, colon cancer, and other types of cancer. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has reviewed indole-3-carbinol as a possible cancer preventive agent and is now sponsoring clinical research for breast cancer prevention.
Indole-3-carbinol is also used for fibromyalgia, tumors inside the voice box (laryngeal papillomatosis) caused by a virus, tumors inside the respiratory tract (respiratory papillomatosis) caused by a virus, abnormal cell growth in the cervix (cervical dysplasia), and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Some people use indole-3-carbinol to balance hormone levels, "detoxify" the intestines and liver, and to support the immune system.
Possibly Effective for...
- Abnormal development and growth of cells of the cervix (cervical dysplasia).
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Respiratory papillomatosis. There is some evidence that long-term use of indole-3-carbinol might reduce tumor (papilloma) growth in patients with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.
- Laryngeal papillomatosis.
- Prevention of breast cancer.
- Colon cancer.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
- Hormone imbalances.
- Other conditions.
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diet. It seems to be safe for most people when used in medicinal amounts under proper medical supervision. It can cause side effects such as skin rashes and small increases in liver enzymes.
In very high doses, indole-3-carbinol can cause balance problems, tremor, and nausea.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, stick with indole-3-carbinol in amounts typically found in the diet. Not enough is known about the safety of using indole-3-carbinol in larger medicinal amounts.
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
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.
- For treating abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix (cervical dysplasia): 200-400 mg per day has been used. However, 200 mg seems to be as effective as the higher dose.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011