Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C)

History of Ingredient

Indole-3-Carbinol, commonly referred to as I3C, is a naturally occurring compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Historically, these vegetables have been consumed for their myriad health benefits, with I3C being one of their most potent components. 

Ancient civilisations, unaware of I3C’s existence, unknowingly reaped its benefits by including these vegetables in their diets.

It wasn’t until modern science delved into the phytochemicals present in these vegetables that I3C was identified and its specific benefits were recognised.

Scientific Make-Up

I3C is a derivative of glucobrassicin, which undergoes enzymatic breakdown when the vegetable is chewed or chopped. On a molecular level, I3C is a simple molecule with the formula C9H9NO

When consumed and exposed to the acidic environment of the stomach, I3C undergoes condensation to produce a variety of products, the most notable being Diindolylmethane (DIM). Both I3C and its derivatives have been the subject of numerous studies for their potential health benefits.


Benefits of Ingredient

I3C offers a plethora of health benefits. Research suggests that it plays a pivotal role in supporting liver detoxification and promoting a healthy balance of hormones, particularly oestrogen. 

This balance is crucial in maintaining optimal reproductive health and may also have implications in oestrogen-dominant conditions.

Furthermore, I3C has demonstrated potential anti-cancer properties, especially concerning breast and prostate cancers. Studies, such as this one, have delved into its role in inhibiting tumour growth. 


Forms of Consumption

I3C can be consumed in various forms. Naturally, it’s present in cruciferous vegetables, but for those seeking a concentrated dose, supplements are available. These supplements can be found in capsule, tablet, or powder form.

The choice of delivery method can influence the bioavailability and efficacy of the ingredient. softgel capsules can offer a convenient and taste-neutral option for consumers. It’s also worth noting that I3C can be combined with other beneficial ingredients in multi-ingredient formulations, enhancing its overall benefits.


Safety + Dosages

Generally, I3C is considered safe when consumed as part of a balanced diet or as a supplement within recommended dosages. 

Typical dosages range from 200mg to 400mg daily, but it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation. Some individuals might experience minor side effects such as skin rashes or digestive disturbances, but these are rare.


Use and Legality in UK, EU, US and Globally

In the UK, I3C supplements are legal and can be purchased without a prescription. The European Union, including the UK, classifies I3C as a food supplement, and it’s subject to regulations governing food safety and quality. 

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognises I3C as a dietary supplement, and it’s available over-the-counter. Globally, the status of I3C varies, but in most countries, it’s available for purchase without stringent restrictions. 

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