From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
IUPAC name
Other names
Indole-3-carbinol; 3-Indolylcarbinol; 1H-Indole-3-methanol; 3-Hydroxymethylindole; 3-Indolemethanol; Indole-3-methanol; I3C
700-06-1 YesY
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
ChEBI CHEBI:24814 YesY
ChEMBL ChEMBL155625 YesY
ChemSpider 3581 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.010.762
EC Number 211-836-2
PubChem 3712
RTECS number NL9483000
Molar mass 147.18 g·mol−1
Appearance Off-white solid
Melting point 96 to 99 °C (205 to 210 °F; 369 to 372 K)
Partially in cold water[vague]
Irritating (Xi)
R-phrases R36/38
S-phrases S26, S36
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., water Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
YesY verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Indole-3-carbinol (C9H9NO) is produced by the breakdown of the glucosinolate glucobrassicin, which can be found at relatively high levels in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collard greens and kale. It is also available in dietary supplements.[2] Indole-3-carbinol is the subject of on-going biomedical research into its possible anticarcinogenic,[3] antioxidant, and anti-atherogenic effects.[4] Research on indole-3-carbinol has been conducted primarily using laboratory animals and cultured cells.[5] Limited and inconclusive human studies have been reported. A recent review of the biomedical research literature found that "evidence of an inverse association between cruciferous vegetable intake and breast or prostate cancer in humans is limited and inconsistent" and "larger randomized controlled trials are needed" to determine if supplemental indole-3-carbinol has health benefits.[6]

Indole-3-carbinol and cancer[edit]

Investigation of mechanisms by which consumption of indole-3-carbinol might influence cancer incidence focuses on its ability to alter estrogen metabolism and other cellular effects. Controlled studies have been performed on such animals as rats, mice, and rainbow trout, introducing various controlled levels of carcinogens, and levels of Indole-3-carbinol into their daily diet. Results showed dose-related decreases in tumor susceptibility due to Indole-3-carbinol (inferred by decreases in aflatoxin-DNA binding). The first direct evidence of pure anti-initiating activity by a natural anticarcinogen (indole-3-carbinol) found in human diet was claimed by Dashwood, et al., in 1989.[7]

Indole-3-carbinol induces a G1 growth arrest of human reproductive cancer cells.[8] This is potentially relevant to the prevention and treatment of cancer, as the G1 phase of cell growth occurs early in the cell life cycle, and, for most cells, is the major period of cell cycle during its lifespan. The G1 phase is marked by synthesis of various enzymes that are required in the next ("S") phase, including those needed for DNA replication.

Overuse of indole-3-carbinol supplements in the hope of preventing cancer may be unwise, as the hormone balance should be tested (via simple blood test) before regular consumption. Such caution is advised, due to its effect on estrogen levels (estrogen has a significant impact on brain function).[9][10]

It promotes liver cancer in trout when it is combined with aflatoxin B1 and demotes metastasis.[5]

Systemic lupus erythematosus[edit]

Indole-3-carbinol can shift estrogen metabolism towards less estrogenic metabolites. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus), an autoimmune disease, is associated with estrogen. In a study using mice bred to develop lupus, indole-3-carbinol was fed to one group while another group was fed a standard mouse diet; the group fed the indole-3-carbinol diet lived longer and had fewer signs of disease.[11]

Another study of lupus prone mice with indole-3-carbinol defined the mechanism for the improvement of their disease to be due to sequential blocks in the development of B and T cells of these mice. The maturation arrests resulted in a fall in autoantibody production, thought to be a crucial component of lupus causation. In addition, I3C supplementation of the disease prone mice led to a normalization of their T cell function.[12]

Women with lupus can manifest a metabolic response to indole-3-carbinol and might also benefit from its antiestrogenic effects. Clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of treating human patients suffering from lupus with indole-3-carbinol.

Effect in recurrent respiratory papillomatosis[edit]

There is evidence suggesting that indole-3-carbinol may have an effect on human papillomavirus infected cells in both pediatrics and adult patients.[13][14] Research is ongoing.


  1. ^ Data at
  2. ^ Sarubin-Fragakis, Allison; Thomson, Cynthia; Association, American Dietetic (2007-01-01). The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. American Dietetic Associati. p. 312. ISBN 9780880913638. 
  3. ^ Park, N. I.; Kim, J. K.; Park, W. T.; Cho, J. W.; Lim, Y. P.; Park, S. U. (2010). "An efficient protocol for genetic transformation of watercress (Nasturtium officinale) using Agrobacterium rhizogenes". Molecular Biology Reports. 38 (8): 4947–4953. doi:10.1007/s11033-010-0638-5. PMID 21161399. 
  4. ^ Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI), The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). "indole-3-methanol (CHEBI:24814)". Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  5. ^ a b Tilton, S. C.; Hendricks, J. D.; Orner, G. A.; Pereira, C. B.; Bailey, G. S.; Williams, D. E. (2007). "Gene expression analysis during tumor enhancement by the dietary phytochemical, 3,3'-diindolylmethane, in rainbow trout". Carcinogenesis. 28 (7): 1589–1598. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgm017. PMID 17272308. 
  6. ^ Higdon, J; Delage, B; Williams, D; Dashwood, R (2007). "Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: Epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis". Pharmacological Research. 55 (3): 224–36. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2007.01.009. PMC 2737735Freely accessible. PMID 17317210. 
  7. ^ Dashwood, Rod H.; Arbogast, D.N.; Fong, A.T.; Pereira, C.; Hendricks, J.D.; Bailey, G.S. (1989). "Quantitative inter-relationships between aflatoxin B1 carcinogen dose, indole-3-carbinol anti-carcinogen dose, target organ DNA adduction and final tumor response". Carcinogenesis. 10 (1): 175–81. doi:10.1093/carcin/10.1.175. PMID 2491968. 
  8. ^ Hsu, J; Dev, A; Wing, A; Brew, C; Bjeldanes, L; Firestone, G (2006). "Indole-3-carbinol mediated cell cycle arrest of LNCaP human prostate cancer cells requires the induced production of activated p53 tumor suppressor protein". Biochemical Pharmacology. 72 (12): 1714–23. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2006.08.012. PMID 16970927. 
  9. ^ Culmsee, Carsten; Vedder, Helmut; Ravati, Alexander; Junker, Vera; Otto, D??rte; Ahlemeyer, Barbara; Krieg, J??Rgen-Christian; Krieglstein, Josef (1999). "Neuroprotection by Estrogens in a Mouse Model of Focal Cerebral Ischemia and in Cultured Neurons: Evidence for a Receptor-Independent Antioxidative Mechanism". Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism: 1263–1269. doi:10.1097/00004647-199911000-00011. 
  10. ^ "Estrogen's Influence on the Brain". Society for Neuroscience. 
  11. ^ Auborn, KJ; Qi, M; Yan, XJ; Teichberg, S; Chen, D; Madaio, MP; Chiorazzi, N (2003). "Lifespan is prolonged in autoimmune-prone (NZB/NZW) F1 mice fed a diet supplemented with indole-3-carbinol". The Journal of Nutrition. 133 (11): 3610–3. PMID 14608082. 
  12. ^ Yan, Xiao-jie; Qi, Mei; Telusma, Gloria; Yancopoulos, Sophia; Madaio, Michael; Satoh, Minoru; Reeves, Westley H.; Teichberg, Saul; et al. (2009). "Indole-3-carbinol improves survival in lupus-prone mice by inducing tandem B- and T-cell differentiation blockades". Clinical Immunology. 131 (3): 481–94. doi:10.1016/j.clim.2009.01.013. PMID 19278904. 
  13. ^ Rosen, Clark A.; Bryson, Paul C. (2004). "Indole-3-Carbinol for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis: Long-term results". Journal of Voice. 18 (2): 248–53. doi:10.1016/j.jvoice.2003.05.005. PMID 15193659. 
  14. ^ Rosen, Clark A.; Woodson, Gayle E.; Thompson, Jerome W.; Hengesteg, Arne P.; Bradlow, H.Leon (1998). "Preliminary results of the use of indole-3-carbinol for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis". Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 118 (6): 810–5. doi:10.1016/S0194-5998(98)70274-8. PMID 9627242. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Michnovicz, J. J.; Bradlow, H. L. (1990). "Induction of Estradiol Metabolism by Dietary Indole-3-carbinol in Humans". JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 82 (11): 947–949. doi:10.1093/jnci/82.11.947. 
  • Morgan, David Owen (2007). The Cell Cycle: Principles of Control. London: New Science Press. ISBN 978-0-87893-508-6. 

External links[edit]