Indol-3-Carbinol contains the following ingredients:
Indol-3-carbinol, a plant-based substance from the indole group, is extracted from a number of cruciferous plants, including resveratrol and quercetin, a polyphenol and flavonoid, extracted from Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).
In the Netherlands, Indol-3-Carbinol is prepared according to the international regulations for the production of drugs as food supplements. Indol-3-Carbinol is often used with patients who have breast cancer and with patients who have cervical cancer. It is also used as complementary therapy for prostate cancer.
The following are some clinically proven effects of individual ingredients:
Indol-3-Carbinol (I-3-C) is extracted from various cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli; resveratrol and quercetin are best obtained from grapes or Japanese knotweed (polygonum cuspidatum). The effective combination of these two substances helps maintain healthy cellular function.
Only a third of all breast cancer cases are estrogen-receptor positive, and only about half of those respond to the estrogen-blocking tamoxifen and Even if the patient responds initially, a tamoxifen resistance eventually develops. Two thirds of all breast cancer cases can’t even be treated with tamoxifen to start with. In such cases, the current preferred treatment is broad-spectrum chemotherapy. Although this toxic therapy is often effective, it involves many side effects which influence the patient’s quality of life and which make expensive follow-up treatments necessary. I-3-C does not have this disadvantage and works with tamoxifen and chemotherapy synergistically – which makes it particularly suited for complementary therapy with breast cancer.
I-3-C and its metabolite diindolylmethane (also called DIM) are especially popular due to their antioxidant, detoxifying, and estrogen-modulatory effect and their capacity to inhibit pathological cell growth. Nascent research results show that I-3-C and DIM work synergistically so that, for example, growth of breast, prostate, and cervical cancer cells slow down or stop entirely. I-3-C also slows down a gene associated with cancer which encodes for an important enzyme called Cdk6-Kinase. DIM can’t do this.
I-3-C also prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells which are not estrogen dependent. Here is a significant advantage over the conventionally used tamoxifen in cancer therapy, which can be effective only in cases of breast cancer which are estrogen dependent. Researchers at the University of Los Angeles have shown that I-C-3 reduced the growth of estrogen receptors in positive breast cancer cells by about 90%, whereas tamoxifen only reduced it by about 60%.
Italian researchers have recently created a synthetic product from I-C-3 that has twice as strong an effect on estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer cells. Just as with I-C-3, it also inhibits the same enzyme (Cdk6 Kinase). The researchers believe that the tetramer they developed can be further developed into a medication. Initial results show that normal cells are not influenced by this substance.
Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
Resveratrol is advantageously obtained from Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), which is considered to be one of the best natural sources of this phytoalexin, which has become famous in medicine for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Diverse lab tests and animal experiments with resveratrol show the positive effects of this substance on cancer, autoimmune disorders, arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, cardiac diseases, and arthritis.
Polyphenols are also known for their high redox potential, which makes them ideal radical inhibitors. Just like coenzyme Q10, resveratrol is purported to directly seal over the mitochondria of the so-called proton leak and to neutralize reactive oxygen-based free radicals. Moreover, it has the capacity to stimulate a number of the
body’s own different antioxidant enzyme systems (for example, the superoxide dismutase and some catalases). In addition, resveratrol prevents lipid peroxidation, namely the oxidation of LDL-Cholesterol, which in its oxidized form can be stored in the vascular wall and prepare the way for the development of arteriosclerosis. Resveratrol prevents this process and therefore counteracts the calcification of the blood vessels.
Moreover, a significant neuron-protective effect is attributed to resveratrol, so that it is hoped that it can one day be used in the treatment of Alzheimer patients.
The positive effects of resveratrol on the most diverse disorders can also be at least partially explained by its pronounced anti-inflammatory effects. The is allows resveratrol to inhibit two enzyme systems in the body at the same time, namely the Cyclooxygenase 2 and the intricate nitrogen monoxide synthetase, both of which play an essential role in inflammatory reaction. A number of studies have shown in the last few years that chronic inflammations in particular are extremely important for the pathogenesis of many diseases, from the development of arteriosclerosis to neuron degeneration to the formation of cancer. As early as in the 90‘s, it was demonstrated that resveratrol possesses an anti-cancer effect at all three levels of the disease: it prevents cancer, reduces its growth, and reduces metastasis. These effects of resveratrol are based upon the ability to send the already existing cancer cells into programmed cell death (apoptosis) and to increase the effectiveness of the toxic cellular effects of conventional chemotherapy or radiation. These characteristics could increase the effectiveness of such treatments and counteract therapy resistance, which was often observed.
Quercetin is also extracted from the so-called secondary plant matter (flavonoid) Polygonum cuspidatum. This substance has impressive antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulatory effects and regulates the cell cycle. Quercetin is virtually non-toxic when taken orally or intravenously. Studies from the famous Mayo Clinic and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University in the USA have shown that Quercetin blocks the growth of androgen-sensitive and hormone-resistant prostate cancer cells, making them sensitive to heat; the substance is therefore suitable to support hyperthermia treatments. Quercetin is, however, not only applicable as a treatment and prevention substance in prostate cancer. It is also applicable in conjunction with breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and several other types of cancer.