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There seems to be disagreement among scientists. Some claim that properly balancing estrogen metabolites is most important while others claim that the ratio of estrogen to progesterone is most important. What’s your opinion?

This is a difficult question. I’ve seen compelling evidence on both sides of the issue. Much has been said concerning a healthy balance of estrogen metabolites. This is apparently an important effect of both I3C and DIM. However, I’m afraid we could be misled by a correlation that is not necessarily a cause. I say this because mounting evidence supports benefits and clinical outcomes with levels of cruciferous vegetables too low to create a measurable shift in estrogen metabolites. Preliminary evidence suggests this is likely the case with dietary indole supplementation as well. In the future, the therapeutic dosage may well be keyed to clinical outcomes, and not any shift in estrogen metabolites.

Case in point, in the Indole-3-Carbinol / cervical dysplasia study published in the Gynecologic Oncology, there was virtually no difference in the clinical outcome of 400 mg over 200mg of I3C daily. This suggests levels of supplementation in excess of what is required to produce a favorable clinical outcome. It is quite possible that the maximum therapeutic dose is far below what is required to produce the “all important” shift in estrogen metabolites.


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