Product Overview

Nutritional supplements containing I3C have been marketed since 1990. In cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, a series of compounds react when the vegetable cell walls are broken through chopping, chewing, or juicing [7]. I3C is just one of many Dietary Indoles produced in this way*. Dietary Indoles have significant physiological activity [8].


Dietary Benefit

Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is reported to eliminate toxins from the liver [1], increase the body’s natural metabolism of hormones, and promote good estrogen (2-Hydroxyestrone) [2]. This dietary indole antioxidant is an important factor in promoting women’s health.



Adults 200 to 400 mg per day. Children may take up to 1/2 adult dosage.



I3C is stable when kept refrigerated and protected from light. When left unrefrigerated or when exposed to light, I3C may darken and eventually become resinous. The degradation products of I3C are considered beneficial and are the same as those formed in the stomach upon ingestion.


Alternate Names

1H-indole-3-methanol, 3-hydroxymethyl indole, 3-Indole methanol



Dietary Indole CAS Registry Number [700-06-1]


Regulatory Status

Indole-3-Carbinol is a dietary supplement under provisions of US Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).



1. McDanell, R., ETL, 1987 Food and Chemical Toxicology
25: 363-368.
2. Michnovicz, J. J.; Bradlow, H. L. 1991 Nutr. Cancer 16: 59-66.
Michnovicz, J. J.; Bradlow, H. L.1990 Natl.Can.Inst.82: 947-949
3. Andrus, G.M., Arffman, K., 1999 United States Patent. 5895787,
April 20.
4. Michnovicz J.J., Bradlow H.L., 1993 Food Phytochemicals
I: Fruits and Vegetables 282-293.
5. Bell, M.C., ETL, 2000, Gynecologic Oncology 78: 123-129.
6. Newfield, L., ETL, 1993, Anticancer Research 13: 337-342.
7. Zeligs, M.A., 1998, Journal of Medicinal Food, 1:2, 67-82
8. W.E. Loub, L.W. Wattenberg and D.W. Davis 1975 J. Nat.
Can. Inst. 54: 985-988
9. J.J. Michnovicz, H.L. Bradlow, 1989 Proc. Royal Soc.
Endinburgh, 12: 1571-1574


While these compounds occur naturally, they exist in extremely low quantities. All commercial sources are synthetic.