Indole-3-Carbinol for Menopause
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Menopause is challenging that has a ripple effect on all bodily functions when a number of unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, and much more occur. The use of indole-3-carbinol for menopause is believed to be beneficial in balancing hormone levels and alleviating menopausal symptoms both in terms of intensity as well as frequency. But does it really help? Keep reading to learn more.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits of taking indole-3-carbinol for menopause along with necessary safety precautions. But before we get into how indole-3-carbinol can help with menopause, it’s worth knowing the fundamentals of menopause a little bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is menopause?
- Symptoms of menopause
- Causes of menopause
- What is indole-3-carbinol?
- Potential benefits of indole-3-carbinol for menopause
- How to use indole-3-carbinol
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is menopause?
Menopause is a phase of a woman’s life that indicates the end of menstrual cycles. It’s a naturally occurring biological process that each and every woman experiences when she reaches her 40s or 50s.
In a menopausal transition, a woman experiences a natural decline in reproductive hormones, particularly estrogen, causing various physical and emotional symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings that also affect sleep, energy level, and mental health.
Dietary supplements such as indole-3-carbinol that help improve estrogen metabolism, and lifestyle modification may provide significant relief.
Symptoms of menopause
It takes several months or years for a woman to get into menopause, this phase is called perimenopause. Signs and symptoms may vary from one woman to another and the intensity and frequency may also differ as well.
From perimenopause to menopause, a woman may experience various physical and emotional symptoms including:
Changes in moods
Loss of fullness in breasts
Causes of menopause
Menopause is typically a result of the natural biological process in which the production of reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone that regulate menstruation as well as fertility, declines at the age of late 30s or 40s. But certain uncommon causes may also involve in menopause, including:
Primary ovarian insufficiency - a condition where premature menopause occurs before the age of 40 due to the inability of the ovaries to produce enough reproductive hormones.
Oophorectomy - a surgical procedure in which the ovaries are removed.
Cancer therapies - such as radiation or chemotherapy may induce menopause, especially when these therapies are directed at the ovaries.
What is indole-3-carbinol?
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a plant compound that is naturally present in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, and others. When consumed by humans, it is broken down by stomach acid and gets converted into DIM (diindolylmethane), which is a metabolite that is more efficient and better absorbed in the body.
Both I3C and its metabolite DIM can hugely help with relieving a whole variety of female symptoms involved in menopause.
Potential benefits of indole-3-carbinol for menopause
During menopause, the pattern of reproductive hormones, especially estrogen begins to change. Estrogen metabolism is a complex process where the body acts on and modifies estrogen molecules and forms various types of estrogen metabolites. The characteristics of estrogens are immensely changed after they are metabolized. Some of these metabolites show inflammatory, unhappy, reactive, and proliferative effects and are called “bad” estrogens, while others show anti-inflammatory, friendly, calm, and antiproliferative effects and are known as the “good” ones.
Although estrogen starts to decline in menopause, “bad” estrogen metabolites can cause epigenetic changes in DNA, raise inflammation, and alter divisions in cells, all of which contribute to developing a wide range of undesirable menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and increased fat storage.
I3C and its metabolite DIM can positively regulate the metabolism of estrogen by lowering the amount of “bad” estrogen metabolites and increasing the amount of “good” ones. This can help reduce the negative influence of estrogen and hugely help improve menopausal symptoms.
Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of I3C can help reduce high levels of inflammation which is also a leading culprit of menopausal symptoms. It can counteract the activities of inflammatory estrogen metabolites and therefore, help prevent and reverse menopausal symptoms induced by inflammation.
How to use indole-3-carbinol
Currently, there is no official standard recommendation for I3C supplements. Typically, I3C or DIM supplements come in 200 mg to 400 mg capsules. Starting with a lower dose is always preferred to avoid side effects associated with these supplements, such as headaches and gastrointestinal issues.
Work with a certified naturopathic doctor to determine whether these supplements are right for your specific health conditions or what would be your best method of use.
Precautions and side effects
Both indole-3-carbinol and DIM are generally considered safe and well-tolerated when taken as recommended. Side effects are uncommon and easy to reverse. The most common side effects include stomach upset and symptoms of allergic reactions such as skin rashes and swelling. In higher doses, some people may also experience nausea, tremor, or balance issues.
Besides, like with all dietary supplements, indole-3-carbinol and DIM may impact the way certain medications work, especially those that are broken down by the liver. Therefore, always consider asking a licensed natural medicine expert before starting I3C or DIM supplements, especially if you’re on medications for any underlying health conditions.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a plant chemical that is naturally present in high in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and many others. The benefits of indole-3-carbinol for menopause seem to come from its estrogen-balancing and anti-inflammatory effects.
It can hugely help relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and weight gain by improving estrogen metabolism, more specifically by increasing the amounts of favorable estrogen metabolites and limiting the undesirable ones. Consider working with a licensed naturopath to determine whether it is right for you and what would be the best dose.
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Indole 3 Carbinol I3C 400 mg Vegan Capsules
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural DIM 200 mg Vegan Capsules