Studies have shown that high consumption of broccoli and other cabbage-family vegetables is associated with reduced risk of a variety of cancers. This has spurred research into potential anticancer effects of compounds that occur in these vegetables, such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its derivative diindolylmethane (DIM), both of which are sold as supplements.
Preliminary research showed that I3C may benefit women with certain estrogen-sensitive cancers and precancers, such as ovarian cancer and cervical dysplasia, but there is concern that it may also have the potential to increase cancer risk in some situations. DIM, a chemical formed in the body upon ingestion of I3C, has also been studied for people with cancer (breast or prostate cancer) or pre-cancerous conditions (cervical dysplasia), but most clinical studies have shown limited to no benefit.
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