Indole-3-carbinol anticancer molecule

Indole-3-carbinol anticancer molecule

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Indole-3-carbinol anticancer molecule. Computer model of a molecule of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a powerful antioxidant found in vegetables of the cabbage family (cruciferous family). Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (green), hydrogen (white), oxygen (red) and nitrogen (blue). I3C is only released from vegetables on cooking or maceration. It is found in the highest concentration in broccoli. It acts as an antioxidant, mopping up free radicals and also stimulating antioxidant enzymes. It may prevent certain cancers, such as breast, cervical and prostate cancer, by blocking oestrogen from cell receptors and also by converting oestrogen to a less cancer-promoting form.

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