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Protective effect of indole-3-carbinol on heart health.

A study conducted by University of Hawaii found that plant indoles, such as indole-3-carbinol, have beneficial effects on lipid synthesis and could help to improve heart health [1]. The researchers investigated the effect of indole-3-carbinol on apolipoprotein B production by cultured liver cancer cells. It is known that high levels of apolipoprotein B can lead to plaques that cause vascular disease, leading to heart disease. Levels of apolipoprotein B are a better indicator of heart disease risk than total cholesterol or LDL. They found that treatment of the cells with indole-3-carbinol reduced apolipoprotein B secretion by up to 56% but did not affect the density of the secreted lipoproteins. This reduction was the result of lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol esters in the cells.

A Korean study led by Park MK suggested that indole-3-carbinol could be a potent antithrombotic agent with antiplatelet activity [2]. This study investigated the antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities effect of the phytochemical in both in-vitro and in-vivo tests. The in-vitro study showed that indole-3-carbinol dose-dependently inhibited production of thromboxane B2 and prostaglandin E2 by human platelets. Thromboxane B2 is a vasoconstrictor and a potent hypertensive agent. It also facilitates platelet aggregation. Indole-3-carbinol significantly inhibited fibrinogen binding to the platelet. Their in-vivo test showed that indole-3-carbinol extended the life of mice with pulmonary thrombosis induced by intravenous injection of collagen and epinephrine.

[1] Cruciferous indole-3-carbinol inhibits apolipoprotein B secretion in HepG2 cells. J Nutr. 2007 Oct;137(10):2185-9.
[2] Antiplatelet and antithrombotic activity of indole-3-carbinol in vitro and in vivo. Phytother Res. 2008 Jan;22(1):58-64.

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