I-3-C works by improving the ratio of circulating “good” estrogens to “bad” estrogens in the body. Research suggests that I-3-C aids the bad estrogen detoxification process by altering how the body actually breaks down estrogen itself. It favours the pathway (a sequence of reactions where one organic substance is converted to another) that produces more good estrogen and it acts as a potent antioxidant by scavenging potentially damaging chemicals or toxins.
Research also points to the fact that I-3-C helps the liver to make a more favourable form of estrogen known as 2-OH and less of a more damaging estrogen known as 16-OH. In human studies, an increase in 16-OH has been linked to PMS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cervical dysplasia and the development of fibroids. In contrast, 2-OH estrogen has not been linked with any of these negative health effects. Oral supplementation with I-3-C has been found in clinical trials to increase the amount of circulating 2-OH estrogen without any reports of toxicity, making it very safe and easy to take.