We test the hypothesis that the estrogen metabolite ratio 2-OH-estrone:estriol can be raised via dietary indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and that this higher ratio can be sustained over a 3-month test period. We also explore the possible role of pure fiber on estradiol metabolism. Using a randomized clinical trial with three arms, each containing 20 subjects, arm 1 received 400 mg/day of I3C daily for 3 months, arm 2 received 20 g of alpha-cellulose daily for the same time period as a source of added fiber, and arm 3 received a placebo dose. Blood levels of a variety of biochemical parameters were measured. The urinary 2-OH-estrone:estriol estrogen metabolite ratio was measured monthly at the same time of the menstrual cycle. While no changes were observed in the control and alpha-cellulose-treated arms, a substantial mean increase in the ratio was observed in the I3C-treated arm at month 1; that increase was maintained over the 3-month time period. Three of the 20 subjects in this I3C-treated group differed from the others in that no significant change in the metabolite ratio was observed at any time point. The results suggest that I3C can serve to increase the 2-OH-estrone:estriol metabolite ratio in a sustained manner without detectable side effects and that some individuals may be resistant to such change.

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