Indoles and skatoles are relevant to hibernation, cancer, consciousness, and longevity.
The ptomaines putrescine and cadaverine and the indigoids indole and skatole are common lower bowel toxins.
Indoles and skatoles accumulate in the colon during the putrefactive degradation of dietary L-tryptophan.
A fundamental part of the longevity puzzle involves the INDOLE, a planar heteroaromatic molecule that is an excretory metabolic breakdown product of L-tryptophan found abundantly in feces.
This metabolic breakdown product has been identified as being carcinogenic, though other studies show the opposite, that indoles actually prevent cancer, e.g., the indoles in broccoli, cabbage, turnips, and numerous other cruciferous vegetables.
The indole is also the power behind the drone of LSD and is connected to higher states of consciousness.
L-tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin, bufotenine, psilocybin, and LSD are built on the indole “ring,” the basic structure of the indole.
Indoles are involved in pineal functions, higher awareness, and (allegedly) physical immortality.
The pineal enzymes, hydroxy-indole-O-methyl transferase (HIOMT) and indole-N-methyl transferase (INMT), can convert serotonin into various potent hallucinogens, including 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine.
Indole normally has a fecal odor, but when properly diluted, it smells like flowers. Indole is found in indigo, a deep-violet purple dye, and in jasmine and orange blossom oils (mostly destroyed by distillation or extraction but not by enfleurage).
The mysterious indole seems to be a two-edged sword. As already mentioned, some studies show indole to be carcinogenic whereas other studies show it to be anticarcinogenic.
L-tryptophan is a biological precursor of the indole serotonin, and a build-up of serotonin to critical mass seems to activate the so-called “death hormone” produced in the hypothalamus.
That’s why L-tryptophan deprivation can retard aging in much the same way as a nutritionally balanced calorie-restriction diet.
On the other hand, indole derivatives are responsible for the longevity of the giant redwood tree.
SKATOLE, a similar indigoid, is formed from L-tryptophan during pancreatic digestion and putrefactive decomposition of albumin. It, like indole, is found abundantly in feces.
Skatole is also found in various plants and in civet, a perfume scented from the anal glands of the civet cat.