A substance called diindolylmethane, also known among physicians and scientists as DIM, is a compound that is formed by stomach digestion of vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family, such as Brussels cabbage or broccoli.
According to researchers, this product is able to influence the level of estrogen. In this regard, it is often used to treat various disorders caused by changes in hormone levels, including skin rashes, prostatitis, and menopausal symptoms.
But before including broccoli, Brussels cabbage, or DIM-based dietary supplements in their diet, doctors recommend learning about all the properties of this product. Therefore, in this article, we will consider in detail what is diindolylmethane, the basic properties of this compound, and the side effects that it can cause.
How does DIM work?
DIM complex impact on a human body, according to the statement of scientists, leads to reducing risk o breast and prostate cancer development. Diindolylmethane is a substance obtained during the digestion of indole-3-carbinol contained in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels, and cabbage.
Scientists and doctors assume that it is capable to normalize estrogen levels in an organism. It is connected with the fact that DIM is capable to stimulate the production of a substance under the name 2 hydroxyestrone which is a more useful form of estrogen. Also, scientists report that addition in a diet of a cruciferae family of vegetables helps to eliminate some effects of the strong violation caused 16 - alpha hydroxyestrone which leads to an increase in weight and development of breast cancer and a uterus. According to their statements, diindolylmethane, in addition, is capable to inhibit enzyme under the name aromatase which provides a transformation of testosterone to estrogen.
In spite of the fact that broccoli and a brussels sprout are the main sources of DIM, their addition to a diet often isn't enough for ensuring the effects described above. Therefore doctors quite often recommend using more concentrated forms of this connection in the form of additives.
DIM nutritional supplements:
At the moment, researchers are actively studying the effects of diindolylmethane on certain cancers. In the course of appropriate experiments, they managed to find out that the compound can also be used to reduce the risk of developing prostatitis, prevent the formation of acne, relieve excess weight, as well as eliminate the symptoms of period and menopause.
Despite the fact that the statements of scientists look promising, more research is needed to confirm the effects described above. It will also be necessary to conduct experiments to study the safety of DIM reception over a long period.
DIM to treat cancer
Laboratory studies involving rats have shown that the regular addition of diindolylmethane to the diet allows slowing down the rate of development of cancer cells in the breast. However, due to the limited number of human studies, this effect cannot be confirmed.
One of the experiments, which involved 130 women with breast cancer, demonstrated an improvement in the condition of participants when taking 150 milligrams of DIM twice a day on a regular basis. The analysis also revealed a decrease in the level of 16-hydrosystron and an improvement in the performance of 2-hydroxyestrone. The corresponding effect allows not only to slow down the growth of tumors but also to prevent the possibility of breast cancer. Another 30-day study involving 19 postmenopausal women who had early-stage breast cancer showed that regular diindolylmethane intake resulted in increased estrogen levels and, as a result, positive changes.
Other laboratory studies involving animals have shown that DIM reduces the risk of ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer. But additional experiments are needed to use the compound to treat humans.
It is worth noting that when using diindolylmethane to treat mice, scientists have found that the compound can also be used to treat cervical cancer. This effect was confirmed as part of a 6-month study involving a 551st woman with a corresponding disorder.
DIM improves the prostate function
According to the researchers, DIM supplements can prevent an increase in prostate size, as well as reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, the compound can be used to control prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. This condition is characterized by the growth of prostate cells, which leads to the development of the corresponding oncological disease.
This effect was confirmed by one of the experiments. To achieve the desired effect, patients were given 900 milligrams of diindolylmethane daily, which, according to the results of the tests, not only improved the prostate gland but also eliminated the symptoms of intraepithelial neoplasia.
DIM helps reduce weight
Based on the fact that estrogen is the hormone responsible for fat accumulation, DIM supplements can accelerate the weight loss process. Despite this, none of the existing human studies confirm a corresponding effect.
Many studies attribute estrogen imbalance to an increased risk of overweight. At the same time, this effect is observed not only in women but also in men.
Scientists also note that diindolylmethane is able to accelerate the process of fat cleavage and slow down its accumulation rate in fat cells. The latter effect is achieved by inclusion in DIM diet in a ratio of 50 milligrams of compound per 1 kilogram of body weight.
DIM supplements designed to treat a number of hormonal balance disorders:
skin rashes (acne) - diindolylmethane can be used to eliminate rashes caused by changes in hormone levels;
hot flashes in menopause - DIM can eliminate the corresponding negative effect, since it is associated with a change in the level of hormones in the blood;
period symptoms - normalization of estrogen levels in the blood allows eliminating unpleasant pain sensations and sharp mood swings;
male estrogen imbalance - normalization of estrogen levels through DIM allows preventing erectile dysfunction and infertility.
It is worth noting that all the properties described above are only an assumption of scientists and do not have scientific confirmation.