DIM is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables such a kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. It is produced when we eat and digest cruciferous vegetables. DIM stands for Diindolylmethane. This compound is generated from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol found in Brassica vegetables.
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How Does It Help?
This compound is produced when glucobrassicin is converted into indole-3-carbinal (I3C). This happens when a person cut and chews the cruciferous vegetables. When I3C is digested in the human stomach it becomes DIM.
It has been observed that DIM helps in liver detoxification, it also controls estrogen metabolism which then balances hormonal functions. It has been studied that Diindolylmethane functions like estrogen in the human body. It is also found through research that it can also counteract and may block estrogen effects.
How to increase the intake of DIM?
It has been observed through different studies that with high cruciferous vegetable absorption the risk related to certain cancers decreases. Researchers believe that indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is somewhat responsible for reducing the risk of cancer in the human body.
High Heat Reduces DIM
When these vegetables are cooked or high heat glucobrassicin is deactivated or reduced. Especially if the vegetables are boiled or are microwaved the benefit are greatly reduced. So why we cannot just simply add more of these vegetables to our diet?
Well, if we eat these vegetables raw or in any other uncooked form one may develop goitrogens issue. These vegetables are high in goitrogens which will influence thyroid production. But this may happen only when these vegetables are eaten in high quantity.
So, it is best to steam these vegetables at low temperatures for 3-4 minutes to retain the compounds that transform into DIM and reduce the goitrogenic components. Another benefit of steaming is the utilization of nutrients like minerals, fibers, and vitamins when these vegetables are consumed as a whole. DIM supplements will be deficient in all such things.
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Uses and Probable Advantages of DIM Supplements
Many studies have been conducted and many are still being carried out to understand the protective effects of DIM supplements. It has been observed that DIM has shown preventive and protective response in curtailing cancer, restrain prostate enlargement, heal acne, assist in weight loss, curtail premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause symptoms.
Tests done in laboratories on cells and animals have shown that DIM supplements help in stopping the growth of and expansion of breast cancer. These effects are not yet verified on human testing in detail. A study was done on 130 women with breast cancer, were administered 150mg of DIM two times daily. The outcome was promising, it significantly improved the ratio of two types of estrogen in the human body.
The improvements were seen with 2-hydroxy estrone and 16-dydrogesterone. With the research still going on and studies being carried out, increasing the ratio of 2-hydroxy estrone and 16-dydrogesterone reduce the risk of breast cancer and has anti-tumor significance.
Another study was done for 30 days on 19 post-menopausal early-stage breast cancer diagnosed women. Administering 108mg of DIM every day made favorable changes in their estrogen levels. Although research is still ongoing, studies point out DIM guards against cancers like ovarian, prostate, and color, etc.
In another research 551 women were administered 150mg of DIM per day, these were having cervical abnormalities, did not show any improvement in cervical cell reversal.
2) Safeguard from Prostate
It has been observed that DIM supplements might act as a shield against prostate cancer or enlargement of the prostate. A study was done by the National Institute of Health which concluded DIM may fight prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). A condition that demonstrates prostate cell growth and is known as a harbinger of prostate cancer.
A study done on 21 men for 12 months with high-quality PIN was administered a DIM dose of 900 mg per day. Substantial improvements in prostate health were accomplished, as well as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
Although more research is required test-tube and animal studies indicate DIM supplements stimulate prostate cancer-fighting.
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3) Boost Weight Reduction
Studies have shown that estrogen imbalance (too high or too less) in men and women is linked to increased weight gain. Having known the fact that estrogen has a vital role in regulating fat accumulation, DIM supplements may assist in weight reduction.
High or low levels of estrogen in the body can become a cause to store of more fat cells. To make things worse women and men propagate estrogens in their fat tissues. Which means more fat leads to more estrogen. Apart from balancing estrogen DIM suppresses adipogenesis, which is the means of creating new fat cells.
Good estrogens metabolites are responsible for naturally regularizing of energy metabolism. These are responsible for actively releasing stored fat cells for higher energy during increased physical activity or exercise.
The DIM supplements additionally may encourage fat cell breakdown and discourage fat cell production. A study on mice revealed that 23mg per pound of bodyweight DIM administration greatly reduced the formation of fat cells.
4) Acne Reduction
Since DIM has the ability to stop the excessive production of estrogen and testosterone, this may also assist in reducing acne caused due to disproportionate hormones in the human body. The acne usually appears on the cheeks, chin, or jawline. It is often connected to the menstrual phase, when estrogen levels decrease, and androgen hormone levels increase.
Androgen inclusive of testosterone is considered to be one of the culprits relating to acne. By taking DIM supplements one may experience an increase in estrogen level thus a reduction in androgen levels. This reduction of androgen inclusive of testosterone may lead to a reduction in acne.
Increased estrogen or overproduction of estrogen may lead to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibroids, mood swings, depression or anxiety, or endometriosis. It can result in infertility and enlarged breasts in men.
DIM supplements are being used by some as an estrogen blocker, actually, it does not block the production of estrogen. Rather, it prevents the aromatase enzyme that transforms testosterone into estrogen.
On the other hand, a lot less estrogen will also cause problems which is usually the case in menopause. DIM helps the body to digest estrogen with ease.
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6) Reduction in Hot Flashes
Another benefit that may be witnessed by taking DIM supplements is the probable reduction in hot flashes. Since taking DIM may result in regularizing and metabolizing estrogen which may, in turn, result in a reduction of hot flashes due to hormonal imbalance. This benefit is not thoroughly supported by research.
7) Estrogen Imbalance Correction
Increased levels of estrogen in men have a direct link with increased breast size, infertility, and erectile dysfunction. DIM supplements might be a viable solution to this problem. Although the effect of DIM supplements has not been studied in detail the case as well.
8) Look Younger and Healthier
DIM is sold and advertised in the market as a dietary. As discussed, earlier I3C (indole-3-carbinol) is not in an active state in your body until it gets converted into DIM. I3C is unsteady and unpredictable and may change in a substance that is not required in the body. Or a substance that is harmful to the body.
DIM is the most intense and dynamic I3C in cruciferous vegetables. It stimulates the constructive metabolism of estrogen in males and females. When a body has balanced and healthy hormones regardless of age then it exudes vibrance and energy. This makes a person look and feel younger.
9) Healthy Heart and Mind
When estrogen is combined with oxygen through aerobic metabolism, it gets transformed into its final shape for it to be excreted out of the body. A metabolic pathway like the one needed by other natural indoles and DIM is also the requirement of estrogen.
There are two types of metabolites good ones and bad ones. 2-hydroxy estrogens are known as good metabolites. Nonantioxidants 16-hydroxy and 4-hydroxy estrogens are the bad metabolites. When the 2-hydroxy estrogens are increased due to DIM the resultant outcome is the simultaneous decrease of bad estrogen metabolites.
The antioxidant activity of the good metabolites is known to protect the heart and the brain these are known to be produced by estrogens. The bad estrogen metabolites 4-hydroxy and 16-hydroxy estrogens of nonantioxidant nature can cause cancer. Obesity and susceptibility to chemicals that are released in the environment by human beings cause enhanced production of bad estrogens.
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Good estrogen metabolites have another amazing quality attributed to them. The quality is that the good estrogen metabolites have the ability to rectify and improve cell growth, this assists in replacing damaged cells. This happens because good estrogen metabolites encourage and assist the process of programmed cell death. In the process, the damaged cells are naturally eradicated from the body.
11) Muscle Strength
Metabolism gets a boost naturally when DIM supports and collaborates with the hormones by tweaking them in such a way the hormonal imbalance is avoided. By contributing towards more productive fat metabolism and assisting testosterone to be freed from its carrier proteins, the metabolites enhance the growth of stronger and active muscles.
2-hydroxy estrogen metabolites which are free or non-protein-bound communicate a hormonal message to muscles to develop by accumulating more structural protein which is required movement, strength, and size. Muscle growth developed by such a metabolic state is known as anabolism.
A body with stronger muscles is more equipped to burn fat, look youthful, and maintain lean body composition.
12) Enhances Libido
Reduction in the metabolism of estrogen might cause issues such as having long sleep, or aching breasts. A slow estrogen metabolism reduces the effects of lower testosterone in women. This is important because free testosterone is greatly linked to positive mood, heightened sex drive, and active aerobic metabolism.
Men due to obesity, abusive use of alcohol, and smoking endure greater buildup of estrogen. This happens because persistent and sustained inflammation, which linked to obesity, alcohol abuse, and smoking, increases the transformation of testosterone into estrogen. Bound testosterone is produced when estrogen makes the liver release more carrier protein for testosterone.
This carrier protein is known as sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). In men, erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, obesity, and depression are caused by high levels of estrogens and low levels of autonomous testosterones.
DIM does not change total testosterone level in the body but assists free testosterone activity through its effects on estrogen metabolism. This ensures a healthy level of free and active testosterone is maintained.
This decreases the un-metabolized estrogen levels and increases the good 2-hydroxy estrogen metabolites. Which then displaces the testosterone from SHBG and free them from the same. This signals the body muscles to acquire more protein which increases strength, size, and movement.
Apart from the development of muscles, with DIM free testosterone enhanced levels, reduce depression, enhance memory, and improve mood. A higher testosterone-to-estrogen level increases sex drive improves heart health and facilitates long-lasting erections.
Possible Side Effects
Since the research related to DIM is very less. Not much is known with regards to long-term side effects and safety-related issues of DIM supplements. Having said that does not render DIM supplements unsafe for consumption nor declare them absolutely safe for consumption.
The research and analysis which has been carried out about the effects of DIM supplements on humans to date do not declare them to be toxic. Nor does it show that DIM supplements have any serious side effects.
Some of the most noticed and reported side effects of DIM supplements are flatulence, increase in bowel movements, darkening of urine color, and headaches. Some other side effects which are less reported or are not common among the public are skin rash, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Since DIM supplements greatly interplay with estrogen levels, people having hormone-sensitive cancers may get affected. Also, people who are undergoing hormone therapies may be affected. For such people, it is advisable to seek guidance from their doctors and health care professionals. They should take DIM supplements only if they are declared suitable for intake by the health care provider.
Also, if you do not have any apparent illness or medical condition it is advisable to check with your physician first before taking DIM supplements.
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DIM Supplement Dosage
As the data related to DIM supplements is limited therefore it is better to be careful. Proper dosages required for human intake have not been investigated thoroughly. The information available relating to human research which is collated is from treatments for cancer or prostate issues.
Such information suggests that the typical dosages for human consumption range from 108 – 900 mg per day. A study involving 24 healthy people reports that DIM doses of up to 200 mg are well tolerated and did not show any side effects.
Pregnant ladies and breast-feeding mothers should tread carefully. Diindolylmethane is probably safe when taken in small doses by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. But reliable information relating to higher doses is not available.
Uses of DIM supplements like acne treatment, rejuvenation, and weight loss, etc. have not been investigated in humans. Therefore, the best thing to do is consult your physician and ascertain the correct dosage. Once the physician has prescribed the dosage it should not be exceeded.
Do not Over Cook Your Vegetables
Another aspect that we discovered in our discussion which also is regularly repeated by physicians, nutritionists, and dieticians is do not to overcook your vegetables. Prepare them over low heat steam or give them a quick stir fry but do not boil them. Overheating depletes them of their nutrients and renders them less fruitful.
DIM Influences Estrogen Levels
We came to know that DIM is a compound created by the human body when cruciferous vegetables are consumed. Also, when DIM supplements are taken orally. DIM has an influence on estrogen levels. It may be helpful in treating an array of conditions. These conditions include hormone-sensitive cancers and prostate issues. We need to study the effects of DIM supplements in detail.
Further Research is Required
Benefits and uses with regards to weight reduction, PMS symptoms, acne, etc. have to be further investigated. It is absolutely essential that before taking DIM supplements one should thoroughly discuss it with the health care professional.
To Sum Up
We have discussed the Diindolylmethane and its functioning in detail above. We will summarize whatever we have discussed till now. Like our elders used to tell us to eat our greens. Modern science and medical science are also pointing in the same direction. Nowadays doctors and nutritionists tell us that to have a lean, youthful, and full of energy body one must eat vegetables.