Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a plant compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale. Before we discuss the important uses of DIM, it is important to talk about the potential side effects and when one shouldn't be taking DIM.
DIM Side Effects and Interactions
DIM is considered to be safe when consumed from natural sources at doses 100-200mg daily. Taking larger doses such as 600 mg each day, may cause side effects such as headaches, upset stomachs, and can cause reduced sodium levels in some people.
You should avoid taking a DIM supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
DIM can sometimes affect how the liver breaks down certain medications. It may decrease the effectiveness of drugs which are metabolized by the liver, such as imipramine (Tofranil), propranolol (Inderal), and olanzapine (Zyprexa).
The Benefits of DIM
DIM has shown to have a number of health benefits including supporting a healthy menopausal transition, promoting hormonal balance in those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), supporting healing of acne lesions. Research also shows promising anti-tumor activity.
DIM may be taken as a supplement at a dose of 200 – 300 mg, this is a good idea because cooking reduced the level of DIM in natural sources.
DIM for Acne
There are many acne products on the market, from creams to facial scrubs, toners to acne soaps. The difference with DIM is that it supports the healing of acne from the inside.
It is particularly beneficial for hormonal acne – the type which occurs during times of hormonal fluctuations, such as adolescence and menopause. Androgens (such as testosterone) are male hormones which occur in the bodies of men and women. They stimulate increased sebum production which contributes to acne. DIM was found to have antiandrogen effects.
These effects may be helpful in decreasing sebum production in acne-prone men and women. DIM also works to control acne by inhibiting the production of mTORC, which contributes to the development of hormonal acne.
DIM for PCOS
Sex hormones can be categorized into two basic categories, female hormones like estrogen and progesterone and male hormones like testosterone. Both are present in varying amounts in males and females. PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is an endocrine disorder. It causes irregular menstrual periods, insulin resistance, and hyperandrogenism (too much testosterone and other male hormones).
Hyperandrogenism can lead to symptoms such as hirsutism (increased facial hair growth), acne, and hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Because of DIM’s selective estrogen activation and antiandrogen effects, it may be helpful for PCOS symptoms.
DIM for Menopause
During a normal menstrual cycle, levels of estrogen and progesterone normally oscillate between high and low levels. However, during menopause, estrogen levels decrease as the ovaries stop responding to signals from the pituitary gland. Depleted levels of estrogen result in the common symptoms of menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
DIM has been shown to act selectively on estrogen receptors, which means that it only activates some estrogen receptors. By interacting with estrogen receptors, DIM may be helpful for menopausal symptoms.
Estrogen receptors are found all over the body:
Brain: In the brain estrogen has an effect on neurons. Mice without estrogen receptors display depression-like behavior. Modulating estrogen receptors in the brain can help reduce some of menopause’s mood symptoms.
Skin: Estrogen increases the amount of collagen in the skin and promotes skin thickness. Decreased levels of estrogen during menopause can cause thinning of the skin and hair loss.
Bones: Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining bone density. Women are more prone to osteoporosis after menopause as their bone density decreases dramatically.
DIM for Men
Because of these antiandrogen effects, DIM may be helpful for certain men as well. It may be particularly beneficial for the support of prostate health. Some studies have noted that DIM inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis (cell death) in prostate cancer cells. By balancing hormone levels, DIM may also support athletic performance and maintenance of healthy weight.
Although DIM is not suitable for everyone DIM appears to have benefits for both men and women. It may help to support acne relief, healthy menopause, and prostate health. If you’re looking for a quality DIM supplement, DrFormulas™ DIM Plus BioPerine Estrogen Metabolism for Men & Women provides a convenient once-daily dose of all the DIM you need. It is specially formulated to support hormone balance, prostate health and acne control. What’s more, it contains an optimal dose of BioPerine for enhanced absorption and bioavailability. It is made in the U.S. and is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, contains no GMOs and is suitable for vegans.