For those who love broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, you're in luck. Hidden inside these cruciferous vegetables is a natural compound called indole-3-carbinol. When you eat your greens, your body takes this healthy compound and converts it to diindolylmethane (DIM).
DIM has substantial effects on estrogen metabolism and can prevent drastic increases or decreases in estrogen. Estrogen metabolism is a biological process thought to influence the development of certain estrogen-influenced cancers such as breast cancer. As a cancer preventive, DIM has essential health benefits for men's and women's health.
Excessive estrogen or being estrogen dominant causes many uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, and night sweats, but it's also linked to an increased risk for breast cancer.
Estrogen dominance happens when the balance of estrogen and progesterone sways stronger one way over the other. One typical pattern is to have excess estrogen to low progesterone. DIM then acts as an estrogen blocker to help level out hormone levels. Hormones act as messengers to the body, affecting everything from metabolism to sleep.
While estrogen is primarily produced in the ovaries for premenopausal women, postmenopausal women produce estrogen in peripheral fat tissues such as the human breast. DIM works to create a healthy balance of estrogen and testosterone in your body to provide physical homeostasis.
Since diindolylmethane is thought to produce positive changes in estrogen metabolites, some researchers believe it can help increase your defense against several types of cancer, including:
Although research is still in its preliminary stages, clinical trials show a reduction in estrogen levels with DIM supplements. One study involving 19 postmenopausal women with a history of early-stage cancer, showed changes in estrogen metabolism.
More studies need to be done, but laboratory studies suggest DIM inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. In addition to its believed anticancer effects, it may promote detoxification, support weight loss, relieve premenstrual syndrome and reduce hormonal acne.
DIM is naturally produced in the body when consuming cruciferous vegetables. As a holistic estrogen blocker, eating reasonable amounts through food poses little to no known cancer risk. In fact, since doctors recommend three to five portions of vegetables per day, it shouldn't be a concern.
If you don't want to eat your vegetables, you can purchase a high-quality DIM supplement. With any supplement, there are always side effect concerns, but DIM is considered safe when taken in small amounts. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your health care practitioner for medical advice.
Many holistic and natural health food stores offer DIM supplements. Supplementing with DIM in low amounts may help prevent cancer, aid weight loss, and provide estrogen balancing.
When you're estrogen dominant, finding relief improves the quality of your life. Whether it's through a natural DIM supplement or by consuming diet foods like broccoli and kale, finding aid is a must.