DIM: Because Broccoli Isn’t Enough
“Eat your broccoli!”
Your parents probably said that to you more than once when you were young…usually followed by “or no dessert!” You’ve probably said it to your kids, too.
(We all become our parents at some point. It’s okay.)
As it happens, there’s actually some solid science to support eating broccoli. Not to mention other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
And it’s not just for the vitamins, minerals, and fiber these vegetables contain.
It turns out there’s a unique compound created by your body when you eat these leafy green vegetables…and it has important benefits with regard to cancer prevention.
It’s called diindolylmethane…DIM for short. If you haven’t heard of it before now, you should pay attention. It may be the key to healthy estrogen metabolism in both men and women.
What is DIM?
Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called indoles. One of them, indole-3-carbinol, has long been linked to reduced risk for certain types of cancer.
When you eat cruciferous vegetables, your stomach breaks down indole-3-carbinol into…you guessed it…DIM.
But what does DIM actually do? It turns out DIM does something important in terms of estrogen metabolism that may have some very positive consequences.
In particular, DIM helps your body to produce more of estrogen’s “good” metabolites. Specifically, the beneficial estrogen metabolite known as 2-hydroxyestrone. This form of estrogen metabolite is less potent than the “bad” estrogen metabolite known as 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone.
High levels of “bad” estrogen metabolites have been tied to elevated risk factors for breast cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer, and other hormone-related cancers. DIM helps to reduce cancer risk by encouraging the body to metabolize estrogens out through safe, non-carcinogenic pathways, resulting in more “good” estrogen metabolites fewer “bad” estrogen metabolites.
Do you need DIM supplements?
Since DIM is produced when you digest cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, you might think it would be easy to reap its benefits. Simply eat more cruciferous vegetables, right?
It’s always a good idea to include more vegetables in your diet…especially cruciferous vegetables. However, you would have to consume several servings of broccoli or its cruciferous cousins to see a significant increase in DIM levels. And you would need to consume those cruciferous vegetables every day…because DIM breaks down in your body within 24 hours. Also, DIM production is most effective from uncooked vegetables. That would be an awful lot of raw broccoli to consume.
Not to worry. DIM can easily be taken as a supplement. To receive the maximum benefit from DIM, researchers recommend 600-900 mg of DIM per day.
Benefits of DIM Supplements
Recent studies suggest DIM supplements can provide significant health benefits including:
- Cancer prevention
DIM supplements increase the ratio of “good” to “bad” estrogen metabolites excreted by the body. This is thought to protect against breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
In one study, women being treated for breast cancer showed a significant increase in their 2-hydrozyestrone/16-hydrozyestrone ratios when given 150 mg of DIM daily.
- Prostate health
Prostate enlargement and prostate cancer can be significant issues for men as they age.
DIM appears to help prevent a condition called PIN (prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia)…which causes prostate enlargement and is a precursor to prostate cancer. In fact, men who received a DIM supplement of 900 mg/day showed significantly better prostate health.
Is DIM for you?
Due to its important role in healthy estrogen metabolism, DIM supplementation is commonly included in our hormone replacement protocols.
To find out more, call Renew Youth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.