What is DIM?
Diindolylmethane, also known as DIM, is an activator of estrogen metabolism. It is a nutrient isolated from cruciferous vegetables that enhance the synthesis and breakdown of estrogen inside the body.
DIM is a natural chemical formed in the digestive tract from a compound known as glucobrassicin in the cruciferous vegetables listed below. DIM supplements can be used to help suppress or prevent the growth of different forms of cancer including colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
Where can you find DIM?
Some of these vegetables include cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. While DIM is part of the compounds ingested when these cruciferous vegetables are ingested and it is responsible for lots of the health benefits associated with the vegetables, it is hard to get enough of it from your diet. However, it is available in supplement form. DIM actually becomes available to the body after digestion and it helps the body increase the levels of “good” endogenous estrogen and reduce the level of “bad” exogenous estrogen.
“Good” or “Bad” Estrogen, What are They?
- Primarily, you can get “Bad” estrogen from exposure to xenohormones which are environmental and man-made chemicals that bind themselves to estrogen receptor sites and behave like estrogen inside the body. This “bad” estrogen also prevents the liver from expelling excess estrogen and contributes to the formation of excess receptor sites. Obesity is the main risk factor of “bad” estrogen.
- “Good” estrogen in the body has so many responsibilities when it comes to supporting healthy fertility. While in men, estrogen helps in regulating the process through which sperm matures. It helps the follicle in an ovary to mature as the body gets ready for ovulation. It also supports a healthy menstrual cycle in women and helps to maintain endometrium in preparation for implantation.
Supplementing with DIM
It is important to know that DIM does not mimic estrogen, does not augment estrogen deficiency, and does not have estrogenic activity. However, it can help the body improve and enhance the hormone balance and also protect cellular health.
Supplementing with DIM could essentially help to improve egg and sperm health, as well as manage fertility problems that have to do with estrogen dominance or hormone balance.
DIM often has to be taken as a nutritional supplement since there is no way to get an adequate amount of this nutrient through cruciferous vegetables.
Benefits of DIM for Men and Women
DIM is useful in men to help reduce “bad” or excess exogenous estrogen. It can also help:
- Support a reduction in the level of estrogen dominance and protect sperm health.
- Improve hormonal balance and, by extension, improve libido, mood, and fat-burning metabolism.
In women, estrogen causes a lot of the typical female problems particularly as they get older. DIM is able to help lessen the symptoms of estrogen dominance and it may also have protective effects against health problems such as endometriosis, cancer, and fibroids.
How to Use DIM
A lot of experts and doctors recommend that a therapeutic dose of DIM should be taken each day, between 100 and 200 mg per day. However, you should also eat cruciferous vegetables as much as possible while taking a DIM supplement. You should also consider taking DIM supplements alongside certain lifestyle and dietary changes that will help support your fertility health. This is important given the repeated exposure to xenohormones and the obesity rates, as well as the contributions of these factors to both male and female infertility.