Diindolylmethane (DIM) powder is a compound created when you digest cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Research has shown that DIM works by affecting estrogen levels in the body and has gained popularity as a supplement to assist with hormone-related conditions including ;
DIM works by restoring healthy hormone balance by adjusting the balance of estrogens to good estrogen, and blocks aromatase which converts testosterone to estrogen . The more beneficial or “good” estrogen is known as 2-hydroxyestrone and DIM may stimulate the production of this type. DIM may also reduce the effects of the ‘bad’ or less beneficial type called 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone which has been linked to weight gain and an increased risk of some types of cancers  .
DIM is very popular in the bodybuilding community, this is because in some occasions bodybuilding can present a case of too much estrogen from testosterone. Since testosterone promotes muscle tone in normal amounts and extreme muscle growth in large amounts, men and women in this community sometimes take more than the replacement levels of testosterone. Too much testosterone can lead to an excess of estrogen, where the body develops extra fatty tissue in the breast and mammary gland. As DIM inhibits aromatase it allows more testosterone to flow freely around the body to benefit the heart, bones, skin and brain it is used as a supplement to assist with body building .
The less beneficial or “bad” type of estrogen has been linked to weight gain especially around the hips and thighs. Some studies have linked weight gain in both men and women with an imbalance of estrogen types, so it is believed that taking a DIM supplement will aid in balancing out those types by stimulating fat break down  . DIM is also thought to stimulate burning of the fat cells you have and the ones you eat through your diet.
Studies suggest that supplementing with DIM could assist with Prostate issues. One study on 21 patients who had been diagnosed with a high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) were split into groups and group 1 received a dose of 900mg of DIM a day and group 2 received placebo. After 12 months of treatment there was a significant difference in both groups, the group receiving DIM showed improvement of maximal urinary flow rate and although there was a small sample size the results show that DIM could be a promising supplement for patients with high-grade PIN .
DIM supplements have been used to treat hormonal acne with the same thoughts behind its ability to balance out estrogen levels. A recent study conducted in Korea called the Korean Acne Diet study found the frequency of vegetables and fish intake was significantly higher in the acne-free control group than the group consuming more hyperglycemic carbohydrates, processed meat and dairy products. Vegetable focussed diets contain more plant-derived mTORC1-inhibitors like diindolylmethane, resveratrol, curcumin and many more. Further studies are needed to see if DIM as a supplement assists with hormonal acne but from studies we can see that acne is reduced in those who eat plant foods containing DIM .
Premenstrual Syndrome is known as recurrent psychological or physical symptoms occurring during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and often resolves by the end of menstruation . Severity can differ between women and approximately 95% of women experience these symptoms once or twice or regularly. PMS symptoms are thought to come about due to estrogen levels changing monthly in women. Some women have found relief in taking DIM to reduce their symptoms but more studies need to be conducted .
DIM is a compound that your body creates naturally when you consume cruciferous vegetables, as it affects estrogen levels studies have shown that it can be beneficial and assist with many hormonal based conditions. In some hormonal conditions more studies are needed to show the effects of taking a DIM supplement. It is always important to focus on adding more cruciferous vegetables to your diet too – but if you don’t get enough and are suffering from any of the above hormonal conditions, speak to your healthcare professional to see if DIM is right for you.
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