What is DIM? DIM stands for Diindolylmethane. This is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. A phytochemical is a substance found in plants that has health benefits. For example, beta-carotone the substance found in carrots that gives them their orange color and is a precursor (something that comes before; an earlier form of) of Vitamin A is a phytochemcial. The phytochemical allicin found in garlic has anti-bacterial properties. DIM is a phytoochemcial that helps to balance estrogen metabolism in both women and men which is crucial for breast, uterine, cervical and prostate health.
DIM is not a plant estrogen, which mimics estrogen in the body, rather it helps to regulate and balance estrogen metabolites. Metabolites are products of metabolism. Metabolism is simply the chemical reactions that occur in living organisms to maintain life. Estrogen is broken down in the body into estrogen metabolites. Some of these metabolites are not so good. Women with breast cancer have very high level of certain metabolites. However, some of the metabolites are very beneficial and can help to protect you against certain cancers. DIM helps to convert estrogen into these good metabolites. Most people are estrogen dominant (including men) so that is why you do not necessarily want to ingest things that mimic estrogen (including a lot of plant estrogens). An example of a plant estrogen would be soy.
Why are we so estrogen dominant? There are numerous contributing factors including hormones in meat and dairy products, the use of plastics including storing and microwaving food in plastic containers and drinking bottled water. Plastic contains Bisphenol-A which mimics estrogen. Dry cleaning and pesticides also have chemicals that have estrogen like properties. Estrogen imbalances in men cause weight gain, hair loss and prostate enlargement. Breast cancer in men is also on the rise. Both men and women produce estrogen, progesterone and testosterone just in different amounts. DIM helps to balance and regulate all three either directly or indirectly. Hormone imbalances are linked to all sorts of health problems to everything from weight gain to cancer.
The DIM supplement that I take is from a company called BioResponse. You can order it at www.bioresponse.com They have several products but I just take the plain DIM. This is also the brand that the National Cancer Institute uses in their studies. Unless you can eat about 3 lbs of cruciferous vegetables a day then you might want to consider a DIM supplement. Even if you could eat that much broccoli the people around you might not be able to tolerate the effects it has on your digestive system!