Even though you know that a healthy diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, are you getting enough of them? Even with the best intentions, most Americans do not consume the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. And even when they do, they may not realize that they are skipping out on some of the most important ones.
Recent research has shown that all fruits and vegetables are not the same when it comes to their nutritional value and health benefits. Studies have determined that cruciferous vegetables have more nutrients per serving than many other vegetables.
But let’s face it, cruciferous vegetables don’t tend to be the most popular choice in the American diet. Let’s be honest here: how often do you reach for broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower when you are in the vegetable aisle? If you are like many people, these are the vegetables you routinely choose to skip, but by skipping the vegetables, you are doing you and your body a disservice. Why? Cruciferous vegetables contain powerful nutrients that help keep your body cancer-free.
What is DIM?
Your body may love the cancer-fighting phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables, but what if you can’t stomach them? Don’t worry, the most active and essential of these phytochemicals, diindolylmethane (DIM), is now available in dietary supplement form.
DIM (phytochemicals, diindolylmethane) is an indole phytonutrient found only in cruciferous vegetables. The way that DIM gets into your system is an interesting process. Chewing cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, plant enzymes release DIM into your system. When exposed to stomach acid, these enzymes form a compound called indole-3 carbinol. This compound then yields DIM.
What does DIM do?
With DIM, it’s all about the relationship with estrogen. DIM directly affects the estrogen hormone and how it is metabolized.
You may not realize just how much estrogen does for the human body. Estrogen regulates the growth and development of reproductive organs, assists in fertilization and pregnancy, controls the growth of the uterine lining, maintains bone structure, maintains the normal structure of skin and blood vessels, and regulates various metabolic processes.
When in Balance, Estrogen Keeps the Body Happy and Healthy
However, when estrogen levels rise, and the body undergoes prolonged exposure to estrogen, serious health problems can arise. For example, studies have shown that women who have higher estrogen levels in their bloodstreams have a higher incidence of breast cancer. Certain estrogen metabolites have also been directly linked to the development of several types of cancer.
Here’s where it gets fascinating. Did you know that there is more than one type of estrogen in the human body? One of these, 2-methoxyestrogens, has been proven to inhibit the growth of malignant tumors. Researchers have speculated that increasing the production of this type of “good” estrogen would be very beneficial. This is where DIM comes in. DIM can increase the ratio of “good” to “bad” estrogen. Regularly using it as a supplement promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism and helps restore a healthy hormonal balance.
DIM Supplements Can be Used Effectively by Both Men and Women
Since the benefits of DIM are directly linked to estrogen, you may think women can only take it. That estrogen is a female-only hormone is a common misconception. The male body also produces and requires small amounts of estrogen as well. Estrogen supports the production of healthy, viable sperm. In men, estrogen is converted from testosterone and metabolized in the liver. Imbalances in the “good estrogen” to “bad estrogen” ratio being responsible for the development of certain cancers is just as applicable in men as it is in women.
DIM Supplements Side Effects
DIM has been available and in use for many years. During this time, there have been no reports of adverse effects associated with DIM.
DIM Supplements Common Side Effects
However, some minor side effects have been noted. Some individuals have experienced minor stomach upset when taking DIM supplements. This side effect can be eliminated by taking DIM supplements with food. Some people have also noticed harmless changes in urine color when taking DIM supplements. This happens because DIM metabolites have an amber color that transfers to your urine. This is not uncommon as dark urine also occurs in individuals who eat large amounts of cruciferous vegetables. The problem can be eliminated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day.
The Research is In
Studies have determined that DIM inhibits cancer cell growth. They have also shown that DIM enhances the activity of enzymes found in certain pathways in the liver. These enzymes contribute to the healthy metabolism of estrogen that reduces the risk of cancer development.
You’ve Got the Power. Use it!
We acknowledge that there are many risk factors associated with cancer. Some of these risks are under your power to control, while others are not. There’s no excuse not to take power into your own hands and do what you can to decrease the risk factors that are under your control. Diet and nutrition fall squarely into this category. Research suggests that about one-third of cancer deaths are nutrition-related and could be prevented. Adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet can make a huge impact. But even if you can’t make broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage the center of your diet, you can grab a bottle of DIM and take it to reduce your risk and help towards cancer prevention.
If you love your cruciferous vegetables, you may also want to consider taking DIM. You would have to eat nearly two pounds of cruciferous vegetables a day to get the same benefits as taking DIM supplements.
DIM Supplementation Address More Than Just Cancer
DIM doesn’t just have anti-cancer properties; it also excels at:
- Balancing hormones
- Providing antioxidants to prevent damage from free radicals in the body
- Supporting weight loss
- Improving memory
- Boosting your mood
- Supporting strong bones
- Enhancing energy
- Reducing PMS symptoms
- Helping to balance estrogen dominance
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Increasing healthy muscle development
- Improving prostate health in men
We Can Help!
If you’d like to learn more about DIM and how it can support your health, give us a call today!