The world of supplements is a confusing one. There are so many supplements out there, so many miracle cures, so many brand names, so many products that it’s almost impossible for a regular person, even a highly intelligent one, to sort through all of the information and make an informed decision about which supplements are effective and which are safe.
If you’ve landed on Diindolylmethane (DIM) as a possible antidote to conditions and issues related to hormone imbalance, then you know that it has been used quite effectively to prevent cancer and balance sex hormones. There is, however, the lingering question…is it safe?
The best way to answer this question is to understand what DIM is and how it works.
Eat Your Veggies
Let’s start with cruciferous veggies. Cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage contain plant enzymes. There’s nothing particularly special about these enzymes until the acids in your stomach take over and convert them into indole-3-Carbinole, which then converts into Diindolylmethane(DIM). When absorbed by your body, DIM actively influences the activity of estrogen and can also regulate the activity of genes.
DIM and estrogen have a complex relationship. For one thing, sometimes DIM blocks the effect of estrogen. And other times, it enhances estrogen levels. It may also affect testosterone levels.
Estrogen performs many beneficial activities in the human body. For example, it regulates the growth and development of reproductive organs, controls the growth of the uterine lining, assists in fertilization and pregnancy, maintains the normal structure of skin and blood vessels, maintains bone structure, and regulates various metabolic processes. On the contrary, excessive estrogen can cause serious health problems.
Furthermore, a woman who has a high level of estrogen circulating in her bloodstream is more likely to get breast cancer. Also, certain estrogen metabolites are directly associated with the development of several types of cancer.
The Good Side of DIM Supplements
DIM contributes to a better metabolism in the most natural way possible because it works with your own hormones and adjusts their action to avoid hormonal imbalance. Furthermore, DIM produces more ‘good’ estrogen metabolites, which increases the ratio of “good” estrogen over “bad estrogen. Increasing production of “good” estrogen has many benefits, one of which is that it helps to maintain a slightly higher ‘free’ testosterone level. The ‘good’ estrogen metabolites combined with higher free testosterone levels increase fat mobilization and a fat-burning metabolism.
DIM supplements are used to promote beneficial estrogen metabolism and help restore a healthy hormonal balance. In addition, DIM can help prevent or slow the growth of some types of hormone-sensitive cancers, including cervical, breast, uterine, and prostate cancers.
Although studies have shown that increasing the ratio of good estrogen can inhibit the growth of malignant tumors, DIM doesn’t just have anti-cancer properties. It also:
- Balances hormones
- Provides antioxidants to prevent damage from free radicals in the body
- Supports weight loss
- Improve memory
- Boosts your mood
- Supports strong bones
- Enhances energy
- Reduces PMS symptoms
- Helps to balance estrogen dominance
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Increases healthy muscle development
- Improves prostate health in men
But Is DIM Safe?
People have taken DIM as a dietary supplement for many years with no reports of adverse effects. However, although DIM supplements have no serious side effects, they interact with hormones and affect genes associated with cancer. A study published in 2014 found that the outcome of DIM interacting with hormones and genes may be good or bad, depending on the amount of hormones and DIM in the body.
While DIM is often used to support hormone balance in premenopausal women, it also may cause hormonal disturbances. While DIM can lead to positive effects on various types of hormone-sensitive cancers, it can also lead to negative ones.
The perfect example of this duality can be found in these two studies. According to a study in “Thyroid” in March 2011, DIM has an anti-estrogenic effect, which may reduce the risk of developing thyroid cancer. But, on the other hand, a report in “BMC Cancer” in July 2014 found that DIM stimulates the growth of certain breast cancer cells. This is why more research needs to be done to get the nitty-gritty details of dosage, hormone interactions, etc.
Known Side Effects of DIM
So far, research has shown no serious side effects associated with DIM supplementation. There are, however, a few mild side effects that can occur depending on the person who is taking the supplement. Side effects that have been associated with DIM supplementation include:
- Stinky urine
- Darkening of the urine
- Increase in the frequency of bowel movements
- Skin rash
Let’s review a few facts to keep a balanced perspective.
- DIM metabolizes estrogen down the 2-hydroxy estrone pathway.
- It frees up bound testosterone.
- DIM acts as a natural aromatase inhibitor.
- DIM is nontoxic.
- More research is needed to determine DIM’s safety fully.
- Safe supplemental dosages have not been established.
- DIM dosages can prove tricky to determine.
- Children and pregnant or nursing women should not take DIM supplements.
- People with liver or kidney disease should consult with a physician before using DIM.
- People at a higher risk for estrogen-sensitive cancers or hormone-related conditions should consult a physician before taking DIM.
- DIM may interact with medications.
How Long Does DIM Take to Work?
You may also be wondering how long it’s going to take this supplement to work.
Supplements, unlike prescription drugs, tend to take a little longer to take effect. DIM is no exception. It usually takes about 30 days for DIM supplements to start balancing estrogen. And it may take a few tries to get you on the best possible dosage.
Questions still need to be answered, but the benefits of DIM supplements, when used under the supervision of a doctor, outweigh the common side effects.
If you are curious about how DIM supplements could benefit your health or be an excellent addition to your hormone replacement therapy, schedule a consultation.
We’re here to support you in every way we can. Boost Your Confidence with Denver Vein Today!