DIM Background and Benefits
DIM is an abbreviation for 3,3′-diindolylmethane, which is composed of a methane group with two indole groups attached to it. The primary natural source of DIM is the digestion of cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables are members of the cabbage family, which also include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. The health benefits of cruciferous vegetables are partially due to the effects of DIM.
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucobrassicin, which is a type of glucosinolate. The digestion of glucobrassicin breaks down into indole-3-carbinol and thiocyanate when catalyzed by the enzyme myrosinase, which is also present in cruciferous vegetables. Indole-3-carbinol quickly breaks down into DIM and other metabolites during the acid-mediated process of digestion.
Heat breaks down myrosinase, so cooking vegetables reduces the bioavailability of DIM. However, some of its bioavailability is still retained since human intestines also contain some myronsinase. Water also reduces the availability of DIM since glucobrassicin is water soluble. Low-temperature steaming is therefore the best method of cooking vegetables while preserving the bioavailability of glucobrassicin.
The primary biochemical role of DIM is to modify the metabolism of estrogen so that it produces more 2-hydroxy estrogen metabolites. The most significant result of this change is a decrease in 16-hydroxyestrone production and an increase in 2-hydroxyestrone production.
Uses of DIM
The uses of DIM generally result from its ability to manage hormone levels, especially testosterone and estrogen. These uses include prostate health support, antioxidant support, weight management and the management of menstrual symptoms.
DIM may help to break estrogen down into metabolites with antioxidant properties. This effect can protect the body from damage by free radicals, especially the brain and heart.
DIM may help to manage menstrual symptoms such as breast discomfort and moodiness.
DIM may support the management of a healthy weight by reducing the production of estrogen metabolites that are associated with obesity.
Prostate health support
Early research indicates that DIM may help support prostate health by managing the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The regimen in this study lasted for 28 days.
Signs You May Need DIM
The signs that you may need DIM supplements are generally caused by unhealthy levels of testosterone and estrogen. The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are some of the most common indications that women may need DIM. Men may benefit from DIM if they have an unhealthy testosterone level, which can cause low moods and a poor libido. Men who wish to increase muscle mass with exercise may also want to take DIM.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of DIM
3,3′-diindolylmethane, DIM 3'3