Principal Proposed Uses
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is produced when the substance indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is digested. Indole-3-carbinol, found in broccoli and other vegetables, has shown considerable promise for cancer prevention . Some of its benefits in this regard may occur after it is converted by the body to DIM.
DIM also has complex interactions with the hormone estrogen, which could lead to either positive or negative effects on cancer risk.
There is no dietary requirement for DIM. Good natural sources include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Manufacturers selling DIM products typically recommend about 500 to 1,000 mg daily. The optimal dose (if there is any) is not known.
DIM appears to alter liver function in such a manner that an increased amount of estrogen becomes metabolized into inactive forms. In addition, DIN blocks certain effects of estrogen on cells; however, it may enhance other effects of estrogen. The overall effect is far too complex and poorly understood to be described as “balancing estrogen in the body,” which is what many websites say about DIM.
DIM is thought to be a relatively nontoxic substance. However, comprehensive safety studies have not been completed. Due to DIM’s complex interactions with estrogen and testosterone, it has the potential for causing hormonal disturbances. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
For this reason, we recommend that if you use any medication that is critical for your health, do not use DIM except under a physician's supervision.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -