DIM (Diindolylmethane)

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Available dosage forms:

CapsulesUp to 300mg

What is DIM, and how can it help hormones?

DIM is one of the broken down metabolites of I3C (Indole-3-Carbinol). I3C is a phytonutrient (plant nutrient) found in cruciferous vegetables.  These include cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, and turnip.  These plants have been cultivated for thousands of years and were initially used for their medicinal benefits. DIM is not an estrogen or a hormone, however, DIM and estrogen are metabolised in the body through similar metabolic pathways. Studies have shown that when DIM is consumed in food or in absorbable formulations it encourages healthy metabolism of estrogen, helping to resolve estrogen dominance (see below) and restore healthy hormonal balance.

What is estrogen dominance?

Middle-aged men and women experience changes in hormone production and metabolism resulting in excess estrogen action.  There are three basic forms of this common imbalance.

Perimenopause.  In women, slower hormone metabolism in midlife can mean higher-than-normal levels of estrogen and a deficiency in its healthy metabolites.  Faltering estrogen metabolism often occurs in women during perimenopause, the years before menopause, and is characterized by higher monthly estrogen levels prior to estrogen’s dramatic fall at menopause.  Additionally, progesterone levels fall during perimenopause, resulting in a rising estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.

Middle-aged men.  Rising estrogen also becomes a problem for men during their 50s and 60s.  In overweight men, testosterone is increasingly converted into estrogen by aromatase and rising estrogen also competes with falling testosterone.  This corresponds to a time during which estrogen accumulates in the prostate gland.  Estrogen is believed to contribute to benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).

Acquired estrogen imbalance.  This important form of estrogen dominance results from inheritance, diet and environmental chemicals.  This is the most unhealthy form of estrogen dominance as it has the highest levels of ‘bad’ estrogens. Studies have shown that high levels of ‘bad’ estrogens (see below) can lead to mutations, abnormal growth (as in cervical dysplasia), and an increased risk of breast cancer.

What are good and bad estrogens?

Estrogen has two main metabolites, the beneficial ‘good’ 2-hydroxy and the dangerous ‘bad’ 16-hydroxy.

What benefits can DIM offer?

Taking DIM can shift the production of estrogen metabolites away from dangerous 16-hydroxy in favour of beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites encouraging a active and healthy estrogen metabolism.

Why not just eat more cruciferous vegetables?

Recent reports, like one from the Fred Hutchison Cancer Centre in Seattle, Washington indicate cruciferous vegetables are protective for hormone-sensitive cancers.  However, direct measurements of upward, beneficial shifts in estrogen metabolism indicate you would have to eat at least two pounds per day of raw or lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables to derive the same benefit as two capsules of specially formulated DIM.

How much DIM is recommended?

The appropriate dose of DIM depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for DIM. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare professional before using.

Are there any side effects?

DIM may cause gastrointestinal distress and headaches. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding DIM should be avoided as there is currently insufficient evidence to prove its safetiness and until more is known it is best not to take DIM if you have a hormone-sensitive condition – e.g. breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.

Medication Interactions?

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. DIM might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications which can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Some of these include clozapine (Clozaril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), Imipramine (Tofranil). BEFORE taking DIM please talk to your doctor about any medications you are currently on.


DIM supplementation is a nutritional approach to achieving a safer and healthier estrogen metabolism.  Many of the benefits traditionally ascribed to estrogen (protection from heart disease, healthy skin, bones, and brain) may actually reside with its beneficial metabolites, the 2-hydroxy estrogens.  DIM supplementation is a natural promoter of this specific pathway of healthy estrogen metabolism.

Further Reading

Safety Concerns Regarding Diindolylmethane

Of course, your body could be producing diindolylmethane every day depending on what your diet consists of. With that being said, you would need to eat an immensely large amount to experience the potential benefits associated with diindolylmethane. This is why supplements have been made available.

Currently, the effects of long-term use are not known. With that being said, diindolylmethane’s potential to affect estrogen levels does raise some concerns regarding hormone-sensitive conditions, include hormone-dependent cancer and endometriosis. Based on these concerns, it’s critical that you speak with your doctor before taking diindolylmethane.

Concerns are raised when doses are too high. Always stick with the recommended dose as written on the supplement’s label. When taking doses over 300 mg, you can experience headaches and gastrointestinal distress.

Supplements are of course tested for safety, but companies differ. This is why you should always source your supplements from a reliable, trusted source. If you are pregnant or nursing, please refrain from taking diindolylmethane. Also, if you’re currently taking on medications, speak with your doctor before your first dose.

What is the Recommended Dose?

People who are healthy and maintain a normal, average weight, should take approximately 100 mg daily. For those who are overweight or are suffering from PMS, chronic inflammation, or menopause take 200 mg daily.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor before taking the first dose. This is especially true for those who are taking medication or suffer from any chronic conditions. Always start with the lowest recommended dose and adjust over time.


  1. http://www.naturodoc.com/library/hormones/diindolymethane.htm
  2. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1049-diindolylmethane.aspx?activeingredientid=1049&activeingredientname=diindolylmethane
  3. http://www.nootropicsinfo.com/hormone-balance/diindolylmethane/

DIM (Diindolylmethane)

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