One of the more interesting compounds I came across a few years ago was something called DIM, or diindolylmethane. As these stories all begin, it started with a quick Google search on the supplement. After learning about its effects, I’ve included it in my own stack to reduce estrogen naturally, and consider this one at home in my supplement collection.
What is DIM?
DIM is a natural component of vegetables in the Brassica family, such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and more. Like some of the other compounds in these vegetables, they exhibit potent anti-cancer effects as well as other effects on the body hormones, in this case, the ability to reduce estrogen and the potential negative effects of too much estrogen in the body.
DIM, like sulforaphane (sometimes sold as broccoli sprout extract) is denatured by cooking, which means that supplementing this substance is an ideal way to get it. I purchased my bulk DIM from Powder City, however you can find all sorts of DIM supplements out there (just make sure that if you are a male that you don’t end up accidentally taking a womens’ formula).
How Does DIM Work To Reduce Estrogen?
DIM (at normal doses) works by inhibiting the production of estrogen from testosterone via the aromatase enzyme. For those unfamiliar with the hormone cascade, all of the body hormones, including those that we think of as exclusively “male” or “female” hormones are created from the same basic ones. Certain enzymes transform the precursory hormones into the ones that are needed, and in this case, testosterone happens to be used as the building block for estrogen.
What DIM does, again, is it prevents this testosterone from turning into estrogen via the activity of aromatase.
DIM – Good for men AND for women
In addition to the anti-cancer benefits of DIM, it can help balance the hormones in both men and women. When taken at the right dosage, DIM can reduce the production of estrogen in healthy men and women. In men, especially older men, this is good as testosterone production declines, and estrogen expression starts to inhibit androgen expression.
In women, too much estrogen activity can cause all those nasty hormonal effects like PMS, bloating, cramps, weight gain, irritability and more. DIM however can balance this out by naturally reducing the estrogen produced, and by converting estrogen into its less potent forms. Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may also benefit from taking DIM.
Stacking DIM with other substances
I have made an estrogen reducing stack as mentioned in my post 5 quick and dirty ways to reduce estrogens and boost androgens. DIM is one of the main components.
DIM will go very well alongside other aphrodisiac, adaptogenic or otherwise hormone-balancing herbs and supplements. Its mechanism of action does not seem to overlap much with other substances. For that exact reason, it’s a perfect complement to a stack with these components.
Be careful of your dosage!
As I always say, more is not necessarily better. This is definitely the case here. Examine.com has noted that DIM in higher doses can actually increase the synthesis of aromatase.1 Therefore, if you do not intend to increase the production of estrogen in your body, do not take more than 100mg in a day.
Examine.com – Diindolylmethane ↩