Do you suffer from typical female troubles like PMS, period pain, headaches, cellulite and moodiness?
We all know how frustrating female problems can be. Your doctor never seems to have a satisfactory solution. Sometimes, even when we make all the necessary lifestyle changes, we can’t achieve the balance we want.
Sometimes your body needs extra support. This is where supplements can help. One of my favourite supplements for female hormone balance is diindolylmethane.
What is DIM?
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is an exciting supplement that gives women a natural option to help with estrogen dominance, which causes many of our female troubles.
Learn more about estrogen dominance: Estrogen Dominance: What Every Woman Needs To Know
Everyone knows the health benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower. When you eat cruciferous vegetables one of the compounds you ingest is DIM and it is responsible for many of the health benefits associated with these vegetables. However, because it is hard to get enough DIM from your diet, it is also available in supplement form.
The benefits of DIM for women
Estrogen dominance causes a lot of our typical female problems, especially as we get older. DIM helps with estrogen dominance and therefore may lessen some of these annoying symptoms, but it may also have protective effects against more serious problems like fibroids, endometriosis and even cancer.
Research is relatively new in this area but studies have found:
1. DIM helps your liver process estrogen.
Your liver processes estrogen so that it can be removed from your body. When estrogen has done its work in your body, it is broken down by the liver into either “good” or “bad” metabolites. The “bad” metabolites are responsible for many of the problematic effects of estrogen (and estrogen dominance) and have been linked to hormonal-dependent cancers.
Because DIM helps your liver make more of the good metabolites, it will help you be healthier, happier and reduce your cancer risk.
2. DIM may reduce the effects of xenoestrogens from the environment.
Xenoestrogens are chemical estrogens from the environment. They act like estrogen in your body and can have harmful effects.
Xenoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors on your cells causing them to grow and divide (as in the the case of cancer). They can also block natural estrogen from binding to these receptors and result in more estrogen circulating in your body causing estrogen dominance and worsening all those monthly female troubles.
While there are things you can do to limit your exposure, you can’t avoid xenoestrogens completely because they are everywhere. DIM supports your body to remove xenoestrogens that you can’t avoid.
3. DIM may have anti-cancer effects.
DIM has been shown to provide potential protection against hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, uterus and cervical cancer. DIM exerts these effects through numerous mechanisms, including by positively impacting estrogen metabolism and helping you remove xenoestrogens as discussed above. It has also been found to be protective for normal cells while causing apoptosis (when a cell kills itself) in tumor cells.
4. DIM can help with fat loss
DIM has been shown to help with weight loss, including where subjects have become resistant to weight loss from low carbohydrate dieting. Studies have found that DIM increases lipolysis (fat burning) and is correlated with facilitated weight loss and weight maintenance.
Where to find a good DIM supplement
While DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables, you would have to eat very large amounts of these vegetables daily to get the same benefits as you would from taking one or two capsules of DIM. Also, cooking, especially microwaving and boiling, can reduce the availability of DIM from food sources. To get maximum benefit from DIM look for it as a supplement.
Many of the published studies on the benefits of DIM have used BioResponse DIM because generic DIM (ie. not the BioResponse version) is not absorbed very well (or at least this is claimed by BioResponse). BioResponse is a patented form of DIM created by the company BioResponse Nutrients in the United States and you can buy it directly from their website (if you are in the United States).
Even if you aren’t in the U.S., it’s easy to find DIM supplements containing BioResponse DIM. If you try a generic DIM supplement and do not notice any changes after a few months, you may want to purchase a supplement with the BioResponse DIM instead.
Recently I have been using the Jarrow Formulas DIM which also has calcium-D-glucarate in it, another compound that helps with estrogen detoxification.
How to use DIM
Most recommendations are for 100mg to 200mg per day. You can take the higher dosage if you have significant health concerns, but always be guided by the recommendations on the package.
Some women report headaches and nausea at the higher dosage so if this happens to you, reduce your intake to 150mg or less per day.
Addressing hormonal imbalance and the effects of it can be extremely frustrating. Doctors do not give us the answers we seek and we feel like nothing we do makes a difference. That’s why I think DIM is a really exciting supplement for women. It’s a completely natural plant compound with some pretty promising effects for women’s hormone balance. It empowers us to look after our own health and tip our hormone balance back in our favour.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to provide medical advice. Supplements are not intended to treat or prevent any disease and you should always consult with your doctor if you have any concerns. Remember most doctors do not normally prescribe alternative treatments so they may not be aware of the benefits of certain supplements but they can tell you whether there are any issues and/or contraindications.