When you consume cruciferous plants, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts, diindolylmethane is formed within the body. These vegetables are known to be anti-cancer foods and is believed to be due to diindolylmethane, as well as a related chemical known as indole-3-carbinol.
Basically, diindolylmethane is the substance produced once the body breaks down indole-3-carbinol. Diindolylmethane is believed to have potent effects on balancing estrogen and estrogen metabolism. It is able to maintain a relatively balanced body by preventing severe increases or decreases in estrogen.
Sold in supplement form, diindolylmethane has a wide range of effects. The main uses of this supplement range, however, the main reasons people take diindolylmethane is:
- Detoxing: Allowing the body to cleanse in order to promote positive health
- Weight-loss: By reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, individuals can reduce their risk of various diseases
- Cancer prevention: Antioxidants effects help reduce risk of cancer cell growth
- Premenstrual syndrome relief: Due to hormonal effects, symptoms of PMS are targeted
- Treating an enlarged prostate gland
Depending on the condition or ailment you’re trying to benefit, dosing may vary. It’s important to speak to your doctor regarding any potential concerns or questions you have.
The Benefits of Diindolylmethane
One of the key uses for diindolylmethane is to help influence estrogen metabolism, which is thought to influence the development of hormone-related cancer, such as breast and cervical cancer. It’s believed that diindolylmethane helps increase the level of 16-hydroxy estrogen which are considered to be beneficial while reducing levels of 2-hydroxy estrogens which are believed to be harmful.
Basically, when estrogen breaks down in the body, it can either form beneficial or harmful metabolites. What diindolylmethane does, is helps your body break estrogen down into the beneficial type. The beneficial metabolites actually provide antioxidant properties and protect both the brain and heart from free-radical damage. Since harmful estrogen is associated with breast cancer and obesity, reducing these metabolites is critical.
Exactly how diindolylmethane prevents or aids in cancer treatment isn’t fully known, however, it’s been found that diindolylmethane stops the formation of new blood vessels. Since tumors and cancer cells require blood to grow and thrive, inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels could potentially be what’s reducing or even abolishing tumors.
Although research is still fairly limited, here are some of the key findings to date:
• Positive Effects on Breast Cancer: in a 2004 study, researchers found that diindolylmethane provided protection against hormone-dependent cancer by manipulating levels of estrogen. This study was rather small with only 19 women, however, the results were promising. In the lab, studies have also shown that diindolylmethane may stop the development and growth of breast cancer cells.
• Positive Effects Against Other Cancers: Based on animal and test-tube studies, findings shows that diindolylmethane may help protect against ovarian, prostate, colon, and cervical cancer. Since research has been limited, it’s unsure whether or not these same effects would occur within humans.
• Balancing Effects on Testosterone: Although diindolylmethane is known for its effects on estrogen, it has also been shown to promote a healthier balance of testosterone in the body. Testosterone supports energy, mood, and helps to maintain a healthy sex drive.
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.