DIM (Di-indolylmethane) is a natural substance found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. It helps to metabolize estrogen into healthy forms which protect from hormone imbalances, including cancer. Estrogen, in its many forms, plays an important role in both men and women with regards to optimal health and longevity. Like all things in life, it is always fluid and changing and there are many things that influence its direction, including healthy diet and lifestyle habits, genetics, and optimal nutrient levels of certain vitamins and minerals. DIM is also a supportive nutrient that can assist in this process by guiding estrogens in a healthy and protective direction, thereby decreasing risk for estrogen-related cancers.
When our bodies process – or metabolize – estrogen, it funnels down different pathways with the help of certain enzyme systems. Some of these pathways can be more harmful (ie cause damage to DNA or be more cancer-promoting) than others. Some pathways are less harmful and actually offer more protection from hormone imbalances.
A simple analogy: Imagine the different forms of estrogen as cars on a freeway. In order to get home (or be metabolized), there are several different exits (enzyme systems) they could take to get there. DIM acts as the traffic police officer, guiding estrogens to take the safe exits home.
The balance of all forms of estrogens at the end of the day can be predictive of risk for breast cancer and other estrogen-related cancers, and can actually be measured through specialty lab testing. Your Naturopathic Doctor can order testing for you and help provide guidance on how best to decrease your overall risk and remain as healthy as possible.