As a woman with estrogen dominance, I know how excess estrogen levels can play havoc with my health, increasing my risk for everything from PMS and infertility to fibroids and even breast cancer. Thats why I work very hard to keep my estrogen levels in the normal range and in proper balance with progesterone and my other female hormones.
One of the best supplements to help with this is DIM. DIM (or the long fancy version diindolylmethane) is a plant compound found in Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Researchers have found that this interesting little nutrient is quite beneficial in promoting healthy estrogen metabolism.
During estrogen metabolism, the most potent form of estrogen (estradiol) is converted into estrone. Estrone then becomes either 2-hydroxyestrone (a good estrone metabolite) or 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone (a bad estrogen metabolite).
This is where DIM comes in. Research has shown that when DIM is ingested, it not only encourages its own metabolism, but that of estrogen. While it is not an estrogen or even an estrogen-mimic, its metabolic pathway exactly coincides with the metabolic pathway of estrogen. When these pathways intersect, DIM favorably adjusts the estrogen metabolic pathways by simultaneously increasing the good estrogen metabolites and decreasing the bad estrogen metabolites.
A 2000 study from Epidemiology proves this point. American researchers took urine samples from 34 healthy postmenopausal women. They then added 10 grams of broccoli a day to the womens diets. After taking another urine sample, researchers found that this dietary change significantly increased the 2-hydroxyestrone to 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone ratio.
This is good news for those of us with estrogen dominance and elevated estrogen levels. To ensure you are getting enough DIM, you can increase your consumption of Brassica vegetables and/or take 30 mg of supplemental DIM per day, with meals.