Diindolylmethane (DIM) is formed by acid catalyzed dimerization of indole-3-carbinol, and both compounds inhibit formafion and/or growth of mammary tumors in redents. Diindolylmethane is an indole plant nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Yet unlike other plant nutrients such as soy isoflavones, diindolylmethane has unique and distinct hormonal benefits. It supports the activity of specific enzymes that improve estrogen metabolism. Scientific research shows diindoly]methane increases the level of “good” estrogens (2-hydroxyestrogcn) while reducing the level of “bad” estrogens (16-hydroxyestrogen).
DIM stimulates more efficient estrogen metabolism. Supplementing the diet with DIM and eating cruciferous vegetables increases the specific aerobic metabolism for estrogen, multiplying the chance for estrogen to be broken down into its beneficial, or "good" estrogen metabolites. These "good"estrogen metabolites are known as the 2-hydroxy estrogens. Many of the benefits that are attributed to estrogen, which include its ability to protect the heart and brain with its antioxidant activity, are now known to come from these "good" metabolites.
When DIM increases the "good" estrogen metabolites, there is a simultaneous reduction in the levels of undesirable or "bad" estrogen metabolites. These include the 16-hydroxy estrogens, which are not antioxidants and can actually cause cancer. Greater production of these "bad" estrogen metabolites is promoted by obesity and exposure to a number of manmade environmental chemicals. These "bad" estrogen metabolites are responsible for many of estrogen's undesirable actions in women and men, including further unwanted weight gain, breast cancer, and uterine cancer.
In addition, a slow metabolism of estrogen, which leaves too much unmetabolized active estrogen known as estradiol in the body, can be a problem for both women and men. Elevated estradiol causes moodiness and breast pain in women and loss of sex drive in men. By promoting a healthy estrogen metabolism, DIM adjusts the balance of estradiol to its "good" metabolites. This also can result in a more desirable action fro testosterone. Testosterone supports energy and mood and helps sustain interest in sex in both men and women. When supplemental DIM is taken along with a program of regular exercise, it can help estrogen and testosterone contribute to good physical conditioning.
Hormonal balance refers to the healthiest, most beneficial mix of all your hormonal messages. It is the key to achieving your peak physical conditioning and making your exercise count for a better body. The best hormonal balance can help you stay healthy, resist aging, and get top results from bodybuilding. Hormonal imbalance can result in inefficient metabolism, inappropriate cell growth, and the survival of abnormal cells that can lead to cancer. DIM contributes to a better metabolism in the most natural way possible by working with your own hormones and adjusting their action to avoid hormonal imbalance. This chapter discusses how hormonal balance and DIM can help you develop a stronger, leaner, and healthier body.
Maintaining hormonal balance is now recognized as an important goal in women's health. Using the diet to beneficially influence estrogen metabolism is a safe approach to resisting age-related hormonal changes. DIM supplements actively to promote a desirable estrogen metabolism that produces more of the "good" estrogen metabolites, known as 2-hydroxy estrogens. Hormonal balance also involves benefits from the small amount of testosterone present in women.
DIM helps to eliminate active estrogen from the male body by promoting its conversion into the "good" metabolites. These metabolites then free up testosterone by bumping it off the testosterone-binding proteins. The end result is a healthier balance of testosterone to estrogen and more free testosterone circulating in the body. In scientific studies, high levels of testosterone and low levels of estrogen have been linked to lean body mass, an efficient fat-burning metabolism, and low abdominal obesity. Other benefits from testosterone are improved mood, more interest in sex, and better physical conditioning.