Is there an all-natural remedy that can prevent hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of hormonal imbalance? A DIM supplement might be just what you’re looking for.
Feeling flushed lately?
If so, you’re certainly not alone. Up to 85 percent of women experience hot flashes (or flushes as they’re also known) at some point during their lifetime. Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause.
What causes hot flashes? According to mainstream medicine, post-menopausal low estrogen levels are too blame. But some natural health experts (such as New York Times best-selling author, Christiane Northrup, M.D.) believe hot flashes are a result of the exact opposite cause: too much estrogen.
Whether your hot flashes are caused by too much estrogen or too little, one thing is certain. And that is hormone imbalance is a major contributor to hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
But maybe the problem isn’t too little or too much estrogen….
Maybe the problem is the quality of estrogen that’s circulating in your bloodstream.
You see, just like there’s “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol, there’s also good and bad estrogen. Hormones like estrogen produce what are called metabolites. Metabolites are compounds in your body that are broken down from digestion. Your 70-some trillion cells rely on metabolites for energy.
“Good” estrogen metabolites protect the brain and heart. On the other hand, “bad” estrogen metabolites can lead to cancer and weight gain.
Try Some DIM For Good Estrogen
An all natural solution for hormone balance has been gaining attention lately. It’s called DIM.
What is DIM? No, DIM isn’t short for Dim Sum, those delicious dumplings you eat at Asian restaurants. Rather, DIM stands for “Diindolylmethane.” Obviously, that’s a mouthful. So, DIM it is.
Speaking of mouthfuls, if you eat lots of cruciferous veggies you’re consuming DIM. All the veggies in the cabbage family—kale, brussel sprouts, turnip, mustard greens, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.—are rich in DIM.
But this still doesn’t answer the question, what is DIM? Is it a vitamin? No. It’s also not a mineral. Rather, it’s a compound that’s formed after you eat these veggies. And when you eat foods rich in DIM, the compound can help ease hot flashes because it does two major things….
First, it encourages a healthy balance between estrogen and testosterone. And second, it encourages production of “good” estrogen metabolites.
So, is the key to avoiding hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness and other symptoms of hormonal imbalance just eating a lot of veggies? Should you go crazy on the kale in the hopes of preventing hormonal-related cancers? Without doubt, diet plays a key role in hormonal balance. However, eating veggies alone may not be enough….
How to Get More DIM In Your Diet
You know how turmeric is all the rage these days? Well, in order to get the benefits from it, it’s probably not enough to sprinkle some on your food. You probably have to take a turmeric supplement to get the benefits.
Likewise with DIM, taking a supplement may be needed to balance your hormones. That being said, however, it’s still a good idea to eat lots of cruciferous veggies.
Why is taking a DIM supplement better than just eating whole foods? First of all, cooking veggies or nuking them in a microwave might kill off some of the beneficial DIM compounds.
Does that mean you should eat these veggies raw?
Not necessarily. In fact, you might actually be doing yourself more harm than good. This is especially true if you have a sluggish thyroid. The reason is raw cabbage and its cruciferous cousins bind to the mineral, iodine. A sluggish thyroid has difficulty uptaking iodine in the first place. That means raw veggies might make it more difficult for your poor-performing thyroid to use iodine.
And here’s another reason why a DIM supplement might be better….
You would need to eat a huge amount of raw veggies to get enough DIM.
Do DIM Supplements Work?
In short, any reputable scientist would conclude there is no evidence that DIM supplements work.
There are test-tube and animal studies (like this one ) that suggest DIM may prevent several types of cancer. Especially, breast, cervical, prostate and uterine. These cancers can be caused by hormonal imbalances. However, to date, there simply isn’t conclusive research.
A few studies actually show that in some circumstances, DIM may actually increase the risk of cancer.
How do DIM Supplements Work?
When there’s an increased amount of estrogen, DIM metabolizes it into inactive forms. DIM also blocks certain effects of estrogen on cells. But in other cells, it may actually boost estrogen’s effects.
DIM may also block testosterone. Considering that many women have too little testosterone, this action might not be a good thing. Although testosterone is widely thought of as the male sex hormone, women need enough of it. Not having enough testosterone can lead to weight gain.
However, researchers say that this testosterone-blocking action may play a part in treating or preventing breast cancer.
Another DIM supplement benefit is it may help treat symptoms of HPV (human papilloma virus). This includes cervical dysplasia and respiratory papillomatosis.
Some websites say DIM can even help with sexual function in both men and women. But there’s no proof DIM actually works for endurance or sexual performance.
According to researchers at ConsumerLab (a subscription-based research organization), “the overall effect [of DIM] is far too complex and poorly understood to be described as ‘balancing estrogen in the body.’ ”
But for the millions of women who suffer the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, biochemistry doesn’t matter. What does matter is results….
DIM Supplement Reviews
And what do the results show? Well, let’s start by taking a look at some customer reviews directly on this post. As you can read below, DIM supplements can help. But a common complaint of taking a DIM supplement is headaches.
Typically, headaches can occur for a week or so but then stop.
Another person who commented on this post cautioned against taking DIM if you have lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. If you have an autoimmune disease, make sure you consult with a medical professional before taking any supplement. Especially one that has the potential to alter your hormone balance.
In taking a look at a popular supplement brand’s Amazon reviews, here are just a few reviews (edited for brevity):
- This stuff works. In Sept ’14 my estradiol was 765…. It’s [now] almost down to a normal 80-100. I did this by taking a double dose of DIM.
- A marriage saver! This stuff is amazing. I was having ovulation pain, horrible PMS & then a terrible period. I was miserable 3 weeks out of the month. The ovulation pain is gone…my periods are much improved!
- Just would like to say that this supplement saved my face from more acne scars. I only been using this for 21 days… And I never get any break outs like I did! If you have hormonal acne THIS is what you need to be taking.
DIM supplement for acne
As you can see from the review above, DIM may help improve acne. This is because acne may be caused by hormonal imbalance.
Keep in mind that DIM will not increase your total estrogen level. If you are going through menopause and you have a blood test that confirms low estrogen, do not take a DIM supplement to boost estrogen. (Click here to see some natural hormone balancing methods instead.)
DIM the lights on cancer
Do you use conventional household cleansers or cosmetics? Then you may have estrogen dominance. That’s because these products contain harsh chemicals. Some of these chemicals contain xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens are compounds that mimic and intensify the effects of estrogen. If you have too many “bad” estrogen metabolites, this can lead to cancer. Again, there’s no clear-cut proof that DIM supplements can prevent or cure cancer. However, some preliminary research is promising.
For instance, studies like this one suggest DIM encourages the death of cancer cells. In addition, DIM may help repair damaged DNA. A DIM supplement may also boost the immune system by activating natural killer white blood cells.
Finally, DIM might even help with chemotherapy recovery.
DIM side effects
But are the possible benefits worth the risk? After all, any supplement, even if it’s all natural, may have negative side effects. In light of this, are there any DIM adverse consequences?
WebMd.com claims DIM is most likely safe. However, since DIM might mimic estrogen, even so-called ‘good’ estrogen, it might make certain conditions worse. Though this is not 100% certain, mainstream medicine cautions against taking a DIM supplement if you already have an estrogen-dominance cancer.
There are minor adverse reports of DIM supplementation. As mentioned above, these side effects include headaches. It may also cause nausea.
However, the headaches might just be your body’s way of rebalancing and detoxifying. Kind of like if you were to suddenly switch to a low carb diet.
DIM supplement weight loss
Accumulating more bodyfat is one consequence of having too much estrogen. Thus, it stands to reason that if you take a good DIM supplement, you might avoid putting on as much weight.
If you have more ‘good’ estrogen and balanced hormones in general, your metabolism will be higher. In fact, you won’t store as much fat. This is because having more of the good kind of estrogen ensures you also have adequate testosterone.
Remember, even women need some testosterone to maintain healthy, lean muscle tissue.
Best DIM supplement
There are many different brands selling DIM. As with all other supplements, not all are equal. How do you know what’s the best one to take?
Other good quality DIM products also include adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to stress. They do this by controlling the amount of stress hormones your body produces. One product contains the adaptogenic herb, maca.
Taking a DIM supplement won’t necessarily alter the amount of estrogen in your body. It might not even exactly balance your hormones. But what it might do is better metabolize estrogen into the kind that can boost your health rather than harm it. Because it’s better to be safe than sorry, consult a health professional before taking a DIM supplement.