Have you heard of DIM (a.k.a. Diindolylmethane)?
It’s a combination of two naturally occurring molecules found in cruciferous vegetables. These two natural molecules are known as Indole-3-carbinol or “I-3-C’ for short. Both DIM & I-3-C have been touted as the miracle workers for many excess estrogen concerns in the body such as endometriosis, fibroids, even breast cancer. This is because these conditions are often an issue with too much estrogen in the body, or poor excretion of estrogen (i.e. your body recycling estrogen back into circulation instead of getting rid of it through the liver & digestive tract).
What exactly do these molecules do?
In a nutshell, DIM & I-3-C are used to help metabolize excess estrogen into non-harmful breakdown products. Let me explain. There are 3 potential pathways that estrogen can be broken down into: 2-OH, 4-OH or 16-OH estrogen. These paths are not all created equal. There has been extensive research over the years about the protective 2-OH pathway, while avoiding or limiting how much estrogen becomes 4-OH or 16-OH. The real question is, how do we make more 2-OH and less of the other, more toxic byproducts? This is where DIM comes in: it helps the body preferentially make more 2-OH estrogen- how amazing is that?
Is it better to take DIM than I-3-C?
What about I-3-C? When a lot of the research came out on the positive effects of I-3-C and DIM everyone thought that putting I-3-C into a capsule would do the trick. Not so fast. Since DIM is actually made up of 2 molecules of I-3-C joined together, our bodies need to properly ‘attach’ them by using the right enzymes and enough stomach acid. Since many people have poor digestive function, this process can often be compromised, leading to unused I-3-C in the body which can be metabolized into ICZ, a molecule that can damage DNA. Yikes! DIM doesn’t have that same toxicity issue and you require much lower doses to get the desired protective effect. TIP: Always make sure the DIM has been combined with fatty acids in the capsule to improve absorption.
What about broccoli?
It would take about 2 pounds of raw broccoli to provide about 30mg of DIM (that’s a lot of chewing!). Since the recommended dose for DIM is usually 50-100 mg per day, a combination of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli plus a quality supplement may be best for the short term to help to detox excess estrogen.
Don’t forget about calcium-d-glucarate
This is another supplement that works with DIM to clear out excess estrogen from the body. Some people can take DIM by itself and get excellent estrogen detox benefits, but others need a bit of a final ‘nudge’ to clear out the hormone from their bodies. Starting at 500mg per day is often suggested to get things moving along. Please note calcium-d-glucarate is not the same as your regular calcium so you need to make sure your estrogen detox formula has this important ingredient added to it (or take it on it’s own)