Monday, April 19th 2004
Whether you are an athlete interested in maintaining your competitive edge or someone who is just interested in ageing gracefully, one thing is certain: you can't do it without your metabolism working at its best. If you would like to be stronger and leaner and regain your youthful balance of hormones - read on...
What is DIM and what does it do?
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a natural plant nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and cabbage. However, to get most benefit from DIM, large quantities of raw cruciferous vegetables would need to be consumed daily.
Absorbable DIM improves metabolism by adjusting the balance of testosterone and estrogen hormones that are active in both sexes. This improved hormonal balance, scientists have discovered, is a key to helping men and women reach their health and fitness goals.
The uses for absorbable DIM have included benefits for perimenopausal women, PMS, endometriosis and cervical dysplasia. Women on HRT also benefit as well as men with estrogen related conditions including enlarged prostate.
In addition, a slow metabolism of estrogen which leaves too much estradiol in the body can be a problem for women and men. Elevated estradiol causes moodiness and breast pain in women and loss of sex drive in men. Testosterone supports energy and mood and helps sustain interest in sex in both men and women.
Achieving optimal estrogen balance - safer estrogen
Unlike soy isoflavones, DIM is not an estrogen mimic or "phytoestrogen" and has no estrogenic activity. DIM acts to balance the natural response to estrogen. DIM does not prevent the beneficial effects of estrogen in supporting the health of the central nervous and skeletal systems.
Importance of DIM in pre and post menopausal women
In premenopausal women, the first hormonal imbalance involves a decreased production of progesterone. This can cause irregular periods and premenstrual mood disorders. DIM supplementation can help support progesterone production and maintain progesterone levels throughout the premenopausal years. This balancing effect can benefit disorders associated with estrogen-progesterone imbalance including chronic, pre-menstrual recurring breast pain, breast cysts, endometriosis and improved cervical health.
Recent Studies show a large, increased risk for breast and uterine cancer associated with prolonged HRT. Supplementation with DIM can decrease the estrogen-related breast cancer risk in the majority of women. This includes women taking HRT. With its estrogen balancing effects, DIM provides a margin of safety.
DIM for men
DIM helps to eliminate active estrogen from the male body by promoting its conversion into the "good" metabolites. The 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 and more efficient weight training.
DIM use by men provides a promising dietary means to minimise the impact of increased estrogen on atherosclerosis and prostate disorders, characteristic of the effects of changing estrogen metabolism with ageing.
Reproduced unabridged from the April - June 2004 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for hormonal balancing:
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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