The female breast is a complex glandular structure whose primary function is the secretion of milk during lactation. During adult life the breast undergoes constant activity, especially under the influence of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This action of the hormones causes cellular growth of breast tissues resulting in swelling. It is most pronounced during lactation (milk secretion) in adult life. In addition, environmental pollutants in the air, food and water assault the breast tissues. It is now believed that optimum breast health requires proper diet, exercise and sometimes, nutritional supplements. Among nutritional supplements, one of the most effective nutrients for breast health is Diindolylmethane or DIM.
What ails the female breast?
One of the main issues during the pubertal age to adult life is mastalgia or painful, tender breasts. This is often, if not entirely, due to improper estrogen metabolism. Current medical opinion is that the breast undergoes constant and repeated cycles of swelling and regression due to the changes of the menstrual cycles. This constant and repeated cycle results in swelling, edema and inflammatory changes which ultimately lead to conditions like fibrocystic breast disease. This disease is the culmination of repeated hormonal injury from the normal menstrual cycles. However, it is so widespread that this is at most considered a variation from the normal. However, left untreated and uncontrolled repeated hormonal injury can ultimately result in breast cancer. This is the reason for emphasizing adequate remedies for breast health in the form of nutritional supplements.
So, what can be done?
Diindolylmethane or DIM is now considered one of the best supplements for breast health. Diindolylmethane or DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli). Increased intake of these vegetables is associated with improved breast health. How does Diindolylmethane help? DIM is found to improve the metabolism of estrogen and cause increase in the production of good estrogen or 2-hydroxyestrone. This compound is said to protect the breast tissue from inflammatory changes and its long term effects. This includes protecting the breast from cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions like fibrocystic breast disease. In fact, research now suggests that Diindolylmethane or DIM is the most effective substance to produce favorable estrogen metabolism in the body.
Is Diindolylmethane or DIM sufficient from dietary intake?
Presently, Dr. Zeligs and others maintain that a small amount of supplements of DIM in the form of micro-encapsulated DIM capsules can be very useful in preventing cancer in post-menopausal women and protecting younger women from mastalgia or breast pain. The dose of 75 to 300 mg. of Diindolylmethane or DIM, taken daily is said to be sufficient in providing a protective health cover for the breast in both young adult and menopausal life. In addition to Diindolylmethane, current medical research suggests taking vitamin D and soy proteins. Supplements of these nutrients including elemental iodine are also found to be useful in conjunction with Diindolylmethane.
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