Diindolylmethane or DIM has many beneficial effects on the human body. Diindolylmethane is a compound that is naturally present in certain vegetables of the cruciferous group including cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts. One of the organs on which Diindolylmethane has pronounced effects is the prostate in the male. Diindolylmethane also acts on the breast and uterus. Additionally it helps slow the aging process, has antioxidant properties, protects the body from cancer, helps the immune function and also has significant anti-inflammatory functions. Perhaps, as more properties of this compound are discovered, the number of beneficial effects of Diindolylmethane will increase. Diindolylmethane has been found to cause a reduced risk of prostate cancers, in those who consume large amounts of DIM or Diindolylmethane containing vegetables. It can also serve to slow down or prevent the progress of benign prostatic hypertrophy in the elderly male patient.
So how does Diindolylmethane improve prostate health?
One mechanism by which Diindolylmethane does this is by improving estrogen and testosterone metabolism. Research has shown that healthy estrogen metabolism is important for prostate health. Here, studies have shown that healthy metabolism and increased production of 2-hydroxy-estrogen have positive effects in lowering the risk of prostate cancer in males. In fact, there has been a significant reduction of PSA levels in those consuming large amounts of Diindolylmethane rich foods. Diindolylmethane has been known to increase the production of 2-hydroxy-estrogen. When tested directly on prostate tissue, it was found to inhibit the production of PSA or prostate specific antigens. PSA is one of the main indicators of abnormality in the prostate and is a key marker for prostate carcinoma or cancer. Other studies show that men with under-active estrogen metabolism have high circulating levels of bad forms of estrogen which is also known to increase prostate gland volumes. One of the main findings of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is the swelling of the prostate in the elderly male with resultant increase in prostate volume. Thus Diindolylmethane has a positive effect in reducing two major illnesses of the prostate, namely BPH –the benign enlargement and also prostate cancer.
What is the effect on androgen receptors?
Studies by Dr. Zeligs and others have shown that Diindolylmethane also acts to reduce the activity of the androgen receptors of the prostate gland. These receptors cause the accumulation of androgens within the prostate tissue. This results in prostate cell enlargement, cell proliferation and also increased production of PSA. By reducing the activity of androgen receptors, DIM was found to have a three pronged effect on the prostate. This effect was most pronounced in prostate cancer cells.
Can Diindolylmethane taken from food be sufficient in treating and preventing prostate illness?
The answer is – to some extent consumption of Diindolylmethane rich foods can help. However, supplements of Diindolylmethane may be needed to have better action. Diindolylmethane is available in microencapsulated form and taken in the dose of 2 capsules (300mg/day) to help lower PSA levels in men with suspected prostate abnormalities.
For more info see DIM