Diindolylmethane for Cancer Prevention

Introduction

DIM or Diindolylmethane is a dietary indole (a naturally occurring chemical or phytonutrient) found in a class of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables include brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Another important vegetable which contains this nutrient is broccoli. Though found in small amounts in these vegetables, this naturally occurring phytonutrient has a potent effect in preventing a number of illnesses including cancer. Another chemical substance that is found in these vegetables is indole-3-carbinol. Both of these are substances that have a variety of positive health effects on the human body in both males and females.

What are the organs on which Diindolylmethane or DIM acts

The compound, Diindolylmethane, acts on a number of body systems and more specifically, on a number of organs. Much research has gone into this field both on animals and humans and results suggest Diindolylmethane can positively influence the prostate in the males, and in females, on the breasts and uterus. In both genders, Diindolylmethane acts beneficially on the colon. Its benefits in prevention of colorectal cancer (large bowel cancer) are well proven. Diindolylmethane acts in multiple ways on these systems in the following ways:
• promotes healthy testosterone levels
• promotes healthy estrogen metabolism
• relieves PMS (premenstrual stress or premenstrual syndrome) symptoms
• promotes fat loss in obese individuals
• supports healthy breast, cervical, uterine and prostate tissues.

So how does DIM produce these effects?

Despite the best efforts and much research, notably by a team lead by Dr. Michael Zeligs, MD, of the USA, much remains to be done to fully understand the potential of this unique compound and its effects on the human body. At present the scientific opinion is that diindolylmethane increases the level of “good” estrogens (2-hydroxyestrogen) while reducing the level of “bad” estrogens (16-hydroxyestrogen). So how does it do this? Dr. Zeligs suggests that this is accomplished by multiple mechanisms, including modifying and acting on receptors for androgens and estrogens in the various organs mentioned above. All hormones including estrogen and androgens act on various organs via areas called receptors found in the cells of these organs. By modifying the receptors on these tissues/ cells, DIM manipulates the effects of estrogen on them.

What are the beneficial effects of Diindolylmethane?

Among the many uses of Diindolylmethane, these are well proven:
• Diindolylmethane prevents or slows benign prostatic hypertrophy in men. This is a condition that affects a large number of men over the age of 50 to 60 years, and is the result of hormonal changes that result in an increase in size of the prostate resulting in many urinary complaints.
• In both men and women, Diindolylmethane helps prevent colonic cancers.
• In women, Diindolylmethane helps normalize breast tissue function and reduces or removes completely symptoms of breast congestion and pain associated with the menstrual cycle. It also prevents breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
• In the uterus, Diindolylmethane can prevent formation of fibroids, cancer and other pathology.

Among the various benefits of Diindolylmethane, the effect in prevention of various forms of cancer is the most important.

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