Could DIM be helpful with symptoms during the perimenopause and menopause years? DIM stands for diindolylmethane, and although we don’t know a lot about this substance and its possible role in supporting health during a woman’s transitional years, what we’ve gathered thus far is interesting.
What is DIM?
Diindolylmethane is a natural substance produced when the body metabolizes a compound called indole-3-carbinol, which is found in broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous veggies. DIM is available as a supplement if you aren’t a fan of this group of vegetables or would like to get more.
Little research exists on the effects of DIM on hormones and hormone-related cancers, such as breast, cervical, and ovarian. However, some evidence suggests it may act like estrogen in the body but may also interfere with estrogen’s effects.
DIM for perimenopause and menopause
Could eating more broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale help you better maneuver through perimenopause and menopause? How about a DIM supplement? Perhaps.
Several studies have shown that DIM can influence how the body metabolizes estrogen. For example, a 2004 study found that postmenopausal women with a history of early-stage breast cancer who took DIM supplements showed estrogen metabolism changes.
According to WebMD, DIM may provide the following benefits that are especially helpful for women in perimenopause and menopause. DIM may:
- Reduce the toxins your body naturally produces during metabolism, which can contribute to hormone imbalance.
- Boost levels of antioxidants, which help fight infections and boosts immunity.
- Improve memory, which is one of many complaints of women in menopause.
- Help ease mood swings.
- Reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Support heart health, which is important since the decline in the heart-protecting hormone estrogen, is significant.
How to get DIM
If you enjoy cruciferous veggies, then you can reap the benefits straight from your plate. This category includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, radishes, bok choy, chard, turnips, and others. Make salads, enjoy them alone or mixed with olive oil and vinegar, or add them to a green smoothie.
Another option is a supplement. No standard dose has been established, so speak with a professional before taking it. A common dose is 100 mg with black pepper fruit extract to improve absorption.
DIM is a natural treatment option for women who are in perimenopause and menopause. However, if you take a DIM supplement, you should know that it may aggravate hormone-sensitive conditions, such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis. It also may reduce the effectiveness of some medications you may be taking.
No standard dose has yet been established for DIM, so talk to a health professional about the optimal dose for you. After menopause, DIM may be much less effective because the supplement is best when there is a great need.