Clarification On DIM And Its Uses For Breast Cancer


Photo courtesy of and M Bartosch
Photo courtesy of and M Bartosch

Clarification On DIM And Its Uses For Breast Cancer

Back to work!  I’ve been moving from Colorado to Australia, hence the very quiet period on the website.  Just before leaving, I had the opportunity to get some clarification on DIM and its uses for breast cancer from Naturopath Dr Jacob Schor, whose views on various health matters have appeared on this blog previously, most notably in these two articles:

DIM Is Not The Wonder Supplement We’ve Been Led To Believe

More Information On Dim, Estrogen Metabolite Ratios

I was quite upset when I wrote that first article, but I am letting it stay on this site in the event that other women are given the same information about DIM – that it acted like Tamoxifen.  That does not appear to be the case, but it does have some therapeutic value for breast cancer.  Read on.

Once you’ve read the above two articles, and the lengthy article that Dr Schor wrote about estrogen metabolite ratios, you’ll understand better what the issue is with regard to DIM and the old theory of how it supposedly worked.

Basically, natural health care providers have been – for years – recommending the supplement DIM for their patients who have estrogen receptor positive breast cancer but they have been basing their recommendations on a theory that just hasn’t been proven to be true.

Wait!  Don’t Throw The DIM Out Yet!

Dr Schor, in a recent email to me, shared with me the following:  “That theory is used to justify DIM use but we shouldn’t mix the two up.  Just because the theory doesn’t work doesn’t mean that DIM doesn’t work.  Because it seemed to lock in to the theory, all benefits were thought to come from its effect on estrogen metabolites.  I’m not sure that is so but I am also not sure we should throw DIM in the trash.  I think we need to think twice about testing 2 vs 16 metabolite ratios, that we should not think these lab tests are prognostic and we should not be in a rush to move them one way or another.

There seem to be a surplus of interesting papers being published that suggests that DIM does things we want it to do.  There are a growing number of reasons to take it.  There are fewer and fewer reasons to think the 2/16 hydroxy estrogen theory is the reason why it is useful.
Dr Schor referred me to the following very interesting articles:

2,2′-diphenyl-3,3′-diindolylmethane: a potent compound induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells by inhibiting EGFR pathway, Bhowmik A, Das N, Pal U, Mandal M, Bhattacharya S, Sarkar M, Jaisankar P, Maiti NC, Ghosh MK, PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59798. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059798. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Modulation of CYP19 expression by cabbage juices and their active components: indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolylmethene in human breast epithelial cell lines, Licznerska BE, Szaefer H, Murias M, Bartoszek A, Baer-Dubowska W, Eur J Nutr. 2013 Aug;52(5):1483-92. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0455-9. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

BreastDefend™ prevents breast-to-lung cancer metastases in an orthotopic animal model of triple-negative human breast cancer, Jiang J, Thyagarajan-Sahu A, Loganathan J, Eliaz I, Terry C, Sandusky GE, Sliva D, Oncol Rep. 2012 Oct;28(4):1139-45. doi: 10.3892/or.2012.1936. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

BreastDefend™ is a product that is readily available in the USA but I’m not aware of it being available in Australia or the UK yet.

Dr Schor advises us: “So don’t throw out the DIM, throw out the reasons why people thought it was good.  It’s not tamoxifen.  It’s not an aromatase inhibitor.  It’s something else.”

Dr Schor’s qualifications are Naturopathic Doctor, Fellow American Board of Naturopathic Oncology, Associate Editor, The Natural Medicine Journal, Board Member and President, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians ( and Board Member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-book on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

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20 thoughts on “Clarification On DIM And Its Uses For Breast Cancer

  1. I was very interested to read your article and as I have just been coping with DCIS for the second time in 5 years am looking for other alternitive ways to deal with this problem. Your article makes a lot of sense and anything that is natural and doesn’t harm my body is very welcome. You are doing a wonderful service with your writing please keep it up there are many of us out there who you are giving lots of hope.
    Carla De Groot

    1. Hi Carla,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. Are you subscribing to my newsletters? If not, you might want to sign up for them as I share lots of good healing tips within them, you won’t want to miss out! I appreciate your kind words and send you cyber (((hugs))) today, my dear. Keep fighting.
      Warmest regards,

  2. Those readings were hard work for my poor menopausal brain. Tell me if I have got this wrong but DIM is not the natural tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor we were hoping for BUT it still has its merits in the breast cancer prevention/treatment war.
    I think that I will instead of buying the DIM, I will just drink my home made organic sauerkraut juice and let my body convert it to DIM. This will be a great way to get my probiotics in too. Thanks for the info much appreciated. I am so glad I have signed up for your newsletters. x

    1. Dear Leoni,
      Well I’m much impressed that you put your “poor menopausal brain” to the task of reading the articles on DIM. No, DIM does not work like Tamoxifen like some have claimed. It DOES still have huge benefits for breast health, the experts just haven’t figured out exactly how it works. I have a couple of products that are even better than DIM, so when you’re ready for that info, just give me a shout. The sauerkraut juice is also a good plan – some struggle with getting it down though! Thanks for your comments.
      Warmest regards,

  3. This is very interesting even if being my personal choice of taking the DIM supplement as a replacement of Tamoxifen leaves me with a bit of uncertainty on what I should do next.
    Do you have any other suggestions with regard to the subject?
    If it’s not DIM the answer and if Tamoxifen is not the answer for me is there a real alternative out there?
    I hope you can give some advise.

    1. Francesca,
      I have sent you a private email to answer your questions and hopefully help with the uncertainty. Thanks for contacting me and I hope I have been of assistance to you.

      1. Hi Francesca and marnie, I too have decided against tamoxifen as I couldn’t bear the thought of the side effects. I’ve been taking DIM for about four to five weeks and have made major lifestyle and dietary changes. There is still that fear and uncertainty for me too. I’d love to know your thoughts. I feel really alone in my journey in terms of knowing any other women choosing DIM over tamoxifen which is also unsettling.

        1. Hi Suzanne,
          Thanks for your message. I can definitely understand you feeling alone in your journey, but please don’t feel like you ARE alone, because you are most definitely not. I have sent you an email with some additional information and would just like to encourage you to contact me when you are feeling like you need clarification on anything breast cancer related. I have oodles of information and research and I’d be glad to help you.
          Warmest wishes,

        1. Hi Josefa,
          I’m sorry for the late response to your message. I’ve been getting so much email I can’t answer it all in a timely manner. But I do answer each and every message. The best way to share with you my methods for getting healthy again (and staying that way) is through my newsletters (all free). I have taken the liberty of starting a newsletter subscription for you using this email address. You will just need to confirm the subscription in the separate confirmation email (should be close to this one). If you don’t see it, look in your spam folder as it sometimes ends up there. If you’re not interested, no worries, just delete the email asking you to confirm. I assure you it is good information, all backed up with research and your privacy is respected.
          Warmest regards,
          Marnie Clark

  4. Please e-mail me too! I have decided to go off Tamoxifen after 6 weeks, and would love to hear what the best alternatives seem to be!

    1. Hi Christa,
      I have taken the liberty of starting a newsletter subscription for you using this email address. You will just need to confirm the subscription in the separate confirmation email (should be close to this one). If you don’t see it, look in your spam folder as it sometimes ends up there. If you’re not interested, no worries, just delete the email asking you to confirm.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  5. I am on anastrozole. breast ca in both breast stage 1. I had lumpectomy’s.
    the anastrozole was hard on my body I felt like an old cripple .feel better now but my breast hurt all the time. i don’t feel that’s right? my sister who is 2 years younger 62
    was just diagnosed with breast ca .right breast, she is having a mastectomy because
    she had 3 tumors n it . stage 1 mri showed on involvement in right breast.
    I have been reading on dim so i ‘m going to try it i’m not sure how it will work with the
    anastrozole . I take probiotics ,turmeric, vit d3. any ideas would be great glad I found your sight. I have 2 other sisters 50 and 55 so I hope I can help them to avoid the whole thing. terry

  6. Hello,
    Can you send me an email with your thoughts on taking dim instead if tamoxifen? I have been on tamoxifen fir 1.5 yrs and ammuserable from the side effects. I really want to stop taking it, but am afraid of ca coming back. What about taking i3C or i3C and dim? Thank you!

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