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Yes Your Urine Might Change Color When Taking DIM

http://MarnieClark.com/yes-your-urine-might-change-color-when-taking-dimYes Your Urine Might Change Color When Taking DIM

I have long been an advocate of the supplement DIM, you will find many articles about it on this website. DIM is short for di-indolyl-methane and it is made from plant indoles, natural phytonutrients found aplenty in cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, and my favorite, broccoli. Indoles help to manage out-of-control estrogen and estriol levels in both men and women. Today I’m sharing some information about one of the possible side effects of DIM supplementation. Your urine might change color when taking DIM. It can be a surprise if you’re not expecting it, and even slightly worrisome.

While I was on the subject I took a look at all of the newest (and exciting) research on DIM and have included that information in this article as well.

About That Urine Color Change with DIM…

I have taken DIM myself on many occasions. Recently, however, I changed my DIM product to a stronger formulation and began to notice something rather odd. My urine was a dark orange, almost a bronzey red color. I was also having some weird cramping, rather like very mild menstrual cramps. I have NEVER seen my urine that color before and with that and the cramping, I began to think I had a bladder infection or a UTI. I just wasn’t feeling so good.

Gotta say, all of that worried me a bit. I almost went in for a urinalysis, but then did a quick Internet search and connected the two. DOH! These are common symptoms when taking DIM. So I stopped taking it for a day or two and the dark urine color changed back to normal and any cramping stopped. I wondered why it hadn’t happened to me before because as I say, I have taken DIM before. But then I recalled that I was taking a stronger and better formulation. I’m back on it now and though my urine is dark again, there has been no more cramping.

So Why Does Your Urine Change Color When You Take DIM?

Because DIM is doing great things for you! It can be a sign that it is assisting your liver to detox your body of excess estrogen metabolites and other environmental estrogens (known as xenoestrogens). For that reason, it’s a good idea to also take some sort of liver support while taking DIM supplements. The herb milk thistle is extremely good for this. Also drinking lots of green tea is helpful for liver support. Please also ensure you drink lots of filtered water when you’re taking DIM because your body is trying to excrete toxic substances and you need to help it flush them out of your body. Add a slice of lemon and get some vitamin C too!

There are times when a change of urine color should be checked out by your doctor – see Other Causes for Concern for Dark Urine, below.

New Research on DIM

I’m excited to share some great new research on DIM, just released. Older studies have already shown that DIM inhibits the growth of human cancer cells by interfering with multiple signaling pathways, reducing the invasion, migration, and metastasis (spread) of cancer cells, as well as promoting apoptosis (planned cell death, which cancer cells lack). It is also a potent stimulator of immune function [1].

Research published in October 2016 by Korean researchers examining the effect of DIM on mice with colitis found that DIM has anti-inflammatory properties (always a good thing for your anti-cancer arsenal). It also suppresses the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, a growth factor associated with a tumor’s ability to create new blood vessels to feed itself, a process called angiogenesis. [2]

Chinese research published in September 2016 investigating the effects of DIM on mice undergoing total body radiation found that DIM has radioprotective properties [3]. This is great news. Apparantly DIM helps to offset the injury that occurs to hematopoiesis, our ability to create new blood cells. This is one of the reasons people can have alarming decreases in various blood cell types when undergoing radiation.

Joint USA/Chinese research reported in September 2016 (again on mice) found that DIM reduces prostate tumor growth by suppressing a gene known as PCGEM1, while promoting apoptosis. [4]

A joint USA/Indian study on animals released in August 2016 found that two derivatives from DIM (DIM-10 and DIM-14) possessed strong anti-cancer effects, and were responsible for a significant reduction in tumor size in triple negative breast cancer cells. [5] These are cells that are not affected by hormones or HER2 status. An older 2002 study also found that DIM could induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells independent of estrogen receptor status. [6]

A July 2016 Korean study indicated DIM could also be useful for gastrointestinal cancers. [7]

DIM may be beneficial for those carrying the BRCA1/2 gene mutation as well. A small Canadian research study appearing in the British Journal of Cancer in 2014 investigated the ability of DIM to upregulate BRCA1 expression. Upregulating this gene, associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, translates to a reduced cancer risk. Although a small study, the women receiving 300 mg per day (150 mg twice per day) of DIM experienced a 34 percent increase in BRCA1 expression. [8] Very encouraging!

One other interesting thing. When taking DIM, oxygen levels in tumor cells increase. This is a really great thing because oxygen is hated by cancer cells. They thrive in anaerobic conditions (meaning without oxygen) so something natural that increases cellular oxygen levels is beneficial. The study was done at the University of California at Berkeley in 2008 and it was the first to demonstrate that DIM works by decreasing the accumulation and activity a key factor involved in angiogenesis called HIF-1alpha in hypoxic cancer cells. [9]

Here’s the brand of DIM I’m taking.

This is another great brand.

This is a great milk thistle supplement.

Other Causes for Concern for Dark Urine

If your urine turns dark when taking DIM, do not be alarmed. There are times, however, when you do need to be concerned and watchful for other symptoms. If your liver is diseased, you may have symptoms such as yellowing of eyes and skin, abdominal pain, pale or red stool, itchy skin, nausea and loss of appetite. Kidney disease symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, problems sleeping, muscles cramping and twitching, and decreased urine output.

References:

[1] 3,3′-Diindolylmethane Stimulates Murine Immune Function In Vitro and In Vivo – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2387240/

[2] Effect of Oral Administration of 3,3′-Diindolylmethane on Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Acute Colitis in Mice – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27700072

[3] 3,3′-diindolylmethane Mitigates Total Body Irradiation-induced Hematopoietic Injury in Mice – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27609226

[4] Regulation of PCGEM1 by P54/NRB in Prostate Cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5041109/

[5] Novel Diindolylmethane Derivatives Based NLC Formulations to Improve the Oral Bioavailability and Anticancer Effects in Triple Negative Breast Cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27586082

[6] Bcl-2 Family-mediated Apoptotic Effects of 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) in Human Breast Cancer Cells – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11931841

[7] Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of 3,3′-Diindolylmethane in Gastrointestinal Cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4964527/

[8] BRCA1 mRNA Levels Following a 4–6-week Intervention with Oral 3,3′-diindolylmethane –
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183839/

[9] 3,3′-Diindolylmethane Reduces Levels of HIF-1a and HIF-1 Activity in Hypoxic Cultured Human Cancer Cells – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2387239/

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Clarification On DIM And Its Uses For Breast Cancer

 

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and M Bartosch
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net 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 (www.OncANP.org) and Board Member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (www.naturopathic.org)

 
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