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.
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
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)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have breast cancer and the treatments are over but they want me to take estrogen blocker i have allot of arthritis and spinal stenosis i tried too different blockers and could not move i hurt so bad I stopped not to mention the nasty hot flashes and are now taking dim
You have a lot of options available to you. I’ve emailed some info to you today.
I have finished my Rads for Stage 1 Grade 2, estrogen +, invasive lobular cancer. I did have a lumpectomy and clear margins. I do not want to take an AI. Am I a good candidate for Dim
With regard to the taking of DIM, I wouldn’t like to recommend how much you should take without knowing quite a lot more about your personal health – your diet, your other supplements that you take, etc. It’s quite possible that DIM would be of benefit to you, but it might not be what you need at all. This is the kind of advice I help people with during the course of a coaching session with me.
I hope this isn’t disappointing for you but I am sure you will understand when I tell you that this is the kind of advice for which I would need to charge a fee due to its personalized nature and the fact that I would need to go over your personal health history, and other factors about you which takes me quite a bit of time. Otherwise, the information I would offer you would be very general in nature, and quite possibly not helpful to you.
I have information on my website about the types of consultations I have to offer. Here is the link to my page with more information about my coaching services: https://marnieclark.com/coaching-services/
Thanks for your patience, and if I can help you further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I just finished chemo and I don’t want to take tamoxifen. I was going to purchase dim but now I’m not sure what to do. I’d love any suggestions you may have.
DIM can be quite beneficial for many, but it kind of depends on a few different factors. I’d be glad to help you with some one-on-one coaching if you are open to that. There are literally dozens of things you can do to help yourself stay well after a breast cancer diagnosis. I’d suggest getting started finding out what they are by subscribing to my newsletters. They are crammed full of helpful research-backed tips, and I’m continually updating them with the latest information. You can sign up for them here: https://marnieclark.com/newsletter-sign-up/
I am interested in alternative means and am trying to avoid taking an aromatase inhibitor.. any and all suggestions welcomed.. thank you💕
I will send you some information today.
I too have chosen DIM over tamoxifen. I would love to hear what your other ideas are. Please email me too! Thank you!
Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been away. Check your email today.
I too would like to learn about your other ideas. Thank you.
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.
Have been diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer ER positive Oct. 2019. Not had any treatment. Changed diet drinking Pau D’Arco tea lots of super antioxident teas as well as vit D3 Magnesium Bisglycinate K2 K1 flaxseed daily. Just got the DIM ..also doing Bio identical Progesterone 1/4 tsp twice daily..not sure if I’m over doing and or not doing the right things??
Hi Daryl Ann,
Thanks for your message. I would strongly recommend that you get your estrogen levels checked and be working with a naturopath well versed in breast cancer, and/or someone like myself to help you tailor the supplements you are taking. I wouldn’t like to make recommendations for you without knowing a lot more about your diet and other factors. If you’d like to work with me, just click on my Coaching Services tab. Also you might like to sign up for my newsletters – they are full of information on healing from breast cancer. I’d be happy to assist you!
Hello, please could I have any info on dim or alternative supplements for a breast cancer thriver many thanks
There is a lot of information about DIM on this website, and I talk a lot about some of the supplements that might be helpful for breast cancer on this page: https://marnieclark.com/breast-health/marnies-must-have-supplements-for-breast-health/ Not all of those supplements are required, however, and it would be a bad idea to take them all. To help you decide which supplements would be beneficial for you personally, I’d suggest having a nutritional consultation with me. Everyone is different, everyone’s needs vary. If I can help you with that, you can book the session here: https://marnieclark.com/coaching-services/ I look forward to hearing from you.
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!
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 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
Sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve just sent you an email in response to your message.
100% estrogen receptive Invasive breast cancer in 1997 resulted in chemo, radiation and a lumpectomy. Tamoxifen made me want to commit suicide so I took nothing. In 2013 2 invasive tumors, a 2.5 cm that never appeared on recent mammograms & 4.5 cm that didn’t even appear on an ultrasound or MRI, resulted in mastectomy and more chemo. Since I cannot tolerate Tamoxifen I tried 2 different aromatase inhibitors, only to have bone pain and stiffness so badly that I had to come off of those as well and just could not bring myself to try a 3rd. I began taking DIM after reading it will convert ‘bad’ estrogen to ‘good’ estrogen’. My oncologist had not heard of it but advised it should not harm me. Any clarification that you can provide for me regarding this will be greatly appreciated. I also have taken myself through 2 rounds of Protocel 23 and am about to begin a 3rd. I learned of this in the book “Outsmart Your Cancer”. Thoughts? I would also appreciate being added to your newsletter. Thanks very much!
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!
Sorry for the delay. Check your email today.
Hello from the Netherlands. I have the dreaded Tamoxifen appointment in two weeks time, almost finished chemo, one to go! Herceptin until March 2018. I am er 100% ens pr 60% her2 +++ I am looking for natural Tamoxifen alternatives. Reading about Dim and ic3, everything is getting so muddled in my head, big cry for help here😩😩!
I have sent some info to your email inbox for you.
I also feel the same way as Francesca “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?”
Except I was put on letrozole and suffered horrific, debilitating side effects. I stopped taking it and now my Oncologist wants me to try Exemestane. I’m scared to death to even try it even though my Onc says “he is extremely worried about me”. I would much rather go a more natural path as I am than to put any poison in my body. I have purchased the “DIM”, but have not started taking it yet. My current treatment for Stage 3, Her2 positive, 6.5cm tumor in right breast is mastectomy, Herceptin alone (as I refused the standard treatment of chemo/radiation), and supplements.
I would welcome any thoughts/suggestions on alternatives to estrogen blockers.
I have sent you some info via email – look out for it.
Good morning Marnie,
I am also very interested in the other supplements that you suggest are better than dim. I recently finished follow up treatment for lumpectomy( 4 weeks of rads, reluctantly), refused hormones, and chose to take dim along with myomin, and waiting for a supplement called Oncoples Es. In addition, several thyroid nodules, one being solid were detected just recently. Another worry. My concern is whether the dim, myomin and other similar supplements will have a negative effect now on my thyroid and if thyroid and breast cancer are closely related?
I find your website very informative and helpful as I am feeling very uncertain, confused and overwhelmed and want to say thank you for being such an excellent source of information and for your uplifting blog.
I too would like any information on estrogen blockers other than prescribed ones. I have tried two and can not take either because of severe side effects. I came down with shingles in the right side of my face in the 4th week of Taxole. After 4 months, I still have nerve pain and unstable walk due to shingles. I’m one week past a mastectomy on the right breast. My cancer was 100% estrogen positive. My sister is scheduled for surgery to remove a lump in her breast. They do not think hers is cancer at this stage.
I have sent you some information via email.
All the best,
What are these other supplements that are better than DIM?
Since this post was written, the supplements I was referring to have changed formulation and I’m no longer recommending them. 🙁 However, I do have a good program for you to follow, and am sending info your way today.
Could you please send me as well your suggested supplements, thanks.
I have sent you some related information via email.
Hi Marine,Iwas diodnosed last year with twin primary tumours, one in my breast and one in my lung, they were unrelated, I had the lung removed, meanwhile however my breast cancer spread to my spine and my remaining lung, I have just started taking DIM after being on letrozole for 14 months, the letrozole is no longer working, I could use some advice
I have sent an email to you today – look out for it.
I have been on Tamoxifen for 4 1/2 years, 20mg daily until April this year then reduced it to 10mg due to joint pain and stomach issues. I have taken DIM for about 6 months as well as Tamoxifen then stopped as the oncologist said it was oestrogenic! Just more recently an holistic dr I have been seeing about another issue said it was ok to take it and it would help and maybe I should consider the DUTCH test? Bit worried now that I should not take both Tamoxifen and DIM at the same time. I was ER+ & PR+ and HER2 positive. Many thanks PS I can come off Tamoxifen next year (5 years) as he said my risk will decrease to 1% so not much benefit staying on for 10 years.
DIM actually works to suppress estrogen-responsive cancers. Research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2891402/
Regarding the taking of DIM with Tamoxifen, studies have not been carried out to ascertain whether or not it reduces the effectiveness of Tamoxifen although that question has certainly been raised. There has been one clinical trial, just recently reported, following women taking Tamoxifen and DIM together for one year. They found that for the women taking DIM, this promoted favorable changes in estrogen metabolism. Here’s that study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28560655
To my knowledge, it is safe and advantageous to take DIM while you are on Tamoxifen but perhaps take the two of them at opposite ends of the day just in case there is an interaction. By the way, I took DIM instead of Tamoxifen!
Please send info on supplements for er+ breast cancer. Had a recurrence on tamoxifen. Not interested in rads or chemo.
Thanks for your message. I hope that you are consulting, at the very least, a naturopath or integrative oncologist to manage your ER+ breast cancer? I would not suggest trying to heal this on your own, you will definitely need a qualified professional to assist you. You can see the list of supplements I recommend on this page, but I would not rely upon supplements alone to manage your condition: https://marnieclark.com/breast-health/marnies-must-have-supplements-for-breast-health/ I hope this information has helped you, and feel free to sign up for my free newsletters (sign up form is on the right hand side of each page).
Thank you for all the information and responses you’ve posted here. I have Stage 2, Grade 2 Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. My tumor was small (less than half an inch) with good features (HER2 negative, K1-67 is low, and slow growing. It is 100% estrogen positive. It’s been a month since the tumor and 10 lymph nodes (3 w/cancer) were removed. My mammaprint test shows I am a Luminal A and my specific type of cancer shows LOW RISK and the chemo would not help it significantly. While my medical oncologist would like me to do chemo, I will be opting out, as I feel the side affects outweighs the benefits. I will begin radiation in a few weeks and the hormonal therapy after that …. my Naturalpath suggested DIM instead of the usual horrible pharma options. Will this be enough to do the trick? If so, what other supplements would you recommend alongside DIM? Again, thank you or your time, it is greatly appreciated.
Will you please send me the info on supplements and ER+ breast cancer too? I prefer natural alternatives but I appreciate the scientific approach.
The info I send out is not strictly about supplements – that’s only a small part of healing from breast cancer – an important one, sure, but not the whole picture. I’ll get it out to you today.
Hi, I have had a 2.5cm invasive oestrogen positive tumour removed (lumpectomy) lymph nodes clear. On my next appointment I was told they had found DCIS in the tumour sample that was tested (so small not picked up by mammogram) Surgeon wants to remove the breast completely and for me to have chemo. I am not going to do this. I also do not take the letrazole.
I am keen to heal naturally. I am on a vegan diet, no alcohol or sugar. Taking essiac tea and medical cannabis. I take supplements and was looking to order DIM until I saw your page. I haven’t got an integrative doctor and I am on limited funds. Please can you send me some info with regards to supplements and DIM, thank you.
Thanks for your comment. It’s important that you understand many doctors are considering taking DCIS off the list of types of breast cancer because it is not as dangerous and can often be treated nutritionally. I think you are wise to question the course of action that has been recommended for you. There is a lot of information you are going to need if you wish to heal naturally. Are you getting my newsletters? That’s a good way to learn what to do and you can sign up for my newsletters from any page on my website. I am also available for coaching and can help you put together a comprehensive healing protocol for you personally. Hope that helps you!
Thank you for your article. I’m finished with my surgeries and radiation (I did the Riordan protocol of high dose Vit C IVs during treatment). My doctor wants me to go on Tamoxifen, and my naturopath has me taking just DIM +I3C, without Sulforaphane and Calcium D-Glucaratethe. I do take a bunch of other supplements to fight cancer, but I don’t think any of them do the same work as Sulforaphane and Calcium D-Glucarate in relation to DIM. I really don’t want to go on Tamoxifen. Have you ever heard of a woman using both DIM and Tamoxifen at the same time?
I don’t generally recommend using DIM and Tamoxifen at the same time. I’ve emailed you some information that might help with the decision making process.
I was dx’d with estrogen positive breast cancer 18 years ago and took tamoxifen for almost three years but stopped when the side effects outweighed the reason for taking them. I was 50 when dx’d and since then my once beautiful thick hair is so thin, my skin is dry, my libido has died and I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid to take collagen because it’s supposed to contain estrogen and I was hoping this DIM would work for me. I take synthroid so I’m at a loss as to what can help with my lack of estrogen. I’m 69 and still suffer from hot flashes. Please help.
I’ve just emailed you with a link to a product that many women seem to really like for thinning hair. Also, it’s not that collagen has estrogen in it, but that certain types of collagen have been found to be linked with breast cancer. Here’s my article on it: https://marnieclark.com/are-collagen-supplements-safe-for-breast-cancer-survivors/
Also, you appear to have found my earlier post on DIM – you might want to read this one for some updated research: https://marnieclark.com/yes-your-urine-might-change-color-when-taking-dim/
Hope that helps!