DIM – A Misunderstood Natural Supplement
A chance message from one of the members at a breast cancer forum of which I am also a member (breastcancer.org) had me scurrying around yesterday, in an attempt to discover some information about a favorite supplement of mine named DIM, also known as di-indolyl-methane, hence the easier moniker DIM.
She had heard that taking DIM might raise progesterone levels and since her tumor was progesterone receptor positive (as was mine), this was a concern. So she asked me about it and I referred the question to the naturopath whose opinion I most highly respect, Dr Jacob Schor, my mother’s naturopath in Denver, who is the President of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Oncology and also Associate Editor of The Natural Medicine Journal (and, among other things, a very learned man and someone I trust).
Too Good to be True?
DIM is a supplement I had been taking myself for about 4 years – it was recommended to me by a naturopath in Australia because it supposedly promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism and healthy hormonal balance and was supposed to be especially helpful for managing estrogen dominant conditions. Even though my tumor was not fueled by estrogen, he felt it would still have benefits for me. Some articles I found on the Internet even said it was better than Tamoxifen, a well-known breast cancer drug.
DIM and Estrogen Metabolites
Apparently the longer view, taken from more current and exhaustive research, however, is that DIM is not in any way a replacement for Tamoxifen, nor does it work in the manner initially thought.
Dr Schor shared with me a soon-to-be-released article he’d written on the subject of estrogen metabolite ratios for The Townsend Letter, an alternative medicine journal, but asked me merely to ingest its contents and not forward it on as it had not been released yet.
The contents of the article had my head spinning. After reviewing decades of research on estrogen metabolites, Dr Schor feels that we have been going on a theory that just has not proven to be fact, no matter how much we might wish it to be true. He told me in an email yesterday, “there is certainly little reason to think that DIM was a substitute for Tamoxifen, there was nothing about the proposed mechanism of action that was similar. One could argue that at least flax seed or soy genestein was kind of similar in action. Sorry to be the party pooper.”
He did say that DIM has some great health benefits and he still recommends it. It just doesn’t work the way we thought it did.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: 31 October 2013 – Rather than delete this page, because a few other websites and articles link to it, in an effort to keep you updated with all the relevant studies and thinking on the issue of DIM, here are links to two more of my articles on this subject, which will definitely help you to realize that DIM does have some very good healing properties, and that you SHOULD be using it for breast health, just not for the reasons we initially thought.
More Information On DIM, Estrogen Metabolite Ratios– this article contains within it a link to the article written by Dr Schor for the Townsend Letter
Clarification On DIM And Its Uses For Breast Cancer
And here is a link to another relevant website, Life Over Cancer, on the subject of DIM written by Dr Keith Block: DIM and Breast Cancer
My own thoughts and feelings are that the best thing we can do for ourselves to keep ourselves disease free are relatively simple. Follow the recommendations in my page Diet and Cancer, exercise at least 30 minutes per day, keep stress levels down, keep toxic chemicals and xenoestrogens to a minimum and a few other important things I recommend in my free e-book “21 Crucial Things To Do When You Have A Breast Cancer Diagnosis” – you can receive a free copy when you sign up for my newsletters on the right-hand side of this page.
Hi Marnie . Don’t be so hard on yourself ! You do very valuable work .If it was helping you it was not abad thing . Everything we put into our mouths have a effect on our bodies . We all are trying out the best for us . I love your work !
Marie, Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind words.
Hi Marie, I too have been taking and recommending DIM. Has that article been posted? I am so curious about the research. Raising progesterone is not always a bad thing as it helps to balance estrogen…balance being so important. DIM need not necessarily serve the same function as Tamoxifen, just help to metabolize it to its more beneficial form. Thanks so much for posting this….sounds like I have some research to do!! Have a wonderful day, Elyn
Hi Elyn, Yes the article that appeared in the Townsend Letter written by my naturopath is available from the follow-up article I did, here’s the link: https://marnieclark.com/more-information-on-dim-estrogen-metabolite-ratios/
The link to the actual article is in the first paragraph. It’s not an easy read so print it out and take your time with it. He makes some very good points, and since he is an oncologist naturopath, I have to trust what he says (darn it!).
my very best,
I have been told by Hoxey Clinic in Tijuana to take Dim without soy for a benign nodule in my left breast. I have breast cancer in my right breast.
I would like to receive the free ebook 21 Crucial Things to do When You Have Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer. Thank you.
Info coming your way today via email.
Hello Marnie! May I please have a copy of the free ebook 21 Crucial Things to do When You Have Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer. Thank you. Ava
Yes – all you need to do is sign up for my free newsletters and you’ll receive it as a free gift. You can find the sign-up form over on the far right-hand side each page of my website. It may not be viewable from a smart phone (sorry!).
All the best,