DIM is claimed to be beneficial for numerous uses, including preventing cancer, treating endometriosis, and "balancing" estrogens in the body. As with many supplements, however, claims for the benefits of DIM are sometimes exaggerated. There is currently not enough scientific evidence to support these uses. It is also not known if DIM is safe (or whether there are any DIM benefits) for children.
DIM (diindolylmethane) is a natural breakdown product of cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower) formed during digestion in the stomach. It is available as a dietary supplement. DIM is sometimes claimed to be beneficial for the following uses:
- Promoting a beneficial estrogen "balance"
- Preventing various types of cancer, including:
- Preventing an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
- Treating endometriosis
- Treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Treating chronic breast pain
- Reducing the side effects and risks of estrogen hormone replacement therapy
- Reducing the effects and risks associated with environmental estrogen exposure (such as through the water supply or certain plastics).
There is not enough scientific evidence to know for sure if DIM really works for any of these uses (see Does DIM Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of DIM are sometimes exaggerated, and these claims must be evaluated critically. Most importantly, it is essential to remember that dietary supplements should not be used carelessly, as many such products can have potent and sometimes dangerous effects.