The effectiveness and safety of DIM has not been determined at this time. Although DIM is usually considered to be safe when consumed in normal dietary amounts through foods, it may not be safe for medicinal use. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider about DIM safety warnings and precautions if you have liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, or any allergies.
Is DIM Safe?
DIM (diindolylmethane) is a supplement often used for cancer prevention or for "balancing" hormones, although it is sometimes used for other purposes. You may not be able to take DIM safely if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Cancer (or a history of cancer)
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific DIM Warnings and Precautions
Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of DIM include the following:
- DIM is usually considered to be safe when consumed through foods in normal dietary amounts. However, this does not mean that it is safe for medicinal use (usually at much higher doses than found in foods).
- It is often claimed that DIM can prevent cancer, and DIM is currently being studied for such use. However, some studies have shown conflicting results, and there is some concern that DIM could actually stimulate the growth of cancer cells. If you currently have cancer (or if you have had cancer in the past), you should not take DIM without your healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
- The liver and kidneys help clear many medications and supplements from the body. It is not known if DIM is safe for people with kidney or liver problems.
- DIM supplements may interact with some medications (see DIM Drug Interactions for more information).
- It is not known if DIM is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see DIM and Pregnancy or DIM and Breastfeeding).
- If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states. Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your DIM product is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.