Diindolylmethane Bodybuilding: Are There Any Benefits of DIM Supplements?

Diindolylmethane Bodybuilding: Are There Any Benefits of DIM Supplements?

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a supplement derived from a compound in cruciferous vegetables. It has been praised for its anti-inflammatory and hormone balancing abilities. Read on to learn more about the potential diindolylmethane bodybuilding benefits.

What is Diindolylmethane (DIM)?

Diindolylmethane, DIM for short, is a substance derived from the breakdown of glucobrassicin, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables. It is formed during stomach digestion [R, R]. 

Benefits of Diindolylmethane Or DIM Benefits

Potential diindolylmethane benefits include hormonal balance along with cancer treatment and prevention.


DIM has the ability to alter estrogen metabolism. It stops production of the enzyme aromatase which is responsible for turning testosterone into estrogen [R]. This can prevent estrogen levels from getting too high.


If you’re also wondering, “does DIM raise testosterone?” The answer is no. 


Instead, DIM only maintains the current level of circulating free testosterone.


DIM is also anti-inflammatory and may enhance immune function [R]. It can stop prostate cancer cells from forming as well as prevent cell aging. This could improve prostate health [R]. 


Taking between 100 and 150 mg of DIM for 12 months had protective effects on both healthy women with the breast cancer gene and those with cancer. This supplement activated the enzymes that repair damaged tissue. It also increased levels of the protective estrogen, 2-hydroxyestrone [R, R, R]. 


Despite these positive outcomes, DIM supplement reviews are limited when it comes to human studies. The long term effects of DIM as a cancer treatment and prevention are still unknown [R].

Diindolylmethane Bodybuilding Benefits

Too much or too little estrogen can affect weight loss [R, R ]. Since estrogen plays a role in fat loss, bodybuilding may be another potential diindolylmethane benefit [R], 


Muscle growth is needed for bodybuilding [R]. This may pose the question, “does DIM affect muscle growth?” 


Sort of.  


DIM regulates estrogen and testosterone. Adequate testosterone levels are needed for improved muscle strength, power, and endurance [R]. 


On the other hand, estrogen does not produce muscle mass on its own, but when combined with exercise it helps to enhance lean body weight [R]. 


So DIM indirectly affects muscle growth by creating a healthy hormone balance. This may improve exercise results and benefit bodybuilding.


However, these diindolylmethane bodybuilding effects are not guaranteed. These supplements could affect everyone differently [R]. 


So then why do bodybuilders take DIM?


It could possibly help. For some people, DIM may benefit bodybuilding. While others may not have the same experience [R]. 


No matter the results more research needs to be done to know how DIM affects bodybuilding in the long run [R].

Diindolylmethane Dosage 

DIM supplements are poorly absorbed unless they are microencapsulated [R].


When it comes to how much DIM do bodybuilders take the answer varies. 


Some research says there is no evidence for taking a specific diindolylmethane dosage for bodybuilding. Others say it should be between 200 and 300 mg. 


Typical doses are between 100 and 200 mg per day for up to 12 months. Taking a dim supplement dosage of more than 300 mg may cause harmful side effects [R]. 

Diindolylmethane (DIM) Side Effects

DIM supplement use has been associated with nausea, stomach upset, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, itchy red skin, and darkened urine [R, R, R].   


Serious side effects include enlarged fibroids, vaginal bleeding, and visual impairment [R, R]. 


Some women were also diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer after taking DIM for between 5 and 16 months [R].

Diindolylmethane (DIM) Contraindications

DIM may worsen hormone-sensitive conditions like cancer, endometriosis, and fibroids. Women pregnant and breastfeeding should also avoid DIM supplements [R].


These supplements can interact with various medications including birth control pills, cancer drugs, water pills, estrogens, hormone therapy treatments, and estrogen medications

[R, R].


If you have any health conditions and/or are on any medications ask your doctor before taking DIM supplements.

Natural Sources of Diindolylmethane (DIM)

You can get natural sources of diindolylmethane (DIM) from cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi [R]. 


Cooking also increases DIM levels by six times so be sure to steam your veggies before you eat them [R]!

Summary

Diindolylmethane or DIM is a substance found in cruciferous vegetables. This substance has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that may improve health. DIM has been shown to improve weight loss and hormonal balance. It may also work as a cancer prevention and treatment.


DIM can prevent testosterone from changing into estrogen. This regulates hormone levels. It also has the ability to increase the levels of 2-hydroxyestrone. This estrogen is thought to be beneficial for health.


Adequate levels of estrogen and testosterone are needed for fat loss, exercise performance, and muscle growth. These bodybuilding benefits are a secondary effect of DIM. One thing to note is the results seem to vary from person to person. 


In addition to the potential benefits of DIM there have also been harmful side effects with its use. DIM has also been contraindicated in women pregnant and breastfeeding as well as those with health conditions and/or on medications.


Overall, more research needs to be carried out to know the long term effects of DIM on health and bodybuilding.


Resources

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  3. Shin JH, Zhang L, Murillo-Sauca O, et al. Modulation of natural killer cell antitumor activity by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110(30):12391-12396. doi:10.1073/pnas.1302856110 
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  6. Kotsopoulos J, Zhang S, Akbari M, et al. BRCA1 mRNA levels following a 4-6-week intervention with oral 3,3’-diindolylmethane. Br J Cancer. 2014;111(7):1269-1274. doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.391
  7. Thomson CA, Chow HHS, Wertheim BC, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of diindolylmethane for breast cancer biomarker modulation in patients taking tamoxifen. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017;165(1):97-107. doi:10.1007/s10549-017-4292-7
  8. Yerushalmi R, Bargil S, Ber Y, et al. 3,3-Diindolylmethane (DIM): a nutritional intervention and its impact on breast density in healthy BRCA carriers. A prospective clinical trial. Carcinogenesis. 2020;41(10):1395-1401. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgaa050
  9. Cleary MP, Grossmann ME. Minireview: Obesity and breast cancer: the estrogen connection. Endocrinology. 2009;150(6):2537-2542. doi:10.1210/en.2009-0070
  10. Rubinow KB. Estrogens and Body Weight Regulation in Men. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;1043:285-313. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-70178-3_14 
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2889220/
  12. Krzysztofik M, Wilk M, Wojdała G, Gołaś A. Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(24). doi:10.3390/ijerph16244897
  13. Gharahdaghi N, Phillips BE, Szewczyk NJ, Smith K, Wilkinson DJ, Atherton PJ. Links Between Testosterone, Oestrogen, and the Growth Hormone/Insulin-Like Growth Factor Axis and Resistance Exercise Muscle Adaptations. Front Physiol. 2020;11:621226. doi:10.3389/fphys.2020.621226
  14. Chidi-Ogbolu N, Baar K. Effect of Estrogen on Musculoskeletal Performance and Injury Risk. Front Physiol. 2018;9:1834. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01834
  15. Wedmd. DIINDOLYLMETHANE: Overview, uses, side effects, precautions, interactions, dosing and reviews.
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