Diindolylmethane

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What other names is Diindolylmethane known by?

Diindolymetano, Diidolylméthane, DIM, 3,3'-Diindolylmethane.

What is Diindolylmethane?

Diindolylmethane is formed in the body from plant substances contained in "cruciferous" vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Scientists think these vegetables may help to protect the body against cancer because they contain diindolylmethane and a related chemical called indole-3-carbinol.

Diindolylmethane is used for preventing breast, uterine, and colorectal cancer. It is also used to prevent an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, BPH) and treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Abnormal growth of cells of the cervix (cervical dysplasia). Early research suggests that taking a specific diindolylmethane product (BioResponse-DIM by BioResponse) for 12 weeks does not improve markers of disease in women with cervical dysplasia.
  • Prostate cancer. Early research suggest that taking a specific diindolylmethane product (BioResponse-DIM) for 28 days lowers prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in men with prostate cancer. PSA levels can be used to measure the progress of prostate cancer.
  • Preventing breast cancer.
  • Preventing uterine cancer.
  • Preventing colon cancer.
  • Preventing prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hypertrophy, BPH).
  • Treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of diindolylmethane for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Diindolylmethane work?

Diindolylmethane might act like estrogen in the body, but there is evidence that under certain circumstances it might also block estrogen effects.

Are there safety concerns?

Diindolylmethane is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in the small amounts found in foods. A typical diet supplies 2-24 mg of diindolylmethane. It is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth short-term for medicinal purposes. Taking larger doses of diindolylmethane is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Taking 600 mg of diindolylmethane daily has been reported to lower sodium levels in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Diindolylmethane is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in the small amounts found in foods. But don't take larger amounts. Not enough is known about the safety of larger amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Children: Diindolylmethane is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in the small amounts found in foods. But don't give children larger amounts. Not enough is known about the safety of larger amounts of diindolylmethane when given to children.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Diindolylmethane might act like estrogen, so there is some concern that it might make hormone-sensitive conditions worse. These conditions include breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer; endometriosis; and uterine fibroids. However, developing research also suggests that diindolylmethane might work against estrogen and could possibly be protective against hormone-dependent cancers. But stay on the safe side. Until more is known, don't use diindolylmethane if you have a hormone-sensitive condition.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Estrogens
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some of the effects of diindolylmethane might be similar to the hormone estrogen. Other effects of diindolylmethane might oppose the effects of estrogen. Taking large amounts of diindolylmethane might interfere with hormone replacement therapy.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Diindolylmethane might reduce the amount of sodium in the body. Some "water pills" can also decrease the amount of sodium in the body. Taking sodium-depleting "water pills" along with diindolylmethane might decrease sodium too much. Some "water pills" that can decrease sodium include acetazolamide (Diamox), chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDIURIL, Microzide), and others.



Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Diindolylmethane might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking diindolylmethane along with some medications that are changed by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking diindolylmethane, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.

Dosing considerations for Diindolylmethane.

The appropriate dose of diindolylmethane depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for diindolylmethane. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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