There are a number of possible diindolylmethane benefits. The dietary supplement is claimed to be beneficial for preventing various types of cancer, treating premenstrual syndrome, and "balancing" estrogen hormones in the body. However, there is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of these claimed benefits of diindolylmethane. It is also not known whether the supplement is safe for use in children.
Diindolylmethane (DIM) 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. Diindolylmethane 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 diindolylmethane really works for any of these uses (see Does DIM Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of diindolylmethane 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.