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Is Diindolylmethane Safe?

Many people may wonder, "Is diindolylmethane safe?" It is important to know that while the supplement is often claimed to be useful for preventing cancer, there is some concern that it could actually stimulate the growth of cancer cells. You may not be able to take diindolylmethane safely if you have cancer (or a history of cancer), liver disease, or kidney disease.

Diindolylmethane Safety

Diindolylmethane (DIM) 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 diindolylmethane 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
  • Breastfeeding.
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 Diindolylmethane Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of diindolylmethane include the following:
  • Diindolylmethane 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 diindolylmethane can prevent cancer, and diindolylmethane is currently being studied for such use. However, some studies have shown conflicting results, and there is some concern that diindolylmethane 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 diindolylmethane 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 diindolylmethane is safe for people with kidney or liver problems.
  • Diindolylmethane supplements may interact with some medications (see Drug Interactions With Diindolylmethane for more information).
  • It is not known if diindolylmethane 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 diindolylmethane 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.
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