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Does DIM really work?

I have been prescribed Arimidex after having a mastectomy with no need for chemo or radiation.  After doing some research, I realize that I really don't want to go down that road.  I found references to DIM on this site and did a lot of research and would like to know if this really works?  From what I read, it seems to be a better way to go, without all the side effects.  I am 65 and I am concerned about robbing my body of ALL estrogen.  Any advice would be truly appreciated.



  • SJW1
    SJW1 Member Posts: 4

    Island Girl,

    After being diagnosed with DCIS and having a lumpectomy, DIM was the first thing that my prevent doctor recommended to me. What it does is process estrogen down non-carcinogenic pathways.

    Often I3C is used for this purpose too. I have a good article that compares the two. If you would like me to email it to you please send me a PM with your email address.

    You are so right that life is good!



  • mmm5
    mmm5 Member Posts: 797


    I take is the no chemo your choice or was it the recommendation of your Physician. You mention no need for chemo just wondered if that came from you or from your Dr. The reason I ask is that you look to  be Her2 and would be concerned you are bypassing Herceptin which is a molecular drug not really chemo and it is really very effective.

    I also take Dim but only after finishing Herceptin and trying Femara and needing an alternative. My MP swears by DIM. 

  • barbaraa
    barbaraa Member Posts: 3,548

    I use DIM along with grape seed extract, chrysin, curcumin and others. I started the supplements after my diagnosis. The MRI and mammo said my mass was 3.5 cm. When they did my lumpectomy, it was 1.8 cm. I had a 24 hour estrogen metabolization test in August and my estrogen was almost undetectable. It works for me. Of course, my diet has totally changed as well. No sugar, no dairy (except for goat's milk cheese or yogurt occasionally), hormone free beef/chicken 1/week, organic everything. So far so good.

  • islandgirlpr
    islandgirlpr Member Posts: 7

    To mmmr:   After my onco test came back with low risk indicators, my onc said I didn't need chemo.  It was not my decision.  I think the fact that I am a very healthy 65, and  I don't take any prescription medicine, was another factor in his decision.  I was taking HRT's, however, mainly because I couldn't sleep without them...and sure enough, now that I am off of them, I am getting about three hours of sleep a night.  I just can't imagine what it will be like if I deplete ALL estrogen from my body.  I have osteopina now...

  • islandgirlpr
    islandgirlpr Member Posts: 7
    Sandie,  I would love that article.  My email is [email protected].  I really love finding this site and getting into discussions with women who have been there.  I have to say that, so far, given the seriousness of the situation, this entire process has been quite easy.  My surgery went well, my reconstruction is progressing nicely (hey, new boobs at ain't all bad), my doctors are great.  But I just have a bad feeling about taking this blocker...I will if I have to, but would prefer another way.
  • KMQW2010
    KMQW2010 Member Posts: 5

    I would like the article as well.  Can you post it on this site?  I haven't started my arimidex yet.  Looking for alternative.  I was grade 2, invasive, went through chemo and radiation.  Stage 1 and not in the lymph node.  Looking for all the info we can get.  Thank you!!

  • crazy4carrots
    crazy4carrots Member Posts: 624

    Barbara -- I'm curious!  Since the SE's from the aromatase inhibitors are due to lack of estrogen, and if your estrogen levels are barely detectable due to DIM and the other supplements you are using, then why are you not exhibiting some of the same SE's as those of some of us on AIs?  Could it be that the supplements, plus your dietary changes, are keeping the SE's at bay?  Or are you experiencing any minor SE's?  Of course, some (perhaps many) women on AIs have very minimal SEs.  Mine have lessened to a great extent, thankfully.



  • Springtime
    Springtime Member Posts: 3,372
    I use this DIM, in case anybody is looking. My Osteopath has me on 400mg daily. I take three of these below (the 150's) per meal, so I get 450 daily. I have had my Estrogen ratio checked, and it was pretty good (this was a year ago). I am getting it checked again.
  • barbaraa
    barbaraa Member Posts: 3,548

    Linda, I have hot flashes but that's about it. I take fish oil and that is good for joints. Plus as I said above, my diet has totally changed and I exercise daily. So far so good. I see my onc next week for my 6 months post surgery visit. Mammo was last week and clean. Whew. I have to tell him I am not taking Arimidex. He may fire me as a patient. Oh well.

  • sarabhealed
    sarabhealed Member Posts: 64

    I was on an Aromase Inhibiter (femara) for 6 months and was miserable--insomnia, joint pain, fatigue and no sex life.  I now use DIM, Calcium d-glucarate and progesterone and my estrogen levels are very low, but the side effects I had with the AI are gone.  If Sandie reads this, I would love for her to post the article too.

  • pod1257
    pod1257 Member Posts: 8

    My NP swears by the Olympian labs Inc. DIM. She recommended 2 twice/day or 400mg total.

    She says it's supposed to help with menopausal belly fat, as well (good estrone vs bad estrone?), although I haven't seen any changes in that area since taking it.


  • thenewme
    thenewme Member Posts: 174

    Hi Islandgirlpr,

    You asked, "Does DIM really work?"

    Sloan-Kettering has this to say about DIM (and I3C)  Link HERE

    "Cancer Prevention: Lab studies suggested anticancer activities. But evidence from human studies is lacking.

    Although DIM (and I3C) have been shown to alter estrogen urinary metabolite profiles in women, their effects on breast cancer risk are unknown." 

  • islandgirlpr
    islandgirlpr Member Posts: 7

    To thenewme:  Thanks for the info.  From what I have read recently, they are doing clinical trials with DIM as we speak on breast, prostate and cervical dysplasia.  I have hope that these trials will give us an alternative to these estrogen blockers.  Again, I just don't think that blocking all the estrogen in our body is a good thing.  Our body continues to produce it for a reason, even after menapause.  They need to come up with something else and I am hoping DIM is the answer...or at least an alternative.

  • thenewme
    thenewme Member Posts: 174

    Hi islandgirlpr

    I definitely agree that ongoing research is a good thing! It's always great news when potential treatments and theories live up to the hype and cross over into mainstream medicine, and I hope to hear sometime that DIM does just that!

    Does anyone have recent research on DIM with regard to BC treatment?

  • Julie50
    Julie50 Member Posts: 7

    I just bought DIM, but then I just read this that I found.

    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.

    Since I just tossed out my "A" pills due to the SF, I really want to try this, but not sure after reading this...any thoughts

  • islandgirlpr
    islandgirlpr Member Posts: 7

    Julie50, Where did you get this information from?  I know there was some warnings about it lately regarding bodybuilders taking huge amounts like 5,000 mg daily.   Did you find it on the internet?  I would like to know the source.

  • CrunchyPoodleMama
    CrunchyPoodleMama Member Posts: 312

    Ditto what islandgirl said... I'd like to read those studies that show DIM stimulates cancer cells.

  • Julie50
    Julie50 Member Posts: 7

    I did a search on "GOOGLE" for SF of DIM and this came up.  I will try and find the site name for you. 

    Found it:

  • barbaraa
    barbaraa Member Posts: 3,548

    I am taking DIM at the dose used in ongoing clinical trials. I would be willing to bet that this article refers to bodybuilders who take megadoses (like 5000mg twice a day). I am very happy with how my body responds to DIM at the clinical dose I take (200MG/day).

  • Julie50
    Julie50 Member Posts: 7

    Barbara: Thank you, I am starting mine today. Do you have any SF from it that I should be aware of???

  • islandgirlpr
    islandgirlpr Member Posts: 7

    Julie50...the only side effects I experienced were some bad headaches for about three days...after that, they went away and haven't returned.  My daughter experienced the same thing.  I have been taking DIM for about six weeks now and have never felt better.  I am not trying to cure my cancer with DIM, but to modulate my estrogen so it won't feed any new tumors.  I feel good about it....I certainly didn't feel good about taking Arimidex.

  • barbaraa
    barbaraa Member Posts: 3,548

    I have had absolutely no side effects. I feel fine every day (and I did NOT feel fine on Arimidex, which I only took for two weeks).

  • Julie50
    Julie50 Member Posts: 7

    Thank you ladies:

    I did try Arimidex, and I thought I was going to die after 5 days.  I tossed them into the toliet.

    I see my Onco on the 16th and will tell him I will not take that drug again.  I even printed out everything about DIM for him to read and understand.  I know my Family Dr. will understand.

    Thanks again


  • Azz
    Azz Member Posts: 1

    Hi Ladies:

    So glad I found this thread. Just finished radiation treatments and onc says the next step is Arimidex. I filled out the prescription, brought it home, read of all the side effects and decided uh-uh. So am making a list of supplements to use including DIM as well as modified citrus pectin, curcumin and anti-oxidants such as resveratrol and selenium. Are any of you taking other supplements besides DIM? I've also read that you have to have the right product as DIM isn't easily absorbed unless certain other elements are contained in the capsule. Now I have to tell my oncologist that I'm not going to use the Arimidex and I know she won't be happy. I find all of this decision making very nerve wracking and am starting to feel pretty depressed about it all. So happy about this forum where I can actually find information about things that are working for you.

  • KathleenLa
    KathleenLa Member Posts: 10


    I am new to this board and had bi-lateral masectomy, March 22, 2011.  I decided to have both removed so I'd not have the worry of cancer appearing in the other breast.  My diagnosis was Stage 2, lobular, infiltrated, positive estrogen/progesterone cancer.  I had 3 months of chemo before my surgery.  All margins were clear after surgery.  Had 3 lymph nodes removed.  I was hoping to escape Arimadex with a double masectomy, but I guess not.  I was prescribed it and took 3 pills which upset my stomach, caused nausea, and I felt ill.  I see my oncologist tomorrow, April 27th.  I have been reading on D.I.M.  I would like to hear from people who have been on D.I.M. instead of Arimadex and have been on D.I.M. for a while and have had success.

    Please email me at [email protected]

    Thanks... Kathleen 

  • Kodapants
    Kodapants Member Posts: 18

    Where does a person buy DIM.  Please let me know as I don't tolerate the antihormonal.

    Thanks Koda

  • KathleenLa
    KathleenLa Member Posts: 10

    Hi Kodapants:

    Any herbal store in your area. I'm from Mass. and the Herbarium has D.I.M., which is located in Chicopee, Mass.


  • KathleenLa
    KathleenLa Member Posts: 10

    Has anyone heard of Dr. Michael Zeligs. He has a patended Bio-Response D.I.M.

    product. Balance Estrogen Naturally With Diindolylmethane (Dim) Broccoli Extract

    Balance Estrogen Naturally With Diindolylmethane (dim) Broccoli Extract

    Have you ever noticed the difference between men and women’s ability to lose weight? A man can simply stop eating junk food and two weeks later will have lost ten pounds. On the other hand, after hours in a gym and weeks of calorie counting many women will have not lost a pound. The main reason for this huge difference is an imbalance of too much estrogen as compared to lower levels of progesterone, which is called estrogen dominance. This imbalance leads to weight gain and obesity, as well as cervical dysplasia, breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers. Up until now, women have been told that the only way to treat a hormone related health problem is to take additional hormones. However, the correct answer is finding a balance of hormones, which can be done by using diindolylmethane (DIM), a powerful nutrient that is found in broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables that have a direct effect on hormone balance. This does not mean that eating broccoli will eliminate estrogen dominance. When broccoli is chewed, plant enzymes are activated that release healthy compounds. However, many of these compounds are too unstable to constantly provide health benefits. In turn, these unstable compounds lead to the release of diindolylmethane, which is a very stable compound. Although broccoli is a very nutritious vegetable, we would have to eat at least two pounds of broccoli each and every day in order to get the adequate amounts of DIM. Thanks to ongoing research, the development of a stable pure DIM dietary supplement with special absorption enhancing formulas has been created. These DIM supplements can easily and efficiently restore hormonal balance and eliminate the symptoms of estrogen dominance.

    The estrogen hormone tells cells in the body to grow. Throughout our lives, estrogen has important a vital functions such as orchestrating menstruation from the time we reach puberty through the time we reach menopause, keeping our bones strong, and maintaining low cholesterol levels. Estrogen is made in our ovaries and then sent through our bloodstream, where it comes in contact with every cell in our body. However, only certain cells with estrogen receptors will respond to its presence.

    Estrogen dominance is characterized by an abundance of symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: mood swings, feeling anxious, painful periods, sore breasts, hot flashes, night sweats, foggy thinking, low libido, problematic PMS, and stubborn weight gain. It can begin by exposure to estrogen mimics (xenoestrogens), which are certain chemicals in the environment such as pesticides, plastics, soaps, emulsifiers, household cleaning products, and even car exhaust. These estrogen mimics look and act enough like natural estrogens that our body accepts them as estrogen. They latch on to estrogen receptors on cancer cells, and signal the cancer cell to grow and divide, making the cancer spread. They can also latch onto estrogen receptors on healthy cells and send false signals, or block the natural estrogen hormone from binding to its receptor, causing more estrogen to circulate in the bloodstream. Estrogen dominance can also be caused by a slow estrogen metabolism. If the rate of the metabolism that breaks down estrogen after they complete the activity on their target cells is too slow, an excess of unmetabolized estrogen is left circulating the body.

    Researchers have also discovered that estrogen can be metabolized in two different pathways in the liver, which results in two different kinds of estrogen, “good” and “bad” estrogen. “Good” estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream there they cause many of the benefits estrogen provides, such as prevention of heart disease, and strong, healthy bones. “Bad” estrogen, in large quantities, can result in many health problems including autoimmune disorders, breast cancer, cervical dysplasia, clinical depression, fibroid tumors, infertility, magnesium deficiency, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and zinc deficiency.

    When dealing with estrogen dominance, it is not a good idea to take more progesterone to even out hormonal balance. Taking more progesterone won’t necessarily restore hormonal balance. Rather, it might be metabolized into more estrogen, resulting in an even greater hormonal imbalance and greater estrogen dominance. Instead, one should take the DIM supplement, which improves hormonal balance and eliminated estrogen dominance by shifting the way that estrogen is metabolized in our body. This creates more “good” estrogen metabolites and less “bad” estrogen metabolites. Although it does not increase or decrease estrogen levels, it directs how the estrogen is metabolized.

    Research has suggested that DIM may also help to prevent breast cancer. After studying a group of women for periods up to nineteen years, the women who developed breast cancer were noted to have a significantly lower ratio of “good” estrogen metabolites as compared to “bad” estrogen metabolites. In comparison, those who did not develop breast cancer had a high ratio of “good” estrogen metabolites to “bad” estrogen metabolites. Scientists have determined that DIM actually inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It enhances the activity of enzymes found in certain pathways of the liver, which are important for the healthy estrogen metabolism that reduces the risk of cancer development.

    When buying a DIM supplement, it is suggested that you read the label of the DIM product you’re going to buy. Be certain that you are getting 120 mg of DIM complex, which is standardized to 30 mg DIM per dose. Because DIM is very hard to absorb, the products needs to be in a specialized complex that improves bioavailability. Although most women only need one dose of DIM per day, women suffering with a large amount of estrogen dominance symptoms may find greater relief by doubling the dose and taking DIM twice a day. Because some women may have a minor stomach ache after taking DIM, taking the supplement with food will eliminate the problem. Research of DIM’s safety has shown no harmful effects, even when the doses were at hundreds of times the amount provided in the supplements. A common side effect of DIM is a harmless changing of the color of your urine. Because these changes can occur when you eat a large amount of broccoli or asparagus also, drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day will solve the problem.

    If you have estrogen dominance, adding more hormones will only put you at a greater risk for cancer. Instead, restore your hormonal balance by taking the powerful, all-natural DIM supplement. DIM can be found at your local Health Food Store or Internet Health Food Store.

    Visit VitaNet Health Foods at VitaNet sells high quality supplements like DIM for Estrogen Balance. Please link to this site when using this article.

    Article from

  • dlb823
    dlb823 Member Posts: 2,701

    Kathleen, I always take the research by an individual who has a vested interest in selling a product (as Michael Zeligs does), with a grain of salt.  When I was educating myself about DIM and I3C (which is related to DIM), I quickly realized that Michael Zeligs, who has written extensively about the superiority of DIM over I3C, was not only a researcher but also a company principle.  So I didn't give his research quite as much credence as that of others who have no vested interest in selling anything.  But if you're wondering if DIM works, it absolutely does, and there are quite a few women on BCO who use it, often in lieu of an A/I.     Deanna 

  • KathleenLa
    KathleenLa Member Posts: 10

    Hi Deanna:

    I agree with you about not looking into websites that are "entirely" selling D.I.M. for instance. But Dr. Michael Zeligs has researched D.I.M. and has many articles out on it. I kind of went for his information because he IS a doctor and I have checked his credentials. Google Dr. Michael Zeligs and you will find quite a bit on his research. I chose his article on his Research Update on Natural Medicine for Women's Health to give my my Oncologist. I am assuming that his product could be one of the better supplements, Bio-Response because he's is a doctor and has done the research.

    I have stomach upsets and illness feeling after taking only 3 Aremadex. I do not want to spend 5 years living like that. I have taken the above info. to my oncologist and he actually is going to do some more research on D.I.M. Regardless, it's at the Herbarium in our area and I want to take it even if he's not going to back me up. I do hope that if he doesn't back me up, he will at least monitor me.

    I have a bi-lateral on March 22nd, I've had a total hysterectomy in 2002, so I have no ovaries. I've had chemo which shrunk the cancer from almost 4.0 cm. to 2.0 cm. All margins were clear after surgery. Three lymph nodes removed. Microscopic cancer cells were found at the beginning of the sentinal node. Was disappointed because the biopsy of cells removed months ago, showed all was clear. But it's the pathology report that counts. The other two nodes were clear. No radiation.

    My email is [email protected]. I'd like the information you are talking about. The info. you are talking about that have no vested interest in selling anything. Are there other people out there doing research other than Dr. Michael Zeligs? Etc. Etc.