How DIM May Help Menopause
Finding ways to alleviate menopausal symptoms is challenging. There are a variety of processes inside your body that rely on the production and regulation of estrogen. When estrogen begins to decrease during the menopausal transition, it has a ripple effect on the systems throughout your body. This is when symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, weight gain, and much more occur.
Regulating and maintaining steady hormone levels as estrogen declines is important to supporting menopausal health and reducing menopausal symptoms both in their intensity and frequency. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is one of the best ways to do this, but how can you improve the health of your gut bacteria?
You can feed your gut bacteria with the dietary sources it needs to produce a very specific compound, DIM.
What is DIM?
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound that is naturally generated in the body after the consumption of certain cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and more. When the body consumes these types of vegetables, the stomach acid breaks down particular compounds in them (specifically indole-3-carbinol) and converts them into DIM. DIM has a variety of impacts on the body from reducing inflammation to helping lower oxidative stress. However, it’s DIM’s impact on the regulation of estrogens that could have the most benefits.
How Does DIM Impact Menopause?
Menopausal symptoms are caused by the fluctuations and decrease of estrogens that occur during the menopausal transition. These 15 common symptoms of menopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, insomnia, and more. When these fluctuations occur, they can affect the health and effective regulation of multiple systems in the body. Regulating estrogens more effectively is the key to helping support menopausal symptom relief.
DIM may be helpful in more effectively regulating estrogen metabolism. Some studies have shown that women who consumed or were given supplemental version of DIM, experienced changes in how their bodies produced estrogen metabolites. These estrogen metabolites can bind better to specific proteins that can help improve hormonal imbalances caused by menopause. Through these properties, DIM may help support the production of estrogen metabolites and help steady the hormonal fluctuations that cause menopausal symptoms.
Could DIM Can Support Weight Loss?
DIM’s regulatory properties on estrogens may also have an impact on how the body stores and distributes fats. As women undergo menopause, the body starts to hang onto estrogens by storing them in fats. This is due to the sudden fluctuations and drops in naturally created estrogens in the ovaries.
As a result, the body starts to hold onto fats with more vigor because it’s trying to hold onto those estrogens. This can cause a variety of issues. Firstly, storing those estrogens in fat cells, means they are less likely to be recirculated through the body to bind onto estrogen receptors in other areas (i.e. bones and the immune system). Second, the body’s reluctance to shed these fat cells increases the risks of diabetes, obesity, and other related conditions.
So how can DIM help support weight loss? Because DIM helps modulate how estrogens are metabolized, it may also change the formation and deposition of fat cells. When estrogens are better absorbed into the bloodstream or excreted through waste, rather than being stored in fat tissues, this may help decrease the number of fat cells that get produced and distributed.
When the body doesn’t need to store estrogens in fat cells at the same rate, it doesn’t need to produce as many fat cells to use later as estrogen storage. This could also help in changing how fat gets distributed throughout the body. When estrogens get stored in fat, the body starts to store fat cells in adipose tissues in the torso, usually in the abdominal cavity that surrounds internal organs. By changing how many fat cells get produced, this may also change how those fats get distributed.