How DIM May Help With Menopause Symptoms
There are a number of systems inside your body that rely on the production and regulation of estrogen to function normally. When your estrogen levels begin to decrease during the menopausal transition, it has a ripple effect on these systems, which can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, and more.
During this period of estrogen decline, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is one of the best ways to reduce the intensity and frequency of symptoms. And one of the best ways to maintain your gut biome is to feed it the dietary sources it needs to produce a very specific compound called 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 and Brussels sprouts. 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 positive impacts on the body, from reducing inflammation to helping lower oxidative stress. However, DIM’s impact on the regulation of estrogens may have the most benefits for women in menopause.
How Does DIM Impact Menopause?
Menopausal symptoms are caused by the changes to estrogen production that occur during the menopausal transition. The common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and sleeplessness, among others. When these estrogen fluctuations occur, they can affect the health and effective regulation of multiple bodily systems, such as the central nervous system and thermoregulation. Because of all of this, regulating estrogen more effectively is 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 a 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.
Adding DIM to Your Diet
As it is a phytonutrient, you can incorporate DIM into your daily diet by adding more of the cruciferous vegetables that contain it into your meals. These vegetables include:
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Mustard Greens
However, research on the effects of DIM tests intake from 50 mg up to 300 mg. Meanwhile, typical diet only supplies 2-24 mg of DIM daily. So to get enough DIM through food in order to feel its effects, one would have to eat at least 2 lbs. of cabbage, Brussels sprouts, or kale a day—which is pretty much impossible for most of us. To bypass the need to chomp down on pounds of broccoli, many women prefer to add a DIM supplement to their daily routine alongside incorporating more cruciferous vegetables into their diets.