Diindolylmethane, or DIM for short, is a natural compound that’s found in copious quantities in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, and bok choy.
It’s found heavily in superfood green drinks, too.
It’s widely reputed as a strong anti-cancer agent that can also be used to reduce inflammation and detox your body thanks to the biological activity of DIM.
If these benefits are what you are looking for, our research team has ranked the ten best DIM supplements on the market according to purity and efficacy. Rad on for our rankings.
1. Nutricost DIM
Nutricost delivers a DIM supplement with a dosage of 300 mg per capsule. It’s also got 5 mg of BioPerine, a proprietary black pepper extract that’s included in many higher-quality supplements for its reputed ability to boost absorption and bioavailability.
The capsules are vegetarian-friendly, and though there are a couple of extra binders included, it’s still a solid pick for a DIM supplement.
2. Zhou DIM Active
Zhou attempts to rectify one of the recurrent limitations with compounds isolated from healthy foods—when you take just one chemical out of a healthy food, you lose some of the synergy between the other compounds found in the food.
Zhou’s solution is to provide DIM (at a strong dose of 250 mg) alongside broccoli seed extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
The hope here is that the combined action of these ingredients will result in better outcomes than just consuming DIM by itself. This is sound reasoning, but clinical studies do tend to look at DIM in isolation, so whether you want to go with this supplement depends on your supplementation philosophy.
If you want DIM alongside the other nutrients in cruciferous vegetables, this supplement is definitely the way to go.
3. We Like Vitamins DIM
We Like Vitamins has a low dose but high-purity DIM supplement with 100 mg of DIM per capsule. The capsules themselves are gelatin derived, which allows some pretty simple supplement design (the only other ingredient is rice flour), but does make this supplement a no-go for strict vegetarians.
It’s a good option for people who know they want a lower dosage and a highly pure supplement, and at the same time are okay with a gelatin capsule.
4. aSquared Nutrition DIM
aSquared Nutrition is a solid source of DIM if you are looking for a supplement that has a low dose and no additional ingredients.
It has 100 mg of DIM per capsule, and no unnecessary ingredients—just gelatin for the capsule and rice flour to fill out the rest of the space inside the capsule.
5. Source Naturals DIM
Source Naturals DIM is a formulation specifically made to support breast health. Its DIM dosage is low, at 100 mg per capsule, but it also provides lecithin from soybeans to support estrogen function and BioPerine for superior bioavailability and vitamin E for added antioxidant power.
It’s a good choice for women looking to optimize breast health, but for all-around DIM versatility, it’s not the best.
6. DrFormulas DIM
DrFormulas is a very popular DIM supplement that includes BioPerine for superior absorption and delivers 100 mg of DIM per capsule.
This dosage is lower than the most effective doses found in clinical trials, so you’ll likely be taking at least two capsules twice per day.
In addition, the supplement design isn’t very clean; there’s a lot of extra binders and excipients included that hurt the product’s purity.
7. Purest Vantage DIM
Purest Vantage DIM is a supplement geared specifically for hormonal applications: while it includes BioPerine like many of its competitors, it also uses 600 IU of vitamin D (which is technically a hormone) and dong quai, a Chinese herbal extract with hormone-modulating properties.
This makes it possibly more useful for hormonal conditions, but less versatile than some of its competitors without these additional ingredients. At 250 mg per capsule, the DIM content is still solid.
8. Bulksupplements DIM
While Bulksupplements is always a good choice for highly pure supplements, in the case of DIM, it’s only a good call for a very small subset of people.
Because DIM’s optimal dosage is so small, you’ll need a milligram-accurate scale to measure out the right dosage.
So, unless you are planning on making a special blend of DIM and other supplements, or you need to mix DIM into smoothies or shakes, you should probably opt for a capsule based DIM supplement. If you don’t fit into these categories, though, Bulksupplements is the way to go.
9. Nature’s Way DIM-plus Estrogen Metabolism
Nature’s Way has a DIM formulation that is specially designed for processing estrogen. This makes it well-suited for women who use DIM for treating premenstrual syndrome, and possibly for other estrogen-related issues.
However, it does hamper its use for the wide range of other uses that DIM is known for. The actual DIM dosage is fairly low, though it is paired with a small amount of vegetable isolates from spinach, broccoli, and cabbage.
This pins Nature’s Way DIM-plus Estrogen Metabolism into a fairly niche use category, making it difficult to recommend for most people.
10. Solaray DIM Supreme
Solaray DIM Supreme attempts to address the issue of DIM perhaps not being as biologically active in isolation by delivering it alongside broccoli seed extract and bioflavonoids, but the company is not very specific about where these flavonoids come from, which makes it hard to specify whether these extra ingredients are going to significantly boost the efficacy of the DIM.
The dosage of DIM is on the lower side, at 100 mg per capsule, making it hard to recommend over some of the other competition
DIM benefits and side effects
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a naturally occurring compound found in several vegetables that holds promise in preventing and treating certain cancers.
Diindolylmethane is a metabolite of Indole-3-carbinol, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale and kohlrabi.
In addition to having anticancer effects, it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to increase bone mass in animal studies.
Researchers believe that DIM can induce cancer cell death by modulating the expression of Bax/Bcl-2 (regulator proteins that regulate cell death) 1.
Diindolylmethane exhibits anti-tumor activity in prostate cancer. A 2011 study set out to examine whether DIM inhibits the development of prostate cancer using an adenocarcinoma mouse prostate model.
The conclusion of the study revealed positive findings. Feeding the rats DIM inhibited prostate carcinogenesis and induced a substantial reduction in the numbers of viable cells and induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
Researchers concluded that DIM inhibits prostate carcinogenesis via induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cell cycle progression, and induces the death of prostate cancer cells via the mitochondria- and death receptor-mediated pathways (2).
Diindolylmethane plays a role in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. A 2016 review published in Nutrition Reviews journal described current evidence related to the metabolism and mechanisms of this compound’s involvement in the prevention of breast cancer.
The following are some highlights.
DIM can be considered an anti-initiating breast tumor agent through its ability to stimulate cellular detoxification pathways. It is reported to modulate aryl hydrocarbon receptor (a cytosolic ligand-activated transcription factor that is involved in various signaling pathways critical to many aspects of physiology, such as cell proliferation and differentiation, gene regulation, cell motility and migration and inflammation) as evidenced in multiple breast cancer cell lines (3).
Evidence from mammary cell lines has demonstrated the role of DIM in reducing oxidative stress and demonstrating a role in reducing cyclooxygenase-2–induced inflammation in mammary cell lines.
In advanced stages of tumor development, DIM has been shown to inhibit the expression of genes involved in angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow) and energy metabolism.
DIM may reduce the invasive and metastatic potential of breast tumors. In combination with Taxotere, a concentration of 40μM DIM resulted in a 78 percent inhibition of growth and a decreased invasive capacity of the aggressive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 (4).
Despite these extremely promising results, researchers stress that the number of intervention studies with DIM supplementation remains limited. Several trials evaluating the role of DIM in breast cancer prevention are currently under way.
Diindolylmethane is shown to inhibit the growth of endometrial cancer cells. Endometrial cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting the female reproductive organs (5). In a study published in Carcinogenesis, the effect of DIM on cell proliferation was examined using a human endometrial adenocarcinoma cell line.
Cells were treated with either a range of concentrations of DIM for 24 hours or with 10 μM DIM for up to 6 days.
Results indicated that after 24 hours of treatment, DIM suppressed growth cell growth by 20 and 40 percent with 10 and 30 μM concentrations, respectively. Researchers also noted that 10 μM DIM inhibited proliferation by 55 percent after four days and by 60 percent after six days of treatment.
In addition, treatments with DIM at concentrations of 50 μM or greater induced apoptosis (6).
Diindolylmethane is capable of increasing bone mass. A 2015 study evaluated the effect of DIM on bone mass in mice. Treating female mice with injections of DIM twice a week for four weeks resulted in a significant increase in bone mass.
Furthermore, administration of DIM in ovariectomized mice (ovariectomy induced bone loss in rats and postmenopausal bone loss in women share many similar characteristics) effectively prevented bone loss resulting from increased bone resorption (7,8).
Diindolylmethane has anti-inflammatory properties. Due to a correlation between chronic inflammation and the development of a variety of human cancers, researchers have been studying DIM’s anti-inflammatory effects.
In a 2008 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, researchers reported that DIM inhibits the inflammatory responses of murine macrophages. Macrophages are the main pro-inflammatory cells that respond to invading pathogens by releasing many pro-inflammatory molecules, including nitric oxide and prostaglandins.
In addition, downregulation of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling (mediators of inflammatory responses) contributes to the anti-inflammatory actions of DIM (10).
In another study, researchers concluded that DIM can inhibit inflammation of the periodontal tissue in mice after one week of treatment, which promoted alveolar bone recovery in the experimental periodontitis mouse model (9).
Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports teeth.
These results suggest that DIM may be a future adjuvant therapy for periodontal diseases.
DIM is considered to be nontoxic. Some reported side effects include darkening of urine, increase in bowel frequency, headache and excess gas (11).
In one study, a healthy female patient who took an excessive daily intake of DIM for two months experienced central serous chorioretinopathy, a disease resulting in visual impairment. Symptoms resolved after discontinuing use.
Rash has also been reported and DIM may cause hormonal disturbances (12).
It is believed DIM interacts with cytochrome P450 substrates (enzymes essential for the metabolism of medications); DIM may affect the serum concentration of drugs metabolized by this enzyme.
DIM has also been shown to induce Multidrug Resistance Protein and can affect the transport of drugs mediated by this protein (13).
There is not a clear consensus on the proper dosage. Further studies are needed to assess its efficacy and safety in humans.
DIM is a dietary compound found in several cruciferous vegetables that holds promise in preventing and treating certain cancers. This compound also plays a role in preventing bone loss and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Medical professionals have long stressed the link between eating a diet high in vegetables and the prevention of many types of cancers. Mounting evidence from clinical studies shows DIM’s strong positive impact on breast cancer, endometrial cancer, prostate cancer and other cancers.
Clinical studies are underway to better understand the mechanisms of this compound, its efficacy, safety and the proper dosage to yield the most beneficial results.