Health Benefits of DIM (Diindolylmethane)

Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on April 22, 2024
4 min read

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. You can also find DIM supplements. 

Research shows DIM may have several benefits for your health, including reducing inflammation (pain and swelling) in your body and preventing cancer. But more research needs to be done to be sure of these effects. 


Studies are ongoing to help researchers understand what DIM can and can’t do for your health. Current research is exploring if DIM can:

Balance estrogen

Some supplement makers claim that DIM can aid estrogen metabolism in the body by reducing the number of strong (“bad”) estrogens to weaker (“good”) ones. If your “bad” estrogen levels are too high, it can raise your risk of several different types of cancer. “Good” estrogens help block the growth of tumors.

By increasing or balancing out the levels of “good” estrogen and “bad” estrogen, this helps reduce your cancer risk. 

Reduce inflammation

Inflammation in your body can lead to the development of diseases like cancer and heart disease. Researchers have looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of DIM, but mostly in animal studies. One study showed DIM helped turn off the inflammation response in mouse lung tissue, as well as duck liver and spleen tissue.

Prevent breast cancer

Lab studies not involving humans suggest DIM supplements may help prevent the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.

Protect against prostate problems

One condition that can lead to prostate cancer is called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). When you have it, cells grow in your prostate, promoting cancer. DIM supplements may help prevent PIN, which can reduce your chance of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.

Studies on this benefit have been very small, and more research is needed. 

Help with weight loss

Most studies of DIM affecting weight loss have involved animals and not humans. But these studies suggest DIM supplements may cause fat breakdown and keep fat cells from forming. More research is needed.

In humans, research does show that an estrogen imbalance can increase your risk of weight gain. 

Fight acne

Research suggests DIM can help block the growth of biofilm, a growth caused by bacteria on the skin. This may reduce the formation of acne.

Reduce hot flashes

Hot flashes happen because of hormone imbalances, which is why some people take DIM to help treat them. There isn’t research to back DIM as a treatment.

Reduce PMS symptoms

Since DIM can affect the levels of estrogen in your body, it may have an effect on your period. But there’s no scientific proof that DIM supplements reduce PMS symptoms such as cramping, mood swings, and bloating.

You can get DIM from foods and supplements. 

Some of the best food sources are:

DIM supplement dosage

Because research is still limited on the benefits of DIM, there’s no recommended dose. High doses can have side effects. Some research suggests 200 milligrams may be the maximum dose to get benefit without bringing on adverse effects. Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you live with health conditions.    

DIM supplements vs. dietary intake

When you get DIM through food, you’re unlikely to experience side effects. DIM as a supplement concentrates the compound, so you may have a reaction. Studies show it to be very safe, but in small cases, DIM supplements have caused vision problems, rash, and in one case, stroke. 

Though DIM supplements are popular, there isn't enough proof of their safety and effectiveness. In fact, they may be harmful to some women. If you’re of reproductive age, estrogen is necessary to support healthy breast, bone, and endometrial tissue.

Understanding the risks. If you’re pregnant, your hormone levels are changing to support your growing baby. Altering those levels by taking DIM is dangerous for you both. DIM may also reduce the effectiveness of oral birth control medications.

After menopause, women’s bodies make less estrogen. So DIM may not have much benefit. The worst-case scenario is that DIM may further osteoporosis – thinning bones – by lowering your body’s ability to keep a healthy bone density.

All medications and supplements have a risk of interacting with one another, and DIM is no different. Always talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet. 

DIM is a compound you can get naturally from eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower or take as a supplement. Research is limited on its benefits, but it may help regulate estrogen levels in the body and prevent cancer. More studies are needed to know exactly how it helps with human health.

What does DIM do in the body?

Research suggests DIM reduces the estrogen that can cause harm in high amounts and increases the type of estrogen that helps prevent or treat cancer.

Should you take DIM every day?

In suggested doses, there doesn't seem to be any harm in taking DIM daily. But you should always talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

Does DIM increase testosterone?

It does not raise testosterone levels, but by balancing out estrogen, it helps support the activity of testosterone.