DIM for Prostatitis
What Is DIM?
DIM (diindolylmethane) is a phytonutrient and antioxidant. The precurser to DIM is indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient found in high levels in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower. Significant amounts of DIM are released in the body when gastric acid acts on I3C during digestion. Men often take I3C and DIM to promote metabolism of estrogen into a weaker factor called 2-hydroxyestrone, which can help protect the prostate tissue from inflammation and help manage estrogen-related conditions, such as cancer. However, DIM, which is also an indole, has been identified as the safest and most active and effective of the two indoles and is easier to absorb.
DIM can help men with prostate size by balancing hormones. It promotes and supports estrogen metabolism. While hormones are not directly related to prostatitis, they do have an effect on an aging prostate, which can cause urinary symptoms such as nighttime urination, dribbling, urinary urgency, and more frequent urination. DIM has been found to be helpful with urinary symptoms, which may help men with prostatitis who may experience the same symptoms.
DIM for Prostatitis—Does It Work?
Much of the research on DIM is on cancer (such as prostate cancer) and enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia—BPH). Men with BPH often have urinary symptoms than can be similar to those of men with prostatitis.
DIM has been identified as being potentially beneficial for men who have BPH. A safety study of both I3C and DIM found that supplementation with absorbable DIM resulted in reports of improved prostate function, based on a reduction in nighttime urination, in older men with symptoms of BPH. (Zeligs)
DIM also helps fight prostatitis because it fights inflammation in the body. Many of the causes of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) involve inflammation that may or may not be related to the prostate itself. Inflammation in the body makes it harder to fight pain. DIM is considered a Tier 2 supplement for prostatitis, meaning that DIM has significant clinical studies and research on it.
Uses and Side Effects of DIM
DIM supplements are convenient because you would have to eat pounds of cruciferous vegetables to get as much benefit of DIM as you can get in taking a dietary supplement. DIM for prostatitis is safe and well tolerated. Men who are at a normal healthy weight should take 100 mg of DIM per day. Larger men can take 200 mg per day. Larger does of 300 mg and over can cause side effects such as headaches and gastrointestinal distress. Talk to your doctor if you are on a cancer treatment regimen. DIM may react with certain cancer medications.
References for DIM for Prostatitis:
Zeligs MA. The cruciferous choice: diindolylmethane or I3C?
Zeligs MA. Phytochemicals for promoting weight loss. US Patent #6,534,085, 2003, March.