Estrogen’s reputation is as a female hormone. Likewise, when we talk about healthy estrogen metabolism, women and female fertility health come to mind. While women do produce and require more estrogen than men, men do in fact also produce estrogen, but at specific levels for healthy male fertility. Men can also have too much estrogen, resulting in their bodies needing support to properly metabolize it. That is where DIM, diindolylmethane, can come into play.
Estrogen’s Role for Men
A man’s liver and adipose tissue (fat) convert some of his testosterone into estrogen for the purpose of maintaining and regulating:
- sexual (erectile) function and libido
- the process by which sperm matures
- healthy body fat production
- lean muscle mass
- bone density (just as estrogen does for women)
The Challenges of Excess Estrogen for Men
For men, excess estrogen can cause: hormonal imbalance, low/lack of libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of seminal fluid, breast tissue/cell growth and enlargement of the prostate gland, ED or erectile dysfunction, infertility, and elevated PSA (Prostate-specific antigen hormone) which is often an indicator of prostate cancer.
Estrogen dominance in men can be a result of:
- exposure to
– xenoestrogen chemicals from pesticides and herbicides used in growing conventional food crops
– petroleum-based lifestyle (cleaning, automotive) and conventional body-care products
– estrogen therapy, or steroid use
- having an elevated body mass index or BMI
- dietary deficiencies (lacking fresh vegetables, grains and fiber in the diet)
- inherited risk from one’s parents/grandparents for estrogen-related cancers
What is DIM & How Can It Help Men?
DIM is a nutrient isolated from cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. It becomes available to the body after digestion of Indol-3-carbinol (I3C) in the foods just mentioned.
DIM is an activator of estrogen metabolism. DIM promotes the breakdown and synthesis of estrogen within the body. It helps the human body reduce its levels of “bad” exogenous estrogen, in turn increasing “good” endogenous estrogen.
“DIM is the bioactive compound which helps defend women and men against estrogen’s adverse metabolites… The mechanism by which DIM induces its beneficial actions has been shown to involve a reduction in estrogen receptors activity, promotion of synthesis of healthy estrogen metabolites and support for selective cells apoptosis, which removes damaged or sick cells…“ Jaroslava Wendlová, Ph.D. shares in the Journal of Integrative Nephrology and Andrology
Scientific literature and clinical studies have clearly demonstrated and documented the ability of cruciferous vegetables to influence estrogen metabolism in humans (mostly women). While there is little scientific research on the impact of DIM on ED and male infertility, there are “…clinical studies with I3C and DIM that showed effectiveness in restoring physiological estrogen metabolism in estrogen-dependent diseases…”, many practitioners feel it can benefit men as much as women, especially because DIM has been proven non-toxic with no adverse effects.
DIM for Men
DIM has the ability to not only reduce excess exogenous (“bad”) estrogen in men, it can also support:
- hormonal balance and in turn mood, libido and fat-burning metabolism
- a decrease in the symptoms of estrogen dominance
- protect cellular (sperm) health
How to Use DIM
The therapeutic dose of DIM that most experts recommend is 100 to 200 mg each day.
Along with eating cruciferous vegetables each day as a part of your Male Fertility Diet, consider a DIM supplement. This is necessary because it will be hard to consume enough cruciferous vegetables in order to get just 10-30 mg of DIM daily. Fact: To get just 10-30 mg of DIM, you would have to eat one-and-a-half pounds of cruciferous vegetables! Click here to see a product to help you meet that recommendation…
Given the standard American diet adopted by many cultures, the likelihood of repeated exposure to xenohormones, rates of obesity, and how all of these factors contribute to male-factor infertility just as they do female infertility, it may be worth considering DIM alongside dietary and lifestyle changes to support male fertility health.
– 8 Surprising High Estrogen Symptoms in Men. (2015, October 03). Retrieved from http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/8-surprising-high-estrogen-symptoms-in-men/
– Facts About DIM and Men’s Health – Whole World Botanicals. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wholeworldbotanicals.com/facts-about-dim-and-mens-health/
– Wendlov, J., (2013-11-25). Progression of the erectile dysfunction in the population and the possibilities of its regression with bioregeneration. Slovak Medical Association, Slovak Bioregenerative Medicine Association. (pp. 493). Neuroendocrinol Lett 2013;34 (6):482–497 Retrieved from: http://www.nel.edu/archive_issues/o/34_6/34_6_Wendlova_482-497.pdf
– Wendlov, J., (2015/1/1). Scientific medicine in integrative treatment of erectile dysfunction. Journal of Integrative Nephrology and Andrology. J Integr Nephrol Androl (5:18, 2-1). Retrieved from: http://www.journal-ina.com/article.asp?issn=2394-2916;year=2015;volume=2;issue=1;spage=5;epage=18;aulast=Wendlov%E1;t=5. DOI: 10.4103/2225-1243.149992
– Zeligs, M., & Connelly, S. (2014, August 14). The Benefits of DIM. Retrieved from http://fortwaynephysicalmedicine.com/blog/the-benefits-of-dim