I don’t know about you but back in my younger years, I hated vegetables. When my mom served greens for dinner, I’d always complain saying, “why do I have to eat goat food when we have bacon on the fridge?” She then turns on the TV and when Popeye was on, she’d use him as an example why it’s so important to eat my veggies. Of course, I’d believe her. I was just an innocent kid back then.
It wasn’t until I got older that I recognized how important green leafies really are to a healthy nutrition. My moment of awakening was also due to my realization that the food I used to loathe as a child has the potential to make me an even manlier man. Today’s research review is centered around a testosterone boosting compound found in a lot of vegetables. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Diindolymethane (DIM).
WHY TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE DIINDOLYLMETHANE
It wasn’t very clear to me how Popeye beat the crap out of Bruno after he indulged himself in a can of spinach. All I knew back then was that if he ate his vegetables, he would somehow get stronger. Apparently though, now that I’m older, I realized that there was a lesson to be learned and truth to my childhood favorite cartoon. What probably made him stronger wasn’t the Spinach per se but the DIM that was stored inside of it. So, what exactly is DIM?
What is Diindolylmethane (DIM)?
Diindolylmethane or DIM for short, is a phytonutrient derived from plants and is mostly seen in cruciferous vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower among many others. On a molecular level, Diindolylmethane shares a similar characteristic to estrogen but bare in mind that it is not an estrogen nor is it even a hormone. Like estrogen, however, DIM is a poorly soluble compound in water and is metabolized by the same enzymes that metabolize estrogen.
This is where the manly and health benefits of DIM lie. The similarities in the metabolic pathway of Diindolylmethane and estrogen overlap with each other, therefore disrupting the flow of estrogen metabolism.
In testosterone boosters, DIM is used in this very specific reason – to control the production of estrogen and promote a healthy internal metabolic and hormonal environment that’s optimal for our manly testosterone. Let’s check some research.
STUDIES ON DIINDOLYLMETHANE SUGGEST:
Before I start, there’s something I need to to let you know about Diindolylmethane. The research surrounding this compound are pretty sketchy because they’re mostly done on women. Not to say that female oriented research is bad but for use as an ingredient in a supplement industry that’s mostly centered on male health, I think this is a concern. That said, although these researches are mostly done on women, the results may hold promise for male health.
Diminish aromatase expression
A research was done to compare the modulation of the aromatase gene by cabbage juices and its active compounds I3C and DIM. As I’ve already discussed, DIM is an active phytonutrient derived from cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage. What I didn’t discuss yet, though, is the relation between and I3C and DIM so allow me to discuss this real quick before we start with the research.
DIM vs. I3C
I3C as an abbreviated term for Indole-3-Carbinol. Technically speaking, I3C is DIM’s precursor. Both are also known to be beneficial to estrogen regulation. However, if I had to choose, my bet would be on Diindolylmethane. After eating your vegetables, the flow goes like this.
- I3C is extracted from those vegetables
- Through our body’s digestion, I3C is then converted to DIM
You see, DIM is the second leg of the process so supplementing with it is like skipping a step. Additionally, Indole-3-carbinol remains inactive and useless to estrogen metabolism before it converts to Diindolylmethane. I’m not saying I3C doesn’t have any benefits, though. It just takes a longer time to take effect.
Now that that’s over with, let’s circle back to the research. The study states that the cabbage juice, I3C, and DIM had “remarkable differences” in the effect it had on aromatase. Of the three, however, the researchers also said that “I3C and DIM were more efficient in decreasing the aromatase expression”.
Modulate estrogen metabolism
A research studied the antiestrogenic activity of 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM). The research was conducted by administering 300 mg of DIM for 14 days on women. Urine samples were then taken pre and post DIM supplementation. After 14 days, DIM was already detectable in urine which the scientists then analyzed. In the words of the researchers themselves, here are the results:
- DIM modulated estrogen metabolism
- Increase in the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrones (C-2) to 16α-hydroxyestrone (C-16)
I know that sounds scientific so let me simplify it for you. When a compound shows antiestrogenic activity, there will a rise in C2 as compared to C16. This is consistent with the researchers findings showing an increase in the C2:C16 ratio and consequently suggesting that DIM “can potentially serve as an antiestrogenic dietary supplement”.
Yup. You read that right. Diindolylmethane is an androgen antagonist. And for those of you who didn’t know, androgens are the manly hormones (testosterone included) that make us men. In this research though, the focus isn’t on testosterone but on DHT – an even manlier hormone than testosterone.
As the results of the study suggest, “DIM exhibits potent antiproliferative and antiandrogenic properties”. Diindolylmethane does this by suppressing cell proliferation and inhibiting dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stimulation of DNA synthesis. Also in the study, “DIM inhibited androgen-induced androgen receptor (AR) translocation”. This is because DIM is a strong competitor to androgen binding receptors.
These all sound really bad. I know. However, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Although this research may be contradicting the first two promising ones, it also has clinical value. As it is, Diindolylmethane may help in certain cases with excessive levels of DHT that older men are prone to such as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH).
How Do I Take DIINDOLYLMETHANE?
This one’s actually pretty tricky to figure out for a couple of reasons. First, the researches are on women so it’s impossible for someone like me to gauge how much exactly works for men. Second, some researches even contradict each other. That last one I just referenced to, however, did say that DIM’s androgenic inhibition was done “in a concentration-dependent manner”. This actually helps.
I found some testosterone boosters use upwards of 100 mg Diindolylmethane but being that the androgen inhibition is dose dependent, I honestly wouldn’t recommend this much because it could be counterproductive. Also, our bodies might only be able to absorb as much as 60 mg so there’s really no point in taking more.
My personal take on this is another cliche. For DIM, less is more. Well, kind of. Not to the point where you take just 1 mg but somewhere around 30 mg should be optimal.
I know you’re still a little confused to let me summarize those 3 researches for you. Diindolylmethane (DIM) can work for testosterone in some ways. It could remarkably lower the expression of aromatase, leading to lower levels of estrogen. It could also improve the ratio of “good” estrogen (2-hydroxyestrones) to “bad” estrogen (16α-hydroxyestrone). The “bad” estrogen is the testosterone killer whereas the “good” estrogen has a stronger affinity to SHBG, leading to more “free” testosterone.
However, DIM at certain cases can also be counterproductive and lower the levels of androgens. Moreover, it’s technically a women’s supplement. Therefore, as of right now, I personally can’t tell you that Diindolylmethane is a reliable supplement to add to your stack. For now that there still isn’t any strong evidence on the use of DIM for men wanting to boost testosterone, I say just stick to the lower doses to be safe.
TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS THAT USE DIINDOLYLMETHANE
- Super Male T – A futuristic testosterone booster utilizing in DIM in its prop blend
- TestoFX Loaded – 5-stage male testosterone booster with a trademarked brand of NovalDIM
- Test HD – Supplies Diindolylmethane via Broccoli powder
- Blade Test Booster 1.0 – A powerful but cheap testosterone booster using 50 mg of DIM
- Nugenix Estro Regulator – Specifically made for estrogen regulation, this has DIM dosed at a heavy 100 mg