Diindolylmethane has risen to popularity very quickly — it’s rare to find a dietary supplement that’s equally valued by women going through the menopause and serious bodybuilders, but DIM hits that spot.
Why has DIM become so popular in the bodybuilding community recently, and what problems could it solve for you? If you are ready to get started with supplementation, what dose is optimal for bodybuilders?
What Is DIM?
Diindolylmethane, or DIM for short, is a bioactive indole that you are naturally exposed to when you eat cruciferous vegetables — like broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, watercress, radishes, horseradish, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and the list goes on. The point is, you should listen to us when we tell you there are fitness benefits to be had by eating fresh whole foods!
For the uninitiated, “bioactive” simply means that the substance has some sort of measurable affect on living tissue (like the human body, for instance), while “indole”, to keep things simple, is basically a compound.
The stuff you’ll find in crucifers is technically indole-3-carbinol, but your body converts that stuff to DIM during the digestive process, in the stomach.
DIM should be interesting to you no matter who you are. Whether you’re an aesthetics-chasing bodybuilder, a different flavor of fitness enthusiast, or even a couch potato, DIM has the potential to work wonders for your health. That’s because research has found that people who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables have a significantly lower risk of developing cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer — and DIM is to thank for that.
DIM specifically helps to reduce the development of certain cancers because it plays a role in promoting a healthy hormonal balance, namely by modulating the estrogen we’re all exposed to (yes, including men) by converting it to a healthier form of estrogen known as 2-hydroxyestrone.
If you aren’t regularly checking your hormone levels to measure overall hormonal health that is something you should consider looking into if trying to build an ultimate physique, or just as you age as your body produces less and less of key anabolic hormones.
At the same time that it is helping support healthy hormone levels, DIM also limits the effects of 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone, a “bad” type of estrogen that has been linked to fat retention, slower muscle gains, and even reduced sexual function, while limiting the role that aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen, plays in the body.
What Are DIM Supplements?
As modern science is working hard to understand what role diindolylmethane can play in the body if we consume it in larger quantities, and how it might decrease the risk of various cancers and other diseases, folks who are just discovering the potential benefits of DIM do not have to load their plates up with tons of broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts to reap the benefits.
Yes, whole foods are best but as we’ve covered before, they are not always practical, which opens to door to various types of supplements to help make up any deficits created with sub-optimal fresh food consumption.
This natural compound (DIM), which would otherwise only be created within your own body from indole-3-carbinol when you eat cruciferous vegetables, is now widely and freely available in the form of supplements as well.
DIM dietary supplements can be found on the market in the form of capsules and bulk powders, in various doses. They’re most often advertised as alleviating menopause symptoms, helping with the female reproductive condition PCOS, and fighting acne related to the menstrual cycle.
However, because DIM acts as an aromatase inhibitor, it can absolutely be beneficial to men, too. Taking a DIM supplement could potentially lead to better prostate health and help fight gynecomastia (better known as “man boobs”) which is a common side effect of hormonal imbalances and general HPTA issues associated with transitioning off or reducing dosages of common performance enhancers like SARMs or testosterone.
Despite the fact that DIM supplements have taken the health-conscious world by storm recently, it’s crucial to note that the safety and efficacy of these supplements is still very much subject to research.
WebMD, for instance, notes that taking a DIM supplement could potentially worsen osteoporosis (brittle bones) in postmenopausal women, adding that DIM supplements have not been proven to be safe for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers. The take-home message? If you’re worried, talk to a doctor before you get started with a supplement.
Diindolylmethane Benefits & Why Bodybuilders Use It
Estrogen, and specifically the bad kind of estrogen, has been a prime enemy of bodybuilders everywhere since time immemorial. Because we’ve all got this enzyme called aromatase, which converts some of our testosterone to estrogen, any time we produce more testosterone (naturally or otherwise), we also end up with higher levels of this female hormone.
That’s a problem for bodybuilders, because higher levels of estrogen:
- Force the body to hold onto fat more easily. Fat, of course, is the enemy of a perfectly chiseled physique.
- Reduce the rate at which bodybuilders can make serious muscle gains.
- Can cause serious and seriously unwanted issues with libido and sexual function, too.
None of that is news. DIM, on the other hand, offers a revolutionary and previously unavailable solution. Without needing to introduce any synthetic and potentially dangerous hormones, taking a DIM supplement can help bodybuilders and other athletes:
- Achieve a optimal hormonal balance.
- Increase strength and endurance.
- Build more muscle, faster.
- Burn fat or minimize fat gain.
- Be more motivated.
- Boost your overall health and the functioning of your immune system.
DIM supplements are an easy way to boost your levels of diindolylmethane, reducing your estrogen levels (with a focus on harmful estrogen) and causing your testosterone levels to spike. You could aim to achieve the same effects by eating a f*ckton of cruciferous veggies, but the results would be much less predictable.
What’s the Ideal Dose of DIM for Bodybuilders?
Most manufacturers recommend that consumers take between 150 and 200 mg of diindolylmethane per day — but then again, most of the buyers are premenopausal women or guys who want to protect their prostate health.
In bodybuilding circles, this same dose is generally recommended for women. Male bodybuilders could, on the other hand, up their dose to 200 to 300 mg of DIM supplementation per day.
If you’re planning to maximize your results at the gym with the help of a daily DIM supplement, you should, however, consider the potential side effects as well. Although diindolylmethane is generally considered safe (and it comes from foods that nobody in their right mind would deem dangerous), taking excessively high doses of 300 mg and up has been linked to gastrointestinal issues as well as splitting headaches according to the forums and a few gym rats I asked.
For this reason, bodybuilders and other workout enthusiasts who are considering trying a DIM supplement may want to start at a lower dose of 150 mg per day, and slowly work their way up from there.
^I’ve used RSP Labs DIM containing supplement at 250mg and didn’t notice any side effects at 200lbs and moderately lean body composition.
Whenever it comes to introducing a new supplement or performance enhancer to your routine, whether it be 100% natural like DIM, or naturally-derived like turkesterone, or even synthesized like in the case of SARMs, it is ALWAYS best to start with lower doses and increase slowly should everything go good.
The reason for this is because every persons biology, hormone levels, and organic composition is slightly different, so someone with minimal body fat and low overall weight who is hyper responsive may benefit from half the amount of DIM as someone who is 200+ pounds and is generally not very sensitive to supplementation.
Best DIM Supplements for Bodybuilding
There are a lot of DIM supplements available on Amazon and Bodybuilding.com and naturally, they’re marketed towards men, women, in pill form, powder form, in pure form, and mixed with other hormone supporting ingredients.
Choosing the best DIM supplement for yourself will be dependent on your goals. If you’ve never tried it then it’s probably best not to waste a bunch of money and just get one bottle with a moderate dosage (200mg capsules seems most common) like that offered by Smoky Mountain Naturals to try it out.
Once you’ve found success or if you’ve tried DIM in the past and know it works for you then there are bulk powder options like BulkSupplements.com too that will save you money.
Lastly there are formulas designed by bodybuilding supplement brands that are targeted specifically towards bodybuilders and include a host of other hormone boosting ingredients like vitamin D, Zinc, DAA (D-aspartic acid), boron citrate, and Bioperine for better bioavailability.
RSP Nutrition’s Prime T is probably one of the most well known and oldest suppliers of natural testosterone support supplements containing 250mg of DIM per serving and is the brand I used after my enobosarm and ibutamoren mini cycle a few years ago with success. Likewise Evlution Nutrition’s EVLTest has a similar ingredient list and is also a trusted brand within the community.
If you’ve tried DIM and it gives you headaches (common side effect) then TestoFuel is a more common consumer brand that has similar ingredient profiles to the two above-mentioned bodybuilding supplement brands minus the DIM.
Oh boy, I was interested in DIM but by the end of this article I was recommended testosterone boosters and everyone knows those are snake oils and a waste of money, right?
Skinny Yoked Summary
Well, not really. As outlined at the beginning of this guide DIM actually does help keep estrogen in check which does help keep testosterone levels elevated, naturally.
In this sense, as a supplement that “boosts” testosterone (within normal physiological ranges) is actually a legitimate product with a legitimate effect.
The problem that occurs is people read “test booster” and automatically assume it’s the same as anabolic steroids and will “boost” testosterone levels through the roof to supernatural levels that no human body could produce naturally on its own.
Naturally, when you are expecting anabolic effects from a natural supplement you are bound to be let down because that’s not the purpose. The purpose of supplements like DIM are to boost your testosterone to the peak of it’s naturally occurring levels, which most people don’t operate at with poorly optimized diets, routines, and/or lack of adequate recovery.
If you’re looking to give yourself a natural kick and try to normalize hormone levels naturally DIM is a great place to start. If you are feeling more significant negative impacts of chronically inadequate hormone levels you should immediately consult with your physician as there’s only so much natural supplements can do.
Last update on 2021-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API