Men who look for natural treatments and supplements will find DIM for prostatitis treatment. DIM (diindolylmethane) is a phytonutrient (plant nutrient) and antioxidant that many men take for supporting prostate health and hormone management. DIM’s precursor is indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient found in high levels in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, and cauliflower. Significant amounts of DIM are released in the body when gastric acid acts on I3C during digestion. Aging 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.
Men may take DIM to help with prostate size by balancing hormones. This supplement promotes and supports the metabolism of estrogen.
Even though hormones are not directly related to prostatitis, hormones do have an effect on an aging prostate, which can cause urinary symptoms such as:
- nighttime urination,
- urinary urgency,
- urinary retention,
- urinary hesitation, and
- more frequent urination.
DIM has been found to be helpful to men who want to manage their urinary symptoms and inflammation. Since men with prostatitis may experience the same symptoms, many men with inflammation or urinary symptoms take DIM for prostatitis treatment.
So why don’t men just eat cruciferous vegetables to manage their prostatitis? While eating vegetable is a great move for prostate health, you would have to eat two pounds a day of raw vegetables to get the amount of DIM in a supplement, and that is not easy to do or an affordable plan when you can simply take two capsules. But keep eating those vegetables too!
DIM for Prostatitis treatment — Does It Work?
Much of the research on DIM is on cancer (such as prostate cancer) and enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia—BPH) rather than on prostatitis. Men with BPH often have urinary symptoms that can be similar to those of men with prostatitis.
Since the 1970s, researchers have noted that disrupted estrogen metabolism is closely linked to prostate health risks. Because DIM has been shown to help promote and regulate more efficient metabolism of estrogen, it is a supplement that promotes better overall prostate health.
DIM has been identified as being potentially beneficial for men who have BPH. A safety study of both I3C and DIM found that taking a supplement with absorbable DIM resulted in improved prostate function, based on reducing nighttime urination in older men with symptoms of BPH. (Zeligs)
One way that DIM helps fight prostatitis is in fighting 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 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
Taking DIM for prostatitis treatment in supplement form is 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 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. Taking DIM may cause a harmless urine discoloration, which can be avoided by drinking more water. Talk to your doctor if you are on a cancer treatment regimen. DIM may react with certain cancer medications.
References for DIM for Prostatitis Treatment:
Zeligs MA. The cruciferous choice: diindolylmethane or I3C?
Zeligs MA. Phytochemicals for promoting weight loss. US Patent #6,534,085, 2003, March.