In our last post, we talked about how you can learn something about your supplement needs with current genetic sequencing technologies. In particular we are talking about why a person might want to supplement DIM or3,3-diindolylmethane. Studies have indicated that people with less than optimal gene expression for CYP enzymes that is, cytochrome P450 enzymes, can benefit from DIM supplementation. The CYP enzymes (CYP1A1 and CYP1A2) are involved in detox, estrogen conversion and conversion of EPA and DHA into beneficial biochemicals.

DIM supplementsThe next group of enzymes that can be supported by DIM are called ESR enzymes or estrogen receptor alpha. While estrogen is certainly higher in concentration in women than in men, studies indicate that estrogen and estrogen receptors are important in both sexes. In fact, cytochrome P450 which is capable of converting androgens into estrogens is present in the testes. Estrogen and ESR presence in the testes is now considered essential for normal male fertility.

But enough about men and estrogen, we know that controlling estrogen levels in women can be a tightrope walking experience. If properly controlled, you get the normal female expression: reproductive response, healthy bones, healthy heart and brain. Over production and we could be looking at breast and/or ovarian cancers.

Estrogens are small molecules built from cholesterol. This is just one reason why we get concerned when we see people on statins with low cholesterol (HDL and LDL) numbers. Unlike many receptor activating molecules, these small estrogens pass through the outer cell membrane without too much difficulty and bind to the nucleus of the cell where they make their presence known the DNA. The estrogen receptor is located next to the DNA where the dimer or estrogen and estrogen receptor complex can have maximum effect on the cell, that is at the DNA level.

Just when you think this might be getting understandable, about 150 proteins have been identified that are similar to the estrogen receptor and monitor things like Vitamin D, thyroid hormone, steroid hormones and retinoic acid. These are all small proteins like the estrogen receptor and work on the nucleus to affect 100 or so genes each.

Tamoxifen binds tightly to estrogen receptors to help minimize cell growth associated with estrogen dominated cancers.

Some studies indicated that sufficient levels of DIM actually work to slow pathological cell proliferation by estrogen stimulation. So as well as working in the liver to help balance estrogen levels, it works at the nucleus to help slow the negative effects of excess estrogens.

As with many supplements, a little is good and a lot is not better. Most recommend a couple of capsules per day, which amounts to about 200 mg. Mega dosing is not advised. Of course you can also eat your broccoli along with your DIM supplements.

Recommended DIM supplements from are Physiologics DIM and Designs For Health DIM-Evail.

For anyone who would like more information about controlling estrogen levels, please contact us today for additional resources about DIM supplements.