DIM-New Thoughts on an Old Story

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Every so often new science and developments cause doctors, scientists and yes, coaches, to take pause for further consideration of something we were rock solid on. For 30 years we have relied on a theory that we have good and bad estrogen. We have also come to rely on the supplement Diindolylmethane (DIM), a phytonutrient and plant indole that was thought to help convert the bad to the good, or at least that is the short of it.  However, new research presented by Dr Jacob Schor, pokes some serious holes in these theories.  Estrogen Metabolite Ratios: Time for Us To Let Go.  While this is not good news for those of us with breast cancer, it is research worthy of our consideration.  I have been recommending DIM and I have been taking DIM, so Dr Schor certainly has my attention.

The connection between breast cancer and estrogen has been recognized for over a hundred years. However, breast cancer is not just about estrogen, and honestly, the critic in me now has some major questions involving the entire estrogen theory.  At this point there is still solid (for now) evidence suggesting that a higher level of 4 hydroxyestrone can result in increased risk of breast cancer. However, even in this exhaustive and convincing paper, Estrogen and the Risk of Breast Cancer, there is  the following statement: “Studies of the relation between serum estrogen concentrations and the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women have had conflicting results, most likely because the measurements were made at various times during the menstrual cycle….” and the author makes a few similar comments.  Actually this paper is really worth the read and leaves the door open to challenge the estrogen theory.  I do realize that this paper is somewhat dated, but if you look at many of the studies referred to by Schor, it all starts someplace.  Still, for now we will go with the estrogen-fuels- breast cancer theory.

Keep in mind that there are many natural ways to manage estrogen, and even more importantly, estrogen is a substance natural and necessary to the human body; it is not all bad and cancer is not all about estrogen.   Further, it’s a matter of balance.  When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, they dance.  Without balance, there is trouble.

Please continue with your anti-cancer lifestyle.  Avoid exposure to xenoestrogens; a known villain. Eat your anti-estrogen foods and progesterone supportive foods as needed. For every bit of research that says diet doesn’t matter, there is equal or more that says it does. Besides, the alternative to eating well is eating poorly, which cannot be good for anything.

We don’t have all the answers when it comes to the mechanics of foods and supplements. If a compound has the research and can’t hurt, go with your gut.  Often when you isolate one compound and study it this way, the results are not always reliable…the synergy is lost—hence we get conflicting results which leads to more uncertainty. In other words, question everything, but use common sense.

You are right, Dr Schor: “Sometimes you’ve just got to admit when you are wrong and move on. It is past time that we let this particular idea go”.  So, I was wrong.  Thank you Dr Schor, I will move on and eagerly await further reports.

I also want to thank Marnie Clark for bringing awareness of this paper to the community; information that was brought to me by one of my clients seeking clarity.  This is one of the many things I enjoy about my work—the open exchange of information. I don’t have all the answers, but I like to stay on top of the research; I love to report back to my readers.  So, thank you all for sharing.

Here’s another good read on the subject: Estrogen Metabolite Ratio Testing: Is It Worthwhile?

And then of course, here’s one to enjoy: Estrogen Does NOT Cause Breast Cancer: Debunking the Common Myths About the Hormone

*********Please read this update**********

DIM: A Bright New View on Cancer Management 



~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She mentors women who are coping with issues of well-being associated with breast cancer and its aftermath; she is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health and more and has contributed to Breast Cancer Answers as well as written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Natural Healing-Natural Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, and other publications and newsletters. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

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  1. […] Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a phytonutrient and plant indole found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, with many powerful anticancer properties. Dim also promotes estrogen metabolism.  Estrogen can be metabolized in two different pathways in the liver, which results in two different kinds of estrogen, “good” and “bad” estrogen. “Good” estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream there they cause many of the benefits estrogen provides, such as prevention of heart disease, and strong, healthy bones. “Bad” estrogen, in large quantities, can result in many health problems including autoimmune disorders, breast cancer, cervical dysplasia, fibroid tumors, magnesium deficiency, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and zinc deficiency. ***Please read the following article for an update on DIM, posted April 8th 2013. DIM-New Thoughts on an Old Story. […]

  2. […] Being the good breast cancer blogger (and coach) that Elyn Jacobs obviously is, she felt compelled to share that information on her blog today: DIM – New Thoughts On An Old Story. […]

  3. […] April I wrote about the use of DIM (diindolylmethane) with respect to Estrogen Metabolite Ratios (DIM-New Thoughts on an Old Story). New research by Dr Jacob Schor indicated that maybe we shouldn’t be using the estrogen […]

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