DIM, which is commonly associated with its sister compound indole-3-carbinol, is easily one of the most promising supplements for female hormonal problems.
DIM is a unique supplement: its speciality is making existing estrogen less harmful, by changing unhealthy estrogen metabolites into much safer ones. It helps the liver to remove 16-hydroxyestrone from the bloodstream, and replace it with the beneficial 2-hydroxyestrone.
Despite not even reducing estrogen overall, DIM can successfully lower the side effects of high estrogen, including mood swings, menstrual cramps, and fatigue. DIM may even clear acne; toxic estrogen metabolites may create pimples by causing inflammation and depleting your precious antioxidant supplies.
Women worldwide are reporting in with ecstatic testimonials from DIM supplements. Its effects are still not fully understood, but DIM has big potential. But which is the best brand?
Firstly, there’s two different forms of this supplement: diindolylmethane (DIM), and indole-3-carbinol (I3C). DIM is actually a metabolite of indole 3 carbinol, a healthy by-product which is released during I3C’s digestion. I3C itself is a glucosinolate, a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables and the parent compound of DIM, with ecstatic testimonials of its own. Both DIM and indole-3-carbinol are popular for their anti-estrogenic effects.
Secondly, always stick with the recommended dosage of DIM, and monitor your body closely for side effects, which may include headaches, nausea and vomiting. Follow the guidelines I set out at the end of this scientific article on DIM. Consult a doctor before using this supplement.
For a shortcut, Pure Encapsulations and Smoky Mountain Naturals are the ultimate brands here.
Let’s get started:
One – Smoky Mountain Naturals
Smoky Mountain Naturals is a dedicated DIM supplement, perfect for maximising the hormonal benefits. Like every brand on this list, Smoky Mountain Naturals is pure; the only additives are vegetable cellulose and organic brown rice concentrate, the latter as a harmless filler, the former for the vegan capsule. There’s no soy, magnesium stearate, nor croscarmellose to be found.
Even better, Smoky Mountain Naturals contains a bonus 2.5mg of BioPerine per capsule, to enhance the DIM’s absorption into the digestive system, and ultimately enhance its benefits. The product is also manufactured in the USA, rather than China or India, with the factory complying with the Good Manufacturing Practises code.
The dosage is also top quality: this DIM contains 60 capsules of 200mg, for a highly affordable price. The recommended dosage is 1 capsule daily, giving you a 2 month period to test DIM and discover whether it’s right for you. Smoky Mountain Naturals even has a lifetime refund guarantee, while the capsules are normal sized and easy to swallow.
If DIM is the right supplement for you, Smoky Mountain Naturals is the perfect brand.
Amazon link: Smoky Mountain Naturals DIM Supplement.
Two – aSquared Nutrition
Why take DIM over I3C? The answer is simple: while I3C has numerous promising metabolites when digested, DIM is the metabolite with the most proven benefits. With DIM, you skip right to the estrogen regulating, potentially acne-clearing benefits. You can also use a lower dosage than with I3C, because DIM forms only a portion of I3C’s natural metabolites.
The ingredients list is extremely pure, with only gelatin and rice powder being added. ASquared Nutrition is also among the most trusted brands, with excellent resveratrol and milk thistle products too; you can be confident that the dosage is as strong as advertised.
You receive 200 capsules and a 3 month supply for an affordable price, while aSquared Nutrition is also manufactured in the USA and free from magnesium stearate and soy.
For an isolated DIM supplement, aSquared Nutrition succeeds in every way.
Amazon link: aSquared Nutrition Pure DIM Max Strength.
Three – Thorne Research
Firstly, the supplement itself is of supreme quality. The dosage is a potent 200mg per capsule. The additives are all safe: hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, leucine and silicon dioxide. It’s made in the USA, free from magnesium stearate, and excellent value for money, delivering 60 capsules for an affordable price.
But why would you take indole-3-carbinol over DIM? There’s three main arguments. Firstly, the promising anti-estrogen studies in the 1990s began with whole indole-3-carbinol, rather than its metabolite DIM.
Secondly, indole-3-carbinol breaks down into several other metabolites after reacting with digestive enzymes, including ICZ and NI3C, both of which have mysterious but promising hormonal powers of their own. DIM is the most famous metabolite, but indole-3-carbinol could be more complex and more rewarding.
Finally, indole-3-carbinol is more natural, closer to the whole compound in broccoli. Indole-3-carbinol could have undiscovered co-factors and enzymes, which aid the metabolite DIM in its mission, but are lacking when DIM is taken in isolation.
Both sides have persuasive arguments, but if you favour the natural I3C route, Thorne Research is the brand for you.
Amazon link: Thorne Research Indole-3-Carbinol.
Four – Nutricost
BioPerine is a patented extract of black pepper, an extract which is standardised to consist of 95% piperine. Piperine is an alkaloid which has been demonstrated in numerous studies to increase the bioavailability of nutrients in the human digestive system. The turmeric antioxidant curcumin, for example, is 2000% more bioavailable when combined with piperine.
Thanks to this ingenious move, Nuricost may be much more bioavailable and effective than less intelligently formulated products on the market. Nutricost is perfect in other respects too. The dosage is a high 300mg per capsule, with 120 capsules in the bottle. The only additives are the harmless vegetable capsule, rice flour, and silicon dioxide.
This is a pure supplement of DIM, rather than indole-3-carbinol. Nutricost is even made in the USA and free from soy and magnesium stearate. Somehow, this greatness all comes with an affordable price tag.
Nutricost is a particularly affordable, yet particularly effective DIM supplement brand.
Amazon link: Nutricost DIM with BioPerine (Diindolylmethane).
Five – Jazzee Naturals
A particularly special DIM formulation. This DIM in Jazzee Naturals is as powerful as any, with 250mg per capsule for a strong hormone-regulating dosage. This is a pure DIM, rather than a DIM/I3C combo. However, Jazzee Naturals also contains 100mg of broccoli extract per capsule, alongside 10mg of BioPerine for optimal absorption.
Combining DIM with broccoli is an excellent idea, because DIM’s parent compound I3C is found in broccoli, in one of the highest levels. Furthermore, I3C will provide other estrogen-controlling metabolites, and broccoli itself may have other hormone-regulating compounds; it’s one of the best foods for regulating estrogen overall, and whether it’s solely down to the I3C content is unknown.
Plus, broccoli and its extract contain vitamin C, antioxidants, and sulforaphane, a unique compound which lowers inflammation and aids glutathione formation. Jazzee Naturals passes every other test too; its only additives are cellulose and organic acacia powder. The capsule count is 120 for a 4 month supply, while Jazzee Naturals is manufactured in the USA. Finally, the 10mg dosage of piperine is particularly high.
Jazzee Naturals is a unique DIM supplement, and a highly promising one.
Amazon link: Jazzee Naturals DIM 250mg per Capsule.
Six – Energetic Nutrition
BioResponse contains multiple ingredients: DIM itself, starch, silica, d-alpha tocopheryl succinate, and phosphatidylcholine. The main touted feature is BioResponse DIM’s much higher bioavailability, and a mouse study provided some evidence, with 150% greater bioavailability compared to crystallised DIM. Studies which have only been detailed in grand scientific conferences have also reported on greater bioavailability.
On the other hand, Energetic Nutrition contains a weaker dosage, with 75mg per capsule, and BioResponse DIM also contains some synthetic vitamin E. Energetic Nutrition succeeds in all other respects though: its ingredients list is pure, reading microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable cellulose (capsule), and vegetarian leucine.
The bottle contains 120 capsules, for a 4 month supply. Additionally, several of the great studies on DIM happened to test BioResponse DIM, and observed all of the great improvements in estrogen metabolism you would expect.
If you want to experiment with a potentially more bioavailable DIM, Energetic Nutrition is promising.
Amazon link: Energetic Nutrition DIMPRO BioResponse DIM.
Seven – Pure Encapsulations
There’s only two additives in this brand, the same pure additives list as most Pure Encapsulations supplements: hypoallergenic plant fiber (cellulose), and the vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water). The indole-3-carbinol itself is pure and well-sourced, and the dosage is a strong 200mg per capsule.
It doesn’t end there; if you’ve used Pure Encapsulations before, you’ll immediately notice the packaging, which looks different to their usual silver containers. What’s changed? They’ve intelligently packaged the indole-3-carbinol in a dark, glass jar for protection against UV radiation, demonstrating just how much expertise they have.
The capsules are also normal sized, at 0.75 inches, while each bottle contains 60 capsules, for a proper testing period.
Pure Encapsulations is even gluten-free certified. It doesn’t get much purer than this. Every product Pure Encapsulations makes is rigorously rested by a third party laboratory, for heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium and lead. Their herbal ingredients are even tested for 70 different pesticides. Note that Pure Encapsulations recommends that you store their I3C in your fridge.
Pure Encapsulations is the greatest pure indole-3-carbinol supplement available today.
Amazon link: Pure Encapsulations Indole-3-Carbinol.
Eight – Mental Refreshment Nutrition
Mental Refreshment Nutrition almost matches Smoky Mountain Naturals in its purity and power. Each capsule contains 100mg, but with 200 capsules per bottle, Mental Refreshment Nutrition advises you to take 2 daily, equating to 200mg daily. The only additives are the harmless gelatin and rice powder.
Mental Refreshment Nutrition is also made in the USA, strictly following the Good Manufacturing Practises code, and has a 30 day money back guarantee. The only downside with Mental Refreshment Nutrition compared with Smoky Mountain Naturals is that it lacks any piperine for enhanced absorption.
Another question which needs answering is why you should take a supplement at all – why not just eat vegetables? From strongest to weakest, some examples figures include mustard greens (282mg), brussel sprouts (236mg), kale (100mg), broccoli (61mg) and cauliflower (44mg), per 100mg. However, those figures are for the overall glucosinolate content, rather than I3C specifically (which is a type of glucosinolate). Therefore, the I3C dosages are far too low compared to the 200mg per serving found in Mental Refreshment Nutrition.
Furthermore, vegetables only contain whole indole-3-carbinol, rather than isolated DIM. Broccoli and brussel sprouts are your allies for topping up your DIM/I3C intake, or for some decent estrogen regulation if you have no desire to take a supplement.
Mental Refreshment Nutrition is ideal for a pure and focussed DIM with no fancy bonuses.
Amazon link: Mental Refreshment DIM 100mg, 200 Capsules.
Nine – We Like Vitamins
Like Mental Refreshment Nutrition, We Like Vitamins contains 200 capsules of 100mg, and recommends taking 2 daily for a strong 200mg dosage. The additives list is empty, reading gelatin and rice powder. Rice powder is a filler which beats the unhealthy corn flour easily, while gelatin is a capsule material derived from animal protein.
We Like Vitamins is free from magnesium stearate, like every brand listed here. What’s the optimal dosage for a DIM supplement in general? The dosages on the brands are correct – one of the best DIM studies of recent times used 300mg daily, and achieved a strong shift towards beneficial estrogen metabolites after 14 days. 100mg to 300mg daily is the way forward, and We Like Vitamins delivers.
That study also reveals the optimal timespan, with 14 days sufficient for the metabolites to shift and for a reasonable guess, maybe another 2 weeks being required for reduced inflammation to show up on the skin. A happier mood and extra energy caused by the improved estrogen profile could show up more quickly, so overall, being patient for 3 weeks is a good idea. With a 3 month supply, We Like Vitamins easily succeeds.
Last but not least, We Like Vitamins is manufactured in the USA, in a GMP-compliant factory. The company also sells a top quality rhodiola rosea, for your stress-reducing needs.
We Like Vitamins is one of the best DIM supplements in the whole world.
Amazon link: We Like Vitamins Diindolylmethane DIM Supplement.
Ten – Vitamonk
Vitamonk consists of 250mg of pure indole-3-carbinol per capsule, to provide DIM and each estrogen-controlling metabolite in the most natural manner. An advantage is a mild flavour; with other I3C brands, some reviewers complain of overly strong smelling capsules. The capsules themselves are normal sized and easy to swallow.
Vitamonk’s additives are the harmless white rice flour, silicon dioxide, and vegetable cellulose, making Vitamonk a vegan brand too. Vitamonk is also made in the USA and in a GMP certified factory. For pure indole-3-carbinol, there are few better brands out there.
Returning to the I3C vs DIM debate, there’s a couple of false arguments you need to know about. For example, one theorised problem of indole 3 carbinol is its massive instability in the human body, and the fact that it vanishes quickly after being eaten, but that’s the whole point. By its nature, indole-3-carbinol quickly metabolises into DIM and several other promising compounds like ICZ.
It’s also claimed that I3C’s inherent instability will cause any supplement, including Vitamonk, to break down and become useless at room temperature, but that can be prevented by keeping it in a cool and dark cupboard, or the fridge, away from oxidising UV radiation. With Pure Encapsulations I3C, you even have a protective bottle made from dark glass. The most important arguments in this debate are the ones we’ve already discussed.
Pure Encapsulations is the greatest indole-3-carbinol supplement, but Vitamonk is also of excellent quality.
Amazon link: IndoleMAX™ – #1 Indole-3-Carbinol Supplement by VitaMonk.
Our work is done. You now have 10 excellent supplement brands for improving your estrogen metabolites and calming all sorts of hormonal problems. The whole subject of DIM and estrogen metabolites is still mysterious, giving you the potential either to fail miserably, or succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
For DIM, Smoky Mountain Naturals is the ultimate brand. For indole-3-carbinol, Pure Encapsulations cannot be beaten. For a blend of DIM and broccoli extract, Jazzee Naturals is interesting.
Which is better? Indole-3-carbinol itself doesn’t achieve anything; it’s the metabolites which do the work, and DIM is the best researched one. But indole-3-carbinol digestion produces multiple metabolites, with one estimate saying that DIM comprises only 6% of them, and could have natural co-factors which enhance DIM’s effects.
I3C proponents claim that DIM has no studies behind it, which was once true, because the investigation began when I3C was discovered in cruciferous vegetables, but that changed years ago.
Overall, the choice is yours, and whichever path you choose, you have all the supplements you need to succeed.
Thanks for reading!