Good news for men suffering with prostate difficulties. As we at Optimum Health have advised since 2002 when we first identified and incorporated a high quality Diindolylmethane (DIM) into our supplement line, it isn't only beneficial for improving women's hormonal status. A recent study indicates DIM is also extremely useful for inhibiting the proliferative (growth promoting) effects of testosterone on prostate cells, and may help reduce the need for anti-testosterone treatment in men with prostate cancer. 
The study examined the effects of DIM (3, 3'-diindolylmethane - an extract from cruciferous vegetables), on the number and activity of testosterone (androgen) receptors present on prostate cells in 28 men with prostate cancer.  After measuring the subject's blood levels of DIM, and determining androgen receptor concentrations in their prostates through biopsy, the men were then given 225 mg of DIM twice a day. DIM blood levels were evaluated again prior to scheduled surgical removal of the mens' prostates, times ranging from 14-72 days.
The men's blood levels of DIM markedly increased, going from being undetectable to an average of 9 ng/ml. Yet, of great significance was the fact that prostate DIM concentrations (in 26/28 subjects) averaged 14.2 ng/ml, indicating that DIM was selectively concentrated in the prostate gland. Note that this level was present in the men evaluated at two weeks, and prostatic levels of DIM did not continue to increase with time. Yet, even more important was the fact that, whereas before treatment, nuclear androgen receptors were present in all the prostate samples, after treatment, 96% of the prostates had NO nuclear androgenic (testosterone) receptor complexes... an effect limited to the the prostate. Further, in the brief treatment period PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels dropped in 71% of subjects. 
The selective effects of DIM in reducing androgen-receptor concentration, and hence activity, in the prostate gland mean that cells are less likely to grow and divide, potentially inhibiting the development of both cancerous, and hyperplastic changes present in simple prostatic enlargement, (i.e. BPH). [1-6]. Given estimates that 60% of men over 60 already have some prostate cancer, this is big news! In fact, if men and women knew how much evidence there was for DIM preventing and treating both breast and prostate cancer, the obvious question becomes "Why aren't we hearing about this in the media, or from our doctor?" (After all, if these effects were achieved by a pharmaceutical they would be trumpeted as front page news across the globe.)
The answer of course is that there are intense efforts being made to create a drug from DIM. Yet, with little to no side-effects and high efficacy you don't need to wait for the drug to simply take a DIM supplement, or eat lots of cruciferous vegetables it's derived from. The only problem with the latter choice is inconsistency, i.e. the concentrations of the substance (called I3C) that converts to DIM in the body can vary, as can conversion rates in the individual.
Something often put forth is that DIM is hard to absorb. This is not consistent with our long-standing experience. You see DIM causes changes in urine colour, producing a reddy-pink or orange hue, and if it wasn't being absorbed from the GI tract, there would be no change present. Yet even those people taking their DIM first thing in the morning on an empty stomach report these same changes. Still, to improve absorption it is suggested you take your DIM with meals.
Lastly, though many studies on DIM and the prostate focus on the effects of testosterone, and its more aggressive cousin 5-DHT, (5-Dihydrotestosterone), the mitogenic effects of estrogen and its metabolites, (i.e. their tendency to make cells divide) cannot be forgotten. [7-8] Especially the more inflammatory 16-OH and 4-OH forms that we have discussed in past articles on DIM.
Related articles on the effects of DIM and hormones:
- Menopause & Hot Flashes: DIM (Diindolylmethane) Can Really Cool Things Down.
- How DIM (Diindolylmethane) & D-Glucarate Help Battle Estrogen Dominance.
DIM is all about hormonal balance. It is my firm belief that DIM's ability to positively affect the metabolism of both androgens and estrogens is what makes it so valuable for overall hormonal health... not only for breast health and hormonal wellness in women, but also for multifaceted protection against common prostate challenges.
Until next time, continue to be well!
- Can Probiotics Help Balance Hormones (When Combined With DIM And D-Glucarate)?
- What Is The Connection Between Female Hormones And Belly Fat?
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4759426/ Hwang, C, Sethi S., et al. "Anti-androgenic activity of absorption-enhanced 3,3'-diindolylmethane in prostectomy patients." Am J Transl Res. Jan 2016. 15;8(1):166-76.