Diindolylmethane (DIM) is created naturally when you digest cruciferous vegetables, and it’s also a nutritional supplement with possible anticancer effects.
Are you a health professional?
This section does not replicate the other information on this topic but provides additional details or context most relevant to professionals.
Notable preclinical evidence; clinical evidence is in How can DIM help you? What the research says ›
Improving treatment outcomes: preclinical studies
- DIM inhibited the growth and also the invasion of breast cancer, glioma, and non-small cell lung cancer cells1Rahimi M, Huang KL, Tang CK. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) inhibits the growth and invasion of drug-resistant human cancer cells expressing EGFR mutants. Cancer Letters. 2010 Sep 1;295(1):59-68.
- DIM enhanced the effectiveness of Herceptin in HER-2/neu negative and HER-2/neu-expressing breast cancer cells2Ahmad A, Ali S et al. 3, 3′-Diindolylmethane enhances the effectiveness of herceptin against HER-2/neu-expressing breast cancer cells. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54657.
- DIM induced apoptosis and inhibited human colon cancer cell viability3Lerner A, Grafi-Cohen M, Napso T, Azzam N, Fares F. The indolic diet-derivative, 3,3′-diindolylmethane, induced apoptosis in human colon cancer cells through upregulation of NDRG1. Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology. 2012;2012:256178.
- DIM potentiated and increased sensitivity to the anticancer action of paclitaxel on gastric cancer cells4Jin H, Park MH, Kim SM. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane potentiates paclitaxel-induced antitumor effects on gastric cancer cells through the Akt/FOXM1 signaling cascade. Oncology Reports. 2015 Apr;33(4):2031-6.
- DIM inhibited cell proliferation and showed other anticancer effects in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Calcium ionophore enhanced these DIM-induced anticancer effects.5Jiang Y, Fang Y et al. Anti-cancer effects of 3, 3′-diindolylmethane on human hepatocellular carcinoma cells is enhanced by calcium ionophore: the role of cytosolic Ca2+ and p38 MAPK. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2019 Oct 9;10:1167.
- DIM enhanced the effectiveness of different chemotherapeutic agents including dacarbazine, vemurafenib, and sorafenib against melanoma in preclinical studies.6Zhou BB, Liu D, Qian JC, Tan RX. Vegetable-derived indole enhances the melanoma-treating efficacy of chemotherapeutics. Phytotherapy Research. 2022 Nov;36(11):4278-4292.
- DIM reduced tumor formation in ovarian cancer cells.7Kandala PK, Srivastava SK. Diindolylmethane-mediated Gli1 protein suppression induces anoikis in ovarian cancer cells in vitro and blocks tumor formation ability in vivo. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2012 Aug 17;287(34):28745-54.
Keep reading about diindolylmethane
Health professional comment
We invite health professionals to contribute expertise or send us questions.
"*" indicates required fields