3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound derived from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol, found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. The reputation of Brassica vegetables as healthy foods rests in part on the activities of diindolylmethane.[dead link] Limited data from clinical studies indicate that DIM may have some benefits for patients suffering from types of prostate cancer, however more studies are required.
A study conducted in 2013 to research the use of DIM as a treatment to prevent or reduce the effects of acute radiation syndrome due to whole body exposure found that the compound may be useful in preventing or mitigating tissue damage due to partial body radiation exposure which occurs routinely during radiotherapy-based cancer treatment.
At the present time, DIM is used to treat recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), a rare respiratory disease with tumors in the upper respiratory tracts caused by the human papilloma virus. In a preliminary study on 64 women, it was well tolerated at the studied dose (2 mg/kg/day), showing some promising results as an immunostimulant against human papilloma virus infection of the cervix, but not at a statistically significant level. In a subsequent double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on 600 women, DIM in vivo had no effect on cytology regarding cervical dysplasia, a precancerous condition also caused by the human papilloma virus.
DIM has been demonstrated to work synergistically with genistein (from soy), in causing apoptotic gene expression in breast cancer cells.
Some unnatural synthetic analogs were also prepared. For example, 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-methoxyphenyl)methane is a Nur77 agonist.
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