DIM is an anti-aromatase (estrogen blocker) that promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism and healthy hormonal balance. It is especially helpful for managing estrogen dominant conditions. DIM is a naturally occurring phytonutrient that is found in cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Though discovered many years ago, the connection between plant-derived dietary ingredients and estrogen metabolism are just now beginning to be understood. Research has shown that DIM has the ability to act as an estrogen balancer or blocker in both women and men. All men have some estrogen, just as all women have some testosterone. However, as men age excess estrogen starts acting more and more like a poison in their bodies. Too much estrogen can be a problem in women as well, especially women who have had abnormal cell growth in their reproductive organs and women who are breast cancer survivors.
DIM contributes to a better metabolism in the most natural way possible by working with your own hormones and adjusting their actions to avoid hormonal imbalance. DIM produces more ‘good’ estrogen metabolites, which compete with testosterone for protein binding. This helps to maintain a higher ‘free’ testosterone level. Free testosterone is testosterone that is much more active. Once testosterone becomes "bound", it is pretty much useless.
Excess estrogen in men can lead to hair lost, prostate problems, obesity, low libido, and gynocomastia (male breast growth). Excess estrogen becomes more of a problem when taking herbals or pharmaceuticals that increase testosterone in the system. With higher testosterone levels, more testosterone aromatases into estrogen, making some type of estrogen blocker or anti-aromatase a necessity.
In the DIM Complex offered on this site, 100mg of 98% DIM is in each capsule. This yields 98mg of pure DIM per capsule. A lot of the DIM products available only deliver 25mg per capsule as the manufacturers utilize 100mg of 25% DIM per capsule. In Barlowe's DIM Complex, 190mg of Chamomile Extract standardized to 1.1% apigenin are also added to each capsule. Chamomile is itself a fair anti-aromatase herbal and brings added benefits such as a calming, anti-cortisol effect and better digestion. Finally, since DIM by itself is absorbed poorly into the system, 10mg of 95% Piperine (black pepper extract) are added to this complex. Piperine greatly increases the absorbability (or bio-availability) of DIM. Of course, this new DIM Complex is stearate and additive free, as are all of Barlowe's products. All you receive in each high quality vegi-cap is pure DIM, chamomile and piperine.
Magnesium stearate is a white substance, solid at room temperature, used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and supplement tablets and capsules. It is composed of magnesium and stearic acid, and oftentimes, palmitic acid as well.
The role of magnesium stearate in supplements (and in pharmaceutical capsules and tablets as well) is to act as a lubricant to prevent tablet and capsule contents from sticking to the machinery that processes them. This ensures that production machinery can operate at maximum speeds, because the materials flow much better and clean-up is much easier. Encapsulated supplements can be produced without the use of stearates (as is done here at Barlowe's Herbal Elixirs), but it is a much more time consuming and demanding process.
Hydrogenated oils are a common source for the magnesium stearate used in pharmaceuticals and supplements. The stearates are made by hydrogenating cottonseed or palm oil. Cottonseed oil has the highest content of pesticide residues of all commercial oils; cotton crops are heavily sprayed. Cotton crops are oftentimes genetically modified. In the hydrogenation process, the cottonseed or palm oil is subjected to high heat and pressure in the presence of a metal catalyst for several hours, creating a hydrogenated saturated fat. Hydrogenated vegetable fats contain altered molecules derived from fatty acids.
The main problem with stearates (primarily magnesium stearate and stearic acid) which is found in almost all pharmaceutical and herbal capsules and tablets is not necessarily toxicity, but is the fact that stearates greatly inhibit the absorption of substances into your body. Here is a short youtube video which clearly demonstrates how stearates inhibit absorption into the body. Thanks to Dr. Randy Johns with Elevation Health for such an informative video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP8i3_EfP7M
It is commonly noted in medical literature that magnesium stearate increases the time it takes for tablets and capsules to dissolve due to the film it forms on capsule or tablet ingredients. Magnesium stearate coats most of the molecules in a tablet or capsule, requiring digestive enzymes to break down the magnesium stearate coating before being able to access the nutrients or medicine it envelops. In a study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Technology in April of 1985, the percent dissolution for capsules after 20 minutes in solution went from 90% without stearates to 25% with stearates. Thus, stearates reduced the rate the capsule dissolved by 65%! This may result in the nutrients not dissolving in the appropriate section of the intestines as intended. This is particularly worrisome in individuals with impaired digestion who may have more difficulty absorbing nutrients or medicines coated with magnesium stearate.
Thus, when all the above is considered, why would anyone take a product containing magnesium stearate or other types of stearates when stearate free alternatives at a reasonable cost are available?