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Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a magical molecule.
This powerful phytonutrient antioxidant found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can naturally support hormone and immune system balance, promote detoxification and may carry clout against some cancers.
And that’s not all it can do…
Researchers are discovering DIM may have applications in oral health against one of the oldest and most common diseases found in humans — dental caries — or as we know it more commonly, tooth decay.
DIMinishing tooth decay
Your mouth has its own microbiome, a system of microbes that not only support healthy teeth and strong gums but help to maintain the overall health of the body. When the balance of that microbiome is upset, such as by not cleaning your teeth properly, too much sugar or pH that’s too low, it can cause unfriendly bacteria to grow.
One of those unfriendly bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, is believed to be one of the primary causes of dental cavities.
S. mutans grows in the moist and sugary environment of your mouth after you eat food. It forms a thin, sticky layer known as a biofilm that coats your teeth and is composed of a self-sustaining community of bacteria bound tightly together.
Once it has a stronghold on the surface of your teeth, the biofilm generates plaque, which then attacks the enamel of your teeth and causes cavities to form.
There are plenty of toothpastes and mouthwashes to help address dental plaque and keep your mouth clean. Regular twice-yearly dental checkups also do their part.
But experts are always looking for ways to improve plaque removal and prevent cavities. And they may have found it in DIM.
An international team of researchers studied DIM for dental use, and they made an astonishing discovery…
The molecule reduces the biofilms that produce plaque and cavities by a whopping 90 percent. By disrupting the biofilms, the S. mutans bacterium was not given a chance to grow.
In addition, DIM was found to have anticarcinogenic properties. S mutans has been associated with oral cancers.
“The molecule, which was found to have low toxicity, could be added to toothpastes and mouthwashes to greatly improve dental hygiene,” says lead author Dr. Ariel Kushmaro, a professor atthe Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Adding DIM to your healthy lifestyle
Until they manage to add DIM effectively as an ingredient to oral health products, you’ll have to settle for getting DIM by eating foods or taking supplements containing the molecule.
Unfortunately, getting DIM through diet can be difficult. If you want to obtain enough DIM to harness its health benefits, you would need to eat 7 cups of broccoli every single day. That’s a tall order even for broccoli lovers.
That’s one reason supplementing is a good idea. Another is research showing that DIM supplements are more effective than DIM from food sources because they are better absorbed by the body.
The minimum recommended daily dosage for DIM is 100 milligrams, though some experts recommend women get at least 200 milligrams and men at least 300 milligrams per day.
But don’t forget to brush and floss twice a day and see your dentist regularly!
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