Compound in Broccoli Slows Down the Aging Process, Boosts the Immune System and Brings New Hope to the Fight Against Cancer

Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — With all of the media enthusiasm in Washington regarding President Obama’s recent comment about broccoli being his favorite food, it is timely to bring an important and recent scientific discovery about a phytonutrient found in broccoli to light.

A compound found in broccoli, called Diindolylmethane (DIM), formed during the digestion of this vegetable, has been found to potentiate molecular pathways that slow down the aging process and promote life extension. The paper uncovering this phenomenon was recently published in the March edition of Aging Cell.

As the media and science writers covering recent developments in the field of nutrition slowly begin to notice and digest the findings of this important paper published by German scientists at the Duisburg-Essen University in Germany, a brief scientific review of this important compound from broccoli can be helpful in shedding light on the remarkable health benefits of this vegetable and why the First Family is correct in trying to raise awareness about the importance of this vegetable within the American diet.

When science writers in the media write about the health benefits of broccoli, they often focus solely on Sulforaphane, which was discovered to promote cellular detoxification at Johns Hopkins. The health promoting properties of other nutrients found in broccoli are often overlooked.

An overview of how Diindolylmethane is formed during the digestive process and its molecular biology as well as scientific references dating back to 1975 are available at the Diindolylmethane (DIM) Information Resource Center at UC Berkeley (

Diindolylmethane from broccoli has numerous very favorable biologic activities which are the basis for why the National Cancer Institute has launched numerous clinical trials to study the potential of this compound as a naturally occurring therapeutic candidate for multiple forms of cancer.

Among these favorable biologic activities are:

1)    Anti-inflammatory properties through the down regulation of NFK-B, a well-known inflammatory drug target with therapeutic properties for both cancer and cardiovascular disease. 2)    Immune Activation through the induction of Interferon-Gamma Receptors and Interferon-Gamma itself which are well understood in the scientific community for their antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer properties. 3)    Synergy with Interferon-Gamma in the induction of the MHC-I complex which helps to flag cancer and infectious disease antigens to the immune system for destruction. 4)    The promotion of apoptosis through inhibition of PI3K /Akt. Apoptosis is programmed cell death. Normal cells have this process as a part of their life cycle but cancer cells lose this ability in the process of becoming cancerous. Hence it is an important mechanism by which cancer cells can be prompted to self-destruct. 5)    Promotion of P38 and P21 which promote cytostasis of cancerous cells.

When all of the above are taken into account some of the epidemiological studies regarding Brassica vegetable consumption and a lower risk of cancer come to light.

In 2001, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association discussed how women who consume just one serving of Brassica vegetables per week exhibit a 40% reduction in the risk of breast cancer development relative to those who consume very little of this vegetable group in their diet. In 2007, scientists at the National Cancer Institute published their finding that men who consume just one serving of Cruciferous (Brassica) vegetables per week reduce their risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer by up to 52%. Interestingly enough, in this study, no other vegetable group appeared to provide a statistically significant risk reduction for prostate cancer.

In a seminal paper published in 2006, Diindolylmethane was shown to synergize with Taxol (best-selling cancer drug worldwide that also originated from plants). In this paper the authors demonstrate how DIM significantly enhances the efficacy of this important and widely used cancer drug.

In another important paper that came out in January of 2013, Scientists at the Karamos Cancer Institute published that Diindolylmethane (DIM) enhances the effectiveness of Herceptin–leading therapeutic for breast cancer currently marketed by biotech giant Genentech.

And now from this recent study in Germany, we can add to Diindolylmethane’s multitude of favorable biological properties, the slowing down of the aging process and life extension.

Indeed Brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts) are among the most important from a preventive nutrition point of view in the human diet given the number of favorable and health-promoting activities of Diindolylmethane (DIM).

Based on a breakthrough discovery regarding Diindolylmethane’s immune activating properties, a dietary supplement called ActivaMune has been launched with technology exclusively licensed from UC Berkeley that has DIM in it along with other important nutrients. This product is a fund-raiser for nature-based cancer research and it provides the phytonutrient equivalent of consuming five pounds of fresh organic broccoli per day. More information about ActivaMune can be found at


Diindolylmethane (DIM) Information Resource Center News Team


Aging Cell. 2013 Mar 23. Chemical genetic screen in fission yeast reveals roles for vacuolar acidification, mitochondrial fission, and cellular GMP levels in lifespan extension. Stephan J, Franke J, Ehrenhofer-Murray AE. Zentrum für Medizinische Biotechnologie, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Brassica Vegetables and Breast Cancer Risk. Terry P, Wolk A, Persson I, Magnusson C, JAMA 2001 285 (23): 2975-2976

Prospective Study of Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2007 Jul 24; Krish VA, Peters U, Mayne ST, Subar AF, Chatterjee N, Johnson CC, Hayes RB

3,3'-diindolylmethane Enhances the Effectiveness of Herceptin against HER-2/Neu-Expressing Breast Cancer Cells. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54657. Epub 2013 Jan 22. Ahmad A, Ali S, Ahmed A, Ali AS, Raz A, Sakr WA, Rahman KW. Department of Pathology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America.

3,3′-Diindolylmethane and Paclitaxel Act Synergistically to Promote Apoptosis in HER2/Neu Human Breast Cancer Cells. Journal of Surgical Research, 2006 May 15;132(2):208-13. K. McGuire, N. Ngoubilly, M. Neavyn, S. Lanza-Jacoby Department of Surgery, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Scientific Information about Diindolylmethane’s Immune Activation Properties can be found at the Diindolylmethane (DIM) Immune Activation Data Center:

In-Depth Scientific Information and References on Diindolylmethane dating back to 1975 can be found at the UC Berkeley Diindolylmethane (DIM) Information Resource Center:

More information about ActivaMune, natural immune booster and a fundraiser for nature-based cancer research, is available at:

Contact: Diindolylmethane (DIM) Information Resource Center News Team Telephone: 510-717-2642 2887 College Ave. #351 Berkeley, CA 94705


Ms. Liza Crisci
Diindolylmethane (DIM) Information Resource Center