DNC News

Recurrent Pharyngeal Papillomas and DIM:

Subject: DIM, a phytonutrient from cruciferous vegetables, slows the progression of a rare disease.

We're looking for a special little kid.
He used to live with his grandmother somewhere in Park Hill but their phone is no longer in service. They came into our clinic several years ago desperately looking for help. The little guy has a rare and very miserable condition called Recurrent Pharyngeal Papillomas (RPP). This condition is caused by an infection of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) the culprit which typically causes genital warts. In RPP the infection is in the throat causing the continual and rapid growth of wart like growths which if unchecked will make it impossible to breath. Treatment relies on the surgical excision of these growths sometimes at intervals that may be measured in weeks.

Over the last few years a new phytonutrient has become popular in treating RPP. It is Di-indolymethane or DIM. I've written about DIM before and I continue to consider it one of the most exciting developments in the last few years. DIM is formed from chemicals in cruciferous vegetables. Things like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. When the cell structures of these plants are disrupted by chewing or shopping the raw vegetable, enzymatic action converts some of the plant constituents into 1-3 carbinol. These carbinols quickly join together in pairs and precipitate as DIM. DIM acts in the body changing the metabolism of estrogen. As estrogen is broken down it can be converted into one of several chemicals: either 16 hydroxy estradiol or 2 hydroxy estradiol. The ratio of these two estrogen metabolites is big news in cancer research. It seems that the '16' version is now considered the Bad Guy, capable of initiating and promoting cancer. The '20' version is the good guy having strong antioxidant and anti cancer effects. DIM is being suggested for a number of situations: hormone balancing, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, benign prostate hypertrophy, prostate cancer, breast cancer prevention, and cancer treatment.

So what does this have to do with the little kid? Well it turns out that the Human Papilloma Virus is sensitive to estrogen (perhaps that's why it likes to live near the genitals?), particularly the 16 hydroxy metabolite of estrogen. As DIM lowers the production of the 16 hydroxys, in many cases it slows the development of RPP. In a survey of RPP sufferers 42 of 81 patients reported improvement using either DIM or 1-3 carbinol. Plain 1-3 carbinol is less effective than the new forms of DIM so we can expect even better results in the future. Treating RPP children with DIM has become so routine that the company now makes DIM in the form of chocolate sprinkles to make it easy to administer.

I have been very impressed with DIM both theoretically and clinically. The developer of DIM as a phytonutrient is local, Michael Zelligs, MD of Boulder, Colorado. We now buy DIM directly from him as a product called Bio-Response. He licensed the product to Tyler Encapsulations and in the past have sold it as Indolplex. Tyler Encapsulations was recently bought out by a large conglomerate called Integrative Therapeutics. They also bought out a large healthfood retail line, Enzymatic Therapies and are combining the product lines. Therefore in the near future we should see DIM showing up in Vitamin Cottage under the Enzymatic Therapy label.

We have several copies of a small book that Dr Zellig wrote about DIM at the office that you can borrow to read. Back to the kid. If you know him, or his grandmother, get them to call us.

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