Find out about breast enhancement pills and breast cancer
Because we don’t know enough about the long term safety and effectiveness of breast enhancement pills, we recommend that you don't use them.
The producers of these products try to sell them by claiming they'll enhance your breasts and so make you feel better and more confident. We find this information very disturbing and misleading.
Before you decide to take these pills we would strongly advise you to read all the information here. If you're still not sure, seeing your GP for advice might be helpful.
How breast enhancement pills claim to work
Many internet companies advertise breast enhancement pills. Most of them claim that by taking their product you can increase your breast size by 1 to 2 inches (2 to 3 cup sizes) in just 90 days.
These herbal tablets contain chemicals called phyto oestrogens. The companies selling these products claim that the chemicals stimulate the oestrogen receptors in your breast tissue and permanently enlarge your breast size. Phyto oestrogens are chemicals found in plant foods (phyto means plant). They have a similar structure to the female sex hormone oestrogen.
The tablets are supposed to work by tricking your breasts into believing that you are pregnant. This means that the pills stimulate the production of oestrogen in your body in the same way that oestrogen is produced during pregnancy. The idea is that your breasts will enlarge in the same way as they would if you were pregnant. But the manufacturers say you won’t produce milk and, unlike in pregnancy, the enlargement is supposed to be 85 to 90% permanent.
Herbal medicines in breast enlargement pills
Herbal medicine uses plants or mixtures of plant extracts to treat or prevent disease. This includes all parts of the plant, the leaves, stalks and roots. Each part can differ in strength and effects. You need to be careful with herbal medicines, as with any medicine. Just because a product is called natural or herbal, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always safe to use.
Many modern drugs were originally made from plants.
The effect they have depends on:
- the chemicals in the plant
- how they work in the body
- how the manufacturer makes the product
The combination of herbs in breast enhancement pills varies depending on the company selling them.
Examples include all or a combination of some of the following:
- Fenugreek Extract
- Saw Palmetto
- Wild Yam Extract
- Siberian Ginseng Root
- Avenal Sativa
- Chinese Red Ginseng Root
- Astragalus Root
- Cayenne Fruit
- Echinacea Whole Plant
- Fo Ti Root
- Golden Seal Root
- Guarana Seed
- Panax Ginseng Root and Extract
Safety of breast enhancement pills
Scientific studies looking into herbal products are increasing and many of the herbs used in breast enlargement pills have been individually researched. But we don’t know of any published clinical trials that have studied a combination of all these herbs. Herbs may interact with each other and with any existing medicines that you may be taking, which could cause harmful effects.
Many herbs and dietary supplements are regulated in the UK. But at the moment it's still difficult to find out if the dose and potency of ingredients in some herbal remedies are within safe and acceptable limits.
Research into breast enhancement pills
The Department of Health Care Sciences at George Washington University School of Medicine in America have done some research into the safety of breast enhancement pills. They published a paper in 2003 called Bust enhancing herbal products.
They say that several herbs in breast enhancement tablets do actively work on your hormones. But they don’t recommend using them because we can’t be certain that they're safe or that they work as breast enhancers. No research has since been published to show that these pills are safe.
The effect of phyto oestrogens on breast tissue isn’t really clear.
If you have breast cancer
Don't take breast enlargement pills if you have breast cancer. The pills could interfere with breast cancer treatments, such as hormone therapy, and stop them working.