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Breast enhancement pills

I've read on the internet about Vanity breast enhancement pills. I want to know if it is safe to take them. Can they cause breast cancer?

 

How breast enhancement pills claim to work

Many different 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 are similar in 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 that you won’t produce milk and unlike that of pregnancy, the enlargement is supposed to be 85 to 90% permanent.

 

Herbal medicines in breast enhancement 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Many modern drugs were originally made from plants.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 seems to vary 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 Satliva
  • Chinese Red Ginseng Root
  • Astragalus Root
  • Cayenne Fruit
  • Echinacea Whole Plant
  • Fo Ti Root
  • Golden Seal Root
  • Guarana Seed
  • Panax Ginseng Root and Extract

Scientific studies looking into herbal products are increasing and many of the herbs listed above 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.

Herbs and dietary supplements are starting to be regulated in the UK. But at the moment it is still difficult to find out if the dose and potency of ingredients in herbal remedies are within safe and acceptable limits. You can find out more about the safety of herbal medicines in our section about complementary and alternative therapies.

The following link takes you to an American website with information about the individual herbs in the above list.

 

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 are 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. You can find out about soya and phyto oestrogens on our page about dietary factors and breast cancer.

You may want to look at our information about risk factors for breast cancer, including hormones.

 

Our advice

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. Many of the companies who promote their use say that for women with small breasts, enlarging them will

  • Boost your confidence
  • Improve your self esteem
  • Give you a fuller life
  • Regain the attention you deserve
  • Help you fill out swimsuits and bras
  • Put you in control of your body
  • Make you the envy of all eyes

These are all direct quotes from websites selling breast enhancement products. The producers of these products try to sell them by claiming that they will 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 are still not sure, seeing your GP for advice may be helpful.

 

If you have breast cancer

If you have breast cancer, it is important that you don't take breast enhancement pills. The pills could interfere with breast cancer treatments, such as hormone therapy, and stop them working.

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Updated: 15 August 2014