Women taking breast enhancement pills swallow empty promises

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. Flip through any women's magazine and you are sure to find advertisements hawking pills to enlarge women's breasts. But do these pills actually work? Probably not, says the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Not only are breast enhancement pills unproven, they could be dangerous, according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® (PRS), the official medical journal of the ASPS.

"There are upward of 30 different herbal products advertised widely on television, in magazines and on the Internet alleging to enhance the size of women's breasts; however, there have been no scientifically sound clinical trials proving they work," said Thomas Lawrence, MD, Chair of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF) Device and Technique Assessment Committee.

Breast enhancement pills have become a lucrative industry in recent years due to their "guaranteed" safety and low cost compared to breast augmentation; however, these pills are sold as herbal supplements and are not subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's scrutiny for safety and effectiveness. Although manufacturers claim to have studies that prove their products work, the majority of the data is derived from historical anecdotes and isolated, limited studies, according to PRS. While these pills promise an easy and inexpensive way to have larger breasts, many women may be placing their health in danger, the study states.

"It's what we don't know about these pills that scares many physicians," said Dr. Lawrence. "The primary active ingredients found in these supplements can be dangerous when mixed with other medications. Because many women who want bigger breasts self-prescribe these pills, they may be placing themselves in harms way without even knowing it."

According to the study, many breast enhancement pills contain one or more ingredients that can directly interfere with prescribed medications. For example, cha

Contact: Brian Huggins
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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