Do natural breast enhancement supplements work?

Answers from Sandhya Pruthi, M.D.

Natural breast enhancement supplements aren't likely to work and might have significant side effects.

Many nutritional supplements are marketed as a natural means of breast enlargement. Natural breast enhancement supplements typically contain a variety of herbs, such as saw palmetto and wild yam.

Supplement manufacturers often discuss the potential benefits of plant-derived substances known as phytoestrogens on breast health. However, no medical studies have ever demonstrated a benefit, and there are real possibilities that these substances might suppress breast tissue growth in some women. A recent study showed no evidence that phytoestrogen increased breast tissue density or growth.

Serious drug interactions are possible with any of these herbs, especially if you take a blood-thinning medication such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

Breast enlargement might be a side effect of certain prescription drugs — such as hormone therapy (estrogen), birth control pills and certain antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem). However, these medications are not approved for breast enhancement.

Maintaining an erect posture and doing exercises to develop your chest muscles are safe and healthy ways to enhance breast appearance. If you're interested in breast enhancement, consult your doctor about more-effective options — such as breast implants.

June 26, 2015 See more Expert Answers