ZEN Bust-enhancing Supplements May Increase Cancer Risk

Women who utilize bust-enhancing dietary supplements containing the naturally occurring toxin mycoestrogen zearalenone (or ZEN) could be raising their risk of developing breast cancer. This warning comes from breast health experts in an online publication for the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Professor Ian Fentiman of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, claims, “No clinical trials have been published on the use of potent estrogens like Zen in bust-enhancing products and their use should be discourged because of the lack of evidence of their long-term safety.”

Using ZEN to boost breast size is just one of the main concerns raised by the review. Much of the attention was focused on the effects of ZEN and its derivatives on the human reproductive system and breast cancer. It also included the use of ZEN to fatten up livestock, its use in hormone replacement therapy, its connection with premature puberty and its likely impact on breast cancer.

Professor Fentiman adds, “Zen is a toxic non-steroidal mycoestrogen produced by fungi that widely contaminates agricultural products, such as crops, eliciting estrogenic responses by mimicking the female sex hormones.” Using ZEN in animal feed has been found to result in a wide range of reproductive anomalies in livestock. These include diminished fertility and infertility, reduced litter size and smaller offspring, and other negative effects on the reproductive organs.

International studies have suggested a connection between consumption of ZEN-fed animals and products and early puberty in young females. Included in this epidemic of premature breast development and early puberty were studies from Puerto Rico, with links to dairy and meat products, and studies from Hungary and Italy where female children with early puberty had increased ZEN levels in their bloodstream.

According to Professor Fentimen, “Recently, it has been suggested that some ZEN derivatives can increase the growth of hormone-dependent breast tumors. It has also been reported that, depending on the dose, ZEN can either promote or prevent breast cancer. So the jury on whether its links with breast cancer are positive or negative is well and truly out at this stage.”


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