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Jun 06, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- HERBS DO NOT INCREASE BUST SIZE, STUDY SAYS

Despite widespread advertising, there is no scientific proof that herbal products can increase bust size, researchers say. In the report in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman of George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington says various so-called "bust enhancing" products contain a variety of ingredients, including grains, saw palmetto, black cohosh, chaste-tree berry, wild yam, kava and dong quai. Some of these may cause undesirable side effects, Fugh-Berman cautions. While some ingredients have estrogen-like effects, none is expected to have a potent enough effect to increase breast size, Fugh-Berman says. Doctors should discourage women from using these products since there is no evidence they work and no information on their long-term safety, Fugh-Berman says.


Low-dose aspirin taken during pregnancy may help lower the risk of preeclampsia, doctors say. Their review found a daily low dose of aspirin among high-risk women can reduce the risk of perinatal death and preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension. The study, published in the journal in Obstetrics and Gynecology, indicates women with a history of preeclampsia or who had chronic hypertension, diabetes or renal disease who took a daily low dose (50 mg to 150 mg) of aspirin were less likely to develop preeclampsia than were similar women who didn't take aspirin, the investigators say. Also, the rate of spontaneous preterm births decreased and birth weights increased with aspirin therapy, they said.


Doctors say repeat miscarriages may be linked to sperm defects. The report in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology says the researchers found higher levels of abnormal sperm in couples who experienced three or more miscarriages compared to control groups. The study notes several possible causes that affect sperm quality, including chromosome mutations, defects in cell structure and incomplete DNA. Researchers conclude poor quality or defective sperm may affect early embryonic development, resulting in recurrent pregnancy loss.


Gene therapy helped auditory hair cells grow in guinea pigs and may one day be used to treat deafness or hearing difficulties, scientists say. The University of Michigan Medical School researchers say this was the first successful regeneration of auditory hair cells in a mammal. The discovery is published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Healthy hair cells are vital to the ability to hear, but aging, infection, certain medications and exposure to loud noises can damage or destroy hair cells causing hearing loss. The condition affects 30 million Americans, researchers say. Since the discovery, in the late 1980s that birds can spontaneously regenerate damaged hair cells, scientists have been trying to find a way to induce the replacement of lost hair cells in mammals. Now they have. The scientists inserted a gene called Math1 into non-sensory epithelial cells lining the inner ear. Results from the study will be published in the Journal of Neuroscience. "We found that non-sensory epithelial cells in adult guinea pig cochlea can generate new sensory hair cells following the expression of Math1," said Yehoash Raphael, associate professor of otolaryngology who directed the study. "We also found that some of these hair cells can attract the growth of new fibers from auditory neurons."

(EDITORS: For more information about BUST, contact Adriane Fugh-Berman at; about ASPIRIN, contact Aravinthan Coomarasamy at; about SPERM, contact Douglas Carrell at; about HAIR, contact Sally Pobojewski at 734-615-6912 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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