Women are often looking for a way to increase the size of their breasts without resorting to painful surgery. One of the crazier ideas I’ve heard recently to reach this goal is “drink beer”. My first thought was to toss this one immediately into the beer myth category and forget about it, but being a man I figured it would be a good idea to do more research first.
The Bulgarian Boob Beer
When Bulgaria entered into the European Union (EU), men from all over Europe flocked to Bulgaria to buy Boza Beer. One reason might be Bulgaria’s entrance into the EU which removed taxes and duties on the beer, making the beer cheaper. The real reason is Boza Beer claims to naturally enhance the size of women’s breasts, and European men were more than willing to make the drive to help their ladies out.
Boza is a low alcohol wheat beer (calling it a beer is questionable). It’s made with fermented wheat and is around 1% ABV. There are four vitamins (A, B and E) and about 1000 calories per liter. No one really knows which ingredient in the beer increases the breast size. There are no studies which actually show any increase in breast sizes from drinking Boza Beer. It’s all word of mammary at this point.
Why would you think beer increased breast size?
The reason behind the myth isn’t as crazy as it first sounds. Beer contains small amounts of phytoestrogens, a naturally occurring plant compound similar to estrogen. Hops are sometimes the ingredient in natural supplements sold to increase cup sizes. Since beer contains hops, the hope is the phytoestrogens in hops are passed on to the beer and then to the breasts.
The specific phytoestrogen believed to be responsible for this breast enhancement is called 8-prenylnaringenin, but there are no studies linking 8-prenylnaringenin to bigger boobs. The only study which comes close is an 1999 study which reported anecdotally “menstrual disruption” in female hop workers (Milligan, Kalita, Heyerick, et al., 1999). That is not even in the same zip code as boobs. Other studies attempting to link estrogenic effects with 8-prenylnaringenin are either seriously flawed or inconclusive.
If that wasn’t enough to write off beer as a breast enhancement method, most beers do not contain 8-prenylnaringenin in detectable quantities. The highest concentration found was 19.8 μg/L (Tekel, Keukeleire, Rong, Daeseleire, and Van Peteghem, 1999). At best only about 10% to 20% of the 8-prenylnaringenin in hops makes it to your beer. Of course different beer styles and production methods can influence these numbers greatly. I’m not sure the study included a super hopped IPA. Regardless of how much makes it to the beer, the science doesn’t pan out.
Weight increase makes bigger breasts
Boobs are mostly fat. One way to get bigger breasts is to get fatter. Even in this case, beer would not be a good quick solution. Most beers are around 110-140 calories, so you’d need to drink a significant amount for any immediate results (maybe 10+ to gain an extra 1000+ calories per day). The health problems you would encounter would not make it worth the effort. This, however, might be why Boza is touted as a breast enhancer. Drinking one liter of Boza per day will not get you buzzed, but it will add 1000 calories to your diet.
The other possible path to larger mammaries was noted on a homebrew warning label I once saw: over-consumption of beer can lead to unintended pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause breasts to swell, so in this case beer might lead to bigger boobs. Your mileage may vary.
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