Lipstick and climate responsible for bigger ''assets''

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London, Jan 21 (UNI) Love to paint your lips or addicted to booze. Watch out the size of your breasts that might be getting bigger and the reason could range from obesity to hormonal changes due to putting make-up and alcohol to environmental factors.

It may seem bizarre to many but in less than ten years the average bra size in Britain has grown from a 34B to 36C.

Breast tissue grows by the 'injection' of unusually high levels of oestrogen into the body. While this could mean a simple increase in size, it might contribute towards breast cancer as well.

Nutritionist Marilyn Glenville pointed to other major lifestyle changes that increased oestrogen flooding the body, leading to larger breasts and also an increased risk of cancer.

''Our daughters are reaching puberty earlier - sometimes as young as eight. This means they will have much more exposure to oestrogen in their lifetimes,'' she said.

Women were having fewer children so the body was exposed to higher levels of oestrogen in the long term, as during pregnancy and breastfeeding oestrogen levels in the body were lower, she added.

There is also a speculation that 'false' hormones might be affecting the body via the environment.

Xeno-oestrogens are chemicals from pesticides or plastics that mimic the effect of oestrogen and are fat-soluble so store themselves in the body. In our highly processed society, the chemical is found everywhere from food to cosmetics and might be affecting human health, wildlife and the food chain as a whole, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

Obesity and excess intake of alcohol also contributes to increased bust size. ''We are raising a generation of ladettes who don't care about how many units they consume,'' says Ms Glenville.

Oestrogen and other hormones can end up being recirculated around the body and perhaps reabsorbed instead of being broken down in the liver, if that organ has been damaged by too much alcohol.

Reassuringly, having larger breasts could be the key to a longer life as it is a sign of improving nutrition levels in children. We have bigger breasts than our forebears simply because we are healthier and stronger.

So before you feel envious about those dainty B cups, remember your J cup as long as it is not overshadowed by a super-sized tummy.

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