Many false statements and myths concerning coffee and breast size have been promoted through articles on the internet. Unfortunately, this is causing women to be afraid of their breasts being badly affected if they drink coffee.
Table Of Contents−
- Where did this notion come from?
- Scientific study
- What were the study’s findings?
- Caffeine and breast size
- Dense breast tissue
- Is it true that coffee makes breasts denser?
- Breast density and breast cancer
- Is it possible to lower breast density?
- When it comes to breastfeeding, how does coffee affect breast milk?
- What is it about caffeine that has the potential to harm breast tissue?
- Caffeine and breast pain
- Is it true that coffee causes breast cysts?
- Breast cancer screening: danger vs. benefit
Does coffee make your breasts smaller? Not exactly; the study that most people refer to isn’t that convincing.
Where did this notion come from?
Dr. Helena Jernström and colleagues conducted this study at Lund University and Malmo University in Sweden. The Swedish Research Council and numerous other Swedish foundations financed the research. The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer, a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The authors of this cross-sectional study wanted to see if coffee consumption was linked to breast volume and, if so, how that was affected by a specific variant of the CYP1A2*1F gene (the A/A genotype).
The CYP1A2 enzyme, which is involved in both coffee and estrogen metabolism, is encoded by this gene. Women with the A/A genotype who consume a lot of coffee have been proven to have a greater ratio of specific forms of estrogens, which may protect them from breast cancer.
The researchers enlisted the help of 269 Swedish volunteers with ages averaging around 29 who answered questions about reproductive issues, contraception use, smoking, coffee consumption, and other topics. During the menstrual cycle, body measures were taken at specific times. The volume of the women’s breasts was measured by having them kneel with their breasts hanging down.
A simple computation was used to get the approximate volume: base x height divided by three. The CYP1A21F gene and levels of estrogen and other hormonal variables were examined using laboratory procedures. The researchers examined for any links between the CYP1A21F genotype, A/A or not, and drinking three or more cups of coffee per day in their statistical analysis.
What were the study’s findings?
In 51% of the women, the CYP1A21F A/A genotype was found. Coffee use, as well as any other personal, social, or lifestyle feature, did not differ between women with the CYP1A21F A/A genotype and those who did not.
Coffee drinking was found to be strongly linked to the behavior of smoking. Weight was linked with total breast volume but not age, hormonal contraception, having no children, smoking, or the CYP1A2*1F genotype.
The researchers focused their investigations on women who did not utilize hormonal contraception. They discovered that the CYP1A2*1F genotype substantially influenced the relationship between drinking at least three cups of coffee per day and breast volume in the 145 non-users.
Women who did not have the A/A genotype and drank three cups or more of coffee per day had reduced breast volume than those who drank less. Women with the A/A genotype who drank three cups or more of coffee per day had a little higher breast capacity than those who drank less.
Caffeine and breast size
There have been some myths that consuming coffee will make you smaller in the breasts. This isn’t the case at all. It was sparked by a British Journal of Cancer study that found a detrimental association between coffee and breast growth.
They polled 269 women and discovered that those who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had smaller breasts than those who drank fewer than three cups per day. The CYP1A2*1F gene, on the other hand, indicated that the lady had a somewhat larger breast size. They had a 50-milliliter increase in breast volume.
Does coffee make your breasts smaller based on this research?
This study has several flaws, so you shouldn’t be too concerned about coffee shrinking your breasts.
The first point to note is that this study does not follow breast size over time. A cross-sectional study at one point in time cannot determine if coffee affected breast size.
Second, the lives of women who consumed three or more cups of coffee each day differ significantly from those who did not. Other elements influence breast growth, and you can’t tell if coffee substantially impacted breast size based on just one piece of information.
How they measured and computed breast volume is the third and final reason you can’t believe this study. They employed the pyramid formula, which is the base area of the breast divided by three times the height.
So don’t be terrified of coffee unless your breasts are beautiful pyramids. Because breasts occur in various forms and sizes, just measuring volume in a pyramid shape can get erratic results.
Dense breast tissue
Dense breast tissue is a term used to describe a type of breast tissue with more fibrous or glandular tissue in your breasts and less fatty tissue if you have thick breasts. Almost half of all American women have thick breasts. It’s perfectly natural.
According to the American College of Radiology, there are four types of breast density:
- A: Almost entirely fatty breast tissue
- B: Scattered areas of dense tissue
- C: Varying dense tissue
- D: Extremely dense breast tissue
About 40% of women fall into category C, while 10% fall into category D. Younger women and women with smaller breasts are more likely to have dense breasts. Compared to one-quarter of women in their 70s, over three-quarters of women in their 30s have dense breast tissue.
Dense breasts, on the other hand, can affect anyone, regardless of breast size or age. Breast density cannot be felt, and firmness cannot be determined just based on hardness. You must see a doctor and have a mammogram.
Is it true that coffee makes breasts denser?
If you’ve heard or read that drinking coffee makes your breasts thicker, this isn’t entirely correct. There has been researching that demonstrates that breast density has little to no relationship with premenopausal women.
The link between the thick breast tissue and caffeine or coffee is still being researched. Numerous genes in the body affect estrogen metabolism and inflammation caused by coffee use.
Caffeine and breast tissue density have been studied in a limited number of ways, with inconsistent results. A study published in 2000 revealed no link between caffeine and breast density. Similarly, a 2019 study of caffeine-consuming teens found no link between breast density and premenopausal women.
However, research on 4,130 healthy women published in 2018 discovered a slight link between coffee use and breast density. Depending on whether the women were premenopausal or postmenopausal, the findings were different:
- Breast tissue density was lower in postmenopausal women who consumed more caffeine or decaffeinated coffee.
- Premenopausal women who drank more coffee had a higher breast density.
- The proportion of breast density was lower in postmenopausal women on hormone therapy who drank more coffee and caffeine. Because hormone therapy is linked to increased breast density in general, the study shows that caffeine consumption could help to mitigate this effect.
Breast density and breast cancer
Breast tissue density has long been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. For the 10% of women with exceptionally thick breasts, the risk is increased. On the other hand, having thick breasts does not guarantee that you will develop breast cancer.
Even 3-D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, can miss growing cancer when it comes to dense breast tissue. Up to 50% of breast cancers in women with thick breasts are expected to be undetectable on a mammogram.
Consider getting an ultrasound once a year.
If your mammography reveals dense breast tissue, especially if more than half of your breast tissue is dense, talk to your doctor about getting further yearly ultrasound testing.
Breast ultrasounds reveal an extra 2 to 4 tumors per 1,000 women who have had their mammograms.
Consider MRI examinations every year.
Discuss having a yearly MRI screening with your doctor if you have a high breast cancer risk due to dense breast tissue or other risk factors. Even after a mammography and ultrasound screening, breast MRI reveals an average of 10 more tumors per 1,000 women.
According to a spokeswoman for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), if you don’t get a mammogram, you won’t know if you have a higher risk of breast cancer due to dense breasts. Women should talk to their healthcare practitioner about their family history and other risk factors to find the best mammography schedule.
Is it possible to lower breast density?
You can’t modify your breast density. However, you can check your breasts with yearly 3-D mammography and ultrasound. According to a 2017 study of 18,437 women with breast cancer, reductions in breast tissue density could significantly lower the incidence of breast cancer cases. However, this would necessitate new research.
According to the researchers, reducing breast density might theoretically be done by using tamoxifen citrate as a preventive measure for women in the highest risk categories. Tamoxifen is an estrogen-blocking medication. Tamoxifen medication reduced breast density in women younger than 45, according to a randomized clinical trial published in 2004.
As per NCI, one should maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. You can minimize your breast cancer risk by doing these two things, but you can’t modify your breast density or genetic vulnerability to breast cancer.
When it comes to breastfeeding, how does coffee affect breast milk?
While breastfeeding, coffee is safe to consume. Caffeine can pass via your breast milk to your kid, but in small amounts, it will not harm them. If your kid is acting strangely after breastfeeding, such as being energetic, fussy, angry, or having sleep issues, you may want to cut back on the coffee. Some newborns are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and you may need to reduce your intake if this is the case.
Depending on who you ask, drinking up to 2–3 cups of coffee daily is considered safe. It’s a good idea to time your coffee, so you don’t drink it before you breastfeed. You’ll need some time to flush the coffee from your system.
What is it about caffeine that has the potential to harm breast tissue?
The link between caffeine and breast tissue density isn’t completely clear. Caffeine’s various physiologically active components (phytochemicals) are thought to stimulate enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism and inflammation reduction. By attaching methyl groups to DNA molecules, these phytochemicals may also block gene transcription.
According to a 2012 study on caffeine and breast cancer, coffee components inhibited the growth of breast cancers in animals. Caffeine and caffeic acid have anticancer characteristics concerning estrogen receptor genes in a 2015 study.
Caffeine and breast pain
Caffeine may be to blame if your breasts get sore or sensitive after drinking coffee. There has been conflicting research on the effects of coffee on breast discomfort, but it may affect each person differently. Little ducts run through our breasts, and stimulants like caffeine and chocolate can cause them to enlarge.
Caffeine can also induce hormonal swings in your breasts, which can make them uncomfortable. This is caused by increased estrogen and progesterone before your menstruation, which can be exacerbated by coffee consumption.
Is it true that coffee causes breast cysts?
Contrary to popular belief, caffeine does not induce breast cysts. Breast cysts are the subject of continuing research. There is no evidence to show a link between caffeine and breast cancer or cysts, according to Sandhya Pruthi, M.D. Fibrosis occurs when a considerable amount of fibrous tissue is present in a given area.
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that commonly appear in the breasts of women. They’ll be sensitive to the touch and may be painful. Cysts can develop and become painful due to hormones, especially during menstrual periods.
The majority of breast lumps in women are fibrosis or cysts. Each person’s hormones are different, and coffee can create a variety of symptoms. On the other hand, coffee has not been linked to breast cysts or fibrosis.
Breast cancer screening: danger vs. benefit
If you have dense breasts, you must decide whether or not to have additional breast screening every year. Consult a doctor about the benefits and drawbacks. Breast cancer detection in dense breasts is improved by further screening. Early detection of a breast cancer tumor also has a better prognosis.
In 2016, the United States Preventive Services Task Force stated that current data was insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and hazards of extra screening for women with thick breasts. The following are some of the possible consequences:
- false positives are a possibility
- infection from a biopsy
- therapy that is not required
- the psychological toll
So, does coffee make your breasts smaller?
So there are a lot of misconceptions about coffee and breasts. I hope this post has answered some of your questions concerning coffee and breasts. All the data was gathered from reliable sources, so see for yourself!
The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.