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Be alert to foods that claim to

Be alert to foods that claim to "enlarge your chest" or "boost libido": experts

Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 12:21 GMT+7

There exist on the Internet numerous websites selling cake and sweet products that are advertised to help women enlarge their breasts and improve their sex life, but experts have warned about their real effects. One of the ads for such products reads: “F. cookies, as delicious and sweet-smelling as wafers or sponge cake, will bring you a miracle: they help to enlarge and firm breasts, prevent aging, boost healthiness of skin and hair, relieve stress and increase vaginal discharge.” From the information available on one site, Tuoi Tre contacted a woman named Lan at a house – its front area is an airline ticketing agency and its back area is a shop – on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, HCMC to learn about such products. Lan told Tuoi Tre that she has long known about the cake through her friends in Japan. Lan has eaten the cake before and found it as effective as advertised. Some other friends of Lan, also abroad, later suggested to her that she introduce the cake on the Internet as a way for breast enlargement for Vietnamese women, whose breasts, they said, are normally smaller than that of foreign women. Lan then launched the cake information site, she said, adding that about 10 people have eaten it to improve their “first measurement of the body.” It is not until after about 2 months of eating the cake that consumers can recognize its effects, Lan said, adding that the level of breast size improvement depends on the characteristics of each individual. Some people have seen improvement after only two weeks, with an increase in size of up to 2 cm, Lan said. Lan said that the cake is made from plant-derived butter, flour, salt, cooking oil, non-fat milk, eggs, raspberry juice, vitamin C, and more importantly, Pueraria mirifica – a vegetable substance that is used in beauty products. Therefore, such a cake would certainly be useful to consumers, Lan concluded, adding that it is quite affordable to spend only VND4 million (US$190) on the cake for two months of breast enlargement. Along with the cake is some types of chewing gums, like B.A., which is advertised to refresh mouths and whiten teeth, activate kidney function and nourish the kidneys and, above all, boost sexual desire, libido and sexual ability. This gum is advertised to contain epimedium herbal extract, maca extract, xylitol, panaoside, and vitamins E and B6. On a website, it is said to be a magic sex chewing gum for women, leading the trend of sex products marketed around the world; it allegedly improves female sexual pleasure and brings more orgasms! It is sold for VND309,000 per jar of 20 tablets.Be vigilant Pueraria mirifica, the main ingredient in many functional foods for breast enlargement, is a natural tuberous herbal root that contains high levels of natural phytoestrogens, a pre-substance of estrogen, said Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, deputy directyor of the Tu Du Obstretrics Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. When in a woman’s body at a high level, phytoestrogens can make breasts enlarged; however, it is very hard to obtain phytoestrogen extract, since it is very easily destroyed at high temperatures. Therefore, although phytoestrogens is also found in soy, when the grain is processed into soy milk the content of this substance in the milk is very low. Currently, there is no scientific data to back advertisements for cosmetics or functional foods containing Pueraria mirifica that help boost appetite, enlarge breasts, improve hair growth and other utilities, Tuyet concluded. As for B.A chewing gum, Tuyet said that, of its ingredients, only the medicinal epimedium herbal extract can improve penis erection and boost libido in women, but only when a high content of the substance is used. If there is a food product that contains such a high level of epimedium herbal extract, it is very costly.

Meanwhile, on the current domestic market, there are no functional foods that can be found containing such a high level of the extract. Therefore, consumers should be on high alert to any functional food products that advertise useful substances, as the concentrations of such substances are not shown in such ads. Currently, on the website “thucphamchucnang…” there are nearly 150 producers with about 180 agents that sell functional foods said to be made in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan and China. However, a part of these foods have been smuggled into Vietnam or brought into the country by individuals as non-commercial goods, and such foods are later sold to the market. said Nguyen Thanh Phong, deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Department for Food Safety and Hygiene.

Therefore, Phong warned consumers to be high vigilant to illicit functional foods since their quality cannot be determined.

Tuoi Tre

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