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Ladies, Your Bras May Actually Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Apr 18th, 2013

bra unhealthy Women who go braless may actually have the right idea, new research suggests. Jean-Denis Rouillon claims that bras are not needed, and might actually be doing women’s figures more harm than good.

Professor Rouillon, a sports scientist from the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon, eastern France, spent 15 years studying 130 women with different bust sizes. His controversial research concluded that women gained no health or shape advantage by wearing a bra. If anything, bras brought them down, literally. The study also suggested that, wearing bras prevented the growth of breast tissue, which leads to deterioration of the muscles that support the breasts. If you don’t wear a bra, the muscles are worked-out more.

“Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity,” said Rouillon. “The suspension system of the breasts degenerates,” he added, explaining that bras also unnaturally hamper circulation. His work suggested wearing a bra weakened the natural muscles that hold up breasts and women should consider going bra-less. The 15-year study involved volunteers between the ages 18 and 35.

Researchers measured their breasts using a slide ruler and a caliper and recorded any changes throughout the study period. “But a middle-aged woman, overweight and with children? I’m not at all sure she’d benefit from abandoning bras,” Rouillon said.

France Info radio interviewed a 28-year-old volunteer in the study, Capucine Vercellotti, who said abandoning her bra had liberated her in more ways than one, improving her breathing and posture. “You breathe better, you stand up straighter, you have less back pain,” she told the national news station. “At first, I was a little reluctant to the idea of running without a bra, but I got started and after five minutes, I had no trouble at all,” Vercellotti added.

But don’t throw your bras just yet, ladies. Rouillon told the radio station that his work is still in the early stages and he is hesitant about giving advice to women. Despite his findings, Professor Rouillon said women should not get rid of their bras. His study only involved a small number of women and the long-term effects of not wearing a bra are unknown. Rouillon makes it clear that “a bouncing braless existence isn’t for everyone.”

Speaking to the national news station, Rouillon cautioned women who have worn bras for a long time from following the recommendation since they would not benefit from taking off their bras now. Indeed, previous research has shown that women who do not wear sports bra while exercising could be damaging their breasts. The ligaments which support the breasts are not elastic, and can be irreversibly stretched when the breasts bounce during repetitive or high impact sports.

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