Q. I'm in eighth grade and have a very small chest size. This wouldn't bother me, except that lots of other girls in my grade have large B and C cup sizes. I have heard that eating lots of chicken helps increase breast size. I've also heard that rubbing mayonnaise on them works, too. Do these methods work, and if not, what could I do?
A. Neither chicken nor mayonnaise will increase breast size. Ads for herbal products might sound appealing, but there is no evidence that they would work. If they did, they might not be safe for a young person.
Although some girls develop early, others might take several years longer to mature physically. There's no way to tell in the eighth grade what your physique will be like when you grow up.
Q. I've read in your column that riboflavin, feverfew and magnesium can help prevent migraines. But finding all these things and taking multiple products can be difficult. All three are contained in an OTC product called MigreLief.
I am a 31-year-old female who has suffered from migraines for many years. Two or three migraines a week really interfered with my life. I would make plans, and then at the last minute I would have to cancel due to another migraine.
This was an ongoing problem. Even after numerous doctor visits and many prescription medicines, I never got relief.
When I decided to try MigreLief as a more natural approach, I had fewer headaches within a month. In a couple of months my migraines disappeared almost completely.
A. Thank you for bringing this product to our attention. The manufacturer, Quantum, points out that MigreLief is intended only for headache prevention and not for immediate pain relief. We have not seen a placebo-controlled trial of this combination product, although there is some research to support the use of each of the ingredients for migraine prevention.
Q. I have a question about natural herbal supplements to help me sleep. I am in law enforcement and work shifts, so I don't have a steady pattern of sleep.
Is there anything that can help me get better sleep under these conditions without resorting to a sleeping pill? I heard about valerian root and melatonin but don't know enough about them.
A. Working different shifts often interferes with sleep. Sleep deprivation can slow reaction time and impair judgment. Shift workers are more susceptible to accidents as well as to ulcers and depression.
Melatonin has been used successfully to help people overcome jet lag, and it could be part of a program to help adaptation to shift changes. Valerian root can also help people relax and get to sleep.
XIn their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them at email@example.com or via their Web site: www.peoplespharmacy.org.
& copy; 2005 King Features Syndicate Inc.