This some of the research I have found so far and it is growing. This can get you started to doing your own research.
Women who go braless may actually have the right idea, new research suggests.
According to the results of a 15-year study in France published Wednesday, bras provide no benefits to women and may actually be harmful to breasts over time.
"Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity," Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, told France Info.
Conducting the study at the university's hospital, Rouillon measured and examined the breasts of more than 300 women, aged 18 and 35, taking note of how the additional support provided by bras affects the body over time. (It should be noted the study does not mention breast size.)
Overall, he found that women who did not use bras benefited in the long term, developing more muscle tissue to provide natural support. As France's The Local notes, Rouillon also noticed that nipples gained a higher lift, in relation to the shoulders, on women who went braless. When bras are worn, the restrictive material prevents such tissue from growing, which may actually accelerate sagging, the study concluded.
Capucine Vercellotti, a 28-year-old woman who participated in the research, found that she breathes easier without the constraints of a bra.
"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 said, according to the Agence France-Presse.
But don't throw away your bras just yet, ladies.
Despite the findings, Rouillon said it would be dangerous to advise all women to take off their bras based on the study's sample, which may not be representative of the population.
Speaking to France Info, Rouillon cautioned women who have worn bras for a long time -- several decades -- from following the recommendation since they would not benefit from taking off their bras now.
15-year study from France finds breasts saggier with bra, no reason to deny them gravity.
Women throws bras into the air during "Pink Bra Bazzar," an event designed to bring awareness to breast cancer, on March 25, 2013 in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)
According to a new French study, women have reasons to burn their bras that have nothing to do with glass ceilings or women’s liberation.
Results from a 15-year study published Wednesday conclude that bras are a “false necessity” that provide no benefits to breasts, The Local reported.
“Medically, physiologically, anatomically — breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity,” said the study’s author, University of Besancon Prof. Jean-Denis Rouillon. “On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”
That appears to be due to less muscle development in women who wear bras. The study found women it tracked who went braless had better muscle tone and higher lift than their bra-wearing counterparts.
Rouillon, a sports science expert, took measurements from 130 women during the life of the study.
One woman who participated told The Local she can “breathe more easily. I carry myself better and I have less back pain.”
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The French study follows findings from British researchers that suggest bras might pose cancer risks.
Cardiff University Prof. Robert Mansel and Simon Cawthorn, from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, asked 100 women to ban their bras for three months and then return to wearing one for another three months.
On average, the women were pain free more (about seven percent more) without a bra, the Daily Mail reported.
The doctors say there might be a correlation between breast pain and developing breast cancer, although they didn’t connect bras and cancer directly.
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Health risks of wearing a bra
by PAUL KENDALL and JENNY HOPE
Women could be putting their health at risk by wearing bras, researchers have warned. A study by two British surgeons found they are more likely to suffer regular breast pain, which has been linked to breast cancer.
There is already international evidence that cultures where women do not wear bras are free of the cancer. The British research was carried out by Professor Robert Mansel, of Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales, and Simon Cawthorn, from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
They asked 100 premenopausal women to go without a bra for three months then return to wearing one for another three months and record any differences.
Their diaries showed that, on average, the number of totally pain-free days went up by 7 per cent when the women stopped wearing a bras.
Several separate studies have shown a link between breast pain and breast cancer. French researchers found women with monthly breast pain were twice as likely to develop the disease.
It is estimated that two in five British women suffer from breast pain, with some also having cysts. The pain can leave breasts feeling extremely tender, restrict movement and stop women from picking up their children.
Professor Mansel said: 'I know women who are unable to work because of breast pain. It's very common but very hard to treat.'
Medical anthropologist Sydney Singer has claimed that, across the world, breast cancer is a problem only in cultures where women wear bras.
He believes tight bras cause congestion in the lymph nodes - a vital part of the immune system and the body's first line of defence against the spread of cancer
Professor Mansel and Mr Cawthorn agree there is no evidence that wearing a bra brings any medical benefit. But the charity Breast Cancer Care warned women to be sceptical about the research.
A spokesman said last night: 'This study could frighten a lot of women, as most women in this country wear bras. It is certainly a very interesting study but it is a very small one, so any theories coming out of it really do need to be treated with caution.'
It is estimated that every two minutes someone is diagnosed with breast cancer and every thirteen minutes some dies as a result of breast cancer. It has also been shown that breast cancer tends to be higher in cultures where bras are worn frequently compared to where bras are absent.
In a report titled “Dressed to Kill”, it was discovered that wearing a bra for 12 hours daily increased the risk for breast cancer, cystic breasts, breast pain, breast tenderness and other breast related conditions. Ladies who had bras on for 18-24 hours daily have over a 100% increased incidence of breast cancer compared to those who don’t wear bras at all.
But the facts available are that bras create constant pressure on the breast, which compresses and constricts and hinders the lymphatic movement to the chest area. But if you are a woman who wears a bra and you see red marks and lines after taking your bra off, you are at a greater risk for breast cancer.
You cannot just go braless overnight but if you must wear a bra, try it along the lines below which will most likely reduce the risk associated with the wearing of a bra:
Don’t wear tight bras.
Choose a bra with no underwear
Used a larger size bra around your menstrual time as increased estrogen causes tissues to retain fluids making the breasts larger and the bra tighter.
Stop the use of deodorants/antiperspirants, if you can. Wash your armpits often with soap and water instead.
Sleep naked or in a stretchy T-shirt.
And most importantly wear bras only when it is completely necessary, this will reduce the number of hours you wear bra a day to the barest minimum.
So, do something for your health and your life.
(Information from - http://www-market-online.com/braless.php)
A few highlights of the history of research on bras and breast disease:
In the 1930s a paper was published making a connection between corsets and increased breast cancer rates.
1978 An M.D. in California published an article in a medical journal linking bras with elevated breast temperature, and he suggested that this might have a connection with breast cancer. He studied several hundred women in a medical practice and also observed that the heavier the bra material, the hotter the breast, and that bra-free women of all sizes had cooler breasts. (The Lancet, November 4, 1978, P. 1001 Dr. John M. Douglass, Department of Internal Medicine, S. Calif. Permanente Med. Center Los Angeles, California).
1991 Researchers at Harvard University publish a medical journal article on breast cancer risk. As a side issue of their paper, they mention that the women in their study that did not wear bras had a 60% lower rate of breast cancer than the women who wore bras. (Hsieh, C.C. and D. Trichopoulos, D. Eur. J. Cancer 27:131-5, 1991 "Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk")
1991 Researchers in Japan published a study on bras and sagging, in which they proved that a bra can actually increase breast sagging, rather than the opposite. This effect was most noticeable in larger breasted women. They compared bras to foot binding in their discussion section. ("Breast Form Changes Resulting From A Certain Brassiere" Journal of Hum. Ergol.(Tokyo) 1990 Jun; 19(1):53-62. Ashizawa K, Sugane A, Gunji T Institute of Human Living Sciences, Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo, Japan)
1995 Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease published their book, "Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras," (Avery Press). Their study included almost 4600 women, half of whom had breast cancer and half of whom did not. They found that the more hours per day that a bra is worn, the higher the rate of breast cancer and that women who do not wear bras have a dramatically reduced rate of breast cancer. Singer and Grismaijer have a website at: http://www.selfstudycenter.org/
1995 through the present. Many women, who had concerns about breast cancer risk and/or breast pain, quit wearing bras and then found that their pain and cysts of fibrocystic breast disease was dramatically decreased or eliminated. Several of these women wrote their own personal case histories, which appear on the web at: http://www.all-natural.com/fibrocys.html
May 1999. A landmark study was published in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet. This study showed that pre-menopausal women with fibrocystic breast disease have an almost 6-fold higher risk of future breast cancer. This study firmly refutes the advice of some doctors who have said that fibrocystic carries no increased risk. In all, there are now over 30 published medical and scientific research articles showing a connection between fibrocystic and increased breast cancer risk. (Lancet 1999 May 22;353(9166):1742-5 "Risk of breast cancer in women with palpable breast cysts: a prospective study." Edinburgh Breast Group. Dixon JM, McDonald C, Elton RA, Miller WR Edinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital, UK.")
2000. Two British breast surgeons conduct clinical trials at two breast clinics in England and Wales. They study 100 women to see if going bra-free (a more positive term the physicians used for braless) could lessen breast pain. Their study concluded that the majority of pre-menopausal women found decreased pain during a three-month bra-free study period. The women were instructed to not wear a bra for three months and instead to wear a loose and non-restricting camisole if they desired an alternative undergarment. For comparison, they then returned to wearing bras for another three months. For additional study control, another group of women did the reverse and were bra-wearers for three months, then bra-free for three months. A half-hour documentary was filmed in conjunction with the studies and was shown on nationwide television in England in November, 2000 on Channel 4 UK. Several of the women were interviewed and discussed the life-altering improvements in their breast health, such as being able to now pick up their children or hug their spouse without pain. (Simon Cawthorne, M.D. surgeon at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, England and Prof. Robert Mansel, M.D., Surgery Dept. Head, University of Wales Medical School, Cardif, Wales.) Doctors interviewed in the film commented about how breasts in bras are hotter than bra-free breasts and the possible connection of this breast heating with breast cancer. Prof. Hugh Simpson discussed his published research, which has previously proven that pre-cancerous and cancerous breasts are both hotter than normal breasts. The documentary included video thermography of women with and without bras, proving that bras cause localized heating of breast tissue.
2000. A group of researchers in Japan published their studies showing that wearing a girdle and bra lowers the levels of the hormone melatonin by 60 percent. (Chronobiol Int 2000 Nov;17(6):783-93 "The effects of skin pressure by clothing on circadian rhythms of core temperature and salivary melatonin." Lee YA, Hyun KJ, Tokura H, Department of Environmental Health, Nara Women's University, Japan.)
Melatonin is intimately involved with sleep cycles and is used to prevent jet-lag. Numerous published studies have suggested that melatonin has anti-cancer activities, that it is an antioxidant and can prevent DNA damage, and that it is intimately involved in the immune system and can bind directly to T helper cells. Researchers in Spain have published an article outlining the possible use of melatonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment (Histol Histopathol 2000 Apr;15(2):637-47). Recent research (J. Hansen, "Light at Night, Shiftwork, and Breast Cancer Risk" J Natl Cancer Inst 2001; 93: 1513-1515) has shown that nighttime exposure to light is associated with increased rates of breast cancer. This builds upon previous research that showed that light at night suppresses melatonin production.
December 2000. A medical doctor published his findings on shoulder pain treatment in women with large breasts. In this five-year study, it was suggested that patients remove the weight from their shoulders for a period of two weeks, either by going braless or by wearing a strapless bra. Only one woman chose a strapless bra and all the others went braless. Quoting the article, "Long-term outcome was presence or absence of muscle pain and tenderness. Seventy-nine percent of patients decided to remove breast weight from the shoulder permanently because it rendered them symptom free." (Ryan, EL, Clin J Pain 2000 Dec;16(4):298-303, "Pectoral girdle myalgia in women: a 5-year study in a clinical setting.")
(Information from - http://www.zhealthinfo.com/brasvscancer.htm)
Don’t wear a bra to bed
Use a bra loosely. It should never leave a mark on your back or skin.
When removing a bra, massage your breasts to get the lymph flowing again.
Try to minimize wearing underwire, push-up or strapless bras.
Try not to wear a bra at all.