WHILE big boobs are the dream of every woman, for Tinashe (not real name) — whose boobs resemble those of a breastfeeding woman — they have psychologically tormented him as he experiences sleepless nights.

Recently, Mpofu took his problem to one of the leading churches — Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries led by Walter Magaya — in Harare, seeking divine healing. Mpofu has boobs that are larger than those of most women.

After Mpofu was shown on PHD Ministries’ Yadah television — the following Sunday saw numerous other men with enlarged boobs flooding the Waterfalls-based church for divine healing.

Magaya confirmed that a number of men with boobs were flocking to his church for divine intervention and that they were being healed.

“Those breasts in men are caused by spiritual attacks hence they need a divine solution. People are being delivered from the problem but there is no exact time-frame for the healing process to be completed. It depends on the faith of the person being delivered.

“Spiritual problems work hand in hand with one’s level of believing, that is, faith,” Magaya said. PHD Ministries senior pastor Admire Mango added that the number of men with boobs is increasing with each church service.

“Initially, there was only one man and the number rose to four in another week. This Sunday, we are expecting the number to double or treble, considering that people are being delivered. There is great improvement on one of the men with boobs who was delivered three weeks ago, the breasts are disappearing,” said Mango.

Medical experts said the condition is called gynecomastia and is caused by many factors including hormonal disorder, beer drinking and overweight among other reasons.

A study carried out at Boston Children’s Hospital and reported in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that gynecomastia — which is not a serious problem in many cases — negatively affects self-esteem as well as other areas of emotional health in men and adolescent boys.

Team leader, Brian I Labow wrote: “Merely having gynecomastia was sufficient to cause significant deficits in general health, social functioning, mental health, self-esteem, and eating behaviours and attitudes compared with controls.”

A veteran and retired medical doctor who is also an author, Boniface Manyame told the WeekendPost that it is almost like normal for men to develop breasts.

“It is a common thing for men to develop breasts, especially during adolescence though they should not be bigger than those of most women. It is difficult to treat the problem unless if the health practitioner is able to identify the real cause,” said Manyame.

Manyame concurred with other health practitioners that the problem is largely caused by hormonal disorder.

Health practitioners contend that “man boobs are caused by an imbalance between two of the main sex hormones — testosterone and estrogen. More specifically it is the conversion, via the enzyme aromatase, of the male hormone testosterone into the female hormone estrogen. Testosterone is the hormone that should be at the top of all of your wish lists as it is a prime driver for muscle mass, sex drive, and even improves ambition and focus.”

Beer drinking has been also cited as the cause of large breasts in men.

“The hops in beer are incredibly estrogenic and regular consumption of beer will always have a feminising effect. With the exception of moderate amounts of Pinot Noir and Merlot, alcohol isn’t good for body composition in general, but beer is terrible and will completely sabotage any fat loss programme,” said Nick Mitchell a health practitioner and nutritional coach who specialises in body composition and reprogramming for fat loss and muscle gain. Overweight has also been cited as the cause of male boobs.

“For some people the causes of man boobs are pretty damn obvious. If you are four stone overweight, the last thing you need to worry about is the cosmetic appearance of your chest, you need to just drop fat for the sake of your health.

“However, testosterone is converted to estrogen primarily in the fat cells, so the blunt truth is that the fatter you are the more likely you are to possess a rack to make your little sister jealous,” health practitioners said.