Q:

Do height growth supplements work?

A:

Quick Answer

There is no evidence to suggest that taking height growth supplements enhances height beyond the natural growth people experience during puberty, Go Ask Alice, which is part of the Columbia Health service, states. Factors that do influence how a person grows include genetics, socioeconomic determinants, their environment and nutrition.

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Full Answer

Although height supplements exist, there is little evidence to support the idea that they promote growth. One way to encourage growth is to take human growth hormones. However, they are medically prescribed substances that doctors only administer for certain conditions, such as Turner syndrome.

Most people do not continue growing in their twenties, and the majority of growth occurs during puberty. Several factors influence how tall a person is. During puberty, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factors play an important role in growth spurts. Parent-child correlations in height suggest that genetic factors exist, and parents can pass down genetic disorders that influence a child's height. Socioeconomic factors usually influence nutrition, and eating a diet that is well balanced and rich in protein and calcium promotes healthy growth. Other environmental factors play a role, too, such as how often a child is exposed to disease.

While the claims made by growth supplement manufacturers vary, those that list herbal ingredients and offer no studies supporting their statements should be approached with caution. Individuals who are very concerned about their height may wish to consult their primary care physician.

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