Does Alcohol Stunt Growth?

Christian Senger/CC-BY-2.0

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, studies have found that alcohol consumption during puberty can alter growth hormone levels in both male and female adolescents. Studies of chronic alcohol consumption in rats showed a reduction in limb growth development when given an alcohol diet during adolescence.

In addition to hormone levels, studies have found that alcohol consumption decreases bone density in adolescent males. Adolescents are less likely to develop a sensitivity to alcohol’s effect on motor coordination due to the fact that the brain is still developing, causing adolescents to typically drink more than adults on each drinking occasion and become more vulnerable to chronic alcohol abuse.