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There are a wide range of factors that affect height in humans. These include: diet, lifestyle, environmental factors and genetic composition. These factors stimulate the growth in height, up to the age of eighteen years. This varies for both the sexes, as growth in females halts sooner than the growth in males. Genetic factors are responsible for establishing the height of an individual in almost 80 % of the cases, however hormones also play a critical role in determining the height.

How do hormones influence height?

Increase in height is attributed to the growth of the epiphyseal plate, which are present on either side of the long bones - the femur, tibia, fibula, humerus, etc. These plates are also referred to as growth plates, which primarily comprise of cartilaginous tissue. Calcium deposition and bone growth takes place along the margins of these growth plates and the bone increases in size and length. This in turn results in increase in the height.

Under normal circumstances, epiphyseal plates tend to get completely transformed to solid bone by the eighteenth year of life. Accordingly, this limit’s the ability of an individual to gain more height.

Increase in height is affected by a host of hormones. Here are a few hormones that affect height:

• Human Growth Hormone: A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, it stimulates the production of IGF-1 from the liver. IGF-1 promotes the replication and growth of epiphyseal cells. This growth and multiplication of epiphyseal cells tends to increase the length and improve the shape of the bone. HGH hence plays a crucial role in enhancing height

• Calcitonin: a hormone released by the thyroid gland, it is important in regulating the levels of calcium in the blood. This hormone ensures the availability of calcium for the growth of long bones in the body and thereby tends to affect height.

Increasing Height using Hormonal Therapy:

It is important to understand that the height increase takes place up to the age of eighteen years, after which the epiphyseal plates get transformed into bone. Thus, any therapy or treatment regimen needs to be implemented prior to this age to increase the possibility of the therapy being effective.

Human Growth Hormone Therapy is known to provide powerful benefits with regards to enhancing the height in adolescents. HGH Therapy could involve the use of HGH injections (which require a doctor’s prescription), HGH pills and supplements (which can be purchased over the counter) or HGH nasal sprays or homeopathic mixtures.

Research studies have indicated that the use of the Growth Hormone can enhance height by about five to six inches within a few months. The beneficial action of HGH is quick and visible, compared to the use of conventional techniques which aid in height gain by a couple of inches and can take several years to show beneficial effects.

It is essential to understand that the use of biosynthetic Human Growth Hormone (HGH), is considered safe under medical advice, however the prolonged use of HGH therapy can result in side effects like abnormal growth of hands, feet and face. The use is also frequently associated with heart damage, elevated levels of blood pressure, muscular weakness and increased risk of developing cancer. Most of these complications are observed with the use of HGH injections, while the use of HGH supplements, pills, nasal sprays, etc have rarely been associated with such severe complications.

Height increase using alternative techniques:

There are a host of alternative techniques which can aid in increasing the height naturally. Here are a few beneficial techniques:

• Diet: Diet plays a very critical role in enhancing natural increase in height and also stimulating the production of the growth hormone. Avoid food that is high in carbohydrates, soda fatty, greasy snacks, etc. Alternatively, increase the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses. Step up the intake of dairy products, egg and fish, which are rich in calcium and supply the body with generous amounts of the essential mineral.

• Exercise: Regular exercise increases the level of adrenaline and stimulates nerve activity. This in turn promotes the augmentation of the Human Growth Hormone. Simple stretches and Yoga have also found to have profound benefits on increasing height, though the benefits could take several years to become visible.

• Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is an important factor, since sleep stimulates the natural production of the HGH, while also helping in reducing stress. Getting a minimum of eight hour of sleep at night is necessary to stimulate the production of HGH and help increase height.