The topic of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and its alleged role in influencing one’s height has ignited a contentious debate. On one side of the spectrum, there are individuals who fervently attest that HGH has bestowed them with those coveted extra inches in height. On the other side, skeptics argue vehemently that there exists a glaring lack of concrete scientific evidence to substantiate these claims.
HGH, a hormone meticulously crafted by the pituitary gland nestled within our brains, is undeniably a linchpin in orchestrating a plethora of bodily processes. Among its myriad functions, HGH plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) within the body, a molecule with the potential to influence the structure and strength of our bones. This crucial interplay has cast a spotlight on the tantalizing prospect of HGH as a catalyst for increasing height.
Thus, the enigmatic query lingers: Can HGH truly be credited with contributing to an increase in stature?
To unravel this mystery and ascertain the veracity of these claims, we must embark on a journey through the realm of scientific research and expert opinions. Armed with the collective knowledge and findings of scholars and scientists, we endeavor to gain deeper insights into the intricate relationship between HGH and the growth of one’s stature.
For those of you who harbor a curiosity to unearth the truth behind the potential effects of HGH on height and to determine whether it indeed holds the key to reaching new heights, I invite you to delve further into this exploration. In the ensuing sections, we shall delve into the subject matter with meticulous scrutiny, shedding light on the conundrum surrounding HGH and its purported role in enhancing our vertical dimensions. Join us on this quest as we strive to decipher the genuine potential of HGH in the quest for increased height.
What is HGH?
HGH, also known as Human Growth Hormone and somatotropin, is a natural hormone that your pituitary gland makes and releases to many parts of the body to stimulate growth in children. When the growth plates in the bones have fused, HGH will not increase height anymore. However, the body still needs it to maintain normal body structure and metabolism.
Hormones are vital chemicals that regulate various functions in the body by transferring messages via your blood to your tissues, muscles, and organs. These signals will tell the body what to do and when to do it.
The pituitary gland is a small and pea-sized endocrine gland placed at the base of your brain. It is connected to your hypothalamus via the pituitary stalk. Thanks to this stalk, your hypothalamus connects to the pituitary gland and announces it to release particular hormones. In this case, it stimulates releasing human growth hormone.
How does HGH affect height growth?
HGH triggers growth in almost every tissue and organ in the body. But it is popular for its growth-increasing effect on bone and cartilage, especially during childhood and puberty. Cells in bones called osteoblasts and cells in cartilage called chondrocytes take signals from HGH to speed up replication and allow for growth in size. Although HGH will not increase height anymore when the growth plates in a teen’s bones have fused, it aids in keeping body structure during the rest of life.
That is about normal growth, but what happens when HGH levels are too low or too high?
Low HGH levels
Having low HGH levels makes children grow slowly. Basically, they might grow less than about 1.4 inches in height per year. Hypopituitarism is one of the main reasons for HGH deficiency in children. It might be caused by genetics or damage to their pituitary gland at birth or later in life.
High HGH levels
Children might get heightened HGH levels before reaching their final height, which might result in too much growth of long bones and have a very tall stature. It is called acromegaly or sometimes gigantism. Children with acromegaly often grow up to 7 feet or taller if left untreated. Moreover, they might have general weakness, headaches, and delayed puberty.
How to boost HGH naturally?
The HGH levels change regularly, so you can naturally increase them by:
Have healthy eating
Maintaining a balanced diet helps optimize HGH production. Below are some special foods that you should add to your diet.
- Melatonin-rich foods: eggs, fish, tomatoes, nuts, mustard seeds, raspberries, pomegranate, and grapes.
- Tryptophan-dense foods: eggs, meat, beans, grains, and milk.
- Arginine-rich foods: red meat, chicken, nuts, seeds, soybeans, and brown rice.
- Glutamine-rich foods: fish, meat, eggs, spinach, and yogurt.
- Ornithine-rich foods: beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and soya beans.
Do not eat a lot before bedtime
Eating a lot before going to bed causes a rise in insulin levels, which might block some of the HGH released at night. Keep in mind that insulin levels might reduce 2-3 hours after eating. So, you should avoid protein- or carb-based meals 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Exercise at a high intensity
That said, high-intensity exercises boost HGH the most, but all forms of exercise are helpful. You can perform sprinting, interval training, weight training, or circuit training to promote HGH levels and optimize fat loss.
Get enough sleep
When you sleep, HGH levels are highest, and they are mainly influenced by your sleep cycles. Production normally peaks before midnight, followed by a few weak pulses in the early morning. Hence, you need to be sound asleep before midnight to get the best out of these cycles. Research has also pointed out that HGH levels start increasing after an hour of sleep. And if you experience poor sleep, this can lower the amount of HGH.
Here are simple ways that you should try to optimize your sleep:
- Set up a comfortable temperature in the bedroom.
- Read a book in the evening.
- Avoid blue light exposure before bedtime for at least an hour.
- Do not consume caffeine late in the day.
Lower sugar intake
As mentioned above, a higher level of insulin is related to lower HGH levels.
Sugary foods and refined carbs, like white rice, white bread, and pasta, are known to spike your insulin levels. In addition to affecting insulin levels, extra sugar intake might lead to weight gain and obesity, which also influence HGH levels.
Do you know that your HGH levels can increase by 300% when you fast for 3 days? And after 1 week of fasting, HGH production is at 1,250% . But, constant fasting is not viable in the long term. So, you need to find the proper balance between when you eat and when to fast. One simple approach is a daily 8-hour eating window with a 16-hour fast.
Intermittent fasting might affect HGH production both in the short term and in the long term. In the short term, fasting makes your insulin low. In the long term, it reduces your body fat. And both help boost growth hormone secretion.
Shed body fat
People with higher levels of belly fat might get impaired HGH production and an increased risk of disease. A study showed that those with 3x the amount of belly fat as the control group had half their growth hormones. Also, excessive fat is highly connected to low HGH production. That is the reason why we mentioned above that you should avoid sugary meals, especially before bedtime to control your insulin and keep your weight in check.
Is using growth hormone therapy necessary?
If you are considering this therapy for your children, you need to know the benefits and drawbacks in advance.
A long-term process
Growth hormone injections are given on a daily basis, even some need three shots per week. The treatment is prescribed for years and might continue as long as there is growth potential. Aside from injecting growth hormone, some children might need to get other hormones to maintain their hormone levels balanced.
The cost might fluctuate from $10,000 to $40,000 every year. The treatment is rarely covered by health insurance unless it is for dealing with a serious medical condition.
If you are considering this therapy, make sure to discuss your expectations with your doctor, including how much height your kid might get. And your kid needs to understand the practical potential for growth as well. On average, growth hormone therapy might add between 1 to 3 inches. Your kid might grow taller, but he might be shorter than average. So, the important thing is to be open, focus on his self-esteem, and always remind him he is amazing just the way he is.
HGH is a hormone produced in the body by the pituitary gland. It delivers vital functions in growth, muscle mass, bone health, and metabolism. And it is not too tough to increase this hormone naturally through many ways mentioned above. But it is recommended to consult your doctor if you want to make significant changes to your dietary or physical habits or take HGH treatments.
- Related post: Does Working Out Make You Taller Naturally?