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Human growth hormone

  1. Mar 25, 2008 #1
    I know this hormone can be dangerous and that using it isn't going to extend your life or anything...but can it affect height? Theoretically is there a way it could be used to grow a few inches, if so how much and in what way? (In someone in their 20s as opposed to someone in their teens) If not is there any way to hypothetically increase height. I know height is mostly genetic, but I thought that the genes might affect the hormones and that therefore the hormones might affect the height
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2008 #2


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    It can help during puberty, when growth is normally still occurring, but once you've reached adulthood and the "growth" (epiphyseal) plates in the bones are closed, it no longer can have any effect on height. It's use in teens purely for adding a few extra inches of height is controversial, partly because of the potential side effects (especially in a person who is at an age when hormones are already pretty wacky, and the brain isn't fully developed), and partly because "short" isn't a disorder. It's hard to justify the risk of side effects when there's nothing actually wrong with a person.
  4. Mar 27, 2008 #3
    :redface: MoonBear doesn't sound like MoonBear

    I used to think hormone secreted can be quantitatively justified. But is this incorrect ?
    I'm sorry to interveen anyay
  5. Mar 27, 2008 #4


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    I'm not sure what you mean by the phrase "quantitatively justified." Perhaps you meant measured? If one determines that a person has a growth hormone deficiency, yes, that would be an indication for treatment with growth hormone (it is still unlikely to help with height if this is detected too late in life). But, I interpreted the OP to be asking about an otherwise healthy/normal person who just wants to grow a few inches, not someone with a diagnosed growth hormone deficiency, who would have more than just problems with height.
  6. Mar 27, 2008 #5
    well Im five feet and 22
    I've always been short and I USED to like being short and I still do but if I can use human growth hormone to grow taller than I may want to do that before it's even more too late
    Is it possible I have a growth hormone deficiency and using human growth hormone (with a doctor) could help me grow taller?

    My mom's five foot two, my sister's five foot three, but it could be a genetic deficiency of human growth hormone right?
  7. Mar 30, 2008 #6
    No self respecting physician will give you GH just so you can be taller, you probably just don't have genetics on your side if you have other short family members. Either way, GH would have no benefit to you now as Moonbear said, your growth plates are fused, if you were given GH now you would experience acromegaly (what adults with increased GH get) rather than an increase in height which you definitely do not want.
  8. Apr 3, 2008 #7
    they did a study where a mouse lived to the equivalent of 180-200 years http://news.siu.edu/news/January03/011503k3016.html
    Mouse, whose initials stood for "Growth Hormone Receptor-Knock Out," came from a line of research mice that produce growth hormone but do not respond to it.

    Human growth hormone decreases as we age right?
    Is it possible that if a person had growth hormone receptors successfully knocked out they could live to 180-200 years?
    Based on this research do you think it would (if it was successful) be beneficial to a young person to not respond to a human growth hormone/have a human growth hormone, something like that? Is it the response to the human growth hormone which (among lots of other things) helps the body age?
  9. Apr 3, 2008 #8


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    Receptor knock outs (or any other gene knock out) are done before cell division of the egg occurs. This is a life long knock out. There is no such thing as knocking out a gene in an adult. And, as you can see from the photo in that article, this mouse is hardly normal.

    The other challenge with knock out studies is that we never fully know what other compensatory mechanisms kick in to allow the animal to survive despite its deficit. The longevity of the mouse may have nothing to do with the inability to use growth hormone, but could have been due to something else that increased to make up for it, or that was also decreased as a result of it.

    Beyond that, your question requires too much speculation to be answered, so I'm locking this thread.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
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