At metabolism.com we receive a lot of questions from members wondering whether growth hormone therapy will help them grow taller. Lorraine’s question, posted below, is typical. The single most important factor determining the effect of growth hormone on improving height, is whether the bone still has growth plates that are “open” because when the growth plates close (or fuse), the bone cannot get any longer. If the bone’s in the legs cannot grow full adult height has been achieved and taking growth hormone won’t change that.
Here is Lorraine’s question and below that is my response.
Lorraine writes to metabolism.com:
Iâ€™m 21 years old and am only 4 â€œ10. Is there any way that HGH injections could help me grow a couple of inches? Please respond back to my question because I need to know if its too late since I already hit puberty.
My response to Lorraine is the following (I’m assuming Lorraine is really 21…not 12)
From the time of birth we grow rapidly in good part due to the action of growth hormone which is released from the pituitary gland.
At puberty the release of testosterone in boys and estrogen in girls begins the process of final bone maturation. Children often experience a period of rapid growth known as a growth spurt at this time. Girls usually complete their growth spurt within a year or two of their first menstrual period. Boys tend to finish their growth phase when they are older compared to girls.
Growth ends because the areas of the bones known as the growth plates become sealed or fused. After that growth hormone has little effect to cause increased height. Bones in the face, feet and hands may still be susceptible to growth effects of growth hormone, with not particularly desirable results.
An adult who has not grown in a few years cannot generally get taller in response to growth hormone due to the fusion of their long bones. Taking HGH is unlikely to make you taller.
Aside from controlling height, growth hormone is likely to have other non-growth related benefits like preserving muscle and soft tissue and perhaps other general maintenance functions in the immune and central nervous systems. These benefits of growth hormone can be lost during aging since the pituitary production of growth hormone usually declines in later years.
I hope this information is helpful for you.
Disclaimer: This information does not substitute for the advice of your own physician and is for general learning purposes only.