Ever been used as arm rest by all your friends?
Yeah. Not fun. But maybe a little human growth hormone could help with that. Hey guys Julia here for DNews I have always said I’m average height, but
growing up I had oddly tall friends. I wished there was some way to make myself taller.
I know I’m about average height for a woman, which is approximately 5’4. But there are
some vertically challenged people who aren’t so lucky. Is there something they could do?
Well some people take human growth hormone, to build lean body mass or to add a few extra
inches to their height. Human growth hormone is a hormone naturally
produced in high amounts during childhood and adolescence, but a study published in
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that secretion decreases with age by
around 14% per decade. The hormone is produced in the pituitary gland, located at the base
of the brain. HGH tells the liver to produce a hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1).
The two hormones work together to tell the bones, muscles, and other tissues to grow. But due to various genetic conditions, like
Turner syndrome, SHOX deficiency and Noonan syndrome, some people just don’t produce
the hormone so they tend to be smaller than average. But according to one endocrinologist,
if they take synthetic human growth hormone, they could gain one to four inches. HGH does
more than add a few inches, it can even take away fat, according to a study published in
the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that HGH deficient adults who take the
synthetic hormone gain lean body mass and lose some fat body mass, which is incidentally
one of the reasons athletes dope with it. But some parents are giving the hormone to
their perfectly healthy, but short children. Because in our Western culture, we value tallness.
Studies show that taller people are generally more respected and have higher IQs and according
to several studies published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and another published
in the Journal of Human Capital, over the course of a lifetime taller folks tend to
earn more money. A lot more. According to lead authors of the Applied Psychology study,
a tall person will “enjoy literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage.” But giving your perfectly healthy but short
kid HGH might not be the best idea. First of all, it’s pretty expensive; costing as
much as 50,000 dollars. For spending all that money, it might not even add height to those
without a deficiency. Plus, it can cause some very serious health issues. Too much HGH can
cause a condition called acromegaly, which basically causes hands and feet swell, overly
pronounced facial features, and excessive sweating. HGH use can also trigger cardiomyopathy,
osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities, and impotence according to a study published in
the British Journal of Sports Medicine. And one study published in the journal Acta medica
Scandinavica found that condition can increase the risk of premature death from heart problems.
But still knowing all these risks, people still take HGH for more superficial reasons. So if your kid doesn’t have a hormone deficiency
and are thinking of spending upwards of 50,000 dollars to try and boost their height, think
of all the side-effects first. Being short isn’t really a health condition and plenty
of people wind up just fine looking up at the world. Plus they make good arm rests,
apparently. Love science? Love learning? What more hand
picked stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter, there’s
a link at the top of the description! And if you’re wondering more about that
whole being short and living longer thing, check out this episode right here So are you short? Did you get used as arm
rest by all your friends? Yeah story of my life. Tell me your story down in the comments
below.

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