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  • Writer's pictureDr. Yuksel Yurttas

Is Height Genetic? 7 Factors that Influence Human Height

Human height has been the symbol of power and authority among people for generations. People often think that height is a fixed trait determined by genes, but many scientific studies have shown that physical condition is affected by a variety of factors, such as environment, nutrition, hormones, and medical conditions. In this article, you will learn about the factors that affect height growth and how to get taller at any age.

Here are the seven factors that affect a person's height:

1. DNA

DNA Animation

The primary component that determines a person's height is DNA or heredity. Heredity is the process by which genes pass on physical traits from parents to children. It affects everything about your body, including your height, weight, body shape, eye color, hair color, and even your intelligence. DNA is thought to affect human height by 80%. Therefore, if you come from a genetically short family, you are more likely to be short.

2. Hormones

Three hormones play a role in promoting human growth. These are:

- Growth hormones: The pituitary gland produces growth hormones, the most crucial hormones for growth. Some health problems in childhood can make the body produce less growth hormone, which can affect height. If this condition is detected at an early age, treatment with a growth hormone injection may be recommended by the physician.

Pituitary Gland

- Thyroid hormones: The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that have an influence on growth.

- Sex hormones: During puberty, testosterone and estrogen play very significant roles in growth and development.

It should also be pointed out that sleep is an essential component for the appropriate functioning of the hormone secretion process in the body. Sleep supports growth and development in children and teenagers. The body secretes the growth hormones that it requires while it is in a deep sleep state. Therefore, getting an adequate amount of sleep might enable healthy growth.

3. Environment

Environmental factors are one of the main reasons why there is so much variation in human height. The social, emotional, economic, and physical environment has an impact on the growth and development of the child. Studies show that children raised in poor environmental conditions are much less likely to grow significantly in height.

4. Nutrition

The development of children is adversely affected by poor food quality, rising food prices, and a lack of access to sufficient nutritional sources. When kids don't get enough to eat, they might not grow as tall as their well-nourished peers. In addition, children born to parents who did not eat properly during pregnancy are more likely to have growth and development issues.

Nutrition and diet for height growth
It should be noted that bone health and development rely heavily on a diet rich in protein and calcium, especially during growth.

5. Living Conditions

Another factor affecting human height is living conditions. Different living conditions directly affect the average height of men and women. Studies show that people living in ideal conditions are taller than those from third-world and developing countries. These countries lack the necessary healthcare infrastructure and economic resources to combat the negative effects on people's physical and mental health and growth. As a result, men and women are significantly shorter than their counterparts in more developed regions with greater economic opportunities.

6. Sex

Men are, on average, taller than women worldwide. Additionally, boys are likely to continue growing for a longer period of time than girls. The average height difference between an adult male and an adult female is 14 centimeters (5.5 inches).

In the past, men and women were both considerably shorter than they are now. The average human being has grown about 10 cm (3.9 inches) in the last 150 years as a result of evolutionary changes and improvements in environmental factors, technology, medicine, and nutrition.

7. Physical Activities

Sports and other forms of physical activity are crucial for growth at early ages. Simply put, physical activities such as exercise and sports help build muscle and bone mass. Data shows that the average human height is greater in industrialized nations where sports are widely practiced.

kids playing basketball
Although physical activity is one of the factors that affect growth, scientists have concluded that sports such as basketball do not have a direct effect on a person's height.

What should be done for growth and development problems in children?

Many factors may underlie growth and development problems in children. When these problems are noticed, you should go to a pediatrician immediately instead of finding a solution yourself.

Is there a way for adults to grow taller?

In humans, bone growth stops at the end of puberty when the growth plates close. For this reason, it is no longer possible to naturally grow taller. However, advances in medicine and technology allow adults to grow in height permanently. Height lengthening procedure, also known as limb lengthening surgery, allows adults to grow up to 8 cm with one surgery and up to 15 cm with two surgeries.

The process of lengthening the limbs requires a significant amount of time, patience, and accuracy. To learn more about the procedure, browse our website or book a free consultation now.


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