Long before our familiar friend Mr R attained the title of being known as ‘the research guy’, he was referred to by an altogether different term of endearment: daid-foottee (the one-and-a-half footer.)
Although with gargantuan amounts of milk consumed regularly and plenty of physical activity and rest Mr R made it through just fine in the end, he did not, however, manage to evade falling prey to the fancy of Yoko Height.
In fact, for many years, Mr R enjoyed the tingly sensation of perennially keeping separate pairs of that device in each of his most frequently worn shoes. Although all that was lost was an aggregate of Rs10,000 and time that could have been better spent towards reading or research, nobody likes to know that they were scammed and Mr R is no exception to that.
Grow Taller, Strong Bones and No Iron, Calcium Deficiency
How height increase occurs
Lengthening of bones i.e. long-bone growth, occurs through the interplay between two factors: hormones and growth plates.
>> The master hormone of growth in the body is known as the growth hormone (GH), which is secreted in the largest amounts in the earlier hours of the night i.e. deep sleep.
>> GH works to stimulate the production of another hormone, Insulin-like-growth factor-1 (IGF-1.)
>> Now, IGF-1 acts directly on growth plates found at the end of each long-bone, called epiphseal growth plates, whereupon starts a multi-step sequence in the bone that eventually leads to bone formation, a process called endochondrial ossification.
So when Yoko Height came along with the promise to make adults up to 30 years-old taller by several inches by a mysterious form of therapy from the Far East, perhaps we were too excited to welcome the sceptic in us and play detective. A visit to an orthopedic doctor, followed by an X-ray of one of the long-bones (typically the left wrist), and an examination (i.e. getting your ‘bone endings’ checked) is all that is needed to determine whether one can still grow taller spontaneously.
The only established alternative is a surgical procedure in which limbs are fractured, separated, and then allowed to heal, which causes new bone to develop in the created gap. This process, called distraction osteogenesis, has been a recurring theme and popular culture in the West.