How to increase height: Factors that influence growth

The main factor that influences a person’s height is their genetic makeup. However, many other factors can influence height during development, including nutrition, hormones, activity levels, and medical conditions.

Scientists believe that genetic makeup, or DNA, is responsible for about 80% of a person’s height. This means, for instance, that tall people tend to have children who also grow up to be tall.

People usually grow until they reach 18 years of age. Before then, a range of environmental factors can affect how tall they become.

This article covers the factors that affect a person’s height, some ways people can increase height during development, and whether or not adults can increase their height.

Babies and children grow continuously. This is due to changes in the growth plates in the long bones of their arms and legs.

As the growth plates make new bone, the long bones get longer, and the child gets taller.

People grow the fastest in the first 9 months of life, before being born. After birth, this slows down.

Once a child is 8 years old, they will grow at an average of 2.16 inches (in), or 5.5 centimeters (cm), per year.

That said, teenagers will have a “growth spurt” around the time of puberty. After this, the growth plates stop making new bone, and the person will stop growing. The hands and feet stop growing first, then the arms and legs. The last area to stop growing is the spine.

Due to typical aging processes, people begin to lose height gradually as they get older.

The following factors can affect how tall a person will become:


DNA is the main factor determining a person’s height.

Scientists have identified more than 700 different genes that determine height. Some of these genes affect the growth plates, and others affect the production of growth hormones.

Normal height ranges are different for people from different ethnic backgrounds. Again, this is determined by their DNA.

Some genetic conditions can also affect a person’s adult height, including Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome.


The body produces hormones that instruct the growth plates to make new bone. These include:

  • Growth hormones: These are made in the pituitary gland and are the most important hormone for growth. Some health conditions can restrict the amount of growth hormones the body makes, and this can impact height. Children with a rare genetic condition called congenital growth hormone deficiency, for example, will grow at a much slower rate than other children.
  • Thyroid hormones: The thyroid gland makes hormones that influence growth.
  • Sex hormones: Testosterone and estrogen are very important for growth during puberty.


Males tend to be taller than females. Males may also continue growing for longer than females. On average, an adult male is 5.5 in (14 cm) taller than an adult female.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, the average male is 69 in (175.2 cm) tall, and the average female is 63.6 in (161.5 cm) tall.

Learn about what age girls stop growing and what age boys stop growing here.

People cannot control most of the factors that influence their height. This is because they are determined by DNA, which they cannot change.

However, some factors can increase or reduce growth during childhood and puberty. Growing children and teenagers can take some steps to maximize their adult height. These include:

Ensuring good nutrition

Nutrition plays a very important role in growth. Children without good nutrition may not be as tall as children with adequate nutrition.

Nutritionists recommend that children and young people eat a varied, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. This will ensure that they get all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.

Protein and calcium are particularly important for bone health and growth. Some protein-rich foods include:

  • meat
  • poultry
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds

Some calcium-rich foods include:

Ensuring good nutrition during pregnancy is also important for the bone health and growth of the fetus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that pregnant women consume a variety of foods, including “green and orange vegetables, meat, fish, beans, nuts, pasteurized dairy products, and fruit.”

Getting enough sleep

Sleep promotes growth and development in children and teenagers. During deep sleep, the body releases the hormones it needs to grow. Getting enough sleep may therefore allow optimal growth.

Getting regular exercise

Regular exercise is also important for normal physical development. Playing outside or taking part in sports, for example, can make bones healthier, denser, and stronger.

Once a person has been through puberty, the growth plates stop making new bone. They fuse together, and the person stops growing. This means that when a person reaches 18 years of age, they are not able to increase their height.

Practicing good posture and keeping the back and core muscles strong can allow a person to stand straighter and appear taller.

Learn more about growing factors that affect height as an adult here.

Height is largely determined by DNA. However, environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise can affect growth during development.

As children get older, they need good nutrition and plenty of exercise to help their bodies make the hormones they need to grow. Teenagers will experience a growth spurt during puberty. After that, their bones will stop growing, and they will not get any taller.

Good nutrition during pregnancy is also important for the future bone health and growth of the baby.

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2020, in News.

Ethmoid sinusitis: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. Ethmoid sinusitis is the inflammation of a specific group of sinuses — the ethmoid sinuses — which sit between the nose and eyes.

The ethmoid sinuses are hollow spaces in the bones around the nose. They have a lining of mucus to help prevent the nose from drying out. Inflammation of the ethmoid sinuses can lead to pressure and pain around the nose and between the eyes.

In this article, we look at the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of ethmoid sinusitis and when to see a doctor. We also discuss how to treat and prevent ethmoid sinusitis.

The mucous lining of the sinuses traps dust, germs, and pollutants. When the sinuses become inflamed, the mucus cannot flow normally. Tissue swelling traps mucus in the sinuses, which can allow germs to grow.

In ethmoid sinusitis, this inflammation affects the ethmoid sinuses. People have four groups of sinuses, each of which can become inflamed:

The causes of ethmoid sinusitis will typically be similar to those of other forms of sinusitis. They may include:

  • a viral infection, including the common cold
  • seasonal allergies
  • smoking or secondhand smoke
  • a weakened immune system
  • the narrowing of the nasal passages due to nasal polyps

A person with ethmoid sinusitis may experience many symptoms common to all sinus infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these can include:

  • a runny nose
  • a blocked nose
  • pain around the face
  • a feeling of pressure around the face
  • headaches
  • mucus dripping down into the throat from the nose
  • a sore throat
  • a cough
  • bad breath

In addition, they may experience symptoms specific to ethmoid sinusitis because of the position of these sinuses near the eyes. These symptoms include a swollen, red, or painful eye.

Sinusitis can either be acute, meaning that a person has it for only a short time, or chronic, where it lasts for more than 12 weeks, even with treatment.

As with other types of sinusitis, the most common cause of ethmoid sinusitis is a virus, such as the common cold. In these cases, it will often resolve without a person needing to see a doctor.

According to the CDC, a person should speak to a doctor if:

  • they have very intense symptoms, such as severe pain in the face or a severe headache
  • their symptoms get better but then get worse
  • their symptoms do not get better over more than 10 days
  • they have a fever for more than 3–4 days

When diagnosing ethmoid sinusitis, a doctor will ask the person how they have been feeling and carry out a physical examination to look for the characteristic signs and symptoms of sinusitis. These may include:

  • congestion, obstruction, or blockage in and around the nose
  • significant amounts of mucus in the nose
  • facial pressure or pain

The doctor may also look into the person’s nose, throat, or ears for visible signs of inflammation. After this examination, if the doctor is not certain about the correct diagnosis, they may also insert a thin tube with a light and a camera on the end into the nose to examine the sinus tissues.

Occasionally, a doctor may recommend an X-ray or a CT scan to determine the likely cause of the person’s symptoms.

According to the CDC, a person’s sinus infection will usually get better on its own. However, if a doctor suspects a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics.

The doctor may also prescribe:

  • decongestants to help drain the sinuses
  • antihistamines to reduce inflammation resulting from an allergic reaction
  • nasal steroids to reduce inflammation in and around the nose
  • saline nasal sprays, which increase moisture in the nose
  • pain relievers, if a person’s sinusitis is causing a lot of pain

The CDC also note that home remedies may help some people. They recommend putting a warm compress over the affected area or breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water or a shower.

Read more about how to treat sinus infections here.

People can often prevent sinus infections by taking steps to stay healthy and to help others stay healthy. These include:

  • practicing good hand hygiene
  • getting the recommended vaccines, such as the flu and pneumococcal vaccines
  • avoiding contact with people who currently have an upper respiratory infection, including a cold
  • avoiding smoke and secondhand smoke
  • using a clean humidifier at home to add moisture to the air

Most people should find that ethmoid sinusitis resolves on its own with some basic self-care and home remedies. If a doctor thinks that ethmoid sinusitis is due to a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics, which are usually very effective.

According to an article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, if nasal polyps or a problem with the structure of a person’s nasal passage is causing their ethmoid sinusitis, they may require surgery to reduce the likelihood of their ethmoid sinusitis reoccurring.

People may wish to see their doctor for more information about the causes, treatment, and prevention of sinusitis, particularly if the condition is chronic.

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2020, in News.

Benefits, safety, and side effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) is available in many forms, including oils, tablets, and creams. The ideal dosages vary depending on both its form and usage. There is little research, though, so doctors are not yet able to confirm the safe, beneficial dosages for each use.

CBD is an active ingredient in the cannabis plant. Products that contain CBD may provide some health benefits, but they can also pose risks.

The CBD market is growing at a fast rate, and the body of research is expanding. However, there is still confusion about the laws, how to use CBD, and its safety and effectiveness.

CBD products are legal, though their legal status varies among states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not control most CBD products. As a result, the quality, amount of CBD per dose, and safety of the products can vary dramatically, and it is difficult to calculate an optimal dosage.

This article looks at the dosages of CBD, including the research into which dosages are safe and effective, as well as the possible risks of using CBD products.

To date, the FDA have only approved one cannabis-derived product, which is called Epidiolex, and it is only available by prescription. This approval covers the treatment of seizures in people with severe types of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The dosage for Epidiolex, a form of CBD oil, is as follows:

  • The starting dosage is 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) twice daily, making a total dosage of 5 mg/kg each day.
  • After 1 week, people may increase the dosage to 5 mg/kg twice daily, which is a total of 10 mg/kg per day.

All other products that contain CBD fall outside FDA regulations, so there are no official guidelines for their dosage. Some manufacturers are advertising CBD products with unproven medical claims, and the quality and safety of these products can vary.

Before using any other CBD products, a person should speak to their doctor about appropriate dosages.

The dosage that a person takes will depend on the method of administration that they are using and the specific product. Methods of administration include:

  • CBD oil solutions
  • CBD capsules
  • tablets that a person places under the tongue (sublingual)
  • nasal sprays

Recently, a wider range of products containing CBD has become available. These items include food products, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and animal health products.

Research into CBD therapy is still in its early days, and scientists need to conduct many more research studies to determine the benefits and risks of CBD products. Importantly, researchers need to work out the ideal CBD dosages that are both safe and effective for each condition.

As a therapy, CBD oil has gained a high level of research interest. At Medical News Today, we have covered what the research to date has shown about the role of CBD in the following conditions:

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, research has suggested that CBD oil may also have therapeutic benefits for the following conditions:

As the FDA have only approved the use of CBD for specific forms of epilepsy, doctors know little about what dosage people should take when they use it for other reasons. As with any drug, the appropriate dosage is one that provides a therapeutic effect and is well-tolerated.

In clinical studies, researchers have used various oral dosages of CBD, ranging from 100–800 mg per day.

Some studies use even higher dosages. According to a review, an individual reported an improvement in psychosis after taking 1,200 mg per day for a few weeks. In another study, people with schizophrenia reported benefits after taking increasing dosages of 40–1,280 mg per day for 4 weeks.

In a study into the effects of CBD in people with Parkinson’s disease and psychosis, six participants showed significant improvement in symptoms with a dosage of 150 mg per day of CBD.

The following table lists the method of administration and dosage of CBD that researchers have used to study its therapeutic effects on different medical conditions.

To find out whether a CBD product is safe and to determine the effective dosage, people should consult a doctor.

Several factors may influence the dosage that people can take. Depending on the medical condition or the reason why a person is taking CBD, they will need a different dosage.

Some people need high dosages to control epilepsy, whereas smaller dosages may be effective for anxiety.

Another factor that people should consider before using CBD is their weight. In many clinical trials and when using Epidiolex, doctors calculate a dose per kg of body weight. People who weigh less should, therefore, take lower dosages than people who weigh more.

Alcohol and other central nervous system depressants may increase the sedation effect of CBD. People who use other medications that can cause drowsiness should avoid or lower their dosage of CBD. Before mixing alcohol and other medications with CBD, a person should ask their doctor whether it is safe.

People must also consider the dosage in each form of CBD. A capsule of CBD has a specific dosage, but the dosage of oral solutions depends on the volume. For example, a CBD solution containing 25 mg per milliliter (ml) can provide 125 mg if a person takes a full teaspoon, which equates to 5 ml.

Although data in humans remain limited regarding the effects of taking pure CBD, researchers suggest that it has relatively low toxicity.

In monkeys, CBD does not affect bodily functions or behavior unless the animals receive dosages higher than 30 mg/kg orally each day for 90 days or 150 mg/kg intravenously.

In a human physical dependence study, researchers gave people 1,500 mg per day of CBD for 4 weeks. The study participants did not go through withdrawal after the 28 day trial. Another study found that doses up to 1,500 mg per day were well-tolerated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also report that people usually tolerate CBD well. CBD does not cause a “high,” and it does not have the same potential for abuse as cannabis.

The data on the safety of CBD are limited. The data that are available point to possible risks that people must consider before taking CBD for any reason.

Some side effects of CBD are noticeable, including:

  • drowsiness or other changes in alertness
  • digestive issues, such as diarrhea and decreased appetite
  • changes in mood, such as irritability and agitation

Other side effects can happen without people being aware of the cause, such as:

  • liver failure
  • interactions with other medications
  • injuries that result from mixing alcohol or other depressants and CBD

Several factors determine what CBD dosage a person can take, including the intended use and the person’s weight. Although evidence is still lacking, researchers have identified some drugs that interact with CBD, which may also affect the dosage that a person can tolerate.

The FDA have only approved one CBD product. Research on the possible uses, dosages, benefits, and safety of CBD is ongoing.

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This entry was posted on February 3, 2020, in News.

Does turmeric have anticancer properties?

A recent literature review investigates whether turmeric may be useful for treating cancer. The authors conclude that it might be but note that there are many challenges to overcome before it makes it to the clinic.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Native to India and Southeast Asia, people have used turmeric root to flavor their food for thousands of years.

Historically, people associated turmeric with healing properties. Even now, some hail turmeric as a panacea for all ills. Recently, its popularity has surged, as evidenced by the recent turmeric latte fad. However, as with many things in life, the reality rarely matches the hype.

The chemical in turmeric that most interests medical researchers is a polyphenol called diferuloylmethane, which is more commonly called curcumin. Most of the research into turmeric’s potential powers has focused on this chemical.

Turmeric as a healer?

Over the years, researchers have pitted curcumin against a number of symptoms and conditions, including inflammation, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, liver disease, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases, with varying levels of success.

Above all, though, scientists have focused on cancer. According to the authors of the recent review, of the 12,595 papers that researchers published on curcumin between 1924 and 2018, 37% focus on cancer.

In the current review, which features in the journal Nutrients, the authors mainly focused on cell signaling pathways that play a role in cancer’s growth and development and how turmeric might influence them.

Treatment for cancer has improved vastly over recent decades, but there is still a long path to tread before we can beat cancer. As the authors note, “the search for innovative and more effective drugs” is still vital work.

In their review, the scientists paid particular attention to research involving breast cancer, lung cancer, cancers of the blood, and cancers of the digestive system.

The authors conclude that “curcumin represents a promising candidate as an effective anticancer drug to be used alone or in combination with other drugs.”

According to the review, curcumin can influence a wide range of molecules that play a role in cancer, including transcription factors, which are vital for DNA replication; growth factors; cytokines, which are important for cell signaling; and apoptotic proteins, which help control cell death.

Challenges remain

Alongside the discussions surrounding curcumin’s molecular influence over cancer pathways, the authors also address the possible issues with using curcumin as a drug.

For instance, they explain that if a person takes curcumin orally — in a turmeric latte, for example — the body rapidly breaks it down into metabolites. As a result, any active ingredients are unlikely to reach the site of a tumor.

With this in mind, some researchers are trying to design ways of delivering curcumin into the body and protecting it from undergoing metabolization. For instance, researchers who encapsulated the chemical within a protein nanoparticle noted promising results in the laboratory and in rats.

Although scientists have published a great many papers on curcumin and cancer, there is a need for more work. Many of the studies in the current review are in vitro studies, which means that the researchers conducted them in laboratories using cells or tissues. Although this type of research is vital for understanding which interventions may or may not influence cancer, not all in vitro studies translate to humans.

Relatively few studies have tested turmeric’s or curcumin’s anticancer properties in humans, and the human studies that have taken place have been small-scale. However, aside from the difficulties and limited data, curcumin still has potential as an anticancer treatment.

Scientists are continuing to work on the problem. For instance, the authors mention two clinical trials that are underway, both of which aim to “evaluate the therapeutic effect of curcumin on the development of primary and metastatic breast cancer, as well as to estimate the risk of adverse events.”

They also refer to other ongoing studies in humans that are evaluating curcumin as a treatment for prostate cancer, cervical cancer, and lung nodules, among other diseases.

The authors believe that curcumin belongs to “the most promising group of bioactive natural compounds, especially in the treatment of several cancer types.” However, their praise for curcumin as an anticancer hero is tempered by the realities that their review has unearthed, and they end their paper on a low note:

“[C]urcumin is not immune from side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, and yellow stool. Moreover, it showed poor bioavailability due to the fact of low absorption, rapid metabolism, and systemic elimination that limit its efficacy in diseases treatment. Further studies and clinical trials in humans are needed to validate curcumin as an effective anticancer agent.”

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2020, in News.

New SARS-like virus may be spreading outside China

Global health policymakers have announced that they are investigating the emergence of a new virus — one very similar to the dangerous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus — in Thailand and Japan, hinting at worries that it could spread farther.

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Cases of a new SARS-like virus have emerged in China and now in Thailand and Japan.

SARS is part of the coronavirus family, which encompasses a range of airborne viruses. These can cause infections of varying degrees of severity.

In the case of SARS, the first symptom is a high fever and sometimes coughing. A person with the infection usually develops pneumonia, which can become life threatening.

A SARS epidemic in 2002–2003 affected people in as many as 26 countries, and most cases occurred in mainland China and Hong Kong.

In mainland China, the SARS virus infected more than 5,300 people and led to the death of 349, while in Hong Kong it affected 1,750 people and resulted in the death of 286 individuals.

After 2003, the SARS virus dropped off the radar, for the most part. However, in December 2019, Chinese authorities reported the emergence of a series of new coronavirus infections.

According to information available to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of 2020, 41 cases of the novel coronavirus had been diagnosed in Wuhan, the capital of Huabei province in central China. Of the infected individuals, seven are “severely ill,” the WHO report.

Chinese authorities have said that these cases appear to be connected with attendance at a seafood market in the Wuhan city center. The market has been closed since January 1, 2020.

But the infection has not been contained in China, according to new reports that may prompt the WHO to call an Emergency Committee meeting to investigate the situation.

New cases put authorities on alert

On January 14, authorities in Thailand reported that, using thermal surveillance, they had intercepted a 61-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who was visiting the country.

The woman was clearly feverish, and the authorities transported her from Suvarnabhumi airport to a hospital, where doctors determined that she had an infection with the novel coronavirus.

However, the woman said that she had not visited the seafood market connected with the other cases. This suggests that she came into contact with another, still unknown, source of the virus.

Thai authorities are currently monitoring the health of 182 other individuals who may have had contact with the woman during the flight to Thailand.

According to data reported by Hong Kong’s Department of Health, the Chinese woman, who received medical care upon her arrival in Thailand, has now recovered.

But the scare is not over. Prof. Yuen Kwok-yung, an expert in coronaviruses from the University of Hong Kong, has said that genetic sequencing of the new virus has revealed that it is about 80% similar to the one that causes SARS.

Following the case reported in Thailand, “WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will consult with Emergency Committee members and could call for a meeting of the committee on short notice,” a recent WHO statement informs.

The potential for the virus to spread farther seems increasingly pressing, as Japanese authorities have also confirmed a case of infection.

Representatives of the country’s health ministry have announced that the case involves a Japanese man in his 30s, who first developed a fever when visiting Wuhan earlier in January.

Upon his return to Japan, he was hospitalized, and doctors diagnosed an infection with the novel SARS-like virus. Like the Chinese visitor in Thailand, the Japanese man states that he did not visit the seafood market connected with the other cases of infection.

The health authorities did, however, indicate that the man had been in contact with other individuals with the infection, suggesting that the viral strain can be transmitted from person to person.

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2020, in News.