Fasting in any form is an act of depriving yourself of food. People fast for many personal reasons, and one of the reasons is growing taller. But does fasting make you taller?
Fasting can make you taller if you’re less than 21 years old. Studies show that fasting increases the production of growth hormones (GH) in the pituitary gland of the brain. The hormones are responsible for growth and development in humans.
In this article, you’ll learn more about how fasting can make you taller and the kind of fasting you need to grow tall.
Facts About the Growth Hormone (GH)
Before we delve into how fasting can make you taller, let’s talk about the growth hormone. Abbreviated as GH, this is the hormone that initiates and promotes growth in humans and, by extension, increase in height.
The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is also known as somatotropin. It’s a peptide hormone naturally secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.
During puberty, hormonal levels increase rapidly and reduce with similar speed after puberty. Thus, from the ages of 16 to 20, the human growth hormone (HGH) shoots up; from your late 20s to 30s, it drops significantly.
The GH is why children grow taller during puberty and develop masculine or feminine features faster. Children deficient in this hormone will experience stunted growth and development compared to their peers.
Growth hormone production decreases by itself as you age; which is why fasting to increase height works best for children and adolescents. The growth hormone is the same reason most people stop growing at 20. If you are above 21, the chances of using fasting to increase your height are slim.
Growth hormone is produced while you’re asleep and only lasts a few minutes in the bloodstream. Afterward, it moves to the liver and gets involved in metabolism.
During the metabolic process, it’s converted to several growth factors, especially the Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1).
Lastly, over secretion of the growth hormone leads to gigantism while insufficient secretion leads to dwarfism. The latter is also known as growth hormone deficiency.
How GH Relates to Fasting and Height Increment
Many scientific experiments and studies show that fasting increases the levels of GH in the human body. In one study conducted in 1982, a single patient who, based on religious reasons, fasted for 40 days experienced an increase in GH.
At the start of the fast, the patient’s GH was at 0.73. However, after fasting, the same GH peaked to 9.86. That’s a remarkable increase of 1250% in GH levels, attesting to the fact that fasting affects growth hormones.
Thus, even as little as five days of fasting can see the GH increase up to 300%, and two-days fasting will also produce significant results.
The good part is that no side effects will occur after the fast. No increase in blood pressure, glucose, or exposure to the risk of cancer. Nevertheless, you’ll feel weaker due to extreme hunger from the fasting.
Since fasting boosts the human growth hormone, it’s clear that it leads to an increase in height with zero side effects.
But what if you can’t fast continuously (which isn’t advisable since you will suffer from malnutrition)?
That brings us to another type of fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Can Also Make You Taller
While normal fasting deprives you of food for a day or two, intermittent fasting is a cycle of eating and not eating. Typically, you skip breakfast and lunch but have dinner. Or you may have breakfast, skip lunch, and have dinner.
When you fast intermittently, your body releases a peptide/hormone known as ghrelin – a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog.
Let’s not bore ourselves with the biological details of the hormone, but the point is:
Ghrelin is a powerful growth hormone stimulant from the pituitary gland induced by intermittent fasting. It can also make you taller.
Furthermore, researchers prove that intermittent fasting can reduce body fat which helps to boost HGH production.
In a research conducted to determine the relationship between GH and adipose tissues (the biological term for body fat), growth hormone (GH) proved to be lipolytic – acts to reduce or redistribute fat tissues in the body.
Its presence in growth hormone (GH) deficient patients caused a reduction in fat tissues as well.
The relationship is like a cycle; obese people have reduced growth hormone (GH) levels in their body system, and people with high GH levels aren’t obese.
Studies also prove that intermittent fasting reduces insulin levels in the brain. The insulin gets secreted when you eat, thus intermittent fasting reduces its production.
Producing more insulin causes cells in fat tissues, liver, and skeletal muscles to draw glucose from the blood. Hence, with reduced insulin, there’s less fat in the body which aids the growth and developmental process needed to grow taller.
The central idea behind fasting and insulin reduction is as follows:
When insulin reduces in the brain, the body cells receive more time to repair themselves instead of spending it processing more food. This process consumes more cellular energy, and the cells have limited repair time, leading to wear and tear.
From the above scientific facts, we can safely say that intermittent fasting is a good idea if you want to grow taller. Fasting in cycles increases hunger, which in turn increases ghrelin and increases the growth hormone.
The Bottom Line
Fasting can make you taller because it produces more growth hormones (GH). However, intermittent fasting is advisable to avoid cases of malnutrition. It also works better to reduce insulin which can limit the production of growth hormones in the brain.
The growth hormone is administered via injection and as supplements for adults, but there’s no verifiable evidence that it increases height. Rather, it works as an anti-aging supplement.
As always, avoid embarking on fasting or intermittent fasting to increase your height without first speaking to your doctor. This is especially true if you are living with other health conditions.