In a recent article that I read, a person made a comment that bovine growth hormone was tested to see if it could be used in application to make people taller. The Bovine somatotropin (abbreviated bST and BST), or BGH, is a peptide hormone produced by the cow’s pituitary gland. Apparently, human IFG-1 (insulin growth factor) and bovine IGF have an identical amino acid sequence and nearly identical biological activity.
From wikipedia – “Since 1994 it has been possible to synthesize the hormone using recombinant DNA technology to create recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), or artificial growth hormone. Monsanto developed rBST and marketed it as “Posilac”.
The purpose of the bovin growth hormone BGH was to be injected into cows so that they can produce more milk than non treated cows. Many organizations went against this idea since the claim was that milk treated with BGH and milk untreated with BGH are different, and the difference when consumed by humans can lead to disastrous side effects. There is a very well established correlation between abnormally high levels of circulating IGF-1 and the development and growth of human cancers. Testing so far has mostly shown that the milk of the treated cow did not have much difference.
As of right now, the BGH is banned in over a dozen countries. However for the US, the treated milk is allowed to be distributed to be drank. From wikipedia,
“The FDA stated that food products made from rBST treated cows are safe for human consumption, and no significant difference exists between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.The FDA found BGH to be biologically inactive when consumed by humans and found no biological distinction between rBST and BST. In 1990, an independent panel convened by the National Institute of Health supported the FDA opinion that milk and meat from cows supplemented with rBST is safe for human consumption.“
For the wikipedia article on bovine somatotropin, click HERE
Me: Here is my educated guess on the subject. The consumption of the genetically altered milk probably does have a slightly greater concentration of growth hormones in it than the non treated one. The additional growth hormone probably causes an earlier onset of physical maturity in a developing child body than untreated milk. Studies have all shown that an earlier onset of physical maturity through puberty means that the growing process will end earlier so the final height of individuals are shorter. Comparing the average height of Americans and Canadians, where Canada bans the milk, the Canadians are on average taller than their american counterparts. While it is true these two facts may have absolutely no correlation to each other, it could be considered that there might be some link, not accounting Canada’s better healthcare or that it is further away from the equator. A suggestion to increase height through taking growth hormon treated milk is to take it when one is actually going through the process of puberty and slightly after it.