Today I was writing another post for this website and a rather amazing insight arrived in my mind which I don’t think many people have really considered or even realized. The existence of Sultan Kosen (the current world tallest person record holder) and his growth pattern should be enough proof to show that height increase is possible even after the growth plates have closed. Now follow me on my thought process.
We all know that an average male’s growth process is that he probably starts puberty somewhere within the 12-16 age range and his growth stops when he reaches around the 18-19 year range. There are some exceptions like ex-NBA star center 7′ 1″ David Robinson who grew 7 inches when he was 21 but we are referring to the average american male’s growth patterns. The growth plates of a guy should be closed at around age 19-20 when he reaches his full height. That is when most doctors will say that vertical growth had become impossible and we could only grow horizontally now (nice way of saying we are just going to grow fatter as we age over time).
However, if we analyze the growth rate and patterns of Sultan Kosen, we notice something strange. Yes, it is true that he is abnormal and we have to always take the fact that he had a tumor pressing agains his pituitary gland to always remember and consider when we are making any type of scientific and logical argument. We have to remember that he is a pituitary giant, but a rather standard traditional medical case of one. Even the famous life coach Anthony Robbins who grew from 5′ 3″ to 6′ 7″ within 2 years had a pituitary gland tumor issue which would explain his amazing size and growth rate.
Kosen has been named the tallest man in the world since late 209 when he at 8′ 1″ over took Bao Xishun who was “only” 7′ 9″ and held that title for a few years. However, Sultan Kösen was still growing and at a more recent meeting with the then tallest man of the U.S. George Bell, Sultan Kösen was measured at 8 feet 2 inches tall. On 8 February 2011 Sultan Kösen was measured in Ankara, Turkey at 8 feet 3 inches (251.4 cm). Source Guinness World Records.
It is stated from the Tallest Man website that “”Sultan Kosen came to the University of Virginia in 2010, so UVa doctors could treat the tumor in his pituitary gland that was causing excess growth hormone and gigantism. Previous, failed attempts to halt Kosen’s growth made the UVa team’s job all the harder. A UVa doctor put Kosen on medication to help balance his hormone levels. Dr. Jason Sheehan (UVa brain surgeon) used a tool called a gamma knife to attack the tumor, which was too deep in Kosen’s brain for conventional surgery. The technique used focused beams of radiation to target the tumor.””
Since then, he was remeasured late year in 2011 to be 8′ 3″ by Guinnes World Records, who are very thorough and accurate in their measurements. Apparently the Guinness World Record people take into account the fact that people’s heights vary throughout the day so they actually measure a person 6 times in one day and come out with an average of the measurements and proclaim that as the “real” height. The claim is that he had “grown” by another 2 years since he was crown to push him even further away from other potential title contenders.
So the height research would be quick to ask? Did he really “grow” or did he maybe just learn or decide to straighten out his back to add more inches to his height? Kosen is indeed proud of his height unlike some really tall people so maybe he wanted to exhibit his own uniqueness to the world by making himself even taller through say some type of stretching exercise?
I would state that I seriously doubt that. From the Tallest Man website, I had stated that there was 2 other 8 feet tall people in the world right now. One of them is Moroccan Brahim Takioullah who has been verified to be around 8′ 1″ tall as measured by a French Doctor who measured his height three times during a day to take an average. Apparently the two giants have met each other and had their pictures taken with them standing side by side. If we look at the pictures, we can see that Kosen is clearly taller than Takioullah, by about 2″ as reported by the official people who did the measuring.
Kosen was born in Dec 1982. So in 2009 he was 27. From 2009 and 2011 he grew 2 inches. So he was 29 in 2011. The growth plates of a person even who has excess HGH being released should still be going through ordinary ages of growth plate fusion. If we just look at someone like the 16 year old Brazilian Elisany Silva, she has effectively stopped increasing in height. Her growth plates would have sealed but the excess HGH release would have eventually have given her acromegaly instead of gigantism once she past puberty.
My point is that even after Kosen passed puberty, assuming he went through a normal cycle even with the pituitary gland problem, his growth plates should have fused when he was 20-21. However ,even 6 years later at the age of 27, he was still growing. So how is that possible when the bones can no longer growth any more.
One could argue that his posture improved but I would actually say that his posture actually got worst from the age of 27 to 29. When we first heard about Kosen in 2009, he was able to get around using just a cane for support. Now his walking has gotten worse and he has required 2 crutches to support himself to walk. His irregular posture and standing style has not improved in anyway that would suggest he has been doing some form of stretching or yoga to align his back or vertebrate. If we look at the pictures of Kosen of how he looked and stood with his posture from 2009 and 2011, he looks about the same, but the only main difference in those 2 years was an extra 2 icnhes. So should we assume that he was wearing thick heeled shoes to give him even more added height? what kind of a guy would he be who was 8′ 1″ need to wear thick heeled shoes to make himself look 8′ 3″?
So clearly Kosen has grown, but his growth plates should have fused a long time ago, right? So what the hell is the excess of HGH release doing to make him add the extra 2 inches? 2 inches even on an 8 foot tall person can not be attributed to a measurement error, especially to the Guinness World Records people, who are very accurate at this particular record.
From a medical point, I have not read any literature that says that if one is suffering from an excess release of HGH from a pituitary tumor that their growth process is longer than the average human. Estrogen release should have still casued their growth plates to seal around the age of the age person. I strongly believe that sultan’s long bones had the growth plates fused together at the age of 20-21 and he grew still after that in some way. This proves in my viewpoint quite conclusively that height increase is possible even after puberty and even after the bones and growth plates should have completely ossified.