Monthly Archives: January 2013

New Proposed Method To Increase Height And Grow Taller Using TGF-Beta1, Hyaluronic Acid, And Autologous Synovial Fluid

Recently while I was doing research on the link between aggrecan and its connection and effect on the cartilage, I came across this study which seems that suggest that by combining the hyaluronic acid with an external source of synovial fluid we can still get chondrogenic differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells in vivo.

JointAfter reading over the abstract a very simple idea came to me and made me wonder whether in vivo cartilage formation would be just easier to perform. If we remember from our research on microfracture surgery on a possible way to increase height, we note that the microfracture surgery was really very simple. You make a hole in the articular cartilage defect region with a awl and the hole will reach the below the initial bone surface to the sub-cortical level and get to the marrow when the MSCs are. The MSCs leak out and that clotting action creates a another cartilage in the defect’s place after about 2-4 months. However that cartilage would be with disorganized fibers known as fibrocartilage.

This may be one of the easiest proposed ways to increase height yet. The study below shows that if you infuse TGF-beta 1 into a culture of explanted MSCs from the marrow of horse, then the culture will under staining to check for proteoglycan and type 2 collagen see high levels. While the hyaluronic acid by itself does little in terms of anabolic chondrocyte formation, the hyaluronic acid with synovial joint fluid does have some chondrogenic ability. What I propose is a 4 step process for height increase.

  1. Take X-rays of the individual’s knee region to figure out where exactly their articular cartilage ends and where the synovial joint begins.
  2. We are targeting the region inside the synovial joint where the hyaluronic acid (as a GAG) and the synovial joint will be.
  3. We make two incisions on the medial and lateral side of the end of the tibia cutting into the joint, so that the synovial fluid can reach into the inside of the epiphysis.
  4. We inject TGF-Beta1 into the epiphysis, where it will be mixed with the HA and the SF. Since the fluid will flow into the marrow all three compounds will help the MCSs inside to go through chondrocyte differentiation.
  5. The way the incision on the bone will be made will be a from the side to give the bone to heal in a certain way that the MSCs produced will create a band of fibrocartilage which will let is easier for the bone to expand longitudinally.
  6. We make another injection of TGF-beta 1 at a high level, arund 200 ng/ mL into the joint itself to stimulate the chondrogenic property of the HA and SF already in the knee. This will also precent any leaking of MSCS out of the induced incision from diluting the effect of the TGF-Beta1.

The full text for the study is available from clicking the link.

Hyaluronic acid and autologous synovial fluid induce chondrogenic differentiation of equine mesenchymal stem cells: a preliminary study


Mesenchymalstem cells(MSC) have the potential to differentiate into distinct mesenchymal tissuesincluding cartilage, which suggest these cells as an attractive cell source for cartilage tissue engineering approaches. Our objective was to study the effects of TGF-beta1, hyaluronic acid and synovial fluid on chondrogenic differentiation of equine MSC. For that, bone marrow was aspirated from the tibia of one 18-month-old horse (Haflinger) and MSC were isolated using percoll-density centrifugation. To promote chondrogenesis, MSC were centrifuged to form a micromass and were cultured in a medium containing 10 ng/ml TGF-beta1 or 0.1 mg/ml hyaluronic acid (Hylartil®, Ostenil®) or either 5%,10% or 50% autologous synovial fluid as the chondrogenesis inducing factor. Differentiation along the chondrogenic lineage was documented by type II collagen and proteoglycan expression. MSC induced by TGF-beta1 alone showed the highest proteoglycan expression. Combining TGF-beta1 with hyaluronic acid could not increase the proteoglycan expression. Cultures stimulated by autologous synovial fluid (independent of concentration) and hyaluronic acid demonstrated a pronounced, but lower proteoglycan expression than cultures stimulated by TGF-beta1. The expression of cartilage-specific type II collagen was high and about the same in all stimulated cultures. In summary, hyaluronic acid and autologous synovial fluid induces chondrogenesis of equine mesenchymal stem cells, which encourage tissue engineering applications of MSC in chondral defects, as the natural environment in the joint is favorable for chondrogenic differentiation.

© 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

An Immediate Rejection By A Girl On A Man’s Potential To Be A Dating Partner Due To His Lack Of Height, Being Short

Today while I was being lazy I was getting my daily YouTube viral video fix and I came across a video on this old MTV show called NEXT where a group of people, usually 5 of the same sex, who get in a bus and would all vie to get the attraction and attention, or money of the person who is judging them. I decided to post this video up to show just how important height can be in real life situations and can lead to a bad first impression and rejection from the opposite sex as a potential dating partner.

I remember being sort of addicted in my younger days to watching teenage based dating shows on MTV in high school. MTV shows from the 2000s, last decade,  like Room Raiders, Eliminate, and NEXT were shows which I sort of learn some of my social skills from.

On this episode of NEXT a girl named Brittany at 19 years old comes on looking for a guy she can have fun with.

Th first guy to get off the bus was 18 years old named Sean. In less than 2 minutes after he got off the bus, immediately after introducing himself, she would eliminate him from the potential group of guys to be a dating partner.

She would say that “he is just not tall enough”. When a guy gets a rejection like that it just hurts to watch and he couldn’t think of any comeback except to make a self depreciating joke of “still waiting for that growth spurt”. She would reply with a sort of condescending tone of “good luck with that” and then make her rationalization that “I need a boyfriend that I can look up to, literally”. From the look of the video, it would appear that Sean was about the same height as Brittany but the angles may be off a little.

If I was to give my own thoughts on what this girl did I felt that it was not a nice to thing to reject a person due to something that they have no control over. Maybe this guy was already sensitive on his lack of height but her immediate rejection of him on national TV because of being too short may be much more painful than other situations. This situation shows that the lack of height may be the most detrimental against men in the area of dating and relationships. Very few people would reject another person immediately unless that is something that is lacking from the first impression. When it comes to being shorter than your peers, that first impression may not be as good.

The video is taken from this YouTube source HERE.

Can Short Men Date And Succeed With Women? Will Girls Give Short Men A Real Chance?

url-1Something I have noticed from reading forums on the internet about the dating dynamics of the modern world is that a lot of men who are on the short side complain that because of their short stature, most females would reject them immediately based on that first impression. They would talk about the unfairness of the dating game and how it is set up.

First, I think a lot of men out there would agree with me that being height challenge does make the chances of succeeding in the dating world with females harder. There are already enough studies, anecdotes, and stories which validate this general bias or phenomena.

This issue is very sensitive and something that almost always causes the readers to jump up to express their own opinions. Like the color of one’s skin or the ethnicity one is born into, one can’t really change one’s height without trying to do something very dramatic.

In the dating world, one thing is clear. There is a lot of competition and everyone is trying to get some type of advantage. I remember once listening to a dating coach explain that one can view life that happens as a continuous, complex mating ritual. If life is just a complicated mating act, then having some innate physical attributes like being taller than one’s peers will easily put one at an advantage.

If we remember from our media like TV, magazines, and the internet one of the highest coveted females in the world are what are known as “supermodels”. These supermodels are what we young adult men would say come from the catalogs of Victoria Secret and the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

It is absolutely true that the concept of beauty and what consitute the ideal of being “beautiful” is very subjective and varies but it seems that most males in the western countries can overall agree that models, but especially supermodels are considered attractive.

We have women like..

  • China based supermodel Ai Shang Zhen who is 6′ 0.5″
  • China based Fei Fei Sun at 5′ 10.5″
  • Brazil based Gisele Bundchen at 5′ 11″
  • USA based Brooklyn Decker at 5′ 9″
  • South Korea based Kang Seung-Hyun aka Hyoni Kang at 5′ 10″
  • Germany based Heidi Klum at 5′ 9.5″
  • Czech Republic based Petra Nemcova at 5′ 10″

For a more complete list of supermodels from Victoria Secret click the Wiki article HERE. The point is to show is that just for females alone, having increased height does seem to make one more attractive to some degree.

The clearest example which show that being tall will lead one to be considered for a modeling career is Brazil based Elisany da Cruz Silva. She stand at 6′ 9″ and she has already been featured on many TV shows from Japan and Germany. She has been already offered a few modeling positions and work. While she can be considered attractive, her incredible height brings much more attention to her and the increased attention on her causes many people to accentuate her looks.

If we now come back to the issue of the lamentations made by below average in height men, I can only sympathize with this plight. When it comes to the types of issues that people can still lament about there is almost none left except for maybe height, and heightism.

We all know that there is some stuff that we can’t really change.

  1. Our age, since time moves forward for all of us. Everyone gets older.
  2. Our skin color and ethnicity. If we have two parents who are both indian, we probably are not going to be born with blue eye color.
  3. Our height.

These days, from what I see of the plastic surgery clinics in the rich areas of Seoul, South Korea I can confidently say that one can easily change one’s face now to be “more beautiful”. One can change the color of one’s hair with hair dye, bleaching.

When it comes to age, most people don’t really joke or make fun of old people. Overall, there are many countries which do revere the elderly for the wisdom and experience that they can give for the young people. So being old is no longer such a big issue.

As for our skin color and ethnicity. We all know that these days it is not politically correct to be bias or make fun of people based on their race or skin color anymore. When most people are asked whether they have issues with dating someone different than them in skin color or ethnicity, most of them said no. One of the worst things to be called is a racist. No one wants to be labeled that in multicultural societies.

In additon, subjects that can be changed like one’s profession, financial situation, and other similar aspects can all be changed with enough effort and persistence.

It would seem that the last real sanctuary where society accepted ridicule may be towards people who are on the short side.

Instead of racism, class discrimination, ageism, heightism is something that still exists and is almost readily accepted.

It is not considered ok for a girl or guy to reject a potential dating partner for their skin color or ethnicity without some social scolding. As for height, we now have cougars, older women who date younger men. The older man to younger women combination has always existed so the age issue is relatively easy to take care of.

The only thing that people can really complain of is over their height. The discrimination is very clear and strong. Being male and short has serious ramifications on one’s dating life.

Shorter men often become the “friends” or the “orbiters” , but rarely the “boyfriend”. They are considered safe and a sort of “backup plan” or Plan B in case a female doesn’t ever get to meet or find her tall, dark and handsome ideal man with all the qualities she is looking for before she reaches the age where she no longer has the looks for wield the power to control the thousands of men willing to partner up to her when she was younger. If we take a complete biological and evolutionary perspective on viewing the dating dynamics, we can see that humans in general are very self-serving and selfish in their mating selections.

I remember years ago seeing on internet dating forums the height issue being brought up all the time “Can Short Men Date And Succeed With Women? Will Girls Give Short Men A Real Chance?

My personal answer is that they do have a chance, but they would have to prove themselves because of bad luck. It may not be fair that a great, caring, smart guy would be 5’5″ and always single while his inconsiderate, uncaring, rather stupid friend who is 6′ 3″ gets so many girls attracted to him. In life we know that rarely are we given something for free. Men in general work really hard to get what they think they deserve and are worthy of.

Whatever people feel lacking in, they will try to compensate or overcompensate for their insecurities or lack of confidence. The short man may realize that he has no control over his height but can exercise his mind to be smarter than his taller peers. His dedication towards his career as a overcompensation mechanism can propel him towards having more money and resources to woo the women he desires. While taller men may have won the genetic lottery and have a better chance in the beginning, they may not have developed the personality qualities which make them a “great guy”.

Something I have personally seen is that while the “hot girl” in her 20s and 30s may try to date the tall, more masculine, aggressive males, many of them would eventually choose to settle down with a shorter, more gentle and caring man in their later years. So yes, the short men do have a real chance, but they have to work a little harder and probably have to wait until the women they really want in life realize in time with life experience that maybe “taller it not always better”.

As a guy, I can tell the readers that for men in general, most of men dont have a height requirement for the type of girl that they would be willing to date. But females do. For females living in the old British based unit system, the magical cutoff point for datable men is 6′ 0″, 1.828 meters tall. For females in the developed nations which go by the metric system it is 1.80 meters tall, a little less than 5′ 11′. For some men who are shorter, the agony is real. Nobody likes getting rejected because it crushes our ego. We feel lacking and believe that we are special, unique, and worthy of the love we think we deserve.

If we however take a more objective point of view, the female half of the world population can make the claim that it is unfair that men judge women so quickly on looks and possibly age. A 45 year old single woman with a high demanding career may complain to her Facebook friends that men her age are on interested in dating the younger girls in their 30s and 20s. As we said before, our age is another one of those things that we can’t really control. There is no fountain of youth or time machine.

If as a short, young, virile male we find ourselves sexually frustrated that the women we want are not giving us the type of attraction and attention because we are too short, I hope we can keep the individualistic tendencies down a little and see the more objective perspective and realize that many women also suffer discrimination in the mating selection process.

What Is The Optimal Or “Perfect” Height Ratio And Difference For Couples?

coupleheightSomething strange I have found from looking at boards and forums on the internet is that the subject of the relative height of the standard heterosexual male-female couple is brought up quite a few times.

The google search term I used to search with was “Couple Height Difference” and the results were amusing and slightly interesting. Most of the results were to show me some of the crazy height differences between celebrities and other famous people from the website,, and other media websites.

The pictures of some of the most extreme celebrity couples’ height differences include some common couples. They are

  • Jessica Simpson and her football player husband
  • Hayden Panetierre with old bf Wladimir Klitschko who was a professional boxer
  • The very quick marriage of Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman
  • The equally quick marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphreys
  • Fergie and her husband (whose name I forgot)
  • Shaq and his current gf who goes by the nickname Hoopz
  • Kobe Bryant and his wife
  • Eliza Dushku and bf Rick Fox
  • Lamar Odom and the other Kardashian sister
  • and a whole long list of other celebrities

Others like this forum question HERE posed on the dating website generated around 200 replies with everyone having their own opinions, personal baises and views being expressed. A lot of women wanted to throw their point of view in there.

Some common thoughts are…

  • The man must be at least 4-5 inches taller than the girl.
  • The ideal height difference is around 7-9 inches more for the man although the cut off is to be 5 inches taller.
  • The man must be so much taller than the women that the girl can lean her entire head on his shoulders.
  • The man should be taller than the girl
  • The man must be taller then the girl in high heels by around 3-4 inches.
  • The man must be at least 6 feet tall, the cut off point.
  • The girl doesn’t care how tall he is
  • The man doesn’t care how tall the girl is
  • The man prefers the girl to be shorter than him
  • The man prefers the girl to be around 2-3 inches shorter than him
  • The man has a thing for tall girls
  • The girl thinks tall men are sexier and give them more of a chance.
  • Some joke about how the issue of height is negated when people get the horizontal position aka having sexual intercourse, sex, coitus.

From the forum called a poster writes about this issue and wonders whether the couple’s height difference can be too extreme. It seems that tall men are divided on their preferences. Some tall men prefer their female partners to be petite and others like someone closer to their height to avoid neck pain when bending down for the kiss.

On a more fun note HERE is a tumblr blog which features pictures of couples where the height difference is reversed from the standard where the girl is taller than the guy. A guy would comment there that at 6′ 0″ he was rejected by a girl who was 4′ 10″ for being too short. Really???

However let’s get back to the original question, “What is the optimal or perfect height difference or height proportions for a standard heterosexual male-female couple?

The answer is deceptive since everyone has their own preferences, baises, and opinions. It seems that the majority of women would like their potential male romantic romantic partners to be at least taller than them, especially if they are more on the short side. For taller females, the opinion for the type of guy they are interested in results in a bipolar distribution.

Tall women either are really cool and okay with the idea of dating someone shorter than them due to the issue of the numbers game itself or they are very adamant that they must be with someone at least taller.

The majority of men seem to prefer at least intellectually the idea of a shorter female although I have found from reading more forums on dating websites like that there is a great number of men who might have some sort of fetish or “thing” for tall women. There is even a website on the internet dedicated specifically for men who are on the shorter side for women who are on the taller side. It is appropriately entitled TallWomen.Org. I have no opinions or issues with the website.

Many other forums would bring up this issue too like, Yahoo Questions,, The Student Room,,, BPS Research Digest, (again)and a few other sites. From only glancing at these new resources it seems the general opinion for some people is that the height difference should be around 4-5 inches.

Of course we should try to be more scientific. From PubMed study ” Variable preferences for sexual dimorphism in height as a strategy for increasing the pool of potential partners in humans” the researchers state in the abstract that..

“In addition to absolute height, a possibly important mate-choice criterion may be relative height, i.e. the extent of sexual dimorphism in stature (SDS = male height/female height) between oneself and a potential partner. Here, I demonstrate that people adjust their preferences for SDS in relation to their own height in order to increase the potential pool of partners….”

So it seems that maybe the relative height between the male and  female could be more important than the absolute heights. The study found that from the group of subjects being measured, the average height of the women was around 5′ 5″ while the average height of the men was around 5′ 11″. The results showed that the people judging their potential partners chose the height of their partner due to the relative height of themselves. The results also showed that from comparing 3 types of relative height ratios/difference in pictures of couples, none of the selectors chose the have the couple where the female was taller than the male.

The researchers writes, “The mean heights for those who chose the pair representing the mean SDS in the population (180.4 cm for men and 167 cm for women) were almost equal to the mean heights for the two sexes in the studied group.”

This means that the summed and than averaged out numerical value for what statistical software has come out with is not that women who are 5′ 5″ would prefer men who are 5′ 11″ which would suggest a 6 inch height difference. The right concluded perspective is that the optimum height difference may not be a difference but a height ratio, or height proportion. 5′ 5″ is 65 inches. 5′ 11″ is 71 inches. 71 divided by 65 gives a value of 1.0923 or 1.09. It seems the “perfect” average SDS as the researchers call it is for the man to be around 9% taller in height than the girl. At least that is what the science says.

But as always, everyone is different in their taste and desires. To each his and her own.


Increase Height And Grow Taller By Stretching

stretchingI think this is one of those posts that has been something that was always supposed to be written but the idea was always overlooked due to the fact that the simple idea of stretching would lead to some height increase.

So can stretching help someone grow taller? The simple answer is yes.

However the hard question is actually “How should I stretch to get the height increase that I desire?”

Most people who find the website or email me will often ask for around 3-5 inches of extra height increase. Now that is a considerable amount of change in the body. Going from a guy or girl who was originally 5′ 9′ and making them 6′ 0″ or even 6′ 2″ is something that is very hard to believe. But can it be done? The question becomes…

Is there some type of exercise routine that would lead a person to gain 3 – 5 extra inches of height? The simple answer is probably not.

However getting around 1-2 inches of extra height is reasonable and possible but only for a small percentage of the population. Most people won’t get even 1 inch of extra permanent height, much less 2 or 3 inches. 1 inch is totally reasonable and possible. 2 inches is really, REALLY improbable but I have found cases of people who did get 2 extra inches of height increase, but most of the time, that 2 inches was not permanent and the height would eventually shrink back down to just 1 full inch of permanent change.

Now, let’s stop the talking and see which exercises would be helpful in getting that 1-2 extra inches.

skeletonFrom high school biology, we know that the human body has it’s overall frame/structure determined by a substance known as bone which is what holds the human body up. Without the bones, but especially the long bones which stand vertically up, the body would just be a glop of organs and skin on the ground. Bones are critical in keeping the vital organs safe as well.

From the Wikipedia article on Bone,for most people, when they are born they have over 270 individual bones, but after they reach adulthood, many of the separate bones they had when born have fused together to leave 206 medically defined bones.

From the picture of the skeleton to the left, for our purposes we would like to gain height from stretching.

However, we know that in stretching, we are only stretching our muscles, ligaments, which are other types of tissue in the human body. Muscle and ligament tissue is far more flexible, elastic, than bone.

Stretching muscle means we are working & exercising our muscle, but are we working on stretching our bones as well when we stretch? No, we are not.

This means that in the human body, when we decide to do “stretches” we are not going to affect the bone shape or curvature of a physically mature and developed adult person. The way that bones are aligned, connected, or shaped will not change from stretching, since stretching only affects tissues that are more elastic.

However if we look at what types of tissue will determine the overall height of people, we see that the bones we have in our body are going to determine about 97% of all the height in our body. This means that only around 3% of all the height in the human’s body can be changed through stretching exercises.

Side Note: If you are curious at how I was able to come up with the idea that the bones will determine around 97% of ones height, I refer the reader back to an article on the height increase changes seen in astronauts, which saw their height increase by around average 3% while living in a weightless environment without the downward force of gravity. From article “Ultrasound Tests May Help Figure Out Why Astronauts Grow Taller While In Space

So let’s look at the types of tissues..

1. Stretching won’t change the bone so let’s forget about trying to increase our overall height by more than 3% of what we are at right now.

Example: This means that a person who is 5′ 6″, or 66 inches should not expect more than 66*(0.03) = 1.98 inches ~ 2 inches in possible increase, using at least simple stretching methods.

2. Due to the elastic nature of the muscles, which can contract and extend out, stretching will extend the muscles, but that means that once the amount of tensile force exerted to pull the muscles are apart are removed, the muscle tissue will just retract back to a smaller, form.

3. The ligaments. – These will be connecting to the bone to other types of tissues or to each other.

4. The skin like the muscle can be stretched out but then like the muscle, it will just fold back into it’s un-stretched form.

5. Everything else like blood vessels, small glands,

bones of hip and pelvisHowever we realize that to manipulate our height, we have to manipulate tissue that make up our height.

Our height is the sum of….

  • Our skull size
  • Our backbones/vertebrate structure
  • Our hip bones, which includes the labels of hip bones parts to the right. 
  • Our femur
  • Patella
  • Tibia
  • The small bones in our feet
  • The hind feet bone or Calcaneus

So if we wanted to increase vertically, we can try to manipulate and elongate any of these bones in the vertical direction. However since this post is about stretching, the exercise will not deform or bend any of these bones in the way that we want.

So we have to ask , besides the hard bones that make up our height, what other types of tissue are there?

The main other tissues is cartilage and fibrous tissues

  • We have the intervertebral disks
  • The cartilage in the ends of our bones
  • Some space in our synovial joints which is filled with intercellular fluid  
  • Some ligaments connecting the bones.

Since the ligaments connecting to bone have almost no thickness, we can’t focus on those ligaments.

As for the intercellular fluid space in our synovial joints, specifically the knees, we might be able to increase the volume up a little as well as the pressure in the space, but we are talking about liquid space being able to overcome the gravitational force of our body above the knees pushing down on it.

As for our cartilage, we might be able to do something with our cartilage using stem cells therapy through implants, but that is not stretching. We can’t stretch to get thicker cartilage at the end of our bones.

This only leaves the intervertebral disks left. They are the only things we seem to really be able to manipulate for increased height. The disks are not made of cartilage but of a fibrous tissue which at this point I am not sure are the components.

Recently I had talked about the idea of whether doing back bridging stretching exercises will lead to height increase in the post “Increase Height And Grow Taller Using Back Bridging Exercises To Stretch The Torso And Vertebrate” and I had personally concluded that stretching in that bend direction will not lead to height increase. Tyler seems to agree with me on that point. I could be wrong about this conclusion and it may be possible with a small minority of people to get body elongation benefits from stretching in the arched back positon, but I would suspect that stretching in that way will not lead to height increase for most people, but might contribute to disk compression and decreased height.

This leaves only possibly 3 main stretching exercises which could lead to any height increase.

These are….

1. Bend down forward while sitting on your butt and stretching your back out (with your head down) trying to puff out your torso like a cobra. See pic below.







2. Twisting your upper torso side to side while keeping the hips still to get the disks to be more flexible and elastic.









3. Putting your arms up high, close together, pull up, and lean to one side stretching one side , and then alternating to the other side.

From what I can think of right now, these are the only 3 exercises which will have any type of real effect on possibly making the disks a little wider and thicker.stretching_woman_yoga

Why Most Doctors, Physicians And Medical Schools Don’t Teach Enough About The Skeletal System To Answer Questions Dealing With Auxology

doctorsThis post may be one of those posts which may be picked up by larger organizations and cited a lot more than others. I am also very certain that this post will be more likely to get attacked and commented on due to the nature of a post like this.

Note: On a personal level, I do acknowledge the practical utility of physicians because they do serve a very important function in all societies. They are healers and they are here to prevent and treat pathologies of the body. I personally think that for most people, our health is the most important aspect of our lives. When we are not healthy, almost nothing else matters. When we find out we have terminal pancreatic cancer or are badly mutilated from a horrific car accident, there is no question that physicians are absolutely critical in our well being and overall happiness. One of my cousins just finished medical school and is about to become a doctor and I have the highest respect for his intelligence, work ethic, and competence. Some of the most intelligent people I have ever met went to medical school at the age of 19 or 20 after skipping grades and high school to go to university directly. I only have great respect for physicians so this is only to provide a small critique on most physicians ability in answering the more difficult questions related to the real research available currently in the world on height increase. Most doctors just are not that informed or knowledgeable on this subject because they were never taught the subject in school or in their training.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed/made by me in this post is only my own personal thoughts. I am not affiliated with any organizations, groups, or say health insurance companies which might be trying to undermine or question the professional authority and skill of people in the medical community with their 2 decades of schooling and training.

We all know that this endeavor to try to figure out a way to make ourselves taller by either increasing the natural growth rate or restarting another growth spurt after physical maturity is something that is not talked about a lot. A lot of people might like and do desire to be taller but very few people are probably willing to put in the type of time, energy, and commitment that people like me and the other height increase researchers do to really see if there is a real scientifically validated solution.

I am going to try to show in this post why most doctors/physicians who get trained in traditional accredited medical schools (like Johns HopkinsStanford and Harvard) may not be as equipped in answering the questions on Auxology (the study of growth) as we think they can. One’s profession does not determine one’s expertise in a subject.

A person can be an engineer but also be a really bad engineer. One might come out of Harvard Medical School but also end up never doing much except work in a large medical insurance backed clinical corporation or start a small family private practice with routine checkups.

In today’s age of degrees, accreditations, and certifications, and almost all types of professions, the medical profession is one of the most strict in terms of who has the stamp of approval. Almost always the stamp of approval in showing that a person is “good” enough to give real professional medical advice is that they made it through 4 years of Medical School, no matter where the school is from, as long as it is accredited. I think this type of mentality is dangerous since people in most societies has so much respect and admiration for doctors in general.

I personal have never heard a person who is some type of physician have other people say bad things about them, except maybe on their personality, but never their intelligence. If you are a doctor, everyone else will think you are intelligent and worthy of authority that can never be questioned.

There is a well known joke among Pre-Meds and medical students which goes like “What do you call a medical student who graduated last in his/her class?” Answer: “A doctor

Note: For me, most things that deal with prestige mean little but it still might be useful to look at Medical School Rankings just for the sake of checking. From the annual edition on the “best”, highest ranked Medical School programs in the USA from US NEWS & World Report, Education, Grad School, 2013 Best Medical Schools based on Research, NOT Primary .. we would find that the top medical programs in terms of university include, 

  • 1. Harvard
  • 2. Johns Hopkins
  • 3. University Of Pennsylvania (where Dr. Carl Brighton is based at)
  • 4. Stanford University
  • 5. University Of California, San Francisco
  • 6. Washington University of St. Louis
  • 9. Duke University
  • 10. University Of Chicago
  • 10. University Of Washington
  • 13. University Of California, Los Angeles
  • 19. Mount Sinai School Of Medicine

From a quick glance we can see where most educators and maybe also the general public thinks the best doctors/physicians should be coming out of, at least in terms of USA based schools. Maybe schools in say China, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, or Russia might produce even finer physicians but I would have no way of really judging those schools and the students that come out of those schools.

I will be focusing this post on looking at 3 of the 4 highest ranked medical school programs in the program. They would be Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins Medical School program.

Most medical school do not dedicate an entire block or quarter to studying just the skeletal system in enough detail. And in my personal opinion they shouldn’t. In terms of the more critical organ systems in the body, the skeletal is one of the less important ones. When you are talking about a person’s life, the greater focus is on the heart and circulatory system, and the brain and the nervous system. The bones and cartilage that make up the skeletal system is rather straight forward, with the 200+ adult bones in the body, and where each are located. Once you have the nomenclature and location of the bones down, you move on to more important subjects like virology and immunology. What I have found is that only a portion of people will go into the two main subjects we do research in, Immunology and Orthopaedics. Even further, we can say that the subset of physicians which can give any reasonable explanation about our growth process is even smaller, coming from orthopaedic surgeons which have studied the various growth disorders, or maybe pediatricians which focus on the growth of children and adolescents.

My point from this part is to say that the number of people who both are physicians and have extensive knowledge on the details and mechanisms of human growth will be very small. From my research on the internet, pediatricians when asked about growth plate closure and further growth only state the general currently accepted views which is probably repeated thousands of times over around the world when a teenager kid asks them whether they will still grow taller after seeing the X-rays showing full ossification. It could be that they turn out to be right and that there is nothing we can do but they only seem to believe in the generally accepted view right now.

First, let’s see what Stanford Medical School has for its program.

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 8.38.28 PMAs we can see from the website from Stanford Medical School for the Overview of the MD Curriculum, one of the leading medical schools in the USA and the world, most medical school curriculum almost never focus much attention on the bones and cartilage of the musculo-skeletal system. Medical schools in general are almost always 4 years in length. Only the first two years in medical school is really dedicated to learning about the theory and mechanics of the body in any depth. The last two focus on doing rotations and shadowing physicians who are already practicing their specialities. Since a person is out in the field and not in the lab, they are learning the more practical skills needed to save lives, but the knowledge they learn will be from older, more experienced people.

This means no real breakthroughs are made, unlike in research and the lab. So we have to see in detail what the curriculum does offer the medical student which might suggest that they would know enough to be conversationally competent in what we are trying to do and researching. In the years 3-5, the medical student does have a section for learning about pediatrics, which will teach them about growth and growth plates.

For the Stanford Medical School program above, it is broken up into 3 quarters, (or could be trimester thing) and there are 5 blocks. In each of the blocks, the students are expected to study like mad but you can see that only 5 quarters of the first two years is actually dedicated to reading and studying about the human body. It would seem that they zoom past the information about endocrinology which is lumped up with the reproductive system. There is obviously a type of introduction course on human anatomy and I would suspect that this is where they get any information about the bones.

If I was to take a guess, when any person has a skeletal injury like a fracture, they either go to the emergency room or the injury is not that serious that leads them to see a family doctor first. IN both cases, the bone injury results in the subject/patient ending up in seeing a specialist. This shows that for the majority of students coming out of medical school programs, they just don’t have that much experience looking at the subject of auxology.

Analysis And Interpretation:

If we look at the diagram of the curriculum and the details of the section of the diagram below we would see that no where does it seem in the curriculum do the medical students put a lot of their focus and study on the skeletal system.

For physicians, they have to pass 3 standardized tested known as United States Medical Licensing Examinations, the USMLEs. On a personal note, the reason why I might know a little more about the process to become a doctor than say the average person you might find on the street is because in my undergraduate years I considered for a short time taking the medical school approach, and spent a few days doing research on seeing what it would take to become an oncologist or hematologist.

Note #2: A substantial amount of my medical numbers and facts will be coming from a recently viral post made by Benjamin Brown M.D. on the topic of “The Deceptive Income Of Physicians” on his WordPress based blog HERE. As of the current time 1/28/2013 there is already almost 740 comments made on his really controversial and conversation stirring post. It is clear from me reading the comments that many of the other physicians who have read his post and numbers are questioning the validity of his numbers but I still think the values are reasonable and useful to be used in this post.

The details on the Stanford based curriculum is below.

Block 1: Foundations of Medicine

Autumn and Winter (Year One)

Autumn quarter consists of two components, with anatomy study throughout. The first component, molecular foundations of medicine and structure of cells and tissues (histology), builds a vital foundation for the scientifically trained physician of the future. The second component, exploration of molecular processes, continues with developmental biology, applied biochemistry and genetics, with open time in the schedule for students to explore scholarly concentration topics and/or elective coursework.

Winter quarter includes the immune system, the organization of the nervous system and the function of neurons, and anatomy of the head and neck. Principles of pharmacology and drug action and an introductory look at microbiology and infections of the respiratory system, provide the background for integrated organ system units to follow.

Clinical correlates in combined basic-clinical science sessions illustrate how basic science discovery translates into clinical practice.

Courses in the Foundations of Medicine block include:

Foundations of Medicine I
Foundations of Medicine II
Applied Biochemistry (Bioc 200) The Nervous System (NBio 206)
Cells to Tissues (Inde 216) Immunology in Health & Disease (Imm 205)
Molecular Foundations of Medicine (Bioc 205) Intro to Human Health & Disease (Inde 220)
Genetics (Gene 202) Gross Anatomy of Head & Neck (Surg 203B)
Development & Disease Mechanisms (DBio 201)
Gross Anatomy (Surg 203A)

Block 2: Human Health & Disease

Spring (Year One), Autumn and Winter (Year Two)

Study units are organized by organ system and integrate histology, physiology, pathology, microbiology, and pharmacology. Organ system units cover normal structure and function, response to disease (including infection), and treatment (therapeutics). Morning sessions are correlated with problem-based cases and physical diagnosis skill training in the afternoon Practice of Medicine block. Final unit on multi-organ systems provides pathophysiologic integration of material from prior units.

The Faculty

Faculty members are chosen for their excellence and leadership in their respective clinical disciplines or fields of biomedical research. The Stanford medical school has more than 700 full-time faculty (two of whom are Nobel Laureates). We also have over one thousand adjunct clinical faculty who practice in the neighboring communities.

Organ Systems

The Human Health & Disease course approaches each organ system by block or thread, separated by quarter, as described below.

Spring, Year One Autumn, Year Two Winter, Year Two
Pulmonary System Renal System Brain and Behavior
Cardiovascular System Genitourinary System Hematology & Hematopathology
Endocrine System Multi-systemic Diseases
Reproductive System/ Women’s Health

Block 3: Practice of Medicine

Throughout Year One and Year Two, afternoon session, two days per week

The Practice of Medicine runs concurrently with Blocks 1 and 2, with clinical correlations to morning sessions to reinforce basic science concepts. Diverse teaching formats include large group lectures with team learning activities, small group (8-12 learners) discussions, smaller groups (2-3 learners) for clinical skills instruction, and one-on-one instruction. Variety of instructional methods include clinical problem-based cases, multistation exercises, simulations with standardized patients, videotaping with instructor feedback, and computer-based instruction.

Topics are organized within seven threads:

  1. Communication: Interviewing, history taking, psychiatric interviewing, sexual history taking, alternative medicine issues, cultural competency.
  2. Physical Exam: Normal surface anatomy, normal adult and child examination, gynecologic examination, geriatric examination, clinical procedural skills.
  3. MD in Society: Health care system, public health, bioethics, advocacy, public policy, international medicine, end of life care, domestic violence, preventive medicine.
  4. Quantitative Medicine: Epidemiology, information management, biostatistics, evidence-based medicine (EBM), introduction to clinical investigation, critical appraisal, exposure to scholarly concentrations.
  5. Nutrition: Principles of nutrition science followed by clinical applications in a series of web-based modules.
  6. Medical Practice: Skills training, professionalism, exposure to specialists, clinical teams, hospital information systems, clerkship mechanics.
  7. Clinical Correlation: Multisystem problems, development of problem lists, differential diagnoses, integration of basic science concepts.

Block 4: Clinical Clerkships

Begins as early as May of Year Two

  • Minimum of 15.5 required clinical months
  • Flexible scheduling with opportunity for broad clinical experience and/or continuation of scholarly concentration project.
  • Clinical correlations in clerkships provide review of basic sciences.

Block 5: Reflections, Research, and Advances in Patient Care (RRAP) – Offered throughout the later years of medical school, this block – currently under development – will bring back the newest advances in basic science and reemphasize basic science applications for physicians.

url-7Now let’s look at our 2nd school, the golden standard which so many other universities and medical schools in the world might try to emulate in terms of quality, prestige, and authority, Harvard (cue in Bittersweet Symphony by The Verge or Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Allegro by Mozart). Harvard Medical School along with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Stanford School of Medicine have almost always ranked among the top 3 Medical Schools of the USA for many years now, if not decades.

I will be taking a section from the Harvard Medical School Course Catalog 2012-2013 website HERE.

Preclinical Courses, Year 1

Preclinical Courses, Year 2

Health, Science, & Technology (HST) Courses

HMS – Division of Medical Sciences Courses

There is two other sections, Core Clinical Clerkships and Elective Courses (Clinical and Non-Clinical Courses) but I will not be looking into them since clinical clerkships happen almost always at the 3-4 year range. Some schools like Johns Hopkins and fewer of the more innovative medical schools these days are starting to add clinical work even earlier into the curriculum for the students to be better prepared for their residencies.

Analysis & Interpretation:

The first link to the preclinical courses in the first year shows that first year med students take 12 classes, and only maybe half of those courses is actually real hard sciences course. From my skim of the page, it seems that only one course, “The Human Body” will have the student actually get any new information about the human growth process. The second link for 2nd year seems to have only two real hard science courses, both of which would give the student only a cursory view of human growth mechanics. The Harvard Curriculum seem to push the student into the Clinical Internship role much faster, focusing on trying to make them better doctors in practice. After that, the years 3-5 (or 3-4) focuses more on the students getting out into the field and getting more hands on.

This shows again that even in one of the world’s best medical schools, they devote almost no time in looking in detail into the human growth process.

Now let’s look at our 3rd school, the curriculum from Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine website HERE. The webpage I linked to the left is only for the M.D. Program Admissions, not the M.D./Ph.D. Degree option, the M.D.-MPH Degree option, or the M.D./MBA Program option.

From the paragraph of the page the message shows that the direction at which medical students should be learning the science of medicine is “organs, tissues, cells, proteins, and DNA” which shows how we go from a macroscopic level of analysis and learning down further further to a smaller and smaller level of understanding of the human body’s function.

From the page on “What To Expect“…

This novel curriculum rejects the notion that there is “normal” or “abnormal” in medicine.  Rather, everyone is on a continuum.  The curriculum takes a systems approach to understanding all levels of the human being – from genes, molecules, cells, and organs of the patient on one end, to the familial, community, societal, and environmental components at the other end.  The GTS curriculum integrates all of these variables to help students understand why patients present the way they do”

On the page, there is 3 links to 3 PDFS which explain what a prospective student who applies for admission to the MD Degree program should expect from their 4 years there. It would be in Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 & 4, respectively.

Analysis & Interpretation:

If one was really dedicated they would go to the links and see that for Johns Hopkins program, they seem to take the Harvard approach which is for the incoming medical students to focus and get into the field faster. Theory and classroom learning is decreased, but still expected, sort of like the med. school expects the student to focus on doing the book learning at home and just know what they are doing and their mentors are talking about when they are doing their rounds or rotations, which they should.

Conclusion & Implications:

The whole purpose of this post was to show in a reasonably convincing way that what we are doing ultimately in trying to find a way to minimal invasively find a way to increase our height and grow taller after physical maturity and epiphyseal growth plate closure and cartilage ossification (beyond just limb lengthening surgery) is not a completely worthless attempt that has absolutely no chance of success. Although maybe after 10-20 years of intensive research we may come to that conclusion and we as height increase researchers are proven wrong, I would hope to leave this website and project around as a legacy and the #1 authority on this subject on the internet. This website is also supposed to be used as the ultimate resource in doing reviews on any marketed products and scams out there.

Nearly all medical professionals if you asked them would say that what we are attempting to do is impossible. Most people would never question their family physician or a surgeon’s authoritative word. I am saying that even the students that come out of our “best”, most prestigious medical schools don’t really know as much about this subject as we do, so most of them should not be people we turn to for authority on answer our most basic question, “Can we still grow?”. They would say no.

What I am trying to do i to show that from many medical professional’s own schooling and training in their weakness and holes in knowledge, they don’t really have the full picture and done as much research on the subject of potential (not absolutely guaranteed) height increase. However that does not means that they can’t easily catch up to our level of understanding and research and be just as knowledgeable as us on the subject. They could very easily.

One of the things that even physicians who have finished their residency and fellowships still have to do is keep up with the recent medical breakthroughs and developments by reading medical and research journals. Physicians are expected to renew their medical license every few years so make sure they still have that high level of competence.

They know a lot, but if we want to make the real breakthroughs, we have to know about our area of study better than any physicians to be able to prove them wrong, in the eyes of objectivity and hard science.

On a related note, I would like to say that I have gotten emails from people who are either currently in medical school right now or doing their residency (1st or 2nd year) and they say that they have been personally following Tyler’s blog for years and this blog/website recently because what we write in our content is stuff that they are never exposed to in their medical schooling curriculum, or in their residency programs.