Background On Sam Snyder
I contacted Sam in the early months of the the website’s development to ask about his own opinion on Tyler’s blog and what he felt was the direction of potential height increase research. Of all the bloggers in the internet who has ever done any type of extensive, serious review on Tyler’s HeightQuest.com website, it has been Sam Snyder, who talked about the research we might see in the decades ahead on what might be created biomedically for use. I have mentioned Sam’s name in a few past previous posts.
Something I found today which is really interesting is that the blogger Sam Snyder, who I have actually contacted in the past wrote a post back in July of 2011 which suggests that someone he knew was offer a chance to get their height increased by 30 cms from getting stem cells injected into their bones using a machine from South Korea and at a clinic in China.
Several months ago I wrote a post titled Stem Cells for Height, which outlined the possibility of someday increasing height through advances in biotechnology. I was recently contacted by someone who was offered the opportunity to increase their height by having stem cells injected into their bones at a clinic in China using a machine from South Korea. The procedure promised a height increase of up to 30 cm in adults! It would be nice if this technique worked, but I remain skeptical. The last time I checked, the website for this clinic had gone offline, so maybe it’s too good to true.
Articles like this are why I’m fairly skeptical of stem cell treatments that aren’t FDA-approved:
Regenerative medicine researchers say that patients could lose their money and have no recourse to get a refund. Patients might even get cancer from unrestrained stem cells. There still may be the possibility that stem cell clinics in China will develop successful treatments while American stem cell research proceeds at a slower pace due to FDA regulations. I’m not really sure what the right answer is. The regenerative medicine professors are skeptical of places like Beike Biotech, but that company seems to be conducting legitimate research (though admittedly I haven’t read their published papers):
Legitimate stem cell therapies are still a major component of the future of medicine. Two major companies in America that are conducting clinical trials of stem cells are Geron and Advanced Cell Technology. Geron is conducting a trial of stem cells to heal spinal damage and Advanced Cell Technology is conducting experiments using stem cells to treat eye problems like macular degeneration. Bone marrow stem cells are also used to treat cancer. I know that other researchers are working on creating stem cell treatments to heal the heart muscle. Researchers have also successfully used tissue engineering to create new bladders and tracheas for patients. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University has grown a kidney using tissue printing, but printed kidneys are still years away from being given to human patients.
Mesenchymal stem cells are also being used for bone healing in experiments, though I haven’t heard anything about being able to use them for the purposes of increasing height. Here’s a story about accelerating the healing of injured bones:
Thousands of clinical trials using stem cells are being conducted or have been conducted. This is a list of clinical trials in the USA that are testing stem cell treatments:
As for increasing height using stem cells, I wish it was true. There are legitimate stem cell treatments out there, but unfortunately I’m not familiar with any that can increase adult height.
The post he referenced at the beginning of the post was written in March of 2011
The top answer comes from a man who is barely five feet tall and experienced many setbacks in life. A growing body of research indicates that taller men have better lives on average. They have:
- better career prospects
- more frequent opportunities for romance
- increased intelligence
- happier mood
- longer lifespan
Harvard economics professor Grew Mankiw, who himself is over six feet tall, wrote a semi-serious paper arguing in favor of a height tax. If economists truly believe in taxation that redistributes wealth to people who have poorer circumstances in life, that means they should examine the possibility of tax increases on tall men – or at least tax breaks for shorter men. The height tax is a politically untenable topic and is probably unnecessary in the long run, but evidence tends to suggest tall people have better lives.
Most people who provided counsel to the Quora respondent focused on short-term solutions (moving to a place with a population that has a lower than average human height) or long-term solutions (waiting for a technological singularity and then uploading the brain into a better body). Controversial limb-lengthening surgery also exists for the purposes of increasing height. The downsides are its expensive cost, the long recovery process, and the unimpressive results.
Stem cells are a promising medium-term solution. Stem cells could restore the body’s bones and muscles to a youthful state and allow for their expansion in a growth phase. They could also turn back the clock on the pituitary gland and cause it to produce excess growth hormone. This would be a delicate process to deliver the benefits of height without causing the health complications associated with gigantism and acromegaly.
Developed countries have lots of regulations on stem cell treatments and for good reason. They want to prevent people from wasting their money on scams or getting cancer from untested therapies. The good news is that some developing countries (especially in Southeast Asia) have fewer moral, ethical, and regulatory barriers to researching stem cell treatments. A country like China that has an excess of males who want to increase their mating prospects is prime territory for the development of height-increasing stem cell therapies. – Updated 11/27/2011
It is interesting that Sam mentions the company Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology Company because a source I found which discusses the issue over the ethics and moral implications of using stem cells is brought up in a journal by Boston College entitled “Ethical Concerns in the Emergence of Stem Cell Therapies“ by Benjamin Schanker
“…There may eventually come a day when organs or limbs can be manufactured, neuronal growth stimulated, or bone growth and height increased using stem cells. These further advances will certainly raise questions around issues of what it means to be a human being…”
This guy also states the possibility that maybe one day stem cell technology will allow people to increase their height.
The thing about this post is that Sam Snyder is claiming that there is some device in a clinic in China which was made or manufactured somewhere in South Korea which can implant stem cells into the bones of a person leading them to become upwards of even 12 inches taller.
I would love to hear from Sam to see who this person he knows is and whether that is any real evidence that this device exists somewhere.
I am in South Korea myself and plan to take a trip to China sometime soon so maybe I can do more research and find this actual device.