Pill Makes Tall Promises
While the average height for an
American woman is just under 5-4 and for men 5-8 and a half inches,
surveys show most people would like to be taller.
Those who listen to the radio may
have heard a commercial that promises it can do just that.
Mike Modano stands 6-3, Terrell
Owens 6-3 and Dirk Nowitski's height hits 7-feet. Many boys
everywhere said they would love to be just like them, tall.
A pill maker encourages the dream.
"HeightMax is a new height
enhancing supplement that helps 12 to 25-year-olds maximize their
growth potential," said a radio advertisement.
At a cost of $63.99 a month,
HeightMax pledges buyers can reach their maximum growth potential in
six to12 months even in post puberty.
Can it work?
News 8 took HeightMax pills to Dr.
Michele Hutchison, a doctor at Children's Medical Center who
specializes in helping kids grow taller.
"We use arginine in our growth
hormone stimulation test," she said while reading the HeightMax
Arginine is an amino acid that can
prompt the body's natural human growth hormone to briefly kick in.
"So, there is maybe some science in
there," she said. "But to extrapolate that into, 'Oh, if you [take]
this pill you're going to get taller is really stretching it.'"
The science was developed by Sunny
Health Nutrition, which was traced to a house in Riverview, Florida.
In addition to the arginine, the
rest of the ingredients found were basically vitamins and something
called gamma oryzanol, which stumped Hutchison.
"And I don't know what that
oryzanol is," she said. "I'm going to have to look at what that one
Turned out oryzanol is an
antioxidant with no proven value, which is about what Dr. Hutchison
said about HeightMax.
"Certainly there's nothing on here
that there's any data to support that would make a child grow better
than a basic vitamin supplement," she said.
Dr. Hutchison said there is no
short cut to growing tall and recommends eating right, exercising
and sleeping well.
After puberty, she said forget
growing anything except hair.
Experts say people cannot grow
taller after puberty ends, which for most people is about age 18.
There are rare cases of delayed puberty where "late bloomers" grow
until about the age of 22.
JAMES / WFAA-TV
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