Supplements to Help With Height Growth

Girl (9-11) sitting at plate of sprouts
A young girl is refusing to eat a plate of vegetables. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Height is a function of numerous factors. According to the KidsHealth website, the following factors can significantly affect the height and weight of your developing child: gender, genetics, various ailments, hormone levels, nutrition and physical activity levels. Growth that occurs at a normal rate followed by a slower growth rate might signal an underlying health condition. To gain a greater understanding of how nutritional supplements might support the height growth of your child, speak with your child's doctor.

Growth Failure

Growth failure and short stature in children may indicate a serious underlying health problem that requires medical intervention. The Human Growth Foundation states that several health problems may lead to growth failure, including nutritional disorders, gut malabsorption syndrome, various diseases of your heart, lungs and kidneys, bone disorders such as skeletal dysplasia, intrauterine growth retardation, Turner syndrome, thyroid hormone deficiency and growth hormone deficiency. Some conditions that cause growth failure may be inherited or caused by other health problems. Some conditions causing this health problem may be preventable or treatable.

Beneficial Supplements

Numerous supplements may be beneficial in treating your child's growth problems or supporting optimal height growth. Certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," states that cod liver oil, alfalfa, essential fatty acid complex or primrose oil, kelp, L-lysine, zinc, calcium and magnesium, raw pituitary glandular, L-ornithine and vitamin B complex may all be useful for these health purposes. Supplements historically used in treating growth problems may require further scientific research to evaluate their true effectiveness.

L-ornithine and its Benefits

L-ornithine may be one of the most effective nutritional supplements in helping with height growth. According to Dr. Alan R. Gaby, a medical doctor and author of "The Natural Pharmacy," L-ornithine may increase your levels of growth-promoting hormones, such as growth hormone and insulin. In fact, L-ornithine is one of the few dietary supplements that helps promote the release of growth hormone, states Balch. Dr. Gaby notes that this nutritional supplement has traditionally been used in treating infections, burns, liver cirrhosis and wounds. This supplement has also been used in improving athletic performance. Further clinical research trials may be needed to assess this supplement's effect on human height growth. This supplement should only be used under your doctor's supervision.

Considerations

Since there are numerous possible causes of growth failure, it's important to meet with your child's primary care provider so that your child might be properly diagnosed and treated. Avoid giving your child supplements until you have discussed all supplement-related topics -- dosage, side effects and drug interactions -- with your child's doctor. Some nutritional supplements may cause unwanted health effects in your child and should be avoided or discontinued immediately. Your child's doctor can counsel you on alternative therapies that may also be beneficial in treating growth failure or delayed growth.

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