Rebutting myths: Can milk help you grow taller?


A representational image of a kid holding a glass of milk. — Natural Food Asia/File
A representational image of a kid holding a glass of milk. — Natural Food Asia/File

Kids are often told that drinking milk will help them grow taller, but does it?

Milk, no doubt is filled with nutrients, that are needed for human growth. It contains micro and macronutrients such as calcium, protein, and zinc, among others that affect growth and development, Very Well Health reported.

However, studies suggest height, depends 80% on genetics.

In children and teens

Some studies suggest that drinking milk increases height and decreases the chances of stunted growth in children. But some also found that factors such as diet and access to healthcare also play a major role.

In adults

Calcium in milk is good for bones. It makes them stronger. However, milk is not the only source of it, other foods such as cheese, almonds and beans among others also have calcium in them.

According to research, the human body stops growing after puberty so it can’t make you any longer than you already are but it can make you grow stronger.

What determines height?

Doctors say height mostly depends on Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and more than 700 gene variants play a direct role in determining a person’s height.

However, factors that do play a role include:

During gestation:

  • Maternal nutrition.
  • Mothers smoking habits.
  • Usage of hazardous substances.

During adolescents:

  • Sleep.
  • Physical activity.
  • Infections/diseases.
  • Nutrition.


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