For eons, people have struggled with their self-image, often attempting anything and everything to change various aspects of their appearance. Height is one of those things that some people constantly struggle with.
One area in which many people grapple with regards to their physical features is their height. Throughout the past few decades, many different companies and individuals have claimed to have magic “cure-alls” that add inches to a person’s height. The dilemma for the average consumer is that they never tend to agree on just what that cure-all might be. Some claim physical therapy as the only option, while other stick to fad diets and less-than-trustworthy claims of “double-blind” studies and consumer testimonials. But there’s at least one piece of anecdotal knowledge that most of us still believe, and that’s the growing power of dairy milk.
Milk And Height Growth Facts
While many of us have gone through life convinced that milk helps you grow “big and tall,” several opposing viewpoints have sprung up in recent years regarding the effects of dairy milk on height, weight, and bone density.
What Are These Opposing Views?
Folks in support of the dairy argument say that the drink acts as a vehicle for calcium to efficiently get to your bones. They point to the sheer amount of vitamins in milk as evidence enough, and the science would certainly support that claim.
The argument against milk as a contributor to bone health and height is frustratingly supported by science as well. Proponents of a non-milk diet say that the beverage actually leeches calcium from your bones. These folks advocate for a plant-based diet that includes “natural” sources of calcium that they insist are a better and more direct source of the vitamin.
So What Does The Science Say?
Well, at first look the evidence seems to support those who are against using milk as a growth enhancement tool. Several studies and pieces of evidence have confirmed that any time humans consume a protein-rich, animal-based food, our bodies actually pull calcium from our bones to help in its digestion. We then expel that calcium in our urine.
Scientists point to this as the reason why drinking excess milk won’t affect height or bone health. Regardless of how much calcium we consume from animal proteins, our bodies will use our existing calcium to process what we eat. The best evidence was found in 1997, in a study published by the American Journal of Public Health. This study followed a group of several hundred women as they age. Roughly half of them were dairy consumers, while the rest avoided animals proteins. At the end of this study, there seemed to be no correlation whatsoever in height or bone density, with fractures actually occurring at a slightly higher rate in dairy drinkers than those who abstained.
There are several scientists disagree with these assumptions, however. They claim that the sheer amounts of calcium leaving and entering the body aren’t the whole picture, but rather it’s the combination of calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D are what make milk such a potent cocktail for human growth.
So How Does Milk Consumption Realistically Affect Height Growth?
The truth is, generally, physicians agree that dairy-based proteins won’t help adults grow taller. Your height is always going to be related to things like your genetics and your posture, and no amount of dairy will change that fact. Sure, there are pills you can take to get taller, but milk won’t do the trick.
That being said, providing dairy milk to adolescents and young adults may genuinely increase height. The combination of vitamins and minerals found in most naturally sourced milk options are beneficial for growing bodies.
At the end of the day, milk may not help you as an adult grow any taller than you already are. But if you’re concerned about your child’s height, milk may be the perfect source of nutrition to make sure they develop into the tallest adults they can be.