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Does Testosterone Make You Taller? Addressing a Common Myth

Does Testosterone Make You Taller? Addressing a Common Myth


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

More and more men are taking supplemental testosterone due to decreasing levels globally. One common question from patients is whether testosterone supplementation will make them taller.

The answer is usually no, but it depends. In this article we’ll explain why testosterone supplementation isn’t likely to make you taller.

Testosterone is Generally Associated With Decreased Height

One of the counterintuitive things about testosterone is that even though it’s an extremely important hormone for male development, it has been associated with decreased height in studies.

One medical study found that low levels of testosterone had a growth-promoting effect, while higher levels had an inhibitory effect on height development. This was a longitudinal study so no treatments were given to the adolescent boys; their growth and testosterone levels were simply tracked over time.

Supplemental testosterone therapy has also been used in medical research as a treatment for excessive height in boys, suggesting it can actually make you shorter instead of taller. The linked study used testosterone therapy in adolescent boys with extremely tall stature as an effective treatment measure for reducing final height.

What’s fascinating about these two medical studies is they suggest both naturally-produced and exogenous (supplemental) testosterone have a height-reducing effect.

This is exactly the opposite of much advice online and popular discourse. Since tall men are generally considered more masculine it has often been assumed that testosterone can make you taller, but medical studies evidence the opposite effect.

Growth Hormone is What Increases Height

There has been significant medical research on supplemental growth hormone for increasing height in adolescents, and this compound can in fact increase height.

Testosterone and growth hormone are often confused because both are often supplemented by men for performance benefits, but they serve significantly different functions in the body and during vertical growth.

Testosterone is the primary hormone that drives secondary sexual characteristics in men, which causes increased muscle mass, changes to vocal cords, and increased body hair production.

Growth hormone is produced in significant amounts by both men and women, and influences the height of both genders. Growth hormone therapy is even a standard treatment for short stature. One medical study found it to be effective in increasing adult height when administered to children, and another study reached the same conclusion. These are just two examples, and there are many further studies on growth hormone’s height-promoting effects (both naturally and supplementally).

We want to be clear that we are not recommending growth hormone treatment to increase height in children, but just sharing some of the published research. Hormone therapy in children and adolescents is risky and should be discussed with a doctor.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Testosterone doesn’t make you taller, either when naturally produced by adolescent boys, or when supplemented by either gender. 

Growth hormone is the hormone which more directly influences height, and has significant medical backing for its height-promoting effects. 

Height can only be influenced positively during adolescence before growth plates are fused, and there is no reason to believe growth hormone treatment can increase height in adults of either sex.




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