Several months ago I wrote a post titled Stem Cells for Height, which outlined the possibility of someday increasing height through advances in biotechnology. I was recently contacted by someone who was offered the opportunity to increase their height by having stem cells injected into their bones at a clinic in China using a machine from South Korea. The procedure promised a height increase of up to 30 cm in adults! It would be nice if this technique worked, but I remain skeptical. The last time I checked, the website for this clinic had gone offline, so maybe it’s too good to true.
Articles like this are why I’m fairly skeptical of stem cell treatments that aren’t FDA-approved:
Regenerative medicine researchers say that patients could lose their money and have no recourse to get a refund. Patients might even get cancer from unrestrained stem cells. There still may be the possibility that stem cell clinics in China will develop successful treatments while American stem cell research proceeds at a slower pace due to FDA regulations. I’m not really sure what the right answer is. The regenerative medicine professors are skeptical of places like Beike Biotech, but that company seems to be conducting legitimate research (though admittedly I haven’t read their published papers):
Legitimate stem cell therapies are still a major component of the future of medicine. Two major companies in America that are conducting clinical trials of stem cells are Geron and Advanced Cell Technology. Geron is conducting a trial of stem cells to heal spinal damage and Advanced Cell Technology is conducting experiments using stem cells to treat eye problems like macular degeneration. Bone marrow stem cells are also used to treat cancer. I know that other researchers are working on creating stem cell treatments to heal the heart muscle. Researchers have also successfully used tissue engineering to create new bladders and tracheas for patients. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University has grown a kidney using tissue printing, but printed kidneys are still years away from being given to human patients.
Mesenchymal stem cells are also being used for bone healing in experiments, though I haven’t heard anything about being able to use them for the purposes of increasing height. Here’s a story about accelerating the healing of injured bones:
Thousands of clinical trials using stem cells are being conducted or have been conducted. This is a list of clinical trials in the USA that are testing stem cell treatments:
As for increasing height using stem cells, I wish it was true. There are legitimate stem cell treatments out there, but unfortunately I’m not familiar with any that can increase adult height.