The secret behind long bone growth – The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed – Grow | BBC Two


Eva is 8 years old and throughout her childhood Every bone muscle and sinew is continually lengthening in a coordinated fashion And what determines how tall she and all of us grow starts not in our bones But in the brain From a pea-sized gland known as the pituitary growth hormone is released throughout our lives Growth hormone plays a number of important roles in the adult body including the regulation of our metabolism and The ability to maintain steady blood glucose levels But during childhood as high levels of growth hormone surge through our entire body it has a far greater effect Traveling through the bloodstream it stimulates the liver to produce an insulin like chemical growth factor-1 This causes muscle and cartilage cells to multiply it’s the secret behind how tall we grow At the ends of the long bones of our arms and legs are the epiphyseal plates or growth plates soft disks made of cartilage And it’s here that growth factor-1 works, it’s magic by stimulating the cartilage cells into rapid division These new cells push the older cells toward the center where they Harden gradually Elongating the bone and making us taller

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