A health professional I am assisting with Hair Tissue Analysis wrote:
"I had an interesting moment looking at the boys' growth charts on our practice management system. Up until the ages of 11, our youngest (now 14) was on the growth curve to reach 184cm height at full height (85th centile) and the older one (now 16 years old) on the curve to reach 176.5cm (50th centile). They've both jumped two centiles. Youngest is now on the 97th centile at 184cm (only aged 14) and oldest at the 85th centile at 182.5cm at age 16. I think what changed at those times was starting their regular zinc supplementation (and we had moved our dairy supply to unpasteurised whole milk). The boys are not remotely unhappy that we juiced their growth! Their charts make a fascinating picture."
Here are the charts for the boys, oldest first (follow the black line). We did add quite a bit more than zinc, based on hair tissue mineral analysis on each boy, however, zinc was a key element.
If you look closely at the boy's trendlines, the first was heading for being a little above average height while the younger one was heading to be taller but not by much. That was the case until we changed their diets after completing hair tissue testing earlier this year. You can see on the charts when the diets were changed and the effect: growth accelerated! Each boy is trending to be tall and strong men (I'll see if we can get an update in these charts next year). That the acceleration for both boys coincided, is convincing evidence of the power of nutrition.
In 40 years I've never seen a clearer example of the power of nutrition's influence on growth, other than in animal husbandry. Of course, nutrition is equally important whether it is raising cattle or children; it is just human nutrition has been hijacked by commercial interests and whacky fads. Get the basics right and children thrive as can be seen in these charts!
One of the best books I ever read on nutrition was "Soil Minerals: The Key to Farming Wealth and Your Own Health", by a Canterbury farmer, Brown Trotter. Of course, it helped having worked on farms milking cows, among other things. The quality of the animals and what they produced was related to their feed, beginning with the mineral content. Farmers understand this association better than most townies and many health professionals. This association might explain why we have so many people from rural communities on our books.
Children and young adults are what you feed them. Their genetic potential is only as good as what they eat and more:
Supplementation to correct any imbalances and deficiencies.
Avoidance of toxins such as lead, arsenic, mercury and glyphosates.
Outdoors daily getting exercise, fresh air and sunshine.
Challenges, physical and mental, intended to stimulate growth and resilience.
Engagement and fun with others.
Most of these are lacking with what has happened over the last two years.
Out of many minerals and other nutrients, zinc is probably the most crucial for stimulating the growth and development of children, including well-formed genitals in both sexes. Zinc has a long list of functions in the body of which I will highlight a few: Zinc is considered a "masculine" mineral for its role in producing testosterone, which both males and females require. In addition, zinc promotes strength and fortitude. When deficient, it is associated with anxiety, depression and problems with growth and development in children and even autism. When zinc is lacking, the immune system suffers, and the person becomes vulnerable to yeast, viral and fungal infections. In addition, zinc is essential for wound healing. Zinc is essential for healthy collagen which is why its lack or imbalance with copper is associated with devastating disorders such as scoliosis. It is associated with eating disorders, poor digestion, loss of taste and smell (COVID!), and even Morning Sickness when deficient. Again, farmers and rural vets know a lot of the many benefits of zinc (Zinc is used to treat Facial Eczema, for example).
The modern diet seldom provides sufficient zinc. Zinc is barely there, so supplementation is usually necessary. Farmers know this. A good quality zinc supplement usually comes with nutritional cofactors such as B6, C, and magnesium and is in either capsule or powder form. The powder form is usually a better value.
Interestingly, the Indian Continent is said to be the largest market for "Growth Supplements" since there is a desire to have tall and strong, Bollywood-version sons and daughters.
If you want to improve the nutritional status of your children, be they one year or 20 years of age, the first step is to order a hair tissue test and consultation, then take it from there: