WEEKLY UPDATE: January 17, 2020
OVERVIEW: In the past 150 years, the average human’s height has increased by around 4 inches. While environmental factors like nutrition have a strong influence on the growth of a human body, it is clear that height is a highly heritable trait. In fact, up to 80% of a person’s height is thought to be genetically determined! However, height is a very complex trait that is influenced by many variants across the genome. To identify height-associated genetic variants, this study examined more than 250,000 individuals of European ancestry. The researchers discovered 697 genetic variants that are associated with height. Taken together, these variants explain ~ 16% of height differences observed between people. Some of the identified variants are near genes that are involved in bone and cartilage development.
DID YOU KNOW? Starting around the age of 40, many people begin to lose height. This can be due to multiple factors, such as age-related spinal compression and disorders like osteoporosis. Exercise and healthy nutrition (including lots of calcium) can help maintain strong bones and muscles and limit height loss. [SOURCE]