Web sites for products such as “HeightGrowth” are so unbelievable that the people who wrote them must be laughing as they steal people’s money for totally worthless products.

They tell you that if you take HeightGrowth, you will continue to grow until you are as tall as you like, at any age. If that were true, we would see people who are 15 feet tall and basketball would be an entirely different sport.

Bones do not grow throughout their length. They grow from growth centers, called the epiphysis, near their ends. When a person reaches puberty, growth centers close one after the other until all the growth centers are closed forever and a person’s bones can never grow again. After that, a person can grow wider, but not taller.

Even before a person reaches puberty, the product will have absolutely no effect on growth. The ad claims that HeightGrowth is made of a special mixture of herbs and minerals, and lists 23 plants, many of them vigorous vines such as kudzu, which grows so rapidly that it covers trees and buildings all over the South, and can cross a road overnight. So when you eat kudzu vine and other rampant-growing plants, they want you to believe that you will grow like the vines. Of course this is ridiculous. Kudzu vine grows rapidly because of its genetic structure called DNA. But you cannot absorb DNA from plants or animals that you eat; it is broken down in your stomach and intestines into its nucleic acid building blocks, which have no effect on your own DNA.

The tragedy is that some people will shell out their hard earned money to someone who is making fun of them. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee, even though they recommend that you take their product for six months or more to see results. They know you will probably be too embarrassed to ask for your money back, and people who have tried to get action on similar guarantees report that their money is never returned from these scams.

Checked 4/18/12