All living beings grow. The process of growth is a natural way of life. Plants, animals, birds, and human beings — all start growing up just after the conception. In the first nine months, the foetus develops in the mother‘s womb and keeps on growing after birth also. When a child is born, he is about 50 centimetres high. And in the next 20 years his height becomes more than triple. Man‘s growth stops after the age of 20-22 years. Do you know how man grows up and why his growth stops after a certain age? In its simplest sense, growing means adding living matter to the matter, which is already present in the body. In fact, these are mainly proteins that help the body to grow. We get these proteins from meat, fish, eggs, seeds, vegetables, fruits, milk and its products. During the process of digestion, these proteins get converted into amino acids. These amino acids produce cells and tissues. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and iron are also helpful in the physical growth. Proteins and minerals produce tissues, muscles and bones. Proteins help to repair broken cells and tissues. Do you know why we stop growing up after a certain age? The endocrine glands, which secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream, control our body growth. These glands are the thyroid gland (in thorax) and some sex glands. The pituitary gland controls the growth of bones. When a child is born, his thymus gland is very large, but it starts shrinking after the age of 13-14 years. The body attains full maturity by the age of 20-22 years and after that the growth stops. The glands responsible for the physical growth become less active after this age. After 40 years of age, the body starts contracting every ten years. This contraction is due to the drying up of the cartilages in our joints and spinal column.
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