The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hey,

I am 15, and I was wondering is there any way to slow down puberty. A lot of my friends told me that vitamin B6 slows down facial hair but online is said it makes facial hair stronger. Some of my friends said that zinc, which is in sperm, speeds up puberty, so if you masturbate you go through puberty faster, but I always thought puberty was in your brain, which releases chemicals or something like that. Is there a actual way to slow down puberty?

Thank you.


Answer

People have a tendency to listen to information, forgetting that all sources of information are not equal. It is clear that your friends don't know what they are talking about. Technically puberty is the point in time when a person begins changing from a child to an adult. Adolescence is the period in which the changes occur, though people are often loose with their definitions and use "puberty" as a synonym for "adolescence."

Puberty is marked by the rise of special hormones (chemical communicators) in the blood. There isn't just one hormone involved but a whole series which interact in complex ways. In some cases when a person has trouble developing, a doctor can administer a missing hormone to kick-start the system into working. However, in most people the system works on its own and, more importantly, is self-regulating. If you try to interfere with the system it will try to compensate for the interference.

"Vitamin B6 helps the body to:

  • Make antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases.
  • Maintain normal nerve function
  • Make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the tissues. A vitamin B6 deficiency can cause a form of anemia.
  • Break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.
  • Keep blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges"

[New York Times Health Guide]

Zinc is an essential mineral need by the body for cell division, so it plays a role in growth and the healing of wounds [Medline Plus]. Yes, it is involved in the production of sperm (which involves cell division). However, extra zinc doesn't cause the division to go faster. The body gets the little zinc it needs from the foods you eat. Nor does masturbating cause the body to divide cells faster.

Malnutrition can slow down development, but that is because the building blocks for growth are missing. There is no reason for wanting to change the way the body is designed to function. God knows what He is doing. Interfering with His design only causes problems.