What do bones do? Bone Health 101

June 19, 2017

You’ll be surprised! Bones are amazing!

Welcome to Be Healthy! Be Happy! College of Bone Health – Bone Health 101.

Bones are amazing! Much more than providing the structural framework called the skeleton, bones protect our organs, make movement possible, manufacture red blood cells and store minerals essential to metabolic functions.

Calcium is the major constituent of bones and teeth. Vitamin D is essential for bone health by ensuring that calcium in the diet is absorbed and maintained throughout the body.

On a cellular level 3 types of specialized cells work to keep bones functioning at their very best. These cells are called osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts.

Osteoblasts work to make new bone and repair bone when it is damaged or broken. Osteoblasts use calcium to harden and solidify bone structure.

Osteocytes form from osteoblasts. The branching chains of osteocytes connect them one by one permitting them to exchange essential minerals and communicate with neighboring cells for improved bone performance.

Osteoclasts breakdown and re-model existing bone, a continual process which is necessary for healthy bone structure and function. Which brings us to two additional amazing features of bone activity.

A specialized group of bone cells called bone marrow are responsible for the production of red and white blood cells. Red blood cells transport life-sustaining oxygen at every level in our bodies, while white blood cells fight and protect us from infection.

Bones also act like a warehouse to store important minerals providing us a just in time resource for essential metabolic activities throughout our bodies.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! hoping that this message helps power your path to happiness!


Reference: ASU School of Life Sciences: Busy Bones. Online [Available at]: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/bone-anatomy