Introduction to bone biology and the bone cycle
The adult skeleton consists of 206 bones. These bones are dynamic living tissue, each with their own blood vessels and cells that allow for bone growth and regeneration. Optimal bone health is essential for overall wellness, and the key to getting the most out of life. Sufferers of osteoarthritis or other joint and bone disorders can give testament to the importance of health from within.
The bones, of course, function as the structural support for the human body and provide protection for vital organs, but they do so much more in addition to this. Bone marrow (the spongy centre) is the production centre for blood cells for the entire body. Red blood cells are crucial for oxygen and nutrient transportation to the organs; and white blood cells fight infection and create blood clots that staunch blood loss from open wounds[i]. Furthermore, bones act as a storage site for vitamins, minerals and proteins, this is what helps give bones their immense strength and durability[ii].
Bone tissue is comprised of widely separated cells surrounded by large amounts of a bone matrix that provides bone with its strength. The bone matrix is a combination of salts and calcium carbonate deposited into a network of collagen fibers[iii]. The salts and calcium give bone its hardness, while the collagen fibers allow for some flexibility, decreasing the risk of fractures and injuries. A deficiency in any of these leads to a loss of bone density, and brittle and weakened bones.
Bones are in a constant regenerative process called bone remodeling. Cells called osteoclasts secrete acidic fluids[iv] that work to break down the bone matrix, reabsorbing the calcium, proteins and other nutrients into the body. Osteoblasts, another cell type found in the bone, then go over these spaces and rebuild the bone matrix through laying a foundation of collagen that calcium and salts adhere to. Bone remodeling takes approximately three months to complete[v], in which time the cycle will begin again to ensure that bones maintain their strength and are able to functional normally.
It is proven that bone density and overall bone health deteriorates with age, this is due to a variety of lifestyle and hormonal factors. The most common causes for deteriorating bone health are an inactive lifestyle, and the body becoming less effective at absorbing calcium and producing collagen[vi].
Physical activity and nutritional planning can help fend off age related changes to bone health[vii]- and may even reverse the damage too! Much like muscles, bone is a living structure that can be strengthened through exercise. The forces placed upon the bone will result in the formation of new bone tissue. The bones and muscles become stronger together as the bones must be able to support the muscles growth and movement[viii].
In addition to exercise, nutrition is also vital in retaining bone density and strength. The body’s ability to absorb and store calcium, and other minerals crucial for bone health, decreases with age. It is important to eat a balanced diet each day in order to reach the recommended daily intake of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, Potassium, and vitamin K.
Alternatively, supplements are a good way to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients and minerals you need for optimal bone health. Inessa Total Body Care is specially formulated to ensure an effective dose of all the nutrients essential for bone health.