Did you know that the human body is made up of over 200 bones, which are constantly growing and going through a breakdown and renewal process? Even without going through any sort of broken bone in your life, your entire skeleton ends up being completely replaced roughly every ten years. Bone tissue construction starts from the time that we grow from a fetus inside the womb and the process keeps going until we die. Genetics and the nutrition that we receive prior to being born along with what we get from out diet have a major impact on the endurance and strength of our entire skeletal system.
The cartilage of a fetus is the beginning stage of bone growth, that is then transformed into bone through a process that is known as ossification. Fetal cartilage works to attract calcium, minerals and phosphorus that work to cover the cartilage cells. Fetal cartilage cells will then die off and leave small holes where the blood vessels will then grow. Specialized cells in the body, known as osteoblasts, work on bone growth, travel into the bone that is developing all by way of these small blood vessels. Here, they work to produce collagen fibers that become the structure where the bone is formed. They attract calcium that the fibers are covered with. The osteoblasts start to transform into osteocytes, which are part of a calcium mix that reinforces the collagen fibers so that they can strengthen the bone.
These ostoblasts are cells known for being responsible for breaking down the old bone tissue and removing it. When this happens, they lave small chambers that help pave the way for the marrow to form. These holes create a portion of the bone that is often referred to as spongy bone. Even though it is hard, the spongy bone closely resembles a sponge. When we are young, the osteoblasts will outnumber the amount of osteoclasts, so there is a time of bone growth. The bone growing is referred to as modeling and the bone then keeps growing until we reach the middle of our 20s, where we reach our greatest bone density.
After this time, our bones are in a constant process of going through remodeling. During this time, osteoblasts are not longer to keep up with osteoclasts. Bone is continually being rebuilt and no supplemental bone is being added so that we can start to lose bone density. Although our bodies are no longer added to our spongy bone tissue once we reach our middle-20s, there is still bone that is being added to the outer layer that is called the compact bone. The compact bone makes up for about 80% of our overall bone mass and it works to protect the more fragile spongy bone that is on the inside.
The spongy bone is filled with two kinds of marrow, both yellow and red. The red bone marrow makes up the creation of both our red and white blood cells as well as the platelets that work on clotting to help stop bleeding whenever we are injured. The yellow bone marrow is made of mostly fatty cells and you will usually find it in the longer bones like the femur.
With a healthy diet that includes enough magnesium, calcium, vitamin K and phosphorus we can work on keeping up good bone density. Add in good exercise routines and you will be able to protect yourself from fractures that can be caused by osteoporosis.