Bone makes up the body’s structure, protects internal organs from danger, provides structure for muscles to attach to for the body’s movement, and acts as calcium storage to maintain the level of calcium in the bloodstream to allow for blood cell production in the bone marrow.
Bone structure comprises 2 main components (Extracellular Matrix)
- Outer Bone: This part of the bone is hard as it comprises organic compounds including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and other minerals.
- Inner Bone: This part of the bone is like the structure of a net or spongy bone which is comprised of protein or Type I collagen. It acts to bind mineral molecules and organic compounds together to serve as the bone structure. Protein or collagen here plays an important role in providing flexibility to the bone matrix. Without this part of the bone, the bone would be fragile.
Factors of Bone Strength
Bones not only have to be strong, they must also be flexible. The bone matrix’s flexibility is an important factor of bone strength. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) concluded that “bone strength is comprised of two factors including bone density (70%) and bone quality or flexibility (30%).”
Calcium requires collagen to function
Calcium cannot generate bone and bone marrow strength alone. It works together with collagen in a synergistic relationship. Just as a concrete pillar requires steel rods to stabilize its structure, bones require collagen to stabilize the bone structure. If collagen is destroyed one day, calcium in the bones will also lose its stability.
Bone Life Cycle
Bone cells play an important role in the bone’s strength which includes:
- Osteoblasts – these are the main cells that is responsible for bone formation.
- Osteoclasts – these are involved in bone resorption.
To maintain an equilibrium of calcium in the bloodstream, the body will send a command to pull calcium out of bones to supply the heart, muscles, nervous system, or other organs to maintain their proper functions. Bones release calcium into the bloodstream to maintain this equilibrium.