Nutrition Made Simple


September 16 2021



Bones in our body have many functions other than providing it shape. They are of different sizes, shapes, and types and all of them have a different role to play. Bones are active tissues that constantly change their state (size and shape). They perform many functions- protects the organs, facilitates movements, and support the structure of the body. Bone marrow is the place where blood cells are created and minerals like calcium are stored. Bones also play the role of providing an environment for the bone marrow. The largest bone in our body is the femur (thighbone) and the smallest bone is the stapes (middle ear bone). Bones are made up of collagen (framework) on the inside, and calcium phosphate is a mineral that hardens this framework of collagen. The skeletal bones are divided into two categories: appendicular skeleton and axial skeleton. 

Types of bones

  • Irregular bones: these bones have an unusual and irregular shape, and perform the function of protecting the organs and tissues. Bones of the spine and pelvis are included in this category. 
  • Short bones: this category includes the bones of the wrist and ankles. And only a thin layer of compact bones are there.
  • Long bones: they are compacted bones that include most of the limb bones. They perform the function of supporting weight and facilitate movement. 
  • Flat bones: usually, the bones are curved and thin and comprise two layers of compacted bone and one spongy layer underneath it. Most of the bones of the skull and breastbone are included in this category. 
  • Sesamoid bones: these bones are positioned in the structure of tendons and protect them from physical damage.

Some bone conditions

  • Bone infection: this is a very rare but serious condition in which the bones get infected. It may occur after surgery or the bones may also get infected by pathogens from the other parts of the body. Commonly observed symptoms of bone infection are redness, swelling, and pain. 
  • Osteonecrosis: This bone condition is associated with low levels of blood, which leads to dead bone tissues. The main cause of this condition is trauma, which happens to a bone leading to disruption in the blood flow. Prolonged intake of large doses of steroids may also cause osteonecrosis. 
  • Osteoarthritis: A degenerative disease, osteoarthritis is the most commonly found type of arthritis which affects many people around the globe. In this disease, the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones wears down, over time. It mostly affects the joints in the hands, hips, knees, and spinal cord. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are usually manageable, but, the damaged joints cannot be reversed. The treatment is based on self-care advice and medical care.
  • Osteoporosis: The bones in our body have small spaces within them, as a part of their structure. However, sometimes, these spaces become enlarged; such a condition is known as osteoporosis. Although bones constantly break down and replace themselves, during osteoporosis, the creation of new bones stops. It makes the bones less dense as well as thinner, and hence, weaker. People who are affected by this condition are more prone to fractures and bone injuries even while doing normal daily activities. 
  • Bone tumors: they occur after some cells have grown uncontrollably inside the bone structure, and maybe malignant or benign. Benign or noncancerous tumors that do not spread are more commonly found when compared to malignant ones.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: this is a chronic and autoimmune disease mainly affecting the lining of the joints, and causing inflammation (associated with pain) which may lead to bone erosion or deformity in joints. 

How to maintain the health of your bones?

  • Strength and weight training: the best exercises for strengthening the bones are weight training or high impact exercises. These exercises are known to promote the remodeling or formation of new bones. Many research studies which were carried out in adults, showed that doing weight-bearing exercises increases the mineral density of bones, their strength as well as size, and may also reduce risks of inflammation. Strength training exercises are also beneficial for women who suffer from osteoporosis, or osteopenia. 
  • Bodyweight: other than having a nutritious diet, it is also important to maintain healthy body weight to keep the bones healthy. People who are underweight or have lower body weight are at a higher risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Obesity on the other hand may cause the impaired quality of bones and increase the risk of bone fractures. Repeatedly losing or gaining bodyweight or reducing a large amount of body weight in a short period may deteriorate the health of bones gradually. When we talk about bone health, it is highly advised to keep or maintain your weight at a level slightly higher than the normal levels. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: omega-3 fatty acids possess many anti-inflammatory properties that prevent the risk of many diseases. They also prevent bone loss which happens during aging. It is advised to consume omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 1:4. Many studies have found out that omega-3s in fatty fish and plant sources (flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds) decrease the breakdown of bones. 
  • For people who do not consume these sources of omega-3s, a supplement can work too like Alvizia’s alenfish or alenflax.  They are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which promote the overall health and structure of bones. 
  • Vitamins: vitamin D and vitamin K are considered the most important vitamins to build and maintain the health of the bones. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and hence, helps in building up its strong structure. People who have low levels of vitamin D are at a higher risk of conditions like osteoporosis. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, modifies a protein called osteocalcin, which plays a role in the process of bone formation. This modification enables this protein to bind to the minerals and prevent calcium loss. 
  • Calcium: it is the most important mineral required for healthy and strong bones. Since older bones constantly keep on breaking down and get replaced by the new bones, consumption of calcium is important for the protection of the strength and structure of bones. 

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

Tagged: Fish-Oil, Flaxseed-Oil, Salmon-Fish, Softgels


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