Strong bones: Even more important than we thought!

Sure, they allow us to move and generally prevent us from collapsing into a giant blob, those are pretty important things, but bones also have a lot of other important functions. In addition to forming an incredibly strong and lightweight skeleton, our bones play an active role in a number of hormonal and metabolic functions that are crucial for the body’s overall vitality and longevity. Building strong bones is important in order to prevent breakages and fractures during aging, but it goes beyond that.

Our bones aren’t inert; they’re living, constantly rebuilding themselves and manufacturing important cells. Bone cells send and receive unique signals to and from other parts of the body, and the strength of these signals is related to the health and density of the bones. Bones are responsible for making blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. They also regulate the body’s blood-calcium level, which is vital for proper muscle function and pH balance. When circulating calcium level is low, bones release calcium into the blood stream. Low blood-calicum levels over time result in frail bones and osteoporosis. When calcium levels are sufficient, calcium is stored as bone mass or excreted from the system, so it’s incredibly important to get enough calcium and vitamin D on a daily basis.

New research is also finding that the skeletal system plays an important role in sustaining overall youth, metabolism, and vitality by releasing a protein called osteocalcin. Once released, osteocalcin acts like a hormone by signaling fat cells to release adiponectin, which increases glucose sensitivity. Osteocalcin also increases insulin production in the pancreases, boosts testosterone production in men, promotes bone mineralization, and slows the process of muscle loss associated with aging. These are all incredible benefits! Reduction of muscle loss is an especially important factor in regards to aging.

The good news is that it might be possible to increase the amount of osteocalcin released by the skeletal system and therefore slow the aging process. Osteocalcin is released by bone cells called osteoblast, and preliminary research indicates that their formation is supported by eating a diet rich in whole foods containing vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and by maintaining a regular exercise program that includes resistance training. Calcium is only one factor in maintaining healthy bones. Optimum skeletal health depends on the complex interaction of hundreds of nutrients, hormones, and neuro-skeleton electrical signals that naturally follows a creation-based lifestyle!

References:

Human Bone Formation and Osteoblast Differentiation
Peripheral Signaling Involved in Energy Homeostasis
Testosterone and Osteocalcin

Originally posted 2012-11-26 21:55:00.

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