Bone formation is an important process in the development of your body. This process begins just after conception and continues right through your infancy and teenage years as your skeleton grows. In the meantime, your bones undergo another important growth process that continues throughout your lifetime. This development is known as bone remodeling, which may involve the formation of new bone or ossification and breakdown of old bone or resorption.
During bone development, three main important types of cells are involved- osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes, which are responsible for resorption, maintenance and production of bone respectively.
Here is how the cells play their role in bone development;
- Osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are multinucleated cells formed from cells of the bone marrow. They move along your bone matrix as they secrete lysosomal enzymes which break down the bone matrix, leading to the formation of liquid calcium which is pumped back to the blood for recirculation.
- Osteoblasts. These cells generate a new bone matrix by secreting an organic bone component known as collagen. Like the osteoclasts, they also move along the bone matrix and get stuck in the tissue, thus forming osteocytes which contribute to bone growth and repair. However, not all osteoblasts differentiate into osteocytes; osteoblasts which do not differentiate may continue forming new collagens or new bone tissue.
- Osteocytes. Osteocyte cells are no longer moving in the bone matrix. Their primary function is homeostasis i.e. to maintain the right balance of oxygen and other vital minerals in the bone matrix.
As you grow older, your Bone Mass Density or BMD may diminish thus leading to decreased bone strength and increased risk of fracture. According to studies, this development starts in our early 20’s and becomes more widespread after 30`s. In fact, a bone fracture is common in most postmenopausal women due to decreased estrogen and progesterone production which are necessary for the process of bone building. In other words, low progesterone production leads to less bone formation and low estrogen leads to increased bone resorption.
If you want to reduce the risks of developing osteoporosis or diminished bone density, there are certain things you can do; incorporate a regular physical exercise routine in your lifestyle and eat healthy ingredients.
Recently, researchers have discovered that people who are living with osteoporosis tend to have low levels of vitamin B12 in their bodies. Vitamin B12, also known as riboflavin, plays an indispensable role in promoting bone formation, hence reducing risks of developing osteoporosis. As you now know, your bones start to decrease in bone density as you age. Vitamin B12 is a very crucial factor in homocysteine metabolism. It helps regulate homocysteine levels in your body. High levels of this chemical may interfere with collagen cross-linking, which leads to increased risk of bone fracture.
Additionally, the chemical homocysteine has also been shown to elevate the levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in Osteoblasts cells, thus leading to apoptosis or cell death. A death of Osteoblasts leads to diminished bone growth, hence increased risks of bone fracture. Riboflavin also helps your body to develop fresh erythrocytes in the bone marrow.