Most don’t realize, but bones are actually considered organs in the same vein as the heart, liver and others. What’s more, bones play a much larger role in our bodies than simply keeping us upright and able to stand on our own two feet. From blood cell production to mineral storage and so much more besides, it’s all too easy to overlook just how miraculous the bones in the human body really are.
Functions of Bones
The functions of the bones in the human body are abundant and crucial – far above and beyond provision of rigidity.
1. Mechanical Functions
- Protection. Bones are vital for protecting the most important and fragile organs in the body. The chest for example protects the heart, while the skull keeps the brain safe from harm.
- Structure. Without bones, the body would have no frame and essentially be an immobile mass of flesh and tissue.
- Movement. The bones pair up with the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles to enable the body to move as it does.
- Sound Transduction. Bones are also important for conduction vibrations which allow us to hear.
2. Synthetic Functions
- Blood Production. Bone marrow, which is found in the central cavity of the body’s longer bones, is crucial for producing both red and white blood cells.
3. Metabolic Functions
- Mineral Storage. With phosphorus and calcium being the two most prevalent examples, the bones of the body store the most important minerals the body needs to function.
- Fat Storage. Fatty acids are stored in yellow bone marrow to be called upon as energy reserves when needed.
- Growth Factor Storage. Crucial growth factors are stored in mineralized bone matrix.
- Acid-base Balance. Bone is extremely affective when it comes to both releasing and absorbing alkaline salts, which in turn helps preserve the pH balance of the body.
- Detoxification. The tissue of human bones is capable of removing heavy metal and other toxins from the blood, so as to be stored safely away from the organs and slowly released to be expelled from the body in excretions.
- Endocrine Organ. Bones release fibroblast growth factor which controls phosphate metabolism. Fat deposition and blood sugar levels are also controlled by the bones through the release of osteocalcin hormone, which is known to increase insulin production and help reduce excessive fat storage.
These three are the main functions of bones.