Osteoblasts: An In-Depth Guide - Save Our Bones

It’s much easier to make informed decisions about your bone health when you have a good understanding of how the skeletal system works. Bone is living tissue that is continually changing and renewing, just like other tissues that comprise the human body.

Today we'll take an in-depth look at a crucial player in the life cycle of bone: osteoblasts. These cells are critical to the bone remodeling process, and gaining knowledge on how they work will help you to support their function and make the right decisions about reversing osteoporosis and preventing fractures.

Osteoblasts Build New Bone

Osteoblasts are the cells responsible for the creation of new bone. They synthesize new collagenous organic matrix (the collagen-based scaffolding around which mineral bone is built) and regulate mineralization of matrix by releasing compounds that concentrate calcium and phosphate into the new bone mass.1

Osteoblasts also synthesize and secrete non-collagenous proteins. While these bone proteins are not well defined at present, the latest research suggests that they serve multiple functions including, “regulation of bone mineral deposition and turnover and regulation of bone cell activity.”1

Once new bone creation has been accomplished, osteoblasts become osteocytes– part of the bone material, or else they undergo apoptosis (cellular self-destruction). In both cases, what remains is new, healthy bone.1


Osteoblasts create and release the collagen-matrix that forms the scaffolding for new bone, and non-collagenous proteins that spur the mineralization of that matrix into bone matter.

Your Bones Are Alive

Bone is living tissue that is continually changing. There are two primary processes by which bones change and grow in adults: modeling and remodeling. Both require osteoblasts for the creation and deposition of new bone and also involve other cells necessary for bone turnover called osteoclasts.

Osteoclasts are cells that remove old, damaged bone, making way for osteoblasts to synthesize new collagen matrix and regulate mineralization, forming new bone. Both of these types of cells are necessary to achieve the desirable bone turnover balance.1


Bone is living tissue. Old bone is removed by osteoclasts and replaced with new bone by osteoblasts.

The Modeling Process

Modeling is the process by which osteoblasts and osteoclasts change the shape of bone in response to physical stress and mechanical load. During modeling, the skeleton adjusts to accommodate the stress applied to them.

This action was first described by Wolff's law, which noted that bones change shape to accommodate stresses placed on them. This well-documented process is why we know that weight-bearing exercise (which applies the stress of mechanical load to bones) stimulates new bone growth.1

The stress enacted on the surface of bones causes osteoblasts to increase bone mass accordingly. Osteoclasts are also part of bone modeling, removing old and damaged bone to make way for the growth of new, younger bone.1


Modeling is the response to stress placed on bones by changing the structure of bone with the action of osteoblasts and osteoclasts to better meet the demands of that stress.

The Remodeling Process

Remodeling is the continually ongoing, lifelong process of bone turnover that maintains bone strength throughout the body. Remodeling has four distinct stages:

  • Activation – preosteoclasts gather at aged and damaged bone, in preparation for the creation of osteoclasts
  • Resorption – osteoclasts form sealed compartments against the surface of bone where they demineralize the bone matrix and digest the organic matrix, leaving behind a groove or cavity called a Howship's lacunae.
  • Reversal – bone resorption transitions to bone formation. The mononuclear cells that remain in the Howship's lacunae after resorption include preosteoblasts that will begin the process of new bone deposition and formation.
  • Formation – osteoblasts synthesize new organic bone matrix and regulate the mineralization of that matrix, resulting in new deposed bone that is stronger than the bone matter that was replaced.

The remodeling process resorbs old bone (via osteoclasts) and forms new bone (via osteoblasts) to prevent the accumulation of bone microdamage. This is the body's natural means of keeping your bones strong and resilient.


Remodeling is a continuous process in which osteoclasts remove damaged bone and osteoblasts replace it with new bone.

Big Pharma's Chemical Manipulation Of Osteoblasts

The pharmaceutical industry is responsible for the pathologization of age-related bone loss. By turning osteoporosis into a disease that is diagnosed by measuring bone density using DXA scans, Big Pharma manufactured a need for drugs to increase bone density.

The most commonly prescribed class of drugs is bisphosphonates. The primary intention of bisphosphonates is to inhibit osteoclasts so that they cannot break bone. The glaring problem, of course, is that the bone material which osteoclasts remove is old and damaged bone. Furthermore, osteoclasts' removal of that bone gives rise to osteoblasts and makes space for them to form new bone.2

Bisphosphonates not only prevent the removal of weakened and damaged bone, but it prevents the production of strong new bone to replace it.

In addition to bisphosphonates (like Fosamax, Reclast, Boniva, Actonel) Big Pharma has developed drugs that engage in some variation on manipulating osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Romosozumab (Evenity) for example, stimulates osteoblasts and inhibits osteoclasts. Abaloparatide (Tymlos) and teriparatide (Forteo) are a synthetic sequence of amino acids that imitate human parathyroid hormone-related peptide (hPTHrP). This peptide stimulates osteoblasts to increase bone synthesis. Then there’s Prolia (denosumab), a drug that de-activates osteoclasts.

Big Pharma sells osteoporosis drugs claiming that they strengthen bones, but in fact, they do the exact opposite.2


Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclasts, and in the process also inhibit osteoblasts, preventing the removal of damaged bone and the subsequent replacement with new bone.

Naturally Supporting Osteoblasts

Your body has a built-in system for keeping your skeletal system strong and responsive to the physical stresses you apply to it. You don't need drugs to artificially alter the way your body forms new bone.

You can activate your osteoblasts to depose and form new bone by engaging in weight-bearing exercise. You can further support the bone remodeling process and the osteoblasts that build strong, flexible bone by following a pH-balanced diet. If you haven’t yet, start applying these simple principles to naturally reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia without taking osteoporosis drugs.

Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss

Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

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1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3152283/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18259679

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Yakaly Fernandez

    Dear Vivian, I so much enjoy your instructional emails, videos, exercises, etc., Thank You!!! I’m recently going thru a difficult time as my left knee, according to two Dr.’s. is bone on bone and their only suggestion is replacing the knee, knowing the dangers of Cortisone I consented to one shot in Feb, it didn’t help so I decided to try the Euflexxa three shots treatment (all these without medical insurance though they gave me a big discount) that didn’t work either so I just went for a second opinion, new xrays and a new cortisone shot all to no avail. I feel helpless right now because walking has become very painful and I’m aware of the importance of exercise. I take Bone-Up (Jarrow) which thru the years has help me with Osteoporosis in addition to the Vibra-trim machine but I’m afraid to use it because of the pain. I’m taking now enzymes for the osteoarthritis but it’s not helping either. Is there any additional thing that i could try in your opinion? Thank you and blessings to you.

  2. Susan Hughes

    I was on Fosamax for a dozen years. Osteoporosis stayed about the same. Later too the

    I had three injections of Prolia ( for osteoporisis) and maintained the same bone density. I decided to postpone the next shot and continued my exercises as usual. The next bone density scan showed I had lost bone. So I will continue with these shots since going without them was causing bone loss. I eat healthy and stay at a good weight but your program did not work for me.

  3. Barbara

    I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in 2003. I was put on Fosamax and was on it for 2.5 years. I had a fracture while on this med T9. 6 months later after research I took myself off Fosamax. Dr wanted me to go on Forteo but I refused. I was already taking good supplements and continued. A couple of years later I fractured 2 ribs at different times. I had read that Fosomax has a 5 year half life and now my natropath says it has a 10 year or more half life. I have a bone scan every 2 years and my density is about the same as it was in 2003. I go to a gym 3 times a week. I am also on bio-identical hormones. We eat as healthy as we can. The Fosomax should be out of my system by now as it has been 16 years? I am almost 75.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing your story, Barbara. Your naturopath is correct about the half-life of Fosamax. The good news is that by now it is most likely out of your bones 🙂

  4. Barbara

    Thank you for the incredibly detailed information. I find the concise summaries at the end of each sub-section really helpful in grasping the points being made in each article.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s my pleasure, Barbara!

  5. Melanie Nesbit

    Great work. I don’t read every entry, but I read most of them. I appreciate that you offer this valuable information without charging your readers. Well done you!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for your kind words, Melanie!

  6. Peggy

    I have been following your program for many years and have recently been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. I am on Methotrexate taking the pills once a week. I had a -2.5 on my last bone scan, so the Rheumatologist wants me to go on osteoporosis meds for it. I have flat out said no. Your thoughts on what else I can do while dealing with this condition and trying to help my bones would be appreciated.

  7. Judy

    Per my Dr.s advice I have taken FORTEO for the prescribed 24 months. NOW they want me to get a shot of PROLIA every 6 months. What is your best advice for me instead of taking the PROLIA SHOT? Since I have taken the FOTEO how with that now effect my osteoclasts from working?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Judy, we’re glad you’re rethinking your osteoporosis treatment! Now is the time to get started on a natural protocol based on diet (pH-balanced), exercise, and easy lifestyle changes. You can search on this website these topics and you’ll find a wealth of information.

  8. Caroline Manning

    Dear Vivian. Thank you for educating me about bone health. I am 66 and took a dexA scan 5 years back. They told me I had osteoporosis and was prescribed Risofos35. The pain I went through was so bad after taking a few I couldn’t even get out of bed. After calling the doctor he advised me to stop. Never went back to him again and flushed down the tabs.I take True Osteo and Lamberts Multi guard. Osteo Advance. Please do advise. Coz I do suffer from bone aches. Thanks Caroline

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing your story with us, Caroline. Taking supplements is one part of improving bone health, so make sure you also balance the pH of your meals, and exercise often, and avoid toxins.

  9. Kristi

    I enjoy reading the articles, but find it annoying and unnecessary that the info in the email is repeated when you click on the link. I already read that, and have to scroll down to get to the actual information.
    Also, I have a “thing” about proper word and grammar usage. “Workout” is a thing that you do; “work out” is what you are doing during a workout. It’s only one of many instances of incorrect usage.

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      We appreciate your feedback, Kristi.

  10. Kim Walling

    Hi Vivian,
    Your articles provide the valuable and informative
    information we all need to keep our bones healthy
    without using drugs. I look forward to each and
    every article . Thank you for explaining every article
    in concise detail.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s our pleasure, Kim 🙂

  11. Ita

    Thank you. Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re welcome, Ita!

  12. Lynn

    I find the SaveInstitute articles very helpful and encouraging. The only criticism is would make is that for some of us, they are a bit too lengthy and complicated. Those of us who don’t have a medical training may find them difficult to understand. Most of us don’t have the time to read through the whole article to the end. I know it’s most important for us to comprehend the condition and the do’s and don’ts, but many of us are busy ladies. A short synopsis would be very helpful. But, as I said before, they give wonderful advice and help. Thank you, Vivian.

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      We strive to give complete, evidence-backed information about the topics covered in our articles, and we also understand that it can get a bit complex and time-consuming to read. For that reason, we include a Summary after each sub-section.

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