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.
Comments on this article are closed.
Thank you for all the information you provide for us.
With so many seniors spending a great deal of time quarantining it would be very helpful if you would write an article on building one’s natural immunity Vivian.
Please comment on two intensity vibration machines: Marodyne and Juvent. Research seems to indicate they increase bone density without hurting people with osteoporosis (the Power Pate 10G Force seems to be dangerous). Thank you.
My Dr has advised I use Garden of Life Grow Bone supplement. What are your thoughts on this supplement. I do weight bearing exercises 3-4 days a week and try to follow all your diet recommendations. Thanks for your response
Where can I buy the best supplements to take to have my bones healthy! I have osteoporosis for the longer. And a wrist fracture caused by an accident I had running after my 2.5yrs old grandson. I’m grateful that having osteoporosis, I didn’t broke any other parts of my body. Reply please.
Hi Vivian, in December I had a bad fall, landing on my right arm and hip,(i had my hand in my coat pocket and kicked a football while on dinnertime school duty.) My right hip occasionally gives me a horrible sharp pain and I sometimes stumble a little when the pain takes me by surprise, can you please recommend anything to help, I’m 65, and enjoy being on the go all the time, thankyou, regards Gillian Beard
Began with a -4.5 score after breaking a hip. 2 years Forteo, 2 years Reclast. 11% increase in score. Made the biggest health mistake of my life by agreeing to take Prolia. Now I had my 4th and FINAL shot in November. Made my extremely sick, now have ONJ but am in the Prolia trap. Because of the rebound effect and the fact that I cannot (and won’t take) biphosphates. I am extremely likely to experience the vertebrae fractures that discontinuing Prolia causes.
Extremely grateful for your program. Any other helpful info to get me through?
Thank you for your informative emails. Sorry for the negative comments made from some. You can’t please everyone.
I have been with your program for a few years and eat a healthy diet and take True Osteo Calcium. I been diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteopenia but thanks to your guidance I have not taken any pharmaceutical drugs. I recently had an oral cancer diagnosed and removed. The gingival tissue and the alveolar ridge was removed (anterior matxillectomy) Will the alveolar ridge in any way remodel, or will the oral cavity adjust to the loss of this ridge? Any information would be helpful as I know my primary care physician will tell me to go on the pharmaceuticals when I have a visit soon. I love to know the research behind my decision-making and as a rule choose to not take pharmaceutical drugs.
I love your articles. Keep providing this wonderful information. Thank you.
Dear VivianI have had 6 fractures through trauma. I follow yr very helpful advice and do not take any osteo drugs, just gd bone vitamins.i can only do the low level exercises but am slowly getting more active but still with Cocodamol. Would you recommend any better pain killer pl. Thank you so much for yr welcome help you give. Wonderful Vivianxxc
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
Thank you. Ita.
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.
Dear Vivian. Thank you so much for all the help you have given us. I am a member for many years but must have done something wrong. I am 81 years old. I recently had another fracture. Very painfully I lost 5 cm.The doctor recommended, if I like to live the only chance would be to take prolia. It was a very hard decision, but I gave in.I have never taken any medication or painkiller. Know I am in so much pain. Don’t know what to do. Will definitely not take a 2nd injection. How can I get prolia out of my system and go back to a healthy lifestyle to rebuild my bones.Vivian, please can you help me.