Human bones come in different shapes, sizes and functions. They provide the body with structure, protection and weight support. Their structure depends on a combination of proteins, phosphate and calcium. Bones have three layers, each containing different types of tissue. Generally, a bone has an outer shell that looks like a hard, thick rock and a soft framework made up of collagen protein. The inner shell is a jelly-like substance known as the bone marrow. Marrow is a storehouse of blood cells, including red and white blood cells, platelets, lymphocytes, and fatty acids. Its marrow also carries oxygen throughout the body and produces immune cells.

There are five different types of bones in the human body. These are: long bones, short bones, flat bones, irregular bones, and ribs. Long bones are generally compact, which is to say, they are longer than they are wide. Short bones are usually spongy, cube-shaped, and about as long as they are wide. Examples of short bones include wrist and ankle bones.

Flat bones have broad, flat surfaces that protect vital organs. Examples of flat bones include sternum, ribs, the ilium and the pelvis. Many axial bones are flat, such as the thoracic cage, which protects the heart, lungs, and spine.

Bones are composed of specialised bone cells. There are two kinds of bone cells: osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoclasts break down old bone tissue, while osteoblasts produce new bone tissue. Both osteoblasts and osteoclasts are important components of the skeleton, as they help repair and remodel bones. When injured, osteoclasts use acid to break down old bone, creating pathways for blood vessels and nerves to pass through the bone.

Bones contain several minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Calcium helps to make the bones strong and to make them flexible. Likewise, bones are able to absorb alkaline salts and detoxify heavy metals from the blood. Having a balanced diet is also important for healthy bone health.

A variety of bones can be found in the skull. There are skull bones, such as the coccyx, vertebrae, and spine, as well as non-skull bones, such as the mandible. Some bones in the skull are irregular, meaning that they do not have a consistent shape. Other irregular bones include the tibia, fibula, humerus, ulna, and radius.

An irregular bone may have a spongy surface, but its internal structure is more solid. Irregular bones are sometimes used to protect organs, and to prevent the occlusion of a blood supply. For example, a sesamoid bone is a small, round bone that develops in tendons, and is found in muscles near the ends of the joints. Sesamoid bones protect tendons, preventing wear and tear.

Various types of bones help the human body to perform a wide range of functions, including weight support, protection, and motion. As the skeleton constantly changes, there are certain hormones that need to be balanced. In addition, the proper amount of exercise and a healthy diet are essential for keeping the bones strong and healthy.

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