The skeleton is composed of two main parts, the axial and the appendicular parts. Lactose Free Someone is lactose intolerant when their small intestine does not produce enough lactase, therefore meaning they can not digest lactose. Common Diseases of Skeletal System. Osteocytes are star-shaped cells that are networked throughout the bone via their long cytoplasmic arms that allow for the exchange of nutrients and other factors from bones to the blood and lymph. As you grow, your body constantly breaks down bone and forms new bone to replace the old bone. Smokers will not develop maximum bone loss, the amount of bone tissue in the skeleton.
Who can edit:
Skeletal cells, like other body cells, also need micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals. With regard to the skeletal system, vitamins help cells to produce the products they make in order to fulfill skeletal function, while minerals form the basis of the bony matrix of your skeleton.
One of the minerals most important to the function of the skeletal system is calcium; it serves as one of the principle ingredients for the salt that your cells use to build bone. Strangely enough, while calcium is critical to bone function, your body actually needs calcium in the bloodstream in addition to calcium in the bone, and regulates blood calcium more closely than bone calcium.
In a way, the bones act as a repository of calcium for the blood, explains Dr. Lauralee Sherwood in her book "Human Physiology. Because the blood can pull calcium out of the bone if blood calcium falls, and because loss of calcium weakens bone, it's very important that your skeletal system has access to plenty of calcium at all times. This is why you need calcium in your diet, but you also need vitamin D. Reginald Garrett and Charles Grisham in their book "Biochemistry," vitamin D helps you move dietary calcium into the bloodstream for uptake by the bones -- without vitamin D, your bones become very weak.
Your skeletal system cells need other nutrients as well, including vitamin C, which cells use to produce cartilage, an important component of the skeletal system. Therefore, it's important to eat a diet that contains adequate levels of this mineral. You may immediately think of milk and dairy products as being high sources of calcium, but other foods, such as leafy green vegetables, black-eyed peas and oranges, contain good amounts as well.
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, too, promoting calcium absorption, bone growth and bone maintenance. To increase the amount of vitamin D in your diet, include fatty fish like salmon or swordfish and look for foods such as milk and cereal that are fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin K plays a role similar to vitamin D in bone health. It helps to keep your calcium levels at a healthy balance and can especially benefit people who have osteoporosis, a disease characterized by weak, brittle bones.
An article published in the October issue of "Nutrition" stated that vitamin K can help to reduce risk of fractures and strengthen the bone in individuals with osteoporosis. This vitamin can be found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, collard greens and kale as well as broccoli and brussels sprouts.
While some nutrients support bone health, other nutrients can hurt your skeletal system if you over-consume them.
For example, phosphorus supports your skeletal system, but eating more does not necessarily make your bones stronger. In fact, keeping a balance between calcium and phosphorus intake is important. Consuming too much phosphorus may interfere with your body's ability to absorb calcium, leading to decreased bone density. You don't necessarily need weights or equipment to build muscle. Pushups, squats and planks strengthen muscles over most of the body.
As you get stronger, using dumbbells increases the resistance to maintain your strength. Avoid smoking and drinking. Discuss potential side effects of medication with your doctor. Some medicines can weaken bones and increase your risk of osteoporosis. Your doctor will be able to prescribe bone-boosting medication if needed. Wear your seat belt when driving and a helmet when using a motorcycle. Use headgear when engaged in sports that could lead to brain damage such as football, in-line skating, bicycling and horseback riding.
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since How to Prevent Weight Loss.