Q:

How Does the Structure of a Bone Make It Strong yet Lightweight?

A:

Quick Answer

The bone’s primary tissue, the osseous, is a hard, honeycombed, spongy composite material that is mainly formed of calcium phosphate, giving the bone its rigidity while remaining lightweight, according to the Better Health Channel. The porous osseous tissue is found between the bone marrow and the compact tissue.

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The bone has a complex structure, including a periosteum, which is the tough, outer shell containing nerves and blood vessels, the compact or dense tissue that protects the inner tissues, the spongy, porous osseus that confers strength and light weight to the bone, and the bone marrow, which is the jelly-like material where blood cells are produced, found within the cavities of most bones, according to the Better Health Channel.

Bones give the body its structure and strength. For example, the adult human body has 206 bones that make up the skeleton, including the chest, spine, skull, pelvis, hands, arms, legs and feet. There are four different types of bones: the long bones such as the bones of the legs; short bones such as the bones making up the wrists; flat bones, as in ribs and skull bones; and irregular bones, like the spinal bones, according to the Better Health Channel.

Adequate vitamin D from a balanced diet and the sun, dietary calcium and regular exercise are essential to maintain bone density and strength, notes the Better Health Channel.

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