The Formation and Development of Bones

Many people desire to have an ideal height, but not everyone knows how to take good care of their bodies to achieve maximum height. Understanding this, in the following article, we will explore the formation and development of bones as well as effective ways to increase height.

The process of bone formation and development

Formation stage

Bone development begins in the early stages of pregnancy. In the first month of the embryo, cartilage appears, which gradually transforms into cartilaginous bone and then into actual bone by the end of the second month. However, the lower jawbone, skull vault, and collarbone are formed directly from the membrane without going through the cartilage stage. This process is known as membranous ossification, and the resulting bones are called membrane bones.

In the human body, most of the remaining bones are formed from cartilage, hence known as cartilaginous bones. By the end of the second month of pregnancy, blood vessels invade the cartilage, and blood vessel cells break down the cartilage while bone tissue begins to replace it. Scientifically, this process is referred to as endochondral ossification.

The process of bone formation and development

The process of bone formation and development.

Development stage

Development stage Bones undergo development from birth until adulthood. During this stage, the primary ossification centers and the main ossification centers are separated by a growth plate made of cartilage. The cartilage plays a role in facilitating bone growth in length by proliferating towards the bone shaft, which eventually becomes bone. When the rate of cartilage proliferation is slower than the rate of ossification, the bone gradually replaces the cartilage and ceases to grow in length.

Bones follow the following rules of development:

  • Law of puberty: Bone develops in length during pre-puberty stages, while after puberty, it develops in thickness.
  • Law of disparity: The length and thickness of bones develop unevenly, or two neighboring bones have one bone undergoing development while the other bone temporarily pauses and undergoes changes.
  • Law of proportion: From birth to 6 years old, bones grow at a rate of  1.5 – 2.4 inch (4-6 cm) per year. From 6 to 15 years old, the growth rate is 2.8 inch (7 cm) per year. From 15 to 25 years old, the length of the bones will be greater than their thickness.
  • Law of asymmetry: Two identical bones (e.g., right and left arms) but the bone that experiences more activity will develop more.

Balancing Stage

The process of bone formation and bone resorption balance each other, maintaining stability and preventing further growth. Typically, the balancing stage lasts from 25 to 40 years old.

Aging Stage

Upon reaching the age of 40, the process of bone aging begins, and women tend to experience earlier bone aging than men. At this stage, the body enters a phase of physiological bone loss, where bone resorption outweighs bone formation. The initial period of the aging process is known as the slow bone loss phase, with the body losing about 0.1 to 0.5% of bone mass per year.

In women, due to the influence of the premenopausal period, the annual bone loss can range from 1 to 3%. In men, the process of bone aging becomes more noticeable and accelerated after the age of 60.

The main components that make up bones

Bones are composed of two main components: inorganic matter (mineral) and organic matter. These two substances are tightly interconnected to ensure the strength, resilience, and ability of bones to withstand mechanical forces exerted on the body.

Organic matter: It accounts for 30% of the dry weight of bones and includes lipids, proteins, and mucopolysaccharides. Among these, collagen and protein complexes make up the highest proportion.

Inorganic matter: Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, silicon, manganese, etc., make up 70% of the dry weight of bones. However, the most abundant components are still CaCO3 and Ca3(PO4)2.

The chemical composition of bones varies among individuals, depending on age, diet, and diseases. Young individuals have a higher proportion of organic matter, making their bones more flexible. In old age, bones become brittle and prone to fractures due to an increased proportion of inorganic matter.

Drinking milk makes bones stronger

Drinking milk makes bones stronger.

The age at which bone growth stops

According to a recent survey by the World Health Organization (WHO), the human skeletal system undergoes the most significant development during three stages: the last 9 months of fetal development, the first 3 years of life, and the adolescent growth spurt (which occurs between ages 10-16 for females and 12-18 for males). After the growth spurt phase, height increases gradually and officially stops progressing around the age of 20 or 25.

Based on these research findings, it is important to understand the “golden period” for height development. This knowledge can help individuals focus on supplementing nutrition and engaging in physical activities that promote bone growth, allowing them to reach their desired height potential during adulthood.

When you become an adult, your height won't grow anymore

When you become an adult, your height won’t grow anymore.

Read more: How Does Bone Density Affect Height?

How to promote effective bone development?

There are various factors that influence bone development, such as genetic factors, living conditions, and diet. If you know how to engage in physical exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle, your bones can grow faster. Here are some methods to stimulate bone lengthening that individuals can apply:

Establish a balanced diet: Ensure that your diet includes an adequate amount of protein, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates in the right proportions. Limit the consumption of snacks, fast food, carbonated beverages, and prioritize meals prepared from fresh ingredients. Also, be aware of avoiding stimulants such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated drinks.

Get sufficient sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for bone development. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep per day, avoid staying up too late, and maintain a consistent sleep schedule without sleeping too little or too much.

Engage in physical activities: Sports like jumping rope, basketball, cycling, and other physical activities contribute to bone development. The best time to exercise is in the early morning or late afternoon when the air is fresh, and sunlight can provide vitamin D, which is beneficial for calcium absorption.

Maintain good posture: Poor postures like slouching or hunching affect body height and need to be corrected. Always keep your head, neck, and back straight and pay attention to proper sitting, lying, and standing positions to protect the health and strength of your bones and joints.

We hope the information above provides you with a general understanding of the bone formation and development process, as well as how to take care of your body to achieve optimal height. In the following articles, we will continue to share more useful knowledge about health, so stay tuned!

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