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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Biochemical Markers of Osteoporosis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Function of bones and the role of osteoclasts and osteoblasts

The skeleton has several functions:
1. It provides structural support for muscles and organs.
2. It also serves as a storehouse for the body's calcium and other essential minerals, such as phosphorus and magnesium.
3. It provides protection for vital internal organs.
The skeleton holds 99% of the body's calcium. The remaining 1% circulates in the blood and is essential for crucial bodily functions, ranging from muscle contraction to nerve function to blood clotting.
Bone tissue is constantly being broken down and reformed. This cycle is necessary for growth and repair of damage that occurs from everyday stress, and for the maintenance of homeostasis. The two main cells involved in this process are called osteoclasts and osteoblasts.