Dr. Warner here –
Healthy bone is an important hormonal regulator in the human body. Bone helps to regulate the body through the proteins they produce, such as osteocalcin. What is osteocalcin, and why is it important to the body? How can you promote healthier bones and hormone regulation?
What is Osteocalcin, and Why Is It Important?
One of the many proteins produced in the bone ecosystem is osteocalcin. This is a noncollagenous protein that is highly involved in bone remodeling. Bone will remodel after injury (breaks or fractures), during growth, and during daily wear-and-tear events.
However, osteocalcin is also important in other critical human processes. For example, osteocalcin is used for male fertility, obesity control, muscle health, exercise tolerance and performance, and to maintain cognitive abilities. In older women, we know that osteocalcin levels are correlated with muscle strength.
Osteocalcin and Bone Formation
Osteocalcin is made by osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are the basic bone-forming cells that come from stem cells. If a stem cell is in the right ‘bony’ environment, it will become an osteoblast. The osteoblast starts the bone making process, and osteocalcin is one of the proteins used to do this.
We used to think that osteocalcin was only a serum marker for bone formation. Now, after much research, we believe it signifies much more. That is, osteocalcin is actually formed as part of a feedback loop during bone formation. It also seems to be important for the mineralization of bone, or the calcium deposition aspect of the process.
Osteocalcin is made by osteoblasts to recruit osteoclasts to the bone that is being remodeled. Osteoclasts remove bone to make way for new bone formation. Meanwhile, osteocalcin is also looked at for muscle health, insulin deficiency or metabolic syndrome and other conditions.
Osteocalcin is regulated by vitamin D and insulin. Osteocalcin levels are increased in metabolic bone diseases with increased bone or osteoid formation. Such conditions may include, acromegaly, osteomalacia, rickets, hyperparathyroidism, renal osteodystrophy, osteoporosis, thyrotoxicosis, and in individuals with fractures, and bone metastasis.
How To Promote Healthy Bones
There are a few ways to promote healthy bone strength and formation, ranging from diet and exercise to the supplements you take to help osteocalcin regulation.
A healthy lifestyle plays a large role in bone health. A vegetable-dense, protein-rich, and vitamin-laden diet helps to increase the minerals in your bones, amplify the production of bone-forming cells, and promote better bone density.
Pair a balanced diet with exercise and weight management to further strengthen your bones and protect against bone loss.
Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K are also important supplements that support strong bones. Calcium aids in the production of new bone cells while Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium within the body. This helps to protect bones from osteoporosis and a variety of other bone diseases. Vitamin K also helps to increase bone density.
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Learn more about Well Theory at www.thewelltheory.com, or contact us today at Warner Orthopedics and Wellness to learn more about ways to keep the body strong and healthy.
Meredith Warner, MD