What is bone?
Bone is a living, growing tissue that is continuously being regenerated at a rate of about 10% a year. It is made up largely of collagen, a protein that gives the bone its tensile strength and framework, and calcium phosphate, a mineralised complex that hardens the bone. This combination of collagen and calcium makes bone strong and yet flexible enough to bear weight and to withstand stress. More than 99% of the body's calcium is contained in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1% is found in the blood.
Throughout your lifetime, old bone is constantly being removed (resorption) and replaced by new bone (formation). During early childhood and in the teenage years, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. As a result, bones become larger, heavier, and denser. Bone formation happens faster than bone resorption until you reach your peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength), in your mid-twenties. After that, bone resorption begins to happen faster than bone formation. Bone loss is accelerated in women in the first few years after the menopause and continues into the postmenopausal years.