New research helps explain the extraordinary strength of human bones, and the answers are in the form of goo! It turns out that your bones are made up of a mix of tiny crystal-like fragments and molecules of citrate. A citrate molecule bonds to calcium, creates a sticky fluid when mixed with water, and acts as a kind of shock absorber for the bone crystals.
And your bones depend on that gooey shock absorber every day! Regardless of your body weight, your bones certainly take on quite a strain every time you jump, twist, run, or even walk. Without citrate, the layers of calcium phosphate in your bones fuse into clumps, and the bone becomes brittle and more likely to shatter.
This new understanding of the role of citrate ‘goo’ as it relates to bone strength will hopefully help researchers understand some of the mechanisms of osteoporosis and brittle bone disease. Past studies in bone structure and strength and new research in treating brittle bone disease in children have relied on animal studies and clinical trials, and hopefully researchers can utilize all resources at their disposal to make the most of this new discovery!