Photo: Ruven Afanador

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Most people don't realize that the skeleton does more than anchor your muscles and protect your squishy organs. It actively contributes to your health by producing blood cells and storing calcium and phosphorus, two important minerals. But what really makes bones stand out is their ability to regenerate. Through a process called remodeling, your bones are constantly breaking down and rebuilding themselves, resulting in a completely new skeleton roughly every ten years. For many years, your body builds enough bone to replace what it loses—creating a sturdy scaffold of calcium, phosphate and collagen. But around age 35 to 40, bones begin to break down faster than they can be rebuilt, leading to decreased bone density and potentially, over time, osteoporosis. The good news is there are steps you can take to help your bones stay healthy.