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What is Bone Marrow?

We all have bone marrow. It’s the soft, spongy tissue found inside our bones and it has one main job to do – to produce stem cells.

There are actually two types of bone marrow – yellow and red. Yellow bone marrow produces stem cells which turn into our body’s cartilage, bone and fat cells.

But it is the red bone marrow which produce blood (haematopoietic) STEM CELLS, billions of them. Blood stem cells develop into every type of blood cell our body needs to function properly.

What is Bone Marrow

Blood Basics

Blood is essential to life. It can’t be made or manufactured, it can only come from blood stem cells found in the bone marrow. Stem cells are constantly dividing and making new blood cells to replace older, worn out cells.

The average adult has 5 litres of blood circulating around the body. 55 percent of blood is a yellow liquid called plasma, whose function is to transport various things around the body – from blood cells, water, dissolved nutrients, antibodies, hormones, electrolytes and waste products.

The remaining 45 percent are the actual blood cells, made from the blood stem cells which are produced in the bone marrow. The vast majority, in fact 41 percent are red blood cells which give blood the red colour. The white blood cells and platelets only make up around 4 percent but are equally essential for us to remain healthy.

The remaining 45 percent are the actual blood cells, made from the blood stem cells which are produced in the bone marrow. The vast majority, in fact 41 percent are red blood cells which give blood the red colour. The white blood cells and platelets only make up around 4 percent but are equally essential for us to remain healthy.

Structural Blood

There are three main categories of blood cells, all of which are produced from blood stem cells in the bone marrow:

White Blood Cells

White blood cells (leukocytes) are our body’s defence and are produced to fight infection and disease. There are many different types of white blood cells and each play a unique role in our immune response, keeping us healthy.

Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells (erythrocytes) transport energy in the form of oxygen to our body’s cells from our lungs, and transport carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be expelled. About 1% of your total red blood cells – that’s around 200 BILLION cells – are recycled in your bone marrow every single day.

Platelets

Platelets (thrombocytes) are not technically cells. They are fragments of a blood cell called a megakaryocyte. They help repair blood vessels by combining with proteins found in the blood plasma to produce clots which prevent bleeding.

Blood Cells

All blood cells originate from stem cells produced in our bone marrow. Bone marrow is literally a MACHINE recycling old, used blood cells and pumping out BILLIONS of new blood cells every single day.