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What is bone marrow?

Bone marrow is the inside of the large bones of the body, where all of our blood cells are made.

Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Bone marrow is a spongy material inside some bones. Bone marrow makes red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets (PLATE-letz). Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are all part of the blood that flows in the body. A bone marrow aspirate (AS-per-ate) is a test to see if the bone marrow is making blood cells correctly. A biopsy (BY-op-see) is a test in which the doctor takes a little bit of tissue from the bone marrow and looks at it under a microscope.

Bone marrow is a soft, spongy material found inside bones. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Once blood cells are fully grown, they head out into the bloodstream to do their jobs and keep people healthy. After a while, all the blood cells get too old or damaged to keep doing their jobs. The bone marrow keeps making new cells to replace the ones that are lost.

Bone marrow inside the bones makes the white blood cells that fight infections, the red blood cells that carry oxygen and the platelets that help the blood to clot. Bone marrow also makes key parts of the immune system and immune fighting cells.

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