Home > Reflections, Research, Topics in Health > The Truth About the Appendix

The Truth About the Appendix

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

According to a new article published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, the appendix, previously thought to be a disposable organ of no physiologic importance plays quite an important role in preserving our gut flora.  This research article will likely be the first of many studying the true functions of the appendix.  The appendix has long been studied and there are many theories of its functions, none claiming it to be of any use presently.  However, with continued research we are finding that the appendix is a highly evolved organ that protects our very important gut flora during times of infection (thus answering the question of why it’s so hard to treat something like appendicitis with antibiotics).  It acts as a safely enclosed sac protecting the flora when the rest of the intestinal tract is compromised.  This isn’t to say, however, that if you no longer have your appendix, that you are of any lesser health than those that still have theirs.

 

Sources:  Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Aug 12, 2009

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