Your appendix may have a significant function


2017-01-10 06:48

Researchers have determined the appendix may serve an important function.

There has been a general conception that the appendix is a useless organ and when in doubt about a possible appendicitis why not just remove it surgically. However new research implies the appendix may serve an important function.

The appendix may not be a dispensable human organ

Midwestern University reports that although the appendix has been considered to be a dispensable human organ for a long time this may not actually be true. In fact the appendix may have a far more significant function than has been realized.

Heather F. Smith, Ph.D., who is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, was the lead author of a new extensive groundbreaking study of the human appendix. It has been indicated by this study that the appendix has evolved many times in mammals, which therefore implies that the appendix is actually an adaptive and not vestigial organ.

It was hypothesized by Charles Darwin that appendixes in apes are a result of the species making a transition from consuming vegetation to eating fruit. Although there was support for this hypothesis in apes, the evidence did not seem to correlate well in other mammals.

The presence of many varied evolutionary paths of the appendix in different animals has indicated that this organ offers advantageous function

Nevertheless the presence of many varied evolutionary paths of the appendix in different animals has indicated that this organ offers advantageous function. Although this function is not entirely clear past studies have hypothesized that the appendix might serve as a "safe house" for beneficial bacteria which are found in the digestive tract in times of illness and increased immune activity.

This study has been published in the jorunal Comptes Rendus Palevol. A correlation which has been found between the presence of the appendix and concentration of cecal lymphoid tissue gives support to the hypothesis that this organ serves an adaptive immune function. It seems that to be on the safe side efforts should therefore be made to preserve the appendix whenever possible.

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