Researchers claim that they have finally found out what the appendix is for. It is a part of the immune system.
A team of researchers from the Midwestern University Arizona College claim that they might have found the mysterious role of the appendix. In their study, they write that the tiny organ hanging just at the edge of your intestines might be an immune organ, working like a pocket for helpful stomach bacteria.
Ever since anatomy began, the appendix have been believed to be an organ that evolution forgot. Just like our wisdom teeth and tailbone, it served our ancestors, but is not of much use to the modern human race.
However, recent studies have challenged this theory, and believes that it plays a key role in our immune system.
The scientists used data collected from the appendix of 533 different species of mammals and found that the animals who had an appendix also had a “higher average concentrations of lymphoid (immune) tissue in the cecum”.
Upon these findings they concluded that the mysterious organ was part the immune system in mammals and assisted the growth of good bacteria found in the gut.
The new findings complement the findings of a 2012 study by researchers at Winthrop University-Hospital, through which the researchers found that patients who had their appendix removed were more likely to have recurring cases of Clostridium difficile colitis, a bacterial infection of the intestine and colon.
By testing people who had Clostridium difficile colitis, they found that 11 percent of the patients who still had an appendix saw a recurrence, while 48 percent of those who had had their mystery organ removed had recurring cases.
The appendix has for long been regarded as an organ that did humans more harm than good. Hundreds of thousands of people have had their’s removed, often due to appendicitis, a painful inflammation caused by calcified feces creating a blockage.