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The Appendix: Maybe Not Useless After All

Saturday, December 08, 2007 by: Aaron Nye
Tags: appendix, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Theorists may have unlocked the purpose for the appendix, the organ in the gut at the juncture of the large and small intestine, long thought useless. The theory calls upon observations and experiments done at Duke University Medical Center.

While not definitive, it seems that the purpose for the vestigial organ could be to repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria after a catastrophic die-off. If the body has an exceptionally bad bout of food poisoning, diarrhea, cholera or otherwise purges the contents of the lower gut, the beneficial flora are eliminated as well.

The position of the appendix is such that it avoids the purge. The beneficial bacteria within the appendix can repopulate the gut prior to bad bacteria gaining a foothold. Some have compared it to "rebooting" the gut, which is a major part of all good holistic colon cleanse programs.

Surgeons are quick to point out that in a "modern industrial society" the purpose of the appendix is marginalized by advances in modern medicine. According to the CDC 300 to 400 Americans die from appendicitis each year out of the approximately 320,000 who are diagnosed with it. It is for this reason that the CDC and surgeons recommend having the appendix removed in the event of inflammation.

Professor Douglas Theobald of Brandies University says that the idea “seems by far the most likely” explanation, and it “makes evolutionary sense.”

This news could cause a less cavalier approach to the removal of other “useless” body parts. Professor Gary Huffnagle of the University of Michigan says, “I'll bet eventually we'll find the same sort of thing with the tonsils.”

According to Nicholas Vardaxis of the RMIT University noted that animals higher on the evolutionary scale “the more omnivorous animals become, then the smaller and less important the appendix becomes.” He points to the comparatively huge appendix of the koala, which consumes a diet of exclusively eucalyptus leaves.

About the author

Aaron Nye is a freelance writer who's work revolves around intelligent research and "connecting the dots." He is a tireless supporter and volunteer for the Ron Paul campaign. He is an experienced computer programmer with a passion for health and holistic medicine. He has been a vegetarian since a member of his family was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999. He speaks Vietnamese and Gaelic, and is working to learn the ancient language of Akkadian.

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