The appendix plays an significant role in digestive health

The appendix plays an significant role in digestive health
The appendix plays an significant role in digestive health

Many people think that the appendix is an organ with no particular purpose. This does not appear to be so. The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research reported, the appendix is made into the “silent hero” of the digestive tract by immune cells.

It has been shown by new research that it appears a network of immune cells assists the appendix in playing an important role in maintaining good digestive health. This supports the theory that the appendix is not a redundant organ as many people think.

The researchers discovered that innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are vital to help protect against bacterial infection in people who have compromised immune systems. ILCs protect the organ and help to play an important role in the body as a natural source of good bacteria by helping to prevent any significant inflammation and damage when attacked by bacteria.

Professor Gabrielle Belz, who is a laboratory head in the institute’s Molecular Immunology section, has said the findings in this study demonstrate that the appendix deserves more credit than it has generally been given. It is generally believed that the appendix is a liability. It’s removal is a common surgical procedure. The researchers say it is time to reconsider whether the appendix is actually irrelevant for the health of people.

It has previously been shown by Professor Belz that diet, such that which consists of the proteins in leafy green vegetables, may assist in producing ILCs. ILCs have been observed to play a role in allergic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and asthma. It is therefore considered important that we develop a better understanding of the role of ILCs in the intestine and how this population might be manipulated to help in the treatment of disease or in the promotion of better health.

This study has been published in the journal Nature Immunology. The researchers have found the interplay between intestinal ILC3 cells and adaptive lymphocytes is associated with complementary failsafe mechanisms which help to ensure homeostasis in the gut. It therefore appears as if it’s a good idea to avoid having an appendectomy unless it is absolutely necessary since this organ may play a significant role in helping to maintain good health.


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