(Natural News) The appendix has traditionally been considered a vestigial organ – a useless, evolutionary relic that sometimes turns life-threatening when it becomes severely inflamed, seemingly for no reason. But over the past several years, scientists have been amassing a compelling case that the appendix is actually a critical immune organ and that one of its primary functions is the maintenance of healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The evidence for this hypothesis has been strengthened by a new study conducted by researchers from Midwestern University, Duke University, the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and the National Museum of Natural History in France, and published in the journal Comptes Rendus Palevol.
Appendix as a safe house
The researchers have previously suggested that the appendix might actually be an immune organ. Scientists from Duke synthesized the findings of a decade of research to suggest the “safe house hypothesis” – that the appendix might function as a repository, or safe house, for beneficial bacteria to protect them from being completely eliminated in a bout of severe diarrhea….