The Appendix – Irrelevant? Or a critical organ of immune defence?
Appendicectomy is one of the most commonly performed operations in the developed
world. And once this part of the colon is inflamed beyond repair, this surgery may be
necessary and life saving.
But recent research out of Melbourne suggests a new respect for this complicated bit of
It seems that the reservoir of good bacteria, or probiotics, in our gut is replenished by
the appendix, to help recovery from things like Bali Belly and to support the gut in all
of its essential health roles. A network of immune support cells along with good
bacteria located in the appendix have been shown to provide a resilience against auto-
immune diseases and gut infections as well as support good digestion and nutrition.
Of course, for those without this little finger-like protrusion there’s no going back, but
good gut health becomes an even higher priority post surgery for appendicitis.
Remember what Hippocrates suggested over 2000 years ago?
“All Health begins in the Gut”
So for those of you who still have an appendix – raise the bar on supporting this organ.
And for those without, you have a little more work to do to achieve and maintain
optimal health, regardless of where your starting point is today.
Ref: Rankin, et al: Complementarity and redundancy of IL-22-producing innate lymphoid cells.
Nature Immunology, 2015; DOI: 10.1038/ni.3332