ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

SURVEY: Cognitive Impairment II

Top 3 Nutrients to Detox the Liver and Soothe Digestion

Natural Bladder Control, Go Less and Live More

Top Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies — Are You at Risk?

Vital Molecule Increases Cellular Energy and Improves Cognitive Function

Omega Fix for Obesity: How the Right Fats Fight Fat

Potential of Quercetin in the Treatment of Melanoma

How Pomegranate May Protect Against Cancer

Trimming the spare tire: Canola oil may cut belly fat

Supplementation with vitamins C and E associated with decreased risk of cognitive impairment, dement...

 
Print Page
Email Article

Duke University investigators report “Appendix Isn’t Useless at All: It’s a Safe House for Bacteria” – beneficial bacteria to protect the gut, that is.

  [ 241 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Duke University Medical Center • www.ProHealth.com • October 8, 2007


Newly published research at Duke University Medical Center suggests that the appendix is a place where the probiotic bacteria which aid digestion can ride out severe diarrhea, sequestered and protected by immune system cells, then emerge to repopulate the ‘biofilm’ of the gut before harmful bacteria can take over. Duke researchers have determined that this “thin and delicate [biofilm] layer is an amalgamation of microbes, mucous and immune system molecules living together atop the lining of the intestines.” People in “hygienic” societies are less likely to need the appendix, but also may have a higher rate of allergies and appendicitis because their little-challenged immune system can over-react when it is challenged. Following is a DUMC news release describing the report.

* * * *

October 8, 2007, DURHAM, N.C. – Long denigrated as vestigial or useless, the appendix now appears to have a reason to be – as a "safe house" for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut. Drawing upon a series of observations and experiments, Duke University Medical Center investigators postulate that the beneficial bacteria in the appendix that aid digestion can ride out a bout of diarrhea that completely evacuates the intestines and emerge afterwards to repopulate the gut. Their theory appears online in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. [“Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the human vermiform appendix,” September 7, 2007.]

"While there is no smoking gun, the abundance of circumstantial evidence makes a strong case for the role of the appendix as a place where the good bacteria can live safe and undisturbed until they are needed," said William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of experimental surgery, who conducted the analysis in collaboration with R. Randal Bollinger, M.D., Ph.D., Duke professor emeritus in general surgery.

The appendix is a slender two- to four-inch pouch located near the juncture of the large and small intestines. While its exact function in humans has been debated by physicians, it is known that there is immune system tissue in the appendix.

The gut is populated with different microbes that help the digestive system break down the foods we eat. In return, the gut provides nourishment and safety to the bacteria. Parker now believes that the immune system cells found in the appendix are there to protect, rather than harm, the good bacteria.

For the past ten years, Parker has been studying the interplay of these bacteria in the bowels, and in the process has documented the existence in the bowel of what is known as a biofilm. This thin and delicate layer is an amalgamation of microbes, mucous and immune system molecules living together atop the lining of the intestines.

"Our studies have indicated that the immune system protects and nourishes the colonies of microbes living in the biofilm," Parkers explained. "By protecting these good microbes, the harmful microbes have no place to locate. We have also shown that biofilms are most pronounced in the appendix and their prevalence decreases moving away from it."

This new function of the appendix might be envisioned if conditions in the absence of modern health care and sanitation are considered, Parker said. "Diseases causing severe diarrhea are endemic in countries without modern health and sanitation practices, which often results in the entire contents of the bowels, including the biofilms, being flushed from the body," Parker said. He added that the appendix's location and position is such that it is expected to be relatively difficult for anything to enter it as the contents of the bowels are emptied.

"Once the bowel contents have left the body, the good bacteria hidden away in the appendix can emerge and repopulate the lining of the intestine before more harmful bacteria can take up residence," Parker continued. "In industrialized societies with modern medical care and sanitation practices, the maintenance of a reserve of beneficial bacteria may not be necessary. This is consistent with the observation that removing the appendix in modern societies has no discernable negative effects."

Several decades ago, scientists suggested that people in industrialized societies might have such a high rate of appendicitis because of the so-called "hygiene hypothesis," Parker said. This hypothesis posits that people in "hygienic" societies have higher rates of allergy and perhaps autoimmune disease because they - and hence their immune systems - have not been as challenged during everyday life by the host of parasites or other disease-causing organisms commonly found in the environment. So when these immune systems are challenged, they can over-react.

"This over-reactive immune system may lead to the inflammation associated with appendicitis and could lead to the obstruction of the intestines that causes acute appendicitis," Parker said. "Thus, our modern health care and sanitation practices may account not only for the lack of a need for an appendix in our society, but also for much of the problems caused by the appendix in our society."

Parker conducted a deductive study because direct examination the appendix's function would be difficult. Other than humans, the only mammals known to have appendices are rabbits, opossums and wombats, and their appendices are markedly different than the human appendix.

Parker's overall research into the existence and function of biofilms is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Other Duke members of the team were Andrew Barbas, Errol Bush, and Shu Lin.

Media contact: Richard Merritt, merri006@mc.duke.edu




Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function

Natural Remedies

Enhance Eyelashes Naturally Enhance Eyelashes Naturally
When a Good Night's Sleep Is Just a Daydream... When a Good Night's Sleep Is Just a Daydream...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unlocking the Secrets of Peppermint, Acacia and Fennel Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unlocking the Secrets of Peppermint, Acacia and Fennel
Milk Thistle: Trusted Support for Health & Healing in a Toxic World Milk Thistle: Trusted Support for Health & Healing in a Toxic World
How Glutathione Can Save Your Life How Glutathione Can Save Your Life

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map