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

Ultrasound Therapy for Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease

Curcumin: The All In One Solution, Part 2

What Are the Benefits of Vitamin K2?

Vitamin D deficiency + high fat diet = metabolic syndrome

Why You Should Take Your Apple Cider Vinegar at Night

Use Burdock Oil to Promote Healthy Hair Growth

Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

People with forms of early-onset Parkinson's disease may benefit from boosting niacin in diet, resea...

AMA journal associates iron deficiency with hearing loss

Why the Mediterranean Diet Is so Successful

 
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
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra ATP+, Double Strength FibroSleep™

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
NAD+ Ignite with Niagen

Featured Products

Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium

Natural Remedies

Safely Burn Away Body Fat Safely Burn Away Body Fat
D-ficient? Health Risks You Need to Know About D-ficient? Health Risks You Need to Know About
The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms
The Most Powerful Natural Antioxidant Discovered to Date - Hydroxytyrosol The Most Powerful Natural Antioxidant Discovered to Date - Hydroxytyrosol
The Fast-Acting Solution for Healthy Digestive Function The Fast-Acting Solution for Healthy Digestive Function

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

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map